Sir William Smith William Latham Bevan.

The student's manual of ancient geography online

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' At its mouth was a small islet, now converted into a peninsula by an artificial
causeway : it was a favourite residence of the Romans and, among others, of

' Virgil describes it as swollen to a large stream in his account of the escape of
Metabus :

Eoce, ftigeD medio, summis Amasenus abundans
Spumabat ripis ; tantis se nubibus imber
Ruperat. ^^ zi. 547.

* Et quos pcstifera Pomptinl uligine ^mpi.
Qua SaturflE) nebulosa palus restagnat, ct atro
Liventcs camo per squalida turbidus arva
Cogit aquas Ufens, atque inflcit aequora limo. Sii» Ital. viii. 881.


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Latins in b.c. 496 ; it probably occupied a small crater at Cornufelle
which has since been drained of its waters. The PomptliiflB Palftdes
form an important feature in the S. of Latium ; they occupy an ex-
tensive tract between the Volscian mountains and the sea, about 30
miles in length by 7 or 8 in breadth, and are the results of a consi-
derable depression of the land, in which the waters of the Amasenus
and other streams stagnate. The Via Appia was carried across them
in B.C. 312, and a canal formed by its side between Forum Appii and
Tarracina. Fruitless attempts were made to drain the marshes by
Cornelius Cethegus in 160, and subsequently by Caesar, Augustus,
and Trajan.

§ 4. The inhabitants of Latium oonsistedof several distinct peoples.
The Latlni^ occupied Latium proper; the limits of their territory on
the side of the Volscians were fluctuating ; on the one hand several
towns in the Volscian mountains, as Velitrss, Cora, Norba and Setia,
belonged to the Latins, and on liie other hand Antium belonged to
the Volscians. The Volsoi spread over the greater part of the south-
em district fix)m the seaooast to the borders of Samnium ; they thus
held the Pontine Marshes, the Volscian hills {Monti Lepini), and the
• valley of the Liris. The Anronoi were a petty nation on the left
bank of the Liris and on the borders of Campania* ; and the Ansdnes,
who were originally identical with the Aurunci ', lived in later times
on the right l»nk of the Liris between the sea and the Volscian moim-
tains. The Hemlci' held the upper valley of the Trerus, and the
hill country adjacent to it. The JBqni occupied the moimtainous dis-
trict in the upper valley of the Anio, between the Sabini on the W.
and the Marsi on the E. The towns of Latium were nmnerous and
remarkable for the natural strength of their position, furnishing a
complete illustration of Virgil's line :

*[ Tot oongeeta manu prnruptis oppida saxis." '

* The origin of the term ** Pried Latini," which occurs iif Roman history sub-
sequent to the fall of Alba, is nneertain : perhaps it represented a league of a
portion of the Latin cities formed at that time, who set themselyes up as the
" old Latins."

* Their capital, Aurunca, stood about five miles N. of Suessa, on a spur of
Monte di Sta. Croee : to this Tirgil aUudes :

MiUe rapit popnloe : vertnnt felida Baocho
Massica qui rastris ; et quoe de eollibut altU
Aurunci misere patree. .Xn. TiL 725.

7 The names are in flRCt the same, the r being changed into «, as is common in

Latin. The distinction between the two tribes first appears in the 4th cent. b.c.

The name is probably derived frcMu the Mime root as Oscus.

* The name b said to have been derired ttom a Sabine word, hema «* a rock : "
if so, it was truly appropriate to the district which the Hcmicans occupied, which
Virgil describes as, —

Hemioa saxa. ^Bn, ril. 683.

» Oeorg. ii. 156.


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534 LATIUM. Book IV.

Not only do the Alban hills ahound with sites of remarkable streDgth
overlooking the plain from a great height, but the Campagna itself,
flinx)wed as it is with deep channels formed by the streams in the
tufo rock, afforded admirable positions for ancient towns. These na-
tural advantages were improved by art, and walls of great strength
in the Cyclopean style were erected on the brows of the clifis, speci-
mens of which remain to this day at Signia, Cora, and other places.
The Latins possessed a confederacy of thirty to^ns, at the head of
which stood Alba. The brilliant period of the Latin towns generally
was anterior to the rise of the supremacy of Rome. ITiey subse-
quently became little else than suburbs of the great metropolis, and
derived their prosperity from the patronage of the wealthy Romans
who erected their villas wherever the scenery or the fine air attracted
them. The towns on the Appian Way, however, retained some im-
portance as places of trade.

