From the point in the Forum Boarium where the bronze statue of the bull stands today appropriately, since this is the species yoked to the ritual plow , a furrow was plowed to designate the city limits. It ran first to the Great Altar of Hercules [ Sources report that the Forum itself and the Capitoline hill were not part of Romulus's original city but added by Titus Tatius. The pomerium was soon enlarged to keep pace with Rome's fortunes.
The boundaries of the pomerium as extended by Claudius are easy to recognize and also documented in the public records. Tacitus , Annals The Emperor Claudius, after expanding the boundaries of the Roman empire, extended and demarcated the pomerium [in AD 49]. Lucius Sentius, son of Gaius, while praetor [in 83 BC] and in accordance with a decree of the Senate, oversaw the establishment of boundaries. May this act be propitious. It is forbidden to perform cremations inside the boundaries towards the city, or to dispose of dung or corpses here.
It is forbidden that the Centuriate Assembly convene inside the pomerium, since an army can be commanded only outside the city; inside, there is no such right. Therefore the Centuriate Assembly is held in the Campus Martius. Gellius , Attic Nights The pomerium forms the extent of the urban auspices. But this pomerium was extended several times as the Republic expanded, and it eventually surrounded many of the major hills. Moreover, those who had increased the Roman people with the capture of land from the enemy had the right to extend the pomerium.
The question therefore arose—and still arises [in the C2 AD]—why, out of seven hills of the city, six lie within the boundaries of the pomerium and only the Aventine, which is neither far from the city nor sparsely populated, is excluded; also, why neither the king Servius Tullius, nor Sulla, who petitioned for permission to enlarge the pomerium, nor afterwards the deified Julius Caesar when he extended it, saw fit to enclose the Aventine within the augural boundaries of the city.
The introductory passages by Pliny and Frontinus below suggest not only the engineering accomplishment of Rome's aqueducts—eventually 11 aqueducts totaling kilometers, not including the elaborate and overlapping distribution network—but the passionate pride that the utilities of water supply and drainage could arouse in the Roman heart. Even the more sober and analytical Strabo ranks the aqueducts and sewers on par with the roads as Rome's greatest achievements. The references to lead pipes by Ovid [ 7.
In passing, however, it also illustrates an important feature of Roman aqueducts. After the water arrived in an open gravitational system where it flowed in channels essentially as a stream with a cover it entered an elevated water tank. From here the water ran under pressure in a closed system; pipes tapping the tank could take the water under streets and deliver it elsewhere to its original elevation.
Although this pressure would have made it possible in lower neighborhoods to deliver water to upper stories of buildings, the Romans generally did not make use of this potential. Instead, water was made available at numerous public fountains, which, because of the pressurized plumbing, could be located at any elevation on any hill of the city, while many of the water mains could be buried beneath the streets.
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Vitruvius's note of caution about the use of lead pipes for drinking water is interesting in light of modern concerns. In fact, the modern practice of using valves and stop-cocks, which lets the water sit in the pipes when not in use, only aggravates the problem. Although the ancient Romans occasionally used stop-valves, aqueduct water was generally left to run continuously through public and private fountains. As a result, their drinking water, even when it ran through lead pipes as it often did , rarely paused to absorb the lead.
In addition, Rome's water is heavy with minerals that quickly coated the pipes with deposits that acted like a sealant against the lead. If anyone should carefully calculate the abundance of waters in Rome's public fountains, baths, pools, open canals, homes, gardens, and suburban estates, or the miles of delivery channels, the tall arcades, the tunnels under mountains and bridges across valleys, he would admit that there is nothing on earth more worthy of our wonder. Pliny the Elder , Encyclopedia Frontinus , Aqueducts This way, a disruption to one of the aqueducts does not suspend service to the basin, which can be supplied by the back-up line.
