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Museu Nacional Arqueològic de Tarragona

The Schola of the Collegium Fabrum

View of the room devoted to the Schola of the Collegium Fabrum.

View of the room devoted to the Schola of the Collegium Fabrum.

The items on display in this room formed part of the decor of the Schola of the Collegium Fabrum, the seat of the construction workers’ association. The purpose of this voluntary association was to protect and defend the professional interests of these workers,  to worship of one or a number of divinities and arrange funeral rites and a decent burial for its members.

The fragments of the column that have come down to us  suggest that the Collegium Fabrum of Tarraco had a peristyle, although the discovery of a fountain in one of its walls seems to indicate that it had porticoes on three sides only. This small nymphaeum was decorated with sculptures that express the recreational nature of the Collegium. The head of Minerva, goddess of craftsmen, and the statuette of the genius collegii, in military attire, tell us of the Collegium’s corporate purpose and the institution’s obligations as a fire-fighting brigade. The head of Claudius and the bust, probably of Hadrian, bear witness to the loyalty that all associations had to show to the emperor.

The date of the sculptures and the epigraphic remains suggest that the Collegium dates back to at least the beginning of the 2nd century AD.

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