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Samnite Palęstra (Gymnasium)
This gymnasium is called Samnite
because it was built at least in the second century B.C., or during the
Samnite period. It consists of a small rectangular courtyard surrounded
by a peristyle.
The fourth side was removed due to the extension of the
Temple of Isis
after the earthquake of 62 A.D.. The base against a column on the
southern side supported a Roman copy in marble of Doriforos
(lance carrier), a famous masterpiece of the Greek sculptor Polikletos.
The steps behind the base witness the young athletes' custom to climb
up to the statue and place their crowns on its head. The statue is
exhibited at the National
Archaeological Museum of Naples.