Via della Stella, 5. In front of the Church of Santa Maria della Stella.
At the fifteenth mile of the Ancient Via Appia, in the locality known today as La Stella, St. Paul was undoubtedly struck by the imposing nature of a majestic mausoleum. Erudite and other tradition has always linked the monument to two households of brothers – three on each side – who under King Tullus Hostilius decided the fate of Rome and its Latin rival Alba Longa with their duel.
This is the so-called tomb of the Horatii and Curiatii, a duplicate of the graves located at the fifth mile of the Via Appia and also attributed to the five brothers (two Horatii and three Curiatii) who died in the duel. The most realistic hypothesis is that it is the tomb of an aristocratic Roman family which in the first century BC wanted to ennoble its origins by recalling glorious mythical characters such as the Horatii and Curiatii, taking inspiration from the burial monuments of Etruscan tradition. It could be of the Aricia family of the Atii (to whom the Emperor Augustus was related on his mother’s side) or the Albano family of the Arruntii. both of which had as an ancestor the young Arrunte, son of Porsenna, the Etruscan King of Chiusi, who died in the battle of Ariccia in 504 BC.