The benefits are spread among private individuals as well, due to an increase in the emperor's grants of water; those who once stole the water in fear can now enjoy it legally as a result of such grants. Not even waste water goes unused, channeled to flush away the sources of the city's once oppressive atmosphere. The streets have a cleaner look, the air is purer, and the odor for which Rome was infamous in days gone by has vanished.
Frontinus , Aqueducts 87, Whereas the Greeks have the reputation for choosing good sites for their cities, giving priority to natural beauty, natural defenses, harbors, and fertile soil, the Romans provided for matters little regarded by the Greeks: the paving of roads, water supply, and sewers able to wash the refuse of the city into the Tiber. Because their long-distance roads make use of rock-cuts through hills and of artificial embankments across hollows, the wagons that use them can carry as much freight as a ferry-boat, and their sewers, vaulted with cut stone, are in some places large enough to give passage to a hay wagon.
As for water, the aqueducts deliver such quantities that rivers of it flow through the city and its sewers, and almost every habitation has cisterns, piping, and running fountains. Pyramus grabbed the sword at his waist and ran himself through,. And stretched out on his back: the blood leapt skywards. Ovid , Metamorphoses 4. Ceramic water pipes have the following advantages over lead pipes. First, if some defect is found in the work, it can be fixed by anyone. In addition, the water in ceramic pipes is much more wholesome than water that has run through lead pipes.
A probable indication of lead's unhealthy effect on water is the toxic effect that cerussa a white pigment made from lead is said to have on human bodies. We can find further evidence for lead's harmful effects in the pale complexions of the people who make the lead pipes. The vapors that rise from lead when it is poured… rob the blood's strength from the limbs of the workers. It would seem, therefore, that water should not be conducted in lead pipes if purity is a concern.
Vitruvius , Architecture 8. Aqueducts were a distinguishing feature of most Roman cities, one that was vital to basic needs, to social customs such as public bathing, and to displays of patronage. Rome, however, was exceptional for he complexity and size of its system. Extensive aqueduct archaeology in the last hundred years has revealed or elucidated a good part of the course of most of Rome's aqueducts rendered obscure because aqueducts ran underground for most of their length , but we are also fortunate to have a remarkable account of the city's aqueducts written by Frontinus, a Roman senator who was appointed water commissioner in AD Frontinus provides valuable information on numerous facets of the aqueducts, including the history, course, volume, elevation, and distribution network of the nine individual aqueducts that existed in his day the Traiana and Alexandrina aqueducts had not yet been built , as well as information about the administration, laws, and maintenance of the aqueducts.
Inscriptions also testify to the need for the continual maintenance of the aqueducts, some of which, under the patronage of the Popes, continued running long after the western empire collapsed wrongly, numerous modern accounts have all the high-level aqueducts falling into disuse after the Goths besieged the city in the C6 AD [ 8. One aqueduct, the largely underground Aqua Virgo, never fully ceased running and provides water to fountains in the Campus Martius today, as testified by reliefs decorating the facade above Trevi Fountain, the terminus of the channel today.
Three of the inscriptions in the sources below [ 8.
A right-angle jog in the aqueduct where it turned to cross the ancient Via Labicana and Praenestina roads provided the opportunity to create a sort of triumphal arch to the conquest of nature and its conqueror, the emperor Claudius. The two channels of these aqueducts the Aqua Claudia and Aqua Anio Novus can be seen in cross-section running through the travertine attic over the roadways.
The upper two inscriptions refer to repairs that for some reason needed to be carried out shortly after they were finished [ 8. Nero, however, added an urban branch line to the Claudia, and notable ruins of this arcade can be tracked across the Caelian towards the Palatine, starting with the massive brick arcade abutting Porta Maggiore.
In addition, a remnant of the Aurelian wall flanking the Porta Maggiore preserves a cross-section of the Aqua Marcia with Tepula and Julia channels placed atop it. The lower, brick aqueduct boring through Porta Maggiore below the Claudia is the Acqua Felice, a papal aqueduct of the late 16th century. In all, eight of Rome's eleven aqueducts two of them below ground-level approached Rome at or near Porta Maggiore.
