|The Aventine Hill|
|One of the seven hills of Rome|
|Latin name||Collis Aventinus|
|People||Ancus Marcius, Lucius Vorenus, Lucius Opimius, Marcus Fulvius Flaccus, Naevius, Pope Sixtus III|
|Events|| Aventine Secession (494 BC), |
Aventine Secession (20th century)
|Ancient Roman religion||Temples to Diana, Ceres, Liber and Libera, Bona Dea.|
The Aventine Hill ( /,- / ; Latin : Collis Aventinus; Italian : Aventino [avenˈtiːno] ) is one of the Seven Hills on which ancient Rome was built. It belongs to Ripa, the twelfth rione, or ward, of Rome. The part of the city that stands on it is sometimes referred to as Reme, or Ream.
The Aventine Hill is the southernmost of Rome's seven hills. It has two distinct heights, one greater to the northwest and one lesser to the southeast, divided by a steep cleft that provides the base for an ancient roadway between the heights. During the Republican era, the two hills may have been recognized as a single entity.
The Augustan reforms of Rome's urban neighbourhoods (vici) recognised the ancient road between the two heights (the modern Viale Aventino) as a common boundary between the new Regio XIII, which absorbed Aventinus Maior, and the part of Regio XII known as Aventinus Minor.
Most Roman sources trace the name of the hill to a legendary king Aventinus. Servius identifies two kings of that name, one ancient Italic, and one Alban, both said to have been buried on the hill in remote antiquity. Servius believes that the hill was named after the ancient Italic king Aventinus. He rejects Varro's proposition that the Sabines named the hill after the nearby Aventus river; likewise, he believes that the Aventinus who was fathered by Hercules on Rhea Silvia was likely named after the Aventine Hill.
The Aventine was a significant site in Roman mythology. In Virgil's Aeneid, a cave on the Aventine's rocky slope next the river is home to the monstrous Cacus, killed by Hercules for stealing Geryon's cattle.In Rome's founding myth, the divinely fathered twins Romulus and Remus hold a contest of augury, whose outcome determines the right to found, name and lead a new city, and to determine its site. In most versions of the story, Remus sets up his augural tent on the Aventine; Romulus sets his up on the Palatine.
Each sees a number of auspicious birds (aves) that signify divine approval but Remus sees fewer than Romulus. Romulus goes on to found the city of Rome at the site of his successful augury. An earlier variant, found in Ennius and some later sources, has Romulus perform his augury on one of the Aventine Hills. Remus performs his elsewhere, perhaps on the southeastern height, the lesser of the Aventine's two hills, which has been tentatively identified with Ennius' Mons Murcus.
Skutsch (1961) regards Ennius' variant as the most likely, with Romulus's Palatine augury as a later development, after common usage had extended the Aventine's name – formerly used for only the greater, northeastern height – to include its lesser neighbour. Augural rules and the mythos itself required that each twin take his auspices at a different place; therefore Romulus, who won the contest and founded the city, was repositioned to the more fortunate Palatine, the traditional site of Rome's foundation. The less fortunate Remus, who lost not only the contest but later, his life, remained on the Aventine: Servius notes the Aventine's reputation as a haunt of "inauspicious birds".
According to Roman tradition, the Aventine was not included within Rome's original foundation, and lay outside the city's ancient sacred boundary (pomerium). The Roman historian Livy reports that Ancus Marcius, Rome's fourth king, defeated the Latins of Politorium, and resettled them there.The Roman geographer Strabo credits Ancus with the building of a city wall to incorporate the Aventine. Others credit the same wall to Rome's sixth king, Servius Tullius. The remains known as the Servian Wall used stone quarried at Veii, which was not conquered by Rome until c.393 BC, so the Aventine might have been part-walled, or an extramural suburb.
The Aventine appears to have functioned as some kind of staging post for the legitimate ingress of foreign peoples and foreign cults into the Roman ambit. During the late regal era, Servius Tullius built a temple to Diana on the Aventine, as a Roman focus for the new-founded Latin League. The Aventine's outlying position, its longstanding association with Latins and plebeians and its extra-pomerial position reflect its early marginal status. At some time around 493 BC, soon after the expulsion of Rome's last King and the establishment of the Roman Republic, the Roman senate provided a temple for the so-called Aventine Triad of Ceres, Liber and Libera, patron deities of the Roman commoners or plebs; the dedication followed one of the first in a long series of threatened or actual plebeian secessions. The temple overlooked the Circus Maximus and the Temple of Vesta, and faced the Palatine Hill. It became an important repository for plebeian and senatorial records.
