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The Urban Legacy of Ancient Rome Photographs from the Ernest Nash Fototeca Unione Collection

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Palatinus Mons

[Also known as: Palatine Hill]

According to tradition, the first Roman settlement was on the Palatine, and it was there that Romulus founded the city in the middle of the 8th century B.C. Remains of hut settlements have been found on both summits of the hill; on the Germalus to the west, and on the Palatium to the east. The foundations of three huts were excavated in 1948, between the Temple of Magna Mater and the Scalae Caci, where, according to literary tradition, the "casa Romuli" stood, an antiquity which was preserved until the 4th century A.D. (CodTop I, p. 128). In 1912/1914, a hutted settlement was discovered under the Domus Flavia on the Palatium. The steep slopes of the hill were partly supported by buttresses, and partly covered by buildings. During a vain search for the Lupercal in 1938/40, buildings of the imperial epoch were uncovered on the south-west corner of the hill. In the same way, the remains of an imperial building were found when Vignola's gateway of the Farnese Gardens was re-erected in 1958, at the east side of the hill.

Palatine Hill, aerial view
Palatine Hill, remnants of a building from the imperial period, featuring dual series of rooms covered by barrel-vaults, along the eastern side
Palatine Hill, remains of buildings of the imperial era on the southwest corner of the Palatine, excavated in 1938-1940
Palatine Hill, remnants of a building from the imperial period, featuring dual series of rooms covered by barrel-vaults, along the eastern side
Palatine Hill, northeast corner, substructures of the Temple of Elagabalus
Palatine Hill, northeast corner, substructures of the Temple of Elagabalus and remnants of a Balneum
Palatine Hill, Germalus, rooms to the south of the House of Livia
Palatine Hill, archaic cistern near the House of Livia

Pantheon

The temple in the Campus Martius which was built by Agrippa, either during or after his third consulate in 27 B.C., faced south. After the fire in 80 A.D., it was restored by Domitian. In 110 A.D., after being struck by lightning it was again burnt down, and was rebuilt by Hadrian with its front to the north, so that the front row of the columns of the pronaos now stands on the foundations of the rear wall of Agrippa's temple. The domed building, which is almost entirely preserved, was started in 118/119 A.D. and presumably was consecrated between 125 and 128 A.D., during Hadrian's sojourn in Rome. A restoration by Septimius Severus and Caracalla is recorded in an inscription on the architrave (CIL VI, 896). In 608 A.D., the East Roman emperor Phocas presented the Pantheon to Pope Boniface IV, who consecrated it as the Church of S. Maria ad Martyres. For a thousand years it was a source of valuable building material. The emperor Constantius II helped himself to the bronze roof tiles in 663 A.D., and Pope Urban VIII removed the bronze beams from the pronaos.

Pantheon, frontal view
Pantheon, as viewed from the southeast
Pantheon, portico, eastern corner
Pantheon, portico with its wooden ceiling and column capitals

Plutei Traiani

The pair of marble reliefs dating from the reign of Hadrian, which came to light in the Roman Forum, in 1872, between the Comitium and the Column of Phocas, are known as the "Plutei" or "Anaglypha Traiani." One of the panels shows the burning of the records on the occasion of a remission of taxes, which took place in 118 A.D. (CIL VI, 967). The left hand relief depicts an emperor standing on a Rostra, and a statue of Trajan receiving the thanks of a mother for the "institutio alimentaria" (CIL IX, 1455; XI, 1147). In the background of each panel, we see the buildings which surrounded the Forum on its west, south and east sides, systematically displayed - from the Rostra which was at the west end of the Forum, at the right, to the Rostra Aedis Divi Iuli, at the left. The right hand end of the right hand panel lacks a block of marble, 1.30 m. wide, on which presumably the Temple of Concord was shown. After this we see the Temple of Vespasian, an arch without decoration, the Ionic Temple of Saturn, and the Vicus Iugarius, followed by the arcades of the Basilica Iulia. The panel terminates with the statue of Marsyas with the fig tree which is repeated on the other panel, after which come more arches of the Basilica Iulia. An interval at the side of the Basilica Iulia indicates the Vicus Tuscus, after which comes the Temple of Castor. The emperor stands on the Rostra of the Temple of Julius Caesar; his attendants ascend the ramp of the Rostra, passing through an archway. This must be the central opening of the Arch of Augustus. For better protection, the reliefs were removed in 1949 from the place where they were discovered, and set up inside the Curia.

