A preserved section of Servian Wall next to Termini railway station.
|Height||Up to 10 metres (33 ft)|
|Open to public.|
|Condition||Ruinous. Fragmentary remains|
|Built||4th century BC (Livy dates grotta oscura sections from 378 BC)|
|Events||Second Punic War|
The Servian Wall (Latin : Murus Servii Tullii; Italian : Mura Serviane) was an ancient Roman defensive barrier constructed around the city of Rome in the early 4th century BCE. The wall was built of volcanic tuff and was up to 10 m (33 ft) in height in places, 3.6 m (12 ft) wide at its base, 11 km (6.8 mi) long, and is believed to have had 16 main gates, though none survive, and it enclosed a total area of 608 acres. In the 3rd century CE it was superseded by the construction of the larger Aurelian Walls as the city of Rome grew beyond the boundary of the Servian Wall.
The wall is named after the sixth Roman King, Servius Tullius. The literary tradition stating that there was some type of defensive wall or earthen works that encircled the city of Rome dating to the 6th century BCE has been found to be false.The main extent of the Servian Wall was built in the early 4th century, during what is known as the Roman Republic.
The Servian Wall was originally built from large blocks of Cappellaccio tuff (a volcanic rock made from ash and rock fragments that are ejected during a volcanic eruption) that was quarried from Alban Hills volcanic complex.This initial wall of Cappellaccio tuff was partially damaged and in need of restoration by the late 390s (either because of rapid disintegration or damage sustained after the Sack of Rome in 390 BC). These reparations were done using he superior Grotta Oscura tuff which had become available after the Romans had defeated Veii in the 390s. This tuff was quarried by the vanquished Veientines. In addition to the tuff blocks, some sections of the structure incorporated a deep fossa, or a ditch, in front of the wall, as a means to effectively heighten the wall. This second itteration of the wall containing Grotta Oscura tuff is dated by Livy to have been completed in 378 BC.
Along part of the topographically weaker Northern perimeter was an agger, a defensive ramp of earth that was built up along the inside of the Servian Wall. This effectively thickened the wall and also gave the defenders of Rome a base to stand while repelling an attack. The wall was also outfitted with defensive war engines, including catapults.
The Servian Wall was maintained through the end of the Late Republic and into the Roman Empire. By this time, Rome had already begun to outgrow the original boundaries of the Servian Wall.
The Servian Wall became unnecessary as Rome became well protected by the ever-expanding strength of the field armies Republic and of the later Empire. As the city continued to grow and prosper, Rome was essentially unwalled for the first three centuries of the Empire. Expanding domestic structures simply incorporated existing wall sections into their foundations, an example of which survives in the Auditorium of Maecenas.When German tribes made further incursions along the Roman frontier in the 3rd century CE, Emperor Aurelian had the larger Aurelian Walls built to protect the city of Rome.
Several sections of the Servian Wall are still visible in various locations around the city of Rome. The largest section is preserved outside the Termini Station, the main railway station in Rome (including a section in a McDonald's dining area at the station). Another notable section on the Aventine which incorporates an arch that was supposedly for a defensive catapult from the late Republic.
The following lists the gates that are believed to have been built, clockwise from the westernmost. (Many of these are inferred only from writings, with no known remains.)
Porta Capena was a gate in the Servian Wall in Rome, Italy. The gate was located in the area of Piazza di Porta Capena, where the Caelian, Palatine and Aventine hills meet. Probably its exact position was between the entrance of Via di Valle delle Camene and the beginning of Via delle Terme di Caracalla, facing the curved side of the Circus Maximus.
The Sicels were an Italic tribe who inhabited eastern Sicily during the Iron Age. Their neighbours to the west were the Sicani. The Sicels gave Sicily the name it has held since antiquity, but they rapidly fused into the culture of Magna Graecia.
The Aurelian Walls are a line of city walls built between 271 AD and 275 AD in Rome, Italy, during the reign of the Roman Emperors Aurelian and Probus. They superseded the earlier Servian Wall built during the 4th century BC.
The Via Labicana was an ancient road of Italy, leading east-southeast from Rome. It seems possible that the road at first led to Tusculum, that it was then extended to Labici, and later still became a road for through traffic; it may even have superseded the Via Latina as a route to the southeast, for, while the distance from Rome to their main junction at Ad Bivium is practically identical, the summit level of the former is 22 metres (72 ft) lower than that of the latter, a little to the west of the pass of Mount Algidus. After their junction it is probable that the road bore the name Via Latina rather than Via Labicana. The course of the road after the first six miles from Rome is not identical with that of any modern road, but can be clearly traced by remains of pavement and buildings along its course.
In 7 BC, Augustus divided the city of Rome into 14 administrative regions. These replaced the four regiones — or "quarters" — traditionally attributed to Servius Tullius, sixth king of Rome. They were further divided into official neighborhoods.
The Porta San Paolo is one of the southern gates in the 3rd-century Aurelian Walls of Rome, Italy. The Via Ostiense Museum is housed within the gatehouse. It is in the Ostiense quarter; just to the west is the Roman Pyramid of Cestius, an Egyptian-style pyramid, and beyond that is the Protestant Cemetery.