The four longest carried water from the Anio today's Aniene valley between Tivoli and Subiaco. In his summations below of each aqueduct's statistics, Frontinus gives the distance for each aqueduct under three categories: underground channel, elevated arches, and substructure a solid wall, used for above-ground stretches of low elevation.
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From these figures, it is readily apparent that the Romans preferred underground channels to the more spectacular arcades that spring to mind when one imagines a Roman aqueduct. For years after the Founding of the City [until BC] the Romans were content to use what water they could draw from the Tiber, from wells, or from springs.
The reverence for old springs exists to this day, since they are believed to restore health to ailing bodies, such as the springs of the Camenae [ Frontinus , Aqueducts 4. The Appia takes its water from the Lucullan fields along the Via Praenestina …. The channel, from its source to its destination at the Salinae near the Porta Trigemina , is 11, paces, 11, of which are underground; the remaining 60 paces are above ground on substructure and arches near the Porta Capena.
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Frontinus , Aqueducts 5. The Anio Vetus begins above Tivoli at the twentieth milestone beyond the […? The Anio Vetus is 43, paces long winding a great deal to follow a gradient ; 42, paces are below ground, and above ground on substructure. Frontinus , Aqueducts 6.
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In addition, since the intervening growth of Rome was now judged to require a greater supply of water, the Senate charged him with the task of building another aqueduct. Marcius fixed the previous two, and built a third with greater volume, which was named the Aqua Marcia after him. Fenestella [c. AD 20] tells us that Marcius was allotted ,, sesterces for the job …. At that time the Board of Ten, checking the Sibylline Books on another matter, are said to have found a prohibition against taking the waters of the Marcia or the Anio, in a more common account on to the Capitoline hill … but each time the case was argued, Marcius Rex won, and water was channeled to the Capitoline.
The Marcia has its source at the 36th milestone of the Via Valeria, 3, paces down a side road to the right as you come from Rome.
Of the 7, paces above ground, are on arches in the many places where the channel crosses valleys far from the city; closer to town, beginning at the 7th milestone, substructures carry the channel for paces, and arches carry the channel for the remaining 6, paces. Frontinus , Aqueducts 7. I restored the aqueduct channels that were collapsing from age in many places, and doubled the volume of the water called the Marcia by adding a new spring to its channel. Augustus , Achievements Lorenzo, along the north side of the Termini train station.
Here the channel of the Marcia crossed the road to Tivoli on a monumentalized archway that like the Porta Maggiore, though much smaller was later incorporated into the Aurelian Wall. IX IMP. IIX P.
In addition, he linked a new spring to the Marcia, the Fons Antoninianus. The Tepula has its source at the tenth milestone of the Via Latina, 2, paces down a side road to the right. Agrippa, when aedile [in 33 BC], tapped new sources of water out by the twelfth milestone of the Via Latina, down a side road 2, paces to the right. This new channel, named the Julia by its builder, intercepted and took on the waters of the Tepula, but since the separate distribution system of the Tepula remained intact, so did its name.
Frontinus , Aqueducts 8, 9. When the men dug deeper here, they discovered a huge supply of water. In the little shrine next to these sources, a painting illustrates this event. The sources of the Virgo are at the 8th mile of the Via Collatina, in a marshy area where a cement enclosure has been built to collect the gushing springs.
These sources are augmented by many other feeder lines along the way.
The Aqua Virgo is 14, paces long; of these, 12, paces of the channel are below ground. The remaining 1, paces above ground are divided into paces on substructure at several places and paces on arches.
Frontinus , Aqueducts 10, When he was aedile, Agrippa, besides adding the Aqua Virgo as well as repairing and augmenting existing aqueducts, built basins, fountains, and distribution tanks many of which were beautifully decorated , and adorned these installations with bronze or marble statues and marble columns.