Plutei Traiani, left panel featuring the monument to Trajan for the "institutio alimentaria"
Plutei Traiani, the Souvetaurilia of the completely preserved left panel
Plutei Traiani, the Souvetaurilia of the right panel
Plutei Traiani, right panel featuring a pyre for registers on the occasion of the tax amnesty of 118 A.D
Plutei Traiani, the Suovetaurilia, left panel
Plutei Traiani, left panel featuring the monument to Trajan for the "institutio alimentaria"
Plutei Traiani
Plutei Traiani, Suovetaurilia, right panel
Plutei Traiani, inscription
Plutei Traiani, right panel, detail of a lictor setting fire to the registers
Plutei Traiani, left panel, detail of the monument to Trajan
Plutei Traiani, left panel, detail featuring the emperor

Pons Aelius

[Also known as: Ponte S. Angelo, Ponte Sant'Angelo]

In connection with the building of his mausoleum on the right bank, Hadrian built a bridge across the Tiber which was completed in 134 A.D. (CIL VI, 973). In antiquity, the bridge was called the Pons Aelius or Pons Hadriani; and in the Middle Ages it was known as the "Pons Sancti Petri," or "Pons Sancti Angeli." It kept its original form until the end of the last century. When the course of the Tiber was being altered, and new embankments were built, the bridge was drastically altered in 1892-1894. During this work, the ancient ramps were uncovered, the one on the left bank was about 33 m. long, and the one on the right bank 22 m. These were destroyed, and two smaller arches of the ancient bridge were replaced by two larger ones on each side of the three ancient central arches. Nicholas V furnished the bridge with a new balustrade, after the old one had been broken in the Holy Year of 1450, causing the death of 172 pilgrims. In place of the ancient statues, which are shown on a medallion of Hadrian (F. Gnecchi, Medaglioni Rom. II, Tav. 42, 4), the modern Ponte S. Angelo was decorated with angels of the School of Bernini, in 1667-1669. In 1527, Clement VII placed the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul at the east end of the bridge.

Ponte S. Angelo (Pons Aelius)
Ponte S. Angelo (Pons Aelius), central arcades
Ponte S. Angelo (Pons Aelius)
Ponte S. Angelo (Pons Aelius), central arcades
Ponte S. Angelo (Pons Aelius)
Ponte S. Angelo (Pons Aelius), during the flood of November 1937

Pons Aemilius

[Also known as: Ponte Rotto, Ponte Emlio]

The arch, known as the Ponte Rotto, which stands below the island, belonged to the Pons Aemilius, the first stone bridge over the Tiber. The piers were built in 179 B.C. by the censors M. Fulvius Nobilior and M. Aemilius Lepidus, and were not connected by stone arches until 142 B.C. In the Middle Ages, the bridge was called Pons Senatorum (Mirabilia 9, Cod.Top. III, 26), or Pons S. Mariae, after a picture of the Madonna in a small chapel which stood on the bridge. Since the 13th century, numerous repairs to the bridge are recorded. During a flood in 1557 two of the arches fell; they were rebuilt by Gregory XIII for the Holy Year of 1575. However, after the flood of 14th December 1598 had carried away its eastern half, the bridge was not repaired again. In 1853, the three arches which were still connected to the right bank of the Tiber were joined by an iron suspension bridge to the left bank; but in 1885 this was removed, also two of the ancient arches on the right bank, so that to-day all that remains of the Pons Aemilius is a single arch in the middle of the river.

Ponte Rotto (Pons Aemilius)
Ponte Rotto (Pons Aemilius)
Ponte Rotto (Pons Aemilius), during the flood of November 1937
Ponte Rotto (Pons Aemilius), during the flood of November 1937

Pons Aurelius

Sixtus IV built the Ponte Sisto on the foundations of the ancient Pons Aurelius in 1473/75, the name of which is handed down in the Regionary Catalogue (Reg. XIV). In later literary sources it is also called Pons Antoninus, Ianicularis, Tremulus, Valentinianus and, after its destruction, Ruptus and Fractus (CodTop III, p. 26; IV, p. 128). Its founder was probably Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Caracalla. The bridge and a triumphal arch standing at the entrance to the Campus Martius were restored in 366-67 A.D. by the emperors Valens and Valentinianus (CIL VI, 31402-31412). Remains of the arch, and its marble and bronze decoration, were found in the bed of the Tiber in 1878, when the left side of the river was drained. The foundations of the piers of the ancient bridge were also visible.

Ponte Sisto, one of the arcades featuring the remains of the Pons Aurelius
Ponte Sisto, built between 1473 and 1475 on the remains of the Pons Aurelius
Ponte Sisto, the pier on the right bank

Pons Cestius

The bridge, which connects the right bank of the Tiber with the island, was called the Pons Cestius in the 4th century Regionary Catalogue. Its builder was presumably a certain Cestius, who was curator viarum between 62 and 27 B.C. In 370 A.D., a hastily erected new bridge was dedicated, as the Pons Gratiani (CIL VI, 1175, 1176); among other ancient building material used in its construction was travertine from the nearby Theatre of Marcellus. In 1885/1889, when the channel to the west of the island was widened from 48 to 76 m., the bridge was taken down. In 1892 a new bridge was completed, the centre arch of which was rebuilt to its original design and measurements, 347 of the 563 ancient travertine blocks being used again. In place of the small side arches of the Pons Gratiani, with openings of 5.80 m., the new side arches were built to the same width as the centre arch, increasing the total length of the bridge from 48 m. to 80.40 m.

