Why Egeria?

The nymph Egeria, as legend has it, was a Roman divinity and wife of Numa Pompilius (715 – 672 BC), the successor of Romulus in the kingship of Rome. She inspired and guided him in his legislation, and her name is synonymous with the concept of a wise counsellor and adviser.

A grove sacred to Egeria stood close by Rome's Porta Capena. In the 2nd century a natural grotto and spring was formalised as an arched interior with an apsidal end where a statue of Egeria once stood in a niche. Il Ninfeo di Egeria was a favoured picnic spot for 19th century Romans and can still be visited in the Caffarella archaeological park between the Appian Way and the Via Latina.

Numa Pompilious and the nymph Egeria, Felice Giani, Palazzo Milzetti, Faenza, 1802
Numa Pompilious and the nymph Egeria, Felice Giani, Palazzo Milzetti, Faenza, 1802
The Nymphaeum of Egeria, Caffarella Park, Rome.  Photo Rosemary Ewles 2008
The Nymphaeum of Egeria, Caffarella Park, Rome. Photo Rosemary Ewles 2008