Encyclopedia Ichnographica

Aquae Virgineus


Pictorial Dictionary notes
Arcus Claudii, held up the Aqua Virgo, adjacent the Horti Argiani.

The Virgo was built by Agrippa to supply his baths in the campus Martius, and was finished June 9, 19 B.C. Its source was several springs near the eighth milestone on the via Collatina, and near the present railroad station of Salone. It is said that the name Virgo was given to this aqueduct because its source was pointed out to the soldiers by a girl. As the springs were in a swampy region, their waters were first collected in a stone basin, part of which is still in existence. The course of the aqueduct was toward the porta Praenestina, like so many of the others; but about 1 kilometre from this gate, it bent sharply and ran north for some distance, entering the city under the villa Medici on the Pincian. The first piscina was just east of the piazza di Spagna. Thence it was conducted to the baths of Agrippa. The Virgo was restored by Claudius in 52 A.D. and is now in use, having been rebuilt by Pius V in 1570. At various points in the city portions of the original structure still remain, 2 as in the garden of the palazzo Castellani, at No. 12 via Nazareno (p. 480), and in the court of the palazzo Sciarra. The length of the Virgo was 14,105 passus (20.88 kilometres), of which 12,865 passus (19 kilometres) were underground. Of the part above ground, not quite half was on masonry substructures, and 700 passus (1036 metres) on arches, for the most part within the city limits. (Platner)




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