Ponte Cestio, as viewed from the south
Ponte Cestio, as viewed from the north
Ponte Cestio, as viewed from the south, during the flood of November 1937
Ponte Cestio, as viewed from the north

Pons Fabricius

The bridge which connected the left bank of the Tiber to the island was built in 62 B.C. by the curator viarum L. Fabricius. Inscriptions over the arches of the bridge (CIL VI, 1305, 31594) record the date and the name of the builder. The left arch of the bridge also bears an inscription of the consuls in 21 B.C., M. Lollius and Q. Lepidus, referring either to a restoration of the left side of the bridge, or to the final approval of the structure by the authorities ("COS. EX. S. C. PROBAVERUNT"), 41 years after the building started. In the Middle Ages, the bridge was also known as the Pons Iudaeorum (CodTop I, p. 26) "ubi Iudaei habitare videntur" (letter of Benedict VIII of 1018). The later name of Ponte dei Quattro Capi, which is given in Albertini's Opusculum de mirabilibus Urbis Romae of 1510 (CodTop IV, p. 466), derives from the four-headed herms which seryed as the piers of the bronze balustrade on the ancient bridge. They were incorporated into the new parapet, which was built by Innocent XI in 1679.

Ponte Fabricio, as viewed from the north
Ponte Fabricio, as viewed from the south
Ponte Fabricio, as viewed from the south, small central archway and right arch
Ponte Fabricio, as viewed from the south, right arch, during the flood of November 1937
Tiber Island, as viewed from the south, with the Ponte Cestio to the left
Ponte Fabricio, as viewed from the north
Ponte Fabricio, as viewed from the north

Pons Mulvius

[Also known as: Milvian Bridge, Ponte Milvio]

The Via Flaminia, which was built in 220 B.C., crossed the Tiber by the Pons Mulvius which, at the latest, must date from the building of the road. In literature, the bridge is first mentioned in connection with an historical event in 207 B.C. (Livy XXVII, 51, 2). The stone bridge, the remains of which are preserved in the modern structure, was built in 109 B.C. by the censor M. Aemilius Scaurus. For more than 2000 years it has served as the principal entrance to the city of Rome, and in its long history it has been damaged many times by wars and floods. After the 14th century, the broken end arches of the bridge were replaced by wooden gangways; these were burnt several times in subsequent battles, but remained unchanged, even after extensive restorations had been effected by Nicholas V and Calixtus III, in 1451-1458. Finally, the bridge was completely restored, in 1805, by Giuseppe Valadier. During the defence of Rome by Garibaldi in 1849, the arch at the north end of the bridge was blown up, and the roadway rendered unusable. The damage was repaired in the same year. The Pons Mulvius is the only Roman bridge which has not altered its name, although the name itself has changed its form in the course of time. Milvius, Molbius (CodTop I, passim) in antiquity and, since the 14th century, Pons Mollis, Ponte Mole and Ponte Molle.

Ponte Milvio, west side
Ponte Milvio, east side
Ponte Milvio, during the flood of November 1937
Ponte Milvio, during the flood of November 1937
Ponte Milvio, during the flood of November 1937
Ponte Milvio, during the flood of November 1937
Ponte Milvio, west side

Pons Neronianus

The remains of the bridge, which was called Pons Neronianus in the Mirabilia (CodTop III, p. 26), can be seen at low water immediately below the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele. It crossed the river in line with the Via Recta, whose course from Via Flaminia (Via del Corso) to the bridge through Vicolo del Curato, Via dei Coronari, Via di S. Agostino, and Via delle Coppelle, is still recognizable in the modern street plan. From the fact that it is not mentioned in the 4th century Regionary Catalogue, it may be assumed that the bridge was destroyed before the time of Constantine. The erection of an "Arcus Arcadii, Honorii et Theodosii" near the west end of the bridge, after Stilicho's victory over the Goths at Pollentia in 405 A.D. (CIL VI, 1196), does not mean that the bridge was still in existence in the 5th century; the Aurelian Wall had stood between its remains and the triumphal arch, since the end of the 3rd century. With the building of the City Wall along the left bank of the Tiber, the bridge could no longer have served the traffic which passed from the Via Flaminia, across the Campus Martius, to the Gardens of Agrippina on the right bank; even if it had been accessible from the Posterula de Episcopo. However, the position of this gate is not positively stated in mediaeval sources. Other names: Pons Triumphalis, Pons ruptus ad S. Spiritum in Sassia, Pons Vaticanus, Ponte d'Orazio (Mem. Flaminio Vacca 93).

