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Bill Thayer

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Rome: The Via Flaminia


[image ALT: a very old paved path climbing a rather easy slope between Roman ruins on either side]

This little street, the Clivus Argentarius, has just left the Roman Forum (behind us). It will become first the Via Lata, i.e., the 'Broad Street'; then, as it leaves the city,

the Via Flaminia.

clickmap of the Via Flaminia as it traverses Rome; everything is also linked below


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1
The Via Flaminia can be considered to start at the Comitium in front of the house of the Senate.

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2
Before becoming the Via Lata, the road leaves the Forum by navigating the northern shoulder of the Capitol as the Clivus Argentarius (above).


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3
The first extant trace of ancient Rome we find on the road once it has left the Forum is the Tomb of Bibulus about which as a layman I wonder: what is a late-Republican tomb doing well within the walls of the City??


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4
The Ara Pacis Augustae used to be here. It isn't now: bits and pieces had been uncovered for several hundred years, and it was finally fully excavated in 1937‑1938, and moved to a specially constructed building next to the Mausoleum of Augustus.


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5
And so, if you were going north to Umbria, you left Rome as you crossed the Aurelian Walls thru the Porta Flaminia. The gate has changed a lot, but if you want to visit the small towns along the Flaminia, you still go there to catch the train.


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6
The legacy of the ancient Via Flaminia from there to the edge of town is typical: no grand monuments, but a long and very straight street, the first part of which is the Corso, running to the Piazza del Popolo; and after the gate, resuming as an even longer portion bearing the modern name "Via Flaminia". Rectilinearity is one of the celebrated characteristics of the Roman road; nice to see it within the walls of Rome.


[image ALT: a 4-arch bridge, about 150 meters long, over a placid river]

7: Ἔν τοῦτῳ νῖκα
The Flaminia leaves town over the Milvian bridge made famous in 312 A.D. by a battle for the Empire in which the (unreliable and fawning) historian Eusebius says Constantine saw that famous cross in the sky and heard the Greek words usually rendered in Latin as "In hoc signo vinces". The bridge is attractive, and the ghosts unexpectedly discrete.


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SIte updated: 14 Apr 01