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p11 Anio Novus

Article on pp11‑12 of

Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.

Anio Novus: * an aqueduct, which, like the aqua Claudia, was begun by Caligula in 38 A.D. (Suet. Cal. 20)º and completed in 52 A.D. by Claudius, who dedicated them both on 1st August. The cost of the two was 350,000,000 sesterces, or £3,500,000 sterling (Plin. NH XXXVI.122; Frontinus, de aquis, I.4, 13, 15, 18‑21; II.68, 72, 73, 86, 90, 91, 93, 104, 105; Suet. Claud. 20; CIL VI.1256; IX.40511). Originally the water was taken from the river Anio at the forty-second mile of the via Sublacensis; but, as the water was apt to be turbid, Trajan made use of the two uppermost of the three lakes formed by Nero for the adornment of his villa at Subiaco — the Simbruina stagna of Tac. Ann. XIV.22 (NS 1883, 19; 1884, 425; Giovannoni, Monasteri di Subiaco I.273 sqq.), thus lengthening the aqueduct to 58 miles 700 paces. The length of 62 miles given to the original aqueduct in the inscription of Claudius on the Porta Maior (q.v.) must be an error for 52; for an unsuccessful attempt to explain it otherwise see Mél. 1906, 311‑318. We have a record of repairs to it in an inscription of 381 A.D., but it is uncertain what part of it is meant (CIL VI.3865 = 31945). Its volume at the intake was 4,738 quinariae, or 196,627 cubic metres in 24 hours. Its course outside the city cannot be described here (see references below).º

From its piscina (or filtering tank) near the seventh milestone of the Via Latina it was carried on the lofty arches of the aqua Claudia, in a channel immediately superposed on the latter; and it was the highest in level of all the aqueducts that came into the city.

These arches ended behind the Horti Pallantiani (q.v.), the former Vigna Belardi, where the terminal piscina of the two aqueducts was situated (LF 24; cf. BC 1912, 163, 228‑235; NS 1912, 195; 1913, 6‑8).

Like the Claudia, the Anio Novus supplied the highest parts of the city. Before the reforms introduced by Frontinus, it was freely used to supply the deficiencies (largely due to dishonesty) of other aqueducts, and, being turbid, rendered them impure. The removal of its defects, however, is said to have rendered it equal to the Marcia (ib. II.93).

See LA 345‑374; LR 54‑56; Builder, xciv (1908, I.) 37, 64, 89, 111, 121, 142, 153, 174, 184, 203, 234; BC 1912, 163; RE I.2212 sq.; Reina Corbellini Ducci, Livellazione degli Antichi Acquedotti Romani (from Memorie della Soc. Ital. delle Scienze detta (dei XL) ser. 3, tom. XX), Rome, 1917.

The Authors' Note:

1 It is more probable that CIL IX.4051 refers to the Aqua Marcia.

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Page updated: 18 Jun 09