Ponte Vittorio Emanuele, featuring the remains of the Pons Neronianus
Ponte Vittorio Emanuele, featuring the remains of the Pons Neronianus on the left bank of the Tiber
Pons Neronianus, remnants near the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele
Pons Neronianus, remnants viewed from the south, near the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele

Pons Theodosii

Until 1877, the remains of an ancient bridge stood in the Tiber below the Aventine. It crossed the river in the direction of S. Sabina and, in the absence of other evidence, was identified as the Pons Probi of the Constantinian Regionary Catalogue. Q. Aurelius Symmachus, Praefectus Urbi from 384-385 A.D., reported in two official memoranda and wrote in letters to the Praefectus Praetorio Eusignius and to Licinius (Epist. IV, 70; V, 76) about the rebuilding of the bridge, which was begun in 381, but was still not completed in 387. The bridge is called the "Pons Marmoreus Theodosii" (CodTop III, p. 26) in the Mirabilia; and in the Graphia Aureae Urbis it is called "Pons Theodosii in Riparmea" - Riparmea = Ripa Romaea = Ripa Grande (CodTop III, p. 84). It was already destroyed at the beginning of the 11th century, and in letters of Benedict VIII of 1018 and Leo IX of 1049, it is referred to as the "Pons Fractus iuxta Marmoratam." In 1484, Sixtus IV had the bridge pulled down to its foundations, and 400 large cannon balls were made out of the travertine facing of its arches and piers.

Porta Appia

The original gateway in the Aurelian Wall, through which the Via Appia left the city, had two arches; the remains of the western arch are still visible on the inner side of the gate. The Porta Appia took its name, as did most of the other gateways, from the road which passed through it. In the Middle Ages it was known as Porta d'Accia, Datia or Dazza, but never quite lost its original name (CodTop IV, p. 112). The modern name of Porta S. Sebastiano comes from the church of S. Sebastiano fuori le Mura, and appears for the first time as "Porta San Bastiano" on the occasion of Charles V's entrance into Rome in 1536. The present gateway is a restoration by Honorius and Arcadius (401/402 A.D.). Later, incorporating the so-called Arco di Druso (q. v.), a vantage-court was built; but apparently it was never used for defence, since there are no traces of hinges, doors or any other means of shutting the rear gate of the court.

Porta San Sebastiano, exterior

Porta Ardeatina

When the Bastione di Sangallo was built between 1537 and 1542, the gateway was destroyed which lay between the Porta Appia and Porta Ostiensis, and between the 20th and 21st towers west of Porta Appia. The gate, which was not flanked by towers, stood at an angle in the wall, and thus allowed the Via Ardeatina, proceeding from the north-west, to leave the city without changing direction. From a measured drawing by Sangallo (Uffizi, Disegni di architettura No. 1517), it appears that the opening of the gateway was 13.60 m. distant from the nearest tower to the east, and 15.85 m. from the nearest tower to the west.Richmond's erroneous assertion that the gateway lay "between the twelth and thirteenth towers west of Porta Appia" (Wall, p.217) is repeated in CodTop II, p. 149. It originates with Hulsen, RM IX, 1894, p. 326 -- he, however, counted the towers west of Porta Ardeatina. From Richmond's own reckoning of the towers of Sector L, west of Porta Appia (Wall, p. 270), the site of the gateway must have been between the 20th and 21st towers (s. a. Lanciani, FUR, fol. 45, 46).

Porta Ardeatina, section of the Aurelian Walls in which the gateway was open
Porta Ardeatina, section of the Aurelian Walls in which the gateway was open

Porta Asinaria

The Porta Asinaria, like Porta Ardeatina, was originally a modest opening in the Aurelian Wall, without its own towers. Later, in the time of Honorius, the gateway was enlarged and provided with semicircular towers, in which system of fortification two rectangular wall towers were incorporated. The Porta Asinaria was walled up for the first time by King Ladislaus of Naples, after the conquest of Rome in 1408, but it was reopened only a few weeks later. It was again walled up under Pius IV in 1564/65, and in 1574 it was replaced by the Porta S. Giovanni. During the restoration and reopening of the gateway in 1951/1954, the vantage-court and its gate were excavated.

Porta Asinaria, after it was reopened in 1954
Porta Asinaria, rectangular wall tower incorporated into the gateway's western circular tower
Porta Asinaria, interior

Porta Flaminia

[Also known as: Porta del Popolo]

The Via Flaminia, which was built in 220 B.C., left the city through this gateway. Originally it was flanked by two semicircular towers, the remains of which were discovered when the rectangular bastions on the north side were pulled down in 1877. These bastions were a later reinforcement of the gateway, but had ancient foundations, and were faced with marble; in the time of Sixtus IV (1471-1484), they were either strengthened or restored. Pius IV had the Porta Flaminia, which since the end of the 14th century had been called the Porta del Popolo after the adjacent church, rebuilt by Nanni di Baccio Bigio in 1561/63. The inner side of the gateway was designed by Bernini for the entrance of Queen Christina of Sweden, in 1655. Even today the north side of the Porta del Popolo is almost universally attributed to Vignola; but from the building accounts it appears that it was built to the design of Nanni di Baccio Bigio, and under his direction (H. Willich, G. Barozzi da Vignola, 1906, p. 90f.; R. Lanciani, Storia III, p. 234; E. B. Mac Dougall, Journ. Society of Architectural Historians XIX, 1960, p. 106).