It is presumed that the Aventine was state-owned public land; in c.456 BC a Lex Icilia allowed or granted the plebs property rights there. By c.391 BC, the city's overspill had overtaken the Aventine and the Campus Martius, and left the city vulnerable to attack; around that year, the Gauls overran and temporarily held the city. After this, the walls were rebuilt or extended to properly incorporate the Aventine; this is more or less coincident with the increasing power and influence of the Aventine-based plebeian aediles and tribunes in Roman public affairs, and the rise of a plebeian nobility.
Rome absorbed many more foreign deities via the Aventine: "No other location approaches [its] concentration of foreign cults". In 392 BC, Camillus established a temple there to Juno Regina. Later introductions include Summanus, c. 278, Vortumnus c. 264, and at some time before the end of the 3rd century, Minerva.The Aventine was also the site of the Baths of Decius, built in 252.
During the Fascist period, many deputies of the opposition retired on this hill after the murder of Giacomo Matteotti, here ending - by the so-called "Aventine Secession" - their presence at the Parliament and, as a consequence, their political activity.
The hill is now an elegant residential part of Rome with a wealth of architectural interest, including palaces, churches, and gardens, for example, the basilica of Santa Sabina and the Rome Rose Garden.
The Aventine Hill is portrayed as a rough working-class area of ancient Rome in the popular Falco series of historical novels written by Lindsey Davis about Marcus Didius Falco, a 'private informer' who occasionally works for the Emperor Vespasian and lives in the Aventine.
The same image is portrayed in much of the series Rome, in which the Aventine is the home of Lucius Vorenus. In season two, Vorenus and his friend legionary Titus Pullo seek to maintain order over the various collegia competing there for power.
The Vesta-class of starships in the Star Trek novels are named for Rome's seven hills. The most featured ship is the U.S.S. Aventine under Captain Ezri Dax.
Other Roman hills:
The Roman Kingdom, also referred to as the Roman monarchy, or the regal period of ancient Rome, was the earliest period of Roman history, when the city and its territory were ruled by kings.
Servius Tullius was the legendary sixth king of Rome, and the second of its Etruscan dynasty. He reigned 575–535 BC. Roman and Greek sources describe his servile origins and later marriage to a daughter of Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, Rome's first Etruscan king, who was assassinated in 579 BC. Servius is said to have been the first Roman king to accede without election by the Senate, having gained the throne by popular support; and the first to be elected by the Senate alone, without reference to the people.
The Circus Maximus is an ancient Roman chariot-racing stadium and mass entertainment venue located in Rome, Italy. Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine Hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire. It measured 621 m (2,037 ft) in length and 118 m (387 ft) in width and could accommodate over 150,000 spectators. In its fully developed form, it became the model for circuses throughout the Roman Empire. The site is now a public park.
The tale of the Founding of Rome is recounted in traditional stories handed down by the ancient Romans themselves as the earliest history of their city in terms of legend and myth. The most familiar of these myths, and perhaps the most famous of all Roman myths, is the story of Romulus and Remus, twins who were suckled by a she-wolf as infants in the 8th century BC. Another account, set earlier in time, claims that the Roman people are descended from Trojan War hero Aeneas, who escaped to Italy after the war, and whose son, Iulus, was the ancestor of the family of Julius Caesar. The archaeological evidence of human occupation of the area of modern-day Rome, Italy dates from about 14,000 years ago.
The seven hills of Rome east of the river Tiber form the geographical heart of Rome, within the walls of the city.
An augur was a priest and official in the classical Roman world. His main role was the practice of augury: Interpreting the will of the gods by studying the flight of birds – whether they were flying in groups or alone, what noises they made as they flew, direction of flight, and what kind of birds they were. This was known as "taking the auspices".
In Roman mythology, Romulus and Remus are twin brothers, whose story tells the events that led to the founding of the city of Rome and the Roman Kingdom by Romulus. The killing of Remus by his brother, and other tales from their story, have inspired artists throughout the ages. Since ancient times, the image of the twins being suckled by a she-wolf has been a symbol of the city of Rome and the Roman people. Although the tale takes place before the founding of Rome around 750 BC, the earliest known written account of the myth is from the late 3rd century BC. Possible historical basis for the story, as well as whether the twins' myth was an original part of Roman myth or a later development, is a subject of ongoing debate.