§ 5. Boxne, the metropolis not only of Italy but of the ancient
world, was situated on the Tiber, about 15 miles from its mouth. The
chief part of the town lay on the left bank, where the ground is
broken by a group of hills, and the river winds about with a treble
curve. Of the seven hills which formed the site of the city, three are
isolated, and the other four connected at their bases. Of the former
the Capitoline stands about 300 paces from the river at its most
easterly point, and is the hill to which all the others seem to point ;
it is of a saddle-back shape, depressed in the centre and rising towards
its N. and S. extremities. To the S.E. lies the Palatine, a little in-
ferior in point of height, and d a lozenge shape ; and still more to the
.S. is the Aventine, closely bordering on the Tiber. The four connected
hills ^ are, from S. to N., the Caslian, the largest of the whde group,
lying opposite the Aventine ; the Esquiline, which divides at its ex-
tremity into two tongues, named Cispius and Oppius ; the Yiminal,
a small hill almost enclosed between the Esquiline and Quirinal ; and
the Quirinal, which curves round in a hooked shape towards the
Esquiline. Still further to the N., but outside the walls, is the Pin-
cian hill, while on the opposite side of the Tiber lie the Janiculan, a
ridge which runs in a direct line between the two curves of the Tiber,
and the Vatican yet more to the N. Rome is said to have been
founded in B.C. 753 ; the original city of Romulus stood on the Pala-
tine \ while a Sabine town occupied the Quirinal and Capitoline, and
Etruscans were settled on the C^elian and Esquiline^ The Sabine

1 This part of Rome has been compared to the back of a man's hand when
slightly bent and held with the fingers open, the latter representing the Esqai-
line, Qnirinal, and Timinal (Arnold's Rome^ i. 61).

* Inde petens dextram, porta est, ait, ista Palati ;
Uio Stator, hoc primom oondita Roma loco est.— Or. Trial, lit 1, SI.


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Chap. XXVI.



incorporated in the reign of Homulus,
removed from their settlement to the


and Roman towns were
and the Etruscans were
plain between the Cffi-
lian and Esquiline. An-
cus Martins added the
Aventine, and built a
fortress on the Janicu-
lan. Tarquinius Priscus
drained the low ground
between the Palatine and
Capitol, and planned the
Circus Maximus and
Forum. Finally Servius
Tullius added the Vimi-
nal and Esquiline, and
surrounded the seven
hiUs with walls extend-
ing about 7 miles in cir-
cumference. In course
of time the city outgrew
these limits, and in the
reign of Vespasian reach-
ed a circiunferenoe of 13
miles, at which period it
is computed to have con-
tamed a population of
nearly two mUlions. Sub-
sequently its size was
somewhat diminished,
the walls of Aurelian
having a circumference
of only 11 miles. The
general appearance of the city was for a long period but poor; after
its destruction by the Gauls in b.c. 390, it was rebuilt in haste with
narrow crooked streets, and these remained down to the time of Nero,
when two-thirds of the town were burnt down (a.d. 64), and were
rebuilt with wide and regular streets. The houses were of two classes,
called domus and insuloe, the former being the private houses of the
wealthy, the latter the residences of the middle and lower classes,
who occupied flats or portions of houses, which were carried to the
unsafe height of 60 or 70 feet There were 46,602 of the latter, and
1,790 of the former.

I. IHvi$um$ of the C%.— Servius Tullius divided the town into four
regions — Suburana, Esquilina, Collina, and Palatina — corresponding to
the number of the city tribes: these were subdivided into 27 Sacella

Plan of the City of Bomnlo*.


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Book IV.