Porta del Popolo, interior with Bernini's central arch

Porta Latina

The plan of this gateway, with its two semicircular towers, belongs to the first period of Aurelian's Wall, but the arch with its row of windows above the gateway, dates from the time of Honorius. The gateway had a vantage-court with an inner gate, which can be seen on pictorial plans or the 16th and 17th century, and in pictures up to the 18th century (s. H. Egger, Romische Veduten I, Taf. 82). In the course of its history, the gateway was walled up several times; in May 1408 it was closed by King Ladislaus of Naples (s. a. Porta Asinaria II, p. 204), but it was opened again in September 1409. From 1656 to 1669 it was closed to prevent the plague from spreading. At the beginning of the 19th century, owing to the abandonment of the Via Latina, the gateway became superfluous, and in 1808 it was again walled up. It has remained closed, except for a short period in 1827, until 1911, when it was finally reopened.

Porta Latina, exterior

Porta Metrovia

The ancient name of the gateway, which is situated between Porta Asinaria and Porta Latina, is unknown. It is often mentioned in mediaeval literature under a variety of names. The earliest literary evidence is in the description of the Wall in the 8th century Einsiedeln manuscript, where it is referred to as the Porta Metrovia (CodTop II, p. 206). The original gate was a modest opening, between two towers in the Aurelian Wall, which gave access to the city from the Paludes Decenniae. The road which led to the Porta Metrovia continued inside the Wall, in the direction of Porta Querquetulana, in the Servian Wall (s. Arcus Dolabellae et Silani I, p.113). Later, perhaps in the time of Maxentius, the gateway was strengthened by building a tower behind it. In 1122 Pope Callixtus II diverted the Marrana through the gateway, thus bringing water to the fields and gardens within the Wall as well as draining the Paludes Decenniae. It is not known when the gateway was walled up.

Porta Metronia, gateway tower with inscription
Porta Metronia, walled up gateway in the Aurelian wall, exterior

Porta Nomentana

The gate in the Aurelian Wall through which the Via Nomentana left the city, lay about 75 m. south-east of the Porta Pia. It was flanked by two semicircular towers, and was the only Roman gateway to retain its original Aurelian type of fortification. The north tower has been preserved, but the south tower was pulled down in 1826, when the tomb of Q. Haterius was discovered beneath it. The Porta Nomentana was walled up under Pius IV in 1564, and was replaced by the Porta Pia, built from Michelangelo's design. It is generally thought that 1827 was the date of its demolition, and that Cardinali was the author of the excavation report (CIL VI, 1426). In fact, the report was written by Nibby, who states, in Memorie Romanae of 1826, that the excavation took place at the beginning of that year; later, in RomAntII, 1839, p. 519, he himself gives the erroneous date of 1827.

Porta Nomentana, closed in 1564

Porta Ostiensis

[Also known as: Porta San Paolo]

This gateway is first mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus (XVII, 4, 14), describing the journey of the Obeliscus Constantii (q. v.) "per Ostiensem portam" to the Circus Maximus, in 357 A.D. The original gateway in the Aurelian Wall was flanked by two semicircular towers, as in the later reconstruction, and during the first building period it had two arches, corresponding with the still extant rear gates of the vantage-court. In spite of its massive walls, this vantage-court was not used for defence (s. Porta Appia II, p. 198); the entrances to its perimeter walls, and to the gateway towers, lay outside the vantage-court on the city side, and therefore could not be guarded from it. The modern name of Porta San Paolo, which derives from the Basilica of S. Paolo fuori le Mura, is mentioned as early as the 6th century A.D., in the writings of Procopius (Bellum Gothicum II, 4, 3; III, 36). Procopius came to Rome with Belisarius, in 536 A.D.

Porta San Paolo, interior
Porta San Paolo, exterior
Porta San Paolo, vantage-court and double gate behind

Porta Pinciana

[Also known as: Porta Salaria Vetus]

An ancient road (Via Salaria Vetus ?), which corresponded to the modern Via di Porta Pinciana, left the city by the gateway which today stands at the end of Via Vittorio Veneto. It was originally a postern beside one of the towers, and was turned into a main gateway at the time of Honorius or Maxentius, by the addition of a second round tower. Its original name is not known; the hill on which it stood was still called Collis Hortorum at the time of Aurelian. In the course of the 4th century, a large part of the hill was acquired by the gens Pincia, and the names Mons Pincius and Porta Pinciana may have come into use at that time. The gateway had a vantage-court, the walls ot which stood until the 19th century. It was walled up in 1808, and when a new quarter of the city was laid out in the grounds of the former Villa Ludovisi, it was re opened in 1887/88.