The Porta Trigemina was one of the main gates in the ancient 4th century Servian Wall of Rome, Italy. The gate no longer exists, but it is frequently mentioned by ancient authors as standing between the north end of the Aventine Hill and the Tiber River, placing it near the southeastern end of the Forum Boarium. The Clivus Publicius descended from the Aventine to the Porta Trigemina.
The Via Ostiensis was an important road in ancient Rome. It ran west 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the city of Rome to its important sea port of Ostia Antica, from which it took its name. The road began near the Forum Boarium, ran between the Aventine Hill and the Tiber River along its left (eastern) bank, and left the city's Servian Walls through the Porta Trigemina. When the later Aurelian Walls were built, the road left the city through the Porta Ostiensis. In the late Roman Empire, trade suffered under an economic crisis, and Ostia declined as an important port. With the accompanying growth of importance of the Via Portuensis from the time of Constantine onwards, that of the Via Ostiensis correspondingly decreased. Modern Via Ostiense, following a similar path, is the main connection of Rome to Ostia together with the Via del Mare. On its way to Ostia, the road passes by the important basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls.
Porta can refer to:
Capranica is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Viterbo in the Italian region Lazio, located about 55 kilometres (34 mi) northwest of GRA, 66 kilometres (41 mi) from Rome’s centre, and 24.5 kilometres (15.2 mi) southeast of NOT CRAPA in local dialect but CAPRÀViterbo.
The Porta Esquilina was a gate in the Servian Wall, of which the Arch of Gallienus is extant today. Tradition dates it back to the 6th century BC, when the Servian Wall was said to have been built by the Roman king Servius Tullius, however modern scholarship and evidence from archaeology indicates a date in the fourth century BC. The archway of the gate was rededicated in 262 as the Arch of Gallienus.
Defensive walls are a feature of ancient Roman architecture. The Romans generally fortified cities, rather than building stand-alone fortresses, but there are some fortified camps, such as the Saxon Shore forts like Porchester Castle in England. City walls were already significant in Etruscan architecture, and in the struggle for control of Italy under the early Republic many more were built, using different techniques. These included tightly-fitting massive irregular polygonal blocks, shaped to fit exactly in a way reminiscent of later Inca work. The Romans called a simple rampart wall an agger; at this date great height was not necessary. The Servian Wall around Rome was an ambitious project of the early 4th century BC. The wall was up to 10 metres (32.8 ft) in height in places, 3.6 metres (12 ft) wide at its base, 11 km (7 mi) long, and is believed to have had 16 main gates, though many of these are mentioned only from writings, with no other known remains. Some of it had a fossa or ditch in front, and an agger behind, and it was enough to deter Hannibal. Later the Aurelian Wall replaced it, enclosing an expanded city, and using more sophisticated designs, with small forts at intervals.
The Colline Gate was a landmark in ancient Rome, supposed to have been built by Servius Tullius, semi-legendary king of Rome 578–535 BC. The gate stood at the north end of the Servian Wall, and past it were two important streets, the Via Salaria and Via Nomentana. Within this area the Alta Semita linked the Quirinal with the Porta Carmentalis. Several temples were located near the gate, including temples of Venus Erycina and Fortuna. To a person facing the gate in the 3rd century AD, the Gardens of Sallust would have been on the left, with the Baths of Diocletian on the right.
Porta Metronia is a gate in the third-century Aurelian Walls of Rome. The gate is located in the southern section of the wall between Porta San Giovanni to the east and Porta Latina to the south.
The Porta Fontinalis was a gate in the Servian Wall in ancient Rome. It was located on the northern slope of the Capitoline Hill, probably the northeast shoulder over the Clivus Argentarius. The Via Salaria exited through it, as did the Via Flaminia originally, providing a direct link with Picene and Gallic territory. After the Aurelian Walls were constructed toward the end of the 3rd century AD, the section of the Via Flaminia that ran between the Porta Fontinalis and the new Porta Flaminia was called the Via Lata ("Broadway").
The Servian constitution is the military and political organization of ancient Rome attributed by Roman tradition to the semi-legendary sixth king of Rome, Servius Tullius. Most of the Servian reforms extended voting rights to certain groups, in particular to Rome's citizen-commoners who were minor landholders or landless citizens hitherto disqualified from voting by ancestry, status or ethnicity—collectively, the plebs as distinguished from the hereditary patricians. These reforms thus redefined the fiscal and military obligations of all Roman citizens. The so-called Servian constitution probably represents a long-drawn, complex and piecemeal process extending from Servius' predecessors, Ancus Marcius and Tarquinius Priscus, to his successor Tarquinius Superbus, and into the Middle and Late Republic. Rome's military and territorial expansion and the consequent changes in its population made franchise regulation and reform an ongoing necessity. The wholesale attribution of these measures to Servius "cannot be taken at face value".
The Janiculum walls are a stretch of defensive walls erected in 1643 by Pope Urban VIII as a completion of the Leonine wall and for a better protection of the area of Rome rising on the right bank of the Tiber.
Porta Ardeatina was one of the gates of the Aurelian Walls in Rome (Italy).
The Museo delle Mura is an archaeological museum in Rome, Italy. It is housed in the first and second floors of the Porta San Sebastiano at the beginning of the Appian Way. It provides an exhibition on the walls of Rome and their building techniques, as well as the opportunity to walk along the inside of one of the best-preserved stretches of the Aurelian Wall. The museum is free of charge.
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