This museum is dedicated to the Legio Secunda Parthica, created by the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus between 196 and 197 A.D. to fight against the Parthians. Because of the legion’s loyalty and military valour, it later became the emperor’s guard. The museum is located in several areas of the Great Baths, which were built for the soldiers of the Legion of Emperor Caracalla.
The exhibition begins with the reconstruction of the weaponry and clothing of the Legion’s main military figures. In the same room, several important archaeological artefacts are on display: the altar of Cassio Severiano, a marble high-relief depicting the fasces lictorii and a bronze ceremonial greave (armour to protect the shin) on which the god Mars is depicted.
Room II is dedicated to the documentation of the Castra Albana and the main monuments of the town related to this encampment. Among these, there are the Cisternoni, the largest water supplies of the encampment, and the amphitheatre, situated on the top of a hill outside the encampment. These monuments are part of the town’s archaeological attractions and can be visited by making a request to the Civic Museums.
The next two rooms document the daily life of the legion. There are cooking pots, mess pots, amphorae for wine, oil and garum – the famous fish sauce. There are also coins and several unusual objects, such as checkers, dice and small lead cards that were a sort of entrance ticket to the amphitheatre.
Locally manufactured items included bricks and roof tiles, used in the construction of buildings, some of which, rectangular or in planta pedis, had the “LIIP” (Legio Secunda Parthica) or “LIIPS” (Legio Secunda Parthica Severiana) emblem on them.
The last room is dedicated to the funerary aspect, as can be seen in the recovery of vast areas of cemeteries as well as isolated tombs.
The Museum also has an adjoining room where visitors can touch and wear various reproductions of the Legion’s military equipment.