Porta Pinciana, exterior
Porta Pinciana, interior

Porta Portuensis

This gateway, which was built during the reign of Aurelian as the entrance for Via Portuensis, retained its original double arch until its demolition in 1643. In 403 A.D., it was restored by Honorius, as was reported in an inscription over the arches (GIL VI, 1188). The gateway was about 100 m. distant from the Tiber, and 453 m. from the new Porta Portese. Pictures of it, before it was pulled down under Urban VIII, show a vantage-court with an inner gate, and the eastern arch walled up.

Porta Praenestina

Aurelian incorporated the two monumental arches that carried the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus over the Via Praenestina and the Via Labicana (s. I, 32) into his city wall, making them into a fortified double-gateway. At the time of Honorius, the gateway received its final form, with two rectangular towers in front of the aqueduct arches, and a round tower between the two openings. A still preserved inscription, recording the restoration of the gateway by Honorius in 403 A.D. (CIL VI, 1189), was on the upper curtain of the Porta Labicana, which possibly had been closed since the 6th century. Since the 10th century the gateway has also been known as the Porta Maggiore. It was pulled down in 1834/1838, after which the arches of the Aqua Claudia continued to be used as the gateway, until 1915, when the hinges of the gates were removed. The last excavation, in 1955/57, revealed the foundations of the vantage-court and the ancient roads.

Porta Maggiore, exterior with the remnants of the Porta Labicana and an inscription by Honorius
Porta Maggiore, exterior after the excavations of 1955-1957
Porta Maggiore, after the excavations of 1955-1957, north side of the inner gate for the guardhouse
Porta Maggiore, after the excavations of 1955-1957, archway featuring the Via Labicana

Porta Septimiana

The gateway nearest to the Tiber in the northern sector of the Transtiberine wall, stood above an ancient street which corresponded to the modern Via della Lungara, and connected that part of the city within the wall, with the Via Cornelia. In mediaeval and Renaissance literature, the name of the gateway is the subject of much imaginary speculation (CodTop III, pp. 18, 80; IV, pp. 39 f., 100, 113 f., 168, 455, 465). It may well be ancient and date back to Septimius Severus; a "porta nominis sui" which lay near his "balneae in Transtiberina regione" is mentioned in the Historia Augusta (Severus 19). After being included in the Aurelian Wall, the Porta Septimiana is not officially mentioned again until 1123. The ruined gateway was completely rebuilt in 1498 by Alexander VI. Its present state is the result of a restoration under Pius VI in 1798.

Porta Settimiana

Porta Tiburtina

[Also known as: Porta San Lorenzo]

The conduits of the Aquae Marcia, Tepula and Iulia crossed the road to Tivoli by means of a monumental arch (s. Aqua Marcia I, 44, 45), which was built by Augustus in 5 B.C., and which was in corporated in the Aurelian Wall as a gateway. Honorius added a second outer arch, and massive rectangular towers. The restoration of the gateway, which included building a vantage-court with a rear gate, is recorded in an inscription on the outer side (CIL VI, 1190). In the Middle Ages, the Porta Tiburtina was also called Porta Taurina, from the bull's head decoration on the arch of the aqueduct, and Porta Sancti Laurentii, after the church of S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura (CodTop III, pp. 135, 181). The vantage-court, with the great rear gate, was pulled down under Pius IX in 1869.

Porta Tiburtina, exterior
Porta Tiburtina, interior

Porta Viminalis

Since the recent enlargement of Piazza dei Cinquecento, in 1939/50, the remains of this gate in the Servian Wall stand isolated, between two long stretches of the wall in front of the Stazione Termini. This part of the wall first came to light in 1876, when the so-called Monte della Giustizia, the highest point of the former Villa Montalto-Negroni, was removed to make way for the new Railway Station.

Porta Viminale

Porticus Absidata

The Porticus Absidata, which is listed in Regio IV in the Constantinian Regionary Catalogue, can he identified on a fragment of the Severan marble plan as the semicircular building behind the temple in the Forum of Nerva (FUR, Tav. XX, 16a). Excavations in 1940 revealed the curved foundation wall of the porticus, which adjoins the perimeter wall of the Forum Augustum to the west, and the Forum Pacis to the east.

