Encyclopedia Ichnographica

Aquae Appia


The first of these aqueducts, the Appia, was built in 312 B.C. by the censors Appius Claudius Caecus and C. Plautius Vernox. It was fed by springs situated east of Rome, 780 passus (1153 metres) to the left of the via Collatina, between the sixth and seventh milestones, near the Anio. 1 The channel (specus) was subterranean, and entered the city more than 15 metres below the surface, near the temple of Spes vetus, ad Spem veterem, just inside the porta Praenestina (Maggiore). Thence it ran along the south slope of the Caelian, across the depression on the Aventine, to a point approximately halfway between S. Saba and S. Prisca ; then, making a sharp turn to the northwest, it crossed the Aventine and ended at the Salinae, just outside the porta Trigemina. The total length of the channel was 11,190 passus (16.47 kilometres), entirely underground except for a distance of 60 passus (89 metres), where it was carried on arches across the via Appia, outside the porta Capena. Remains of this specus have been discovered at various points on the Aventine along the via di S. Paolo, especially in the old quai-ries near S. Saba. Augustus increased the amount of water brought to the city by this aqueduct by building a branch, the aqua Appia Augusta, from some springs a little more than 1 kilometre north of the sixth milestone on the via Praenestina. This joined the old Appia ad Spem veterem. The specus of this branch was entirely subterranean, and 6360 passus (9.18 kilometres) in length. (Platner)




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