Aigseorum. This division held good until the time of Augustus, who
rearranged the whole city in fourteen Regions, named as follows: —
(1) Porta Capena; (2) Coelimontium; (3) Isis et Serapis; (4) Via
Sacra; (5) -Esquilina cum Yiminali; (6) Alta Somita; (7) Via Lata;
(8) Forum Romanum; (9) Circus Flaminius ; (10) Palatium; (11) Circus
Maxlmus; (12) Piscina Publica ; (13) Aventinus; (14) Trans Tiberim.
The localities of these divisions are in several instances pointed out
by the names which correspond to those of the hills and well-known
quarters of the city : it will sufiQoe to add that Isis and Serapis was
at the back of the Esquiline, Alta Semita on the Quirinal and Pindan,
Via Lata on the £. of the Campus Martins, and Piscina Publica S. of
the Aventine.

Map of Rome, showing the Servian Walls and the Seven HiUs.

II. Walls and Gates. — The Wall of Servius, which was built of stone,
surrounded the whole city, with the exception of the Capitoline Hill
and the portion adjacent to the Tiber, which were both defended by
nature. On the E. side of the town a portion of the agger still remains
at the back of the Esquiline and Quirinal hills.' In other directions

* Recurring to the comparison alresdy made (note i), the position of the walls
of Servius would be represented hj a line drawn across the knuckles ; those of
Aurelian by a line drawn across the wrist.


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Chap. XXVI. ROME. 537

its coarse may be traced by means of the gates, of which no less than
twenty are enumerated, the most important being the Porta CoUlna, at
the N. extremity of the Quirinal; Ratumena, beneath the N. point of the
Capitoline Hill ; Carmentalis, at the S. foot of the Capitoline ; Trige-
mina, near the Tiber at the foot of the Aventine; Capena, at the foot
of the Cselian; Cselimontana, on the Csclian; Esquilina and Yiminalis,
at the back of the hills of the same name. These gates remained to a
late period, but the wall fell into decay, nor was there any necessity
to rebuild it until the German hordes threatened the city. Aurelian
commenced a new wall in a.d. 271, which was completed by Probus
and repaired by Honorius: it is substantially the same as now exists.
It enclosed a much lai^r area than that of Servius, including the
Piucian Hill and the Campus Martins on the N., the Janiculum on
the W. of the Tiber, and a considerable district S. of the Aventine,
and at the back of the Esquiline and Quirinal. It had 14 principal
and several lesser gates.

Temple of Jupiter CapitollDOS restored.

ni. TJie CopttoZ.— The Capitoline Hill rose to a double summit at its
N.E. and S. W. extremities, as already noticed. On the former pro-
bably stood the Temple of Capitoline Jupiter, founded by Tarquinius
PriscuB ; the Temple of Jupiter Feretrius,^ in which the spolia opima
were dedicated ; and a Temple of Fidee. On the S.W. summit stood
the Arz; the Temple of Jupiter Tonans,^ erected by Augustus; the
Temple of Juno XonSta, erected by Camillus in 345 and used as a
public mint; and the Temple of Honoi and IHrtuii built by C. Marius.
between the two summits lay the Asylum of Romulus : thiB name was
afterwards transferred to a spot on the N.E. summit. The Bupea

Nunc irpolia in temple tria oondita : cauaa Feretri

Omlne quod certo dux ferit ense ducem.
Sen quia victa suis humeris hue arma ferebont
Huic Feretri dicta est ara superba Jo vis. Phopkrt. It. 10, 45.

O magn» qui moenia proeplcis nrbis
Tarpeia de rape Tonans ! Lttc. i. 195.

2 A 3


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Book IV.

TarpeU* was probably on the E. side, facing the Forum, though the
name Rupe Tarpea is now assigned to a clifif on the W. side.


Tlie Forum and its Envir&ns. — The Fomm, the great centre of
Roman life and business, was situated in a deep hollow between fhe
Capitoline and Palatine hills. It was of an oblong shape, 671 feet
lon^, and diminishing in breadth from 202 feet at Uie W. end to 117
at the £. It was bounded on the N. by the 7!a Saera,^ (see Plan, aa)

« From this criminals were execated by being hurled down :~

Tone SttI, Dame, ant Dionysi fllios, andes

Dctjicere e saxo drn, ant tradere Cadmo. Hor. Sat. i. 6, S8.