Porticus Absidata, and outer façade of the perimeter wall of the Forum of Augustus

Porticus Aemilia

In 193 B.C., the aediles, L. Aemilius Lepidus and L. Aemilius Paulus, built a large markethall, known as the Porticus Aemilia. It was 487 m. long and 60 m. wide and stood to the south-west of the Aventine, outside the Servian Wall; it was intended for receiving and distributing goods and foodstuffs which were brought up the Tiber. It lay parallel to the river, about 90 m. distant from it. It was rebuilt in 174 B.C., and the remains of walls of opus incertum belonging to this new building may be seen in the Via Rubattino and Via B. Franklin, and parallel to Via G. Branca between Via Rubattino and Via Florio. The remains of numerous walls belonging to the market-hall, and extending as far as Via della Marmorata were discovered, and removed, when the Testaccio quarter of the city was being built in 1885/1925. The Porticus Aemilia, together with the Horrea Galbae (q. v. 1, 589, 590), is shown on a fragment of the Severan marble plan (FUR, Tav. XXIV).

Porticus Aemilia, interior on the Via Rubattino, northeastern side
Porticus Aemilia, interior on the Via Rubattino, southwestern side
Porticus Aemilia, southwestern end wall of the porticus on Via B. Franklin
Porticus Aemilia, terminal western section on the Via B. Franklin, exterior
Porticus Aemilia, detail from the terminal southeastern section of the Via Florio, outer surface
Porticus Aemilia, detail of the terminal southeastern section to the left of the Via Florio, interior

Porticus Deorum Consentium

[Also known as: Portico Dii Consentes, Portico degli Dei Consenti]

A porticus of Corinthian columns, dedicated to the twelve Olympian gods, lies at the south-west end of the Forum, below the Tabularium. The original huilding dates back to the 2nd or 3rd centuries B.C. An excavation in 1834 revealed brick-built rooms, also the remains of columns, capitals and fragments of the entablature of a building of the Flavian era, which, according to an inscription found in 1835 (CIL VI, 102), was restored in 367 A.D. by the Praefectus Urbi Vettius Praetextatus. In 1858, the colonnade was restored by Pius IX, using the ancient material.

Porticus Deorum Consentium, from the southeast
Porticus Deorum Consentium, as viewed from the southwest, line of columns in front of the opus latericium rooms, restored in 1958
Porticus Deorum Consentium, rooms lying beneath a platform extending in front of the colonnade

Porticus Gai Et Luci

A marble inscription in honour of Lucius Caesar, Augustus' grandson and adopted son (CIL VI, 36908), stands on a platform which projects south-westwards from the south-east corner of the Basilica Aemilia. It was found in 1899, broken, but apparently not far from its original place, at the south-west end of the platform on the Sacra Via, where it had fallen from the building to which it belonged. The building may thus be identified as the Porticus Gai et Luci mentioned in Suetonius (Augustus 29), and Dio Cassius (LVI, 27, 5). An excavation in April and May 1954, along the south-east side of the Basilica Aemilia, revealed the traces of a porticus, which, with two arcades, reached from the eastern entrance of the Basilica Aemilia to the Sacra Via, and then crossed the street with another arch (s. plan, Arcus Augusti I, 94). The arch over the street, on which the inscription of Lucius Caesar was presumably set, sprang on the opposite side from the foundation wall of the Porticus Iulia.

Porticus Gai et Luci, inscription by Lucius Caesar Augustus, discovered in 1899
Porticus Gai et Luci, foundations of the southeast side during the excavation of 1954
Porticus Gai et Luci, segment of a column at the juncture of the Porticus and the Basilica Aemilia
Porticus Gai et Luci, entrance stairs
Porticus Gai et Luci, marble sill in the facade, with dowel holes for the attachment of a statue base
Porticus Gai et Luci, foundations of the southeast side during the excavation of 1954

Porticus Iulia

The Porticus Iulia is one of the group of buildings on the south-east side of the Forum Romanum, which are named after members of the gens Iulia. The only literary evidence for its position, is in the scholia on Aulus Persius Flaccus' Satire IV, 49: "foeneratores ad puteal Scribonii Libonis, quod est in porticu Iulia ad Fabianum arcum, consistere solebant." The excavation of building foundations on the south and north sides of the Temple of Caesar in May 1952, in conjunction with the discovery of the Puteal Libonis (August 1950), and of the Fornix Fabianus (August 1953), confirm that the remains around the temple are those of the Porticus Iulia (s. plan, Arcus Augusti I, 94). It was an arcaded portico, surrounding the Temple of Divus Iulius on three sides, and at the back, between the temple and the Regia, it became a cryptoporticus. On the north side, it was connected by a street-arch with the Porticus Gai et Luci (q. v.).

