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You are in: Home - History - Archaeologsts and scholars - Gatti Giuseppe, Edoardo, Guglielmo

Giuseppe, Edoardo e Guglielmo Gatti: three generations of Archaeologists

Grandfather, son and grandson all left important marks - each within their own specialisation from epigraphy to ancient topography - on the history of Roman archaeology. The Archives contain the general documentation of their activities.

Giuseppe Gatti

Foto di Giuseppe Gatti
Portrait of Giuseppe Gatti
(photo from Studi Romani,
Roma 1914)

Giuseppe Gatti, (born in Rome, 23rd November 1838, died in Oriolo Romano 2nd September 1914), worked in the field of archaeological research and epigraphy.

In his studies in epigraphy he worked closely with Giovan Battista De Rossi, particularly in the preparation of the third volume of Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae.

His contribution to the “Bullettino della Commissione Archeologica Comunale di Roma” was fundamental. Here, Giuseppe Gatti, together with C. B. De Rossi, from 1886, worked on the "Notizie di trovamenti riguardanti la topografia e l'epigrafia urbana" (information on finds related to topography and urban epigraphy). One documentary source of excavations and finds published in the Bullettino is the papers conserved in the Archives of the Archivio della Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma and the documents conserved in the Archivio Gatti.

In the course of his prestigious career, Giuseppe Gatti covered various and important roles. In 1892 he was nominated Director of the "Ufficio Scavi e Scoperte di antichità in Roma e suburbio" (Office for excavations and findings of antiquity in Rome and suburbio), with its seat in the Palatine (the current Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma). His copious bibliographical production numbers over 120 contributions, among which some fundamental works on the topography of ancient Rome.

Giuseppe Gatti was the first important character from a family of scholars of ancient Rome.

Edoardo Gatti

His son, Edoardo Gatti, (died in Rome 31st July 1928), worked mainly in archaeological investigations carried out during the early 1900’s. He worked for the then "Regia Soprintendenza agli Scavi di Roma" as Principle Drawer. As testimony to his work, he left manuscript notes of his work, surveys and photographs which are conserved in the Archives of the Soprintendenza.

Guglielmo Gatti

Guglielmo Gatti (born in Rome 29th September 1905, died in Rome 2nd September 1981) son of Edoardo, inherited his grandfather’s and his father’s passion for Roman topographical studies. He was employed as Drawer, first working at the Soprintendenza alle Antichità di Roma, then at the Governatorato del Comune di Roma. He graduated in Classical Studies and went on the reach the highest level of Sovrintendente for Museums, Monuments and Excavations in the X Department AA.BB.AA. of the Comune di Roma. His scientific activity, together with a notable talent in carrying out surveys, was concentrated particularly in the field of topography of Ancient Rome.

His fundamental studies led to revolutionary results for the identification and localisation of important monuments of ancient Rome. Many of his notes and original drawings are conserved in the Archives of the Soprintendenza and these are often considered integration to the large documentary heritage in the important Archivio Gatti which were donated by the heirs to the Archivio Centrale dello Stato after the death of Guglielmo Gatti.


  • D. Palombi, s.v. "Gatti Giuseppe", in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana fondata da Giovanni Treccani), Roma 1999, pp. 577-580;
  • L. Cozza, G. Gatti, in Guglielmo Gatti, Topografia ed edilizia di Roma antica, Roma 1989, pp. VII-XII.

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Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma © Archivio di documentazione archeologica 2004-07,last revision 2006-07-21, last update by editors