^ The Via Sacra was the route by whioh the prooeesions of victorious generals
asMnded to the Capitol ; the name was more partionlarly applied to a portion of


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Chap. XXVI. EOME. 539

which led from the ColoBseum to the Capitoline. Two parallel streets
led out towards the S., the Vicnfl Jngarius (Plan, cc) from its W. end,
and the Yicus Tuseiu (Plan, dd), the best shopping street^ in Rome,
from the centre. The CknmtLiim, where public business was transacted,
occupied the E. end of the Forum. The Forum was surrounded with
porticoes and shops, those on the N. side being named Tabemse Novae,
and those on the S. side TabenuD Veterei.

The Forum itself contained the following buildings and objects :—
the Bostra (Plan, 19), or stage, in &ont of
the Curia, and so named from the beaks of
the vessels taken from the Antiates in 337,
with which it was adorned; the Latns
Cnrtiiis (Plan, 18) in the very centre of the
Forum, which was drained by Tarquinius
Priscus, the site of it being subsequently
marked by a depression ;" the Jani, the chief
resort of the money-lenders, in front of the
Basilica Emilia on the N. side; the Tri-
bunal of the Praetor, at the E. end of the
Forum; the Puteal LibSiiiB « (Plan, 17), near
it, so called from the resemblance it bore

to the top of a well ; the Temple of DivriB Pateal Libonls or ScrlboDlanniD.
Jnliiif, erected on the spot where the

body of Caesar was burnt, also at the E. end of the Forum '? the
Bostra Julia, in front of it; the Milliariiim Aureum, or gilt mile-

the street which formed the ascent of the VeUa, and which was otherwise called
" Sacer Clivus " :—

Quandoque trahet feroces
Per sacrum cHvum, merita decorus

Fronde Sicambros. Hoa. Carm. ir. 2, 34.

Intactus aut Britannus ut descenderet
Sacra catenatus Via. Id. £pod. vii. 7.

At the summit of the ascent, called Swnma Sacra Via, a market was held for the
sale of fruit and toys, and the street was generally a lounge for idlers : —

Ibam forte Via Sacra, slcut mens est mos,

Nesdo quid meditans nugarum. Hoa. Sat, i. 9, 1 .

« Scents, flrahkinccnse, silks, &c., were sold there : —

Deferar in ricum vendentem thus et odores

£t piper, et quicquid chartis amicitur ineptis. Id. Ep. 11. 1, 269.

Ncc nisi prima velit dc Tusco scrica vice. Mabt. xL 27.

B Cnrtius ille lacus, siccas qui sustinet aras

Nunc solida est tellus, sed lacus ante Aiit. Ov. Fast. ri. 403.

> There were probably two of them, and when Horace speaks of the middle
Janus, he means the middle of the street : —

Postquam omnia res mea Janum
Ad medium tnuiia est. Sat. ii. S, 18.

9 Ante secundam

Roscius orabat sibl adcsses ad Puteal eras. Hob. Sat. 11. 6, 34.

s Ovid describes it as facing the Capitol : —

Ut semper Capitolia nostra forumque
Divus ab excelsa prospectat Julius sede. Ov. Mst. xv. 841.


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540 LATIUM. Book IV.

Rone, erected by Augustus; the statue of ICanyu^ — ^the resort of
lawyers and com-tezans — and numerous other statues ; the Coliinma
Mssnia, commemoratiye of the victory of Menius over the Latins, in
338; and the Ckilonma Bottr&ta, adorned with the beaks of the ships
taken by Duilius from the Carthaginians in 260.

Adjacent to the Forum we may note the Temple, of Yeita * (Plan,

1 6), at its S.E. end, erected by Numa Pompilius ;

the Temple of Castor and PoUnx" (Plan, 13), just

. under the Palatine, vowed by Postumius in the

^ Latin War, and dedicated oy his son in 484,

of which three columns still remain ; the BariHca

Julia, between the Yicus Tuscus and Jugarius,

erected by Cassar for the accommodation of the

law-courts; the Temple of Satnm (Plan, 11), at

the W. end of the Forum under the CJapitoline

Hill,dedicated in 497, and of which eight columns

Temple of Vesta. (Fronf remain; the Temple of Conoordia (Plan 2),

a Coin.) erected by L. Opimius, in 121, at the N.W. end

of the Forum and on the rise of the Capitoline;

the BeiiaeiLliim (Plan, 3), an elevated area between the Temple of

Concord and the Forum, where the senators met before entering the

Curia; the TaUi&nimi, or lower dungeon of the Mamertine prison,

erected by Servius TuUius, and still in existence; the Curia (Plan, 6),

or Senate>House, on
the N. side of the
Forum, at its W. end;
the OnsooBt&sia (Plan,
5), adjacent to it at
its S.W, angle, aplaoe
set apart as a waiting-
room for foreign am-
bassadors ; the Baai-
lioa Porda (Plan, 7),
on the E. of the Curia,
erected in 184, by
Porcius Oato, for the
assemblies of the tri-
bunes of the people ;
the BariHfta Jgwi^n*
(Plan, 8), originally
Arch of SepUmiua Severos. erected in 179 bv M.