In ancient Roman religion, Ceres was a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships. She was originally the central deity in Rome's so-called plebeian or Aventine Triad, then was paired with her daughter Proserpina in what Romans described as "the Greek rites of Ceres". Her seven-day April festival of Cerealia included the popular Ludi Ceriales. She was also honoured in the May lustratio of the fields at the Ambarvalia festival, at harvest-time, and during Roman marriages and funeral rites.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus was a Greek historian and teacher of rhetoric, who flourished during the reign of Caesar Augustus. His literary style was Atticistic — imitating Classical Attic Greek in its prime.
The Palatine Hill, which is the centremost of the Seven Hills of Rome, is one of the most ancient parts of the city and has been called "the first nucleus of the Roman Empire." It stands 40 metres above the Roman Forum, looking down upon it on one side, and upon the Circus Maximus on the other. From the time of Augustus Imperial palaces were built here. Prior to extensions to the Palace of Tiberius and the construction of the Domus Augustana by Domitian, 81-96 AD, the hill was mostly occupied by the houses of the rich. The perimeter measures 2,182 meters and the area is 255,801 square meters or 63 acres, with a circumference of 1,740 meters while the Regionary Catalogues of the fourth century give a perimeter of 11,510 feet or 3,402 meters.
Vatican Hill is a hill located across the Tiber river from the traditional seven hills of Rome, that also gave the name of Vatican City. It is the location of St. Peter's Basilica.
Augury is the practice from ancient Roman religion of interpreting omens from the observed flight of birds (aves). When the individual, known as the augur, interpreted these signs, it is referred to as "taking the auspices". 'Auspices' is from the Latin auspicium and auspex, literally "one who looks at birds." Depending upon the birds, the auspices from the gods could be favorable or unfavorable. Sometimes bribed or politically motivated augures would fabricate unfavorable auspices in order to delay certain state functions, such as elections. Pliny the Elder attributes the invention of auspicy to Tiresias the seer of Thebes, the generic model of a seer in the Greco-Roman literary culture.
The Viminal Hill is the smallest of the famous Seven Hills of Rome. A finger-shape cusp pointing toward central Rome between the Quirinal Hill to the northwest and the Esquiline Hill to the southeast, it is home to the Teatro dell'Opera and the Termini Railway Station.
The Ficus Ruminalis was a wild fig tree that had religious and mythological significance in ancient Rome. It stood near the small cave known as the Lupercal at the foot of the Palatine Hill and was the spot where according to tradition the floating makeshift cradle of Romulus and Remus landed on the banks of the Tiber. There they were nurtured by the she-wolf and discovered by Faustulus. The tree was sacred to Rumina, one of the birth and childhood deities, who protected breastfeeding in humans and animals. St. Augustine mentions a Jupiter Ruminus.
Aventinus, one of the mythical kings of Alba Longa, who was buried on the Aventine Hill later named after him. He is said to have reigned thirty-seven years, and to have been succeeded by Procas, the father of Amulius.
Aventinus was a son of Hercules and the priestess Rhea mentioned in Virgil's Aeneid, Book vii. 656, as an ally of Mezentius and enemy of Aeneas :
The Oppian Hill is the southern spur of the Esquiline Hill, one of the Seven Hills of Rome, Italy. It is separated from the Cispius on the north by the valley of the Suburra, and from the Caelian Hill on the south by the valley of the Colosseum. The Oppius and the Cispius together form the Esquiline plateau just inside the line of the Servian Wall.
Romulus was the legendary founder and first king of Rome. Various traditions attribute the establishment of many of Rome's oldest legal, political, religious, and social institutions to Romulus and his contemporaries. Although many of these traditions incorporate elements of folklore, and it is not clear to what extent a historical figure underlies the mythical Romulus, the events and institutions ascribed to him were central to the myths surrounding Rome's origins and cultural traditions.
The Aventine Triad is a modern term for the joint cult of the Roman deities Ceres, Liber and Libera. The cult was established ca. 493 BC within a sacred district (templum) on or near the Aventine Hill, traditionally associated with the Roman plebs. Later accounts describe the temple building and rites as "Greek" in style. Some modern historians describe the Aventine Triad as a plebeian parallel and self-conscious antithesis to the Archaic Triad of Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus and the later Capitoline Triad of Jupiter, Minerva and Juno. The Aventine Triad, temple and associated ludi served as a focus of plebeian identity, sometimes in opposition to Rome's original ruling elite, the patricians.
Remoria is a place associated with the legendary founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus where, according to Roman tradition, Remus saw six birds land and which he chose as an auspicious location for the future city. It is also where he was buried, after being killed by his brother Romulus during a dispute.