The Mensa Ponderaria, together with the Augusteum, is located near the Cathedral of Tivoli, next to the old washing place. It is here that the weights were preserved that were the standard in Roman times.
Mensa Ponderaria Tivoli
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
Address: Via di Postera, 35-53 – 00019 – Tivoli (tel. +39 0774 4531). The Mensa Ponderaria is accessible only on certain occasions.
History and Description
The Mensa Ponderaria was the building where the weights were stored that were used in trade in the ancient Roman Forum.
The monument was attached to the basilica, which was the city’s courthouse in those days. (The present cathedral would later be built on the site where the basilica used to be).
The Mensa Ponderaria was built towards the end of the 1st century BC.
The room is almost perfectly square. Its center is occupied by two marble tables. The pillars on which the table rests are decorated with bas-reliefs, depicting, among other things, the club of Hercules. On both tables are indentations of circles of different diameters. They are both the same height.
Of the six marble weights that once stood on the tables, only three remain.
On the sides of the table tops an inscription can be read.
In the middle of the mosaic floor is an opening, into which water could flow away.
Like the neighboring Augusteum, a shrine dedicated to the emperor, it is now incorporated in a modern construction.
Both monuments were found by Felice Genga in 1883, when he was working on excavations inside an old building.
On one of the walls in a hallway behind the tables is a bas-relief depicting Hercules, with a lion’s skin and his club.
At the moment the building is being restored. Inside one can see the old tables with the weights.