ifimilius -Lepidus ;
and, lastly, the Aroh of Serenia, erected in a.d. 203, at the N.W. angle
of the Forum, and still in a good state of preservation.
V. The Imperial Fora.—Aa Rome increased in size the old Forum

^ Obenndus Marsya, qni se

Voltum ferre negat Noviorom posse minoris. Hoa. Sat. i. 6, 120.
Ipse potest fleri Marsya cansidicQs. Mast. 11. 64.

' Hie locus est Testn : qui PalUda serrmt et ignem. — Ov. jyitt. iii. 1, 29.
' At qose venturas prscedet sexta Kalendas
Hac sunt Led»is templa dicata Deis.
Fratribas iUa Deis fratres de gente Deonun

Circa JutnmiD eompoeoere lacos. lo. J^ut, i. 705.


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Chap. XXVI. EOME. 641

was found insufficient for the transaction of law business; and hence
numerous fora were erected by the emperors in the ground intervening
between the Forum and the Quirinal, and in a line diverging to the
N.W. from the old Forum. The chief of these imperial fora were
the Fonun Jnliiim, founded by CsBsar
and finished by Augustus, which was
situated at the back of the Basilica
iEmilia; the Fonun Angiuti, to the N.
of the Forum Julii, enclosing a temple
of ICan Xntor,^ of which three columns
still remain ; the Fonun Transitoriiim,
commenced by Domitian and completed
by Nerva, and containing a temple of
Minenra, situated E. of the Forum Ju-
lium ; the Fonun Trajanif the most mag-
nificent of them all, situated between
the Quirinal and Capitoline, and contain-
ing, in addition to the Forum itself, the

Baiilioa Ulpia, at the W. end of which Temple of Trijdn.

stands the famous Ckilnmn of Tngaxi,

commemorating the wars of that emperor with Decebalus ; and, lastly,
W. of the Basilica, completing the range of buildings, the Temple
of DiYOB Tr^axLUS, erected by Hadrian.

VI. The Palatine and Vdia. — After the Capitol and Forum< the
Palatine Hill is the most interesting spot in Rome, both as having been
the cradle of the eternal city and the later residence of the emperors
in the time of its highest glory. The declivity towards the Capitoline
was called Oennalus, or Omnalas, and contained the Lnperoal, a grotto
sacred to Pan;^ the Ficnfl Buninftlii, the fig-tree under which Romulus
and Remus were suckled by the wolf; and the Caia Bomuli,' a hut in
which Romulus was nurtured. These objects were probably at the W.
angle of the hill, near the Circus. Among the illustrious Romans who
had houses on the Palatine, we may notice Vitruvius Vaccus, whose house
was pulled down in B.C. 335, Fulvius Flaccus, who perished in the
sedition of Gracchus, Cicero, who lived on the N.E. side of the hill,
Catiline, Antonius, and Scaurus. Augustus was bom in this quarter,
and adorned it with a splendid Temple of Apollo, surrounded with a
portico containing the BibliothScsB GrsBoa et Lektijui: the temple itself
was built of solid white marble, and contained statues of the god and
of Augustus himself; the columns of the portico were of African
nuurble and between them stood statues of the fifty daughters of
Danaus :^ its exact position is not known. The Palaoe of Angnitui

' It was vowed 1>y Augustas in the civil war undertaken to avenge his fitther's

Mars, adee, et satia scelerato sanguine ferrum : -

Stetque favor cansa pro meliore tutu.
Tcmpla feres et, me victore, vocaberis Ultor. Ov. FatU v. 575.