Porticus Iulia, the fountations on the south side of the Temple of Caesar
Porticus Iulia, excavations of 1953, tufa foundations of the north side
Porticus Iulia, excavations of 1953
Porticus Iulia, excavations of 1953
Porticus Iulia, excavations of 1953

Porticus Margaritaria

When the Forum Adiectum, between the Sacra Via and the Nova Via, was excavated in 1878/79, the foundations of a large rectangular building were discovered; it stretched from the Atrium Vestae, as far as the beginning of the Clivus Palatinus, near the Arch of Titus. The excavator, Rodolfo Lanciani, identified it as the Porticus Margaritaria, which is mentioned in Region VIII in the Regionary Catalogue (Cod- Top I, p. 120), basing his identification on many inscriptions in which "margaritarii de sacra via" are mentioned (CIL VI, 9545-9549, 33872; X, 6492); he dated the building to the reign of Septimius Severus. On the other hand, E. B. van Deman recognized in the remains the porticus leading to the vestibule of Nero's Domus Aurea, the northern part of which had been built over the old Sacra Via (s. Domus Aurea I, 420). After Domitian had erected his Horrea Piperataria (q. v.), in the part of the porticus which lay to the north of the Sacra Via, the southern part also became commercialised, and the open bays of the porticus were converted into shops by the addition of cross-walls. Brickstamps of Domitia Lucilla were found during the excavations, implying that Nero's porticus was converted into the Porticus Margaritaria in the second quarter of the second century A.D. (s. H. Bloch, Bolli, p. 320256).

Porticus Margaritaria, brick walls of the tabernae
Porticus Margaritaria, general view
Porticus Margaritaria, remnants of the tabernae in opus latericium
Porticus Margaritaria, remnants of the tabernae in opus latericium

Porticus Octaviae

[Also known as: Portico of Octavia, Portico d'Ottavia]

The porticus surrounding the temples of Iuno Regina and Iuppiter Stator in the southern part of the Campus Martius, which was built by Q. Caecilius Metellus in 147 B.C., was replaced during the reign of Augustus by the Porticus Octaviae, named after his sister Octavia. The parts which remain mostly belong to a new building, erected by Septimius Severus in 203 A.D., after a fire had destroyed the old one. The porticus was richly decorated with works of art, and enclosed a library, as well as two temples. The whole complex is shown on the Severan marble plan (FUR, Tav. XXIX; s. Circus Flaminius I, 268; Hercules Musarum I, 578). The monumental entrance, with the inscription of Septimius Severus (CIL VI, 1034), was exposed when the houses of the Ghetto were pulled down in 1878, and at the same time several columns from the south-west wing were discovered. The south-east corner of the porticus was excavated in 1938/39.

Porticus of Octavia, main entrance, as viewed from the south, with opus latericium from the Severan period
Porticus of Octavia, main entrance, as viewed from the interior of the columns and from the pediment with the upper part in opus latericium from the Severan period
Porticus of Octavia, southeast side with walled up window and entrance, as viewed from the Temple of Apollo Sosianus
Porticus of Octavia, main entrance and columns of the southwestern side
Porticus of Octavia, stylobate of the southeastern side
Temple of Juno Regina, large column in situ at the corner of a house on Via S. Angelo in Pescheria, nos. 9, 10
Porticus of Octavia, eastern entrance and stylobate of the southeast side
Porticus of Octavia, southeast side featuring a walled up window and entrance, as viewed from the east
Porticus of Octavia, main entrance, as viewed from the south featuring opus latericium from the Severan period
Porticus of Octavia, main entrance, as viewed from the interior of the columns and from the pediment with the upper part in opus latericium from the Severan period
Porticus of Octavia, detail of the western entrance, as viewed from the south, in opus latericium from the Severan period
Porticus of Octavia, southeast side with walled up window and entrance, as viewed from the Temple of Apollo Sosianus

Puteal Libonis

The Puteal Libonis or Scribonianum, a monument in the shape of a well-head, was built around a spot at the south-east end of the Forum where lightning had struck. It is known from coins of L. Scribonius Libo of about 60 B.C., which show a well-head decorated with lyres, tendrils and Vulcan's hammer. Its frequent mention in ancient literature is due to the fact that it stood beside the tribunal of a praetor who administered justice at a place called "Ante Atria," between the Temple of Castor, the Porticus Iulia and the Fornix Fabianus. While excavations were being made in the region of the Arch of Augustus, in 1950, a rectangular pozzo made of Grottaoscura tufa was found near the south pier foundation of the Actium Arch, and its sherd content pointed to it having been struck by lightning. The excavations of the Porticus Iulia (q. v.), in the immediate neighbourhood, and the Fornix Fabianus (q. v.), at a distance of some 45 m. (s. plan, Arcus Augusti I, 94), establish the identity of this tufa foundation as the Puteal Libonis which, according to the scholia ad Persius, Sat. IV, 49, stood "in porticu Iulia ad Fabianum arcum." A half-circle of travertine, into which a metal railing was inserted, surrounded the Puteal Libonis in the imperial period (s. Arcus Augusti I, 98, 6). When the triple-gated Parthian Arch was erected, the monument was moved out of the line of the southern gateway, and placed in front of the southern pier of the centre arch.

Puteal Libonis, after it was excavated on August 14, 1950
Puteal Libonis, tufa blocks of the foundation and a pier of the first Arch of Augustus
Puteal Libonis, with the Porticus Iulia and the Temple of Julius Caesar