* Hinc lucum ingentem, quern Romulus acer Asylum
RettuUt, et gelida monttrat sub rupe Lupercal,

Parrhasio dictum Panoe de more LyDflBl. J5h. viii. 843.

* Romuleoque reeens horrebat regia cuhno. Id, viil. 654.
1 QufBris cur veniam tibi tardiot t aurea PhoDbl

Portions a magno Cnsare aperta fiiit : Tola


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Book IV.

Arch of TItnfl restored.

to haye stood on the N.E. ride of the hill, and the FaUee of
near the N.W. corner. The two palaces of Nero, named

DoDma Tnuuitoria
and Dooms Avrea,
probably covenxl
the whole of the
hiU. TheYeliawaa
the riring ground
between the valley
of the Forom on
the one side and
the Colosseum on
the oth«r. It con-
tained the follow-
ing objects: — the
JEdet PenatiiiiiL, an
ancient fane in
which the images of
the household gods
brought from Troy
were preserved; the
Xample of Poaee,
erected by Vespa-
sian after his tri-
umph over Jerusa-
lem, with the spoils of which it was adorned ; the BaaUiea Conttaatbd,
erected by Maxentius in honour of Constantine, of which three massive

arches still remain ;
the splendid Ten^U
of Boma and Yonvs,
built by Hadrian,
considerable re-
mains of which ex-
ist behind the con-
vent of S. Frofk'
cesea Boiruma; the
Azoh of Titos, which
spanned the Via
Sacra at the very
summit of the Ve-
lian ridge, adorned
with beautiful re-
liefs illustrating the
Jewish triimiphs of
Titus, and still ex-
isting; the Axoh
of Oonstaiitiiie, at
the N.E. comer of the Palatine, erected in honour of Constantine's
victory over Maxentius, and still in a good state of preservation; and

Arch of GoDstantine.

Tota erat in speciem PoDnla dlgesta oolonuiis
Inter qoat Danai femina torba senia.
Horace alludes to the Library :—

Scrlpta Palatinua qtuecunqoe reoepit ApoUo.

PaopuiT. 11. 81, I.

£p. L 8, 17.


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Chap. XXVI. EOME- 543

the Xeta Sndaas, a fountain erected by Domitian, of which there are
some renlains.

VII. Tlte AverUine, — The Aventine was regarded aa ill omened in the
early days of Roue : it contained, nevertheless, several famous spots,
such as the Altar of Svander, the Cava of Caeoi,* and the Temple of
Jupiter Inventor, dedicated by Hercules after he had found his cattle.
The Temple of Diana, erected by Servius Tullius as the sanctuary of
the cities of the Latin League, stood on the side of the hill facing the
Circus, while at its N. extremity, near the Porta Trigemina, stood the
£funou8 Temple of Juno Begina, built by CamilluB after the conquest of
Veii. A portion of the summit, probably about the centre of it,
named Saacnm,' was the spot where Remus was reputed to have taken
his auguries: a Temple of the Bona Dea,'* was afterwards erected
there. There was also a Temple of Lnna,^ probably on the side next
the Circus, and one of Libertas, founded by T. Sempronius Gracchus.
We have notice of houses of Sura, of Trajan before he became emperor,
and of Ennius the poet, on this hill. The strip of ground between the
Aventine and the Tiber was one of the busiest parts of the city, as it
contained the emporium or quays for the dischar^ of the cai^goes of
ships, and the principal corn-market. L. .^mibus Lepidus and L.
^milius PauluB founded a regular Emporinm and a portico named
after them Portiona JBmilia. The broad level space to the S. of the
hill was probably the site of large warehouses for storing goods.
The Monte Testaecto^ Y^hich is in the same district, is an artificial
hill of potsherds, 153 feet high, the origin of which is shrouded in

VIII. The Vdabrunit Forum Boarium, and Circus itf(aa;tn>u«.-— Be-
tween the Palatine, Aventine, and Tiber, the level ground was occu-
pied by two districts named the VeUbnun and the Fomm Boarinm,
while between the two hills was the Cirons Mazimna. The Yelalinun
was originally a marsh * and afterwards a quarter of the town at the
head of the Vicus Tuscus ; its name is preserved in that of the modem

Online LibrarySir William Smith William Latham BevanThe student's manual of ancient geography → online text (page 62 of 82)