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Bill Thayer

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p21 Aqua Appia

Article on p21 of

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

Aqua Appia: * the first Roman aqueduct, constructed in 312 B.C. by Appius Claudius Caecus1 and C. Plautius, who acquired the cognomen Venox for having found the springs (Liv. IX.29.6; Plin. NH XXXVI.121; Frontinus, de aquis I.4‑7, 9, 18, 22; II.65, 79, 125; Not. app.; Pol. Silv. 545; CIL XI.1827 I2. p192, No. X).a

The intake is described by Frontinus as being in agro Lucullano, 780 paces to the left of the via Praenestina,2 between the seventh and the eighth miles, but the springs have never been satisfactorily identified. The supply was 1825 quinariae, or 75,537 cubic metres in 24 hours. The channel was almost entirely subterranean, 11,190 paces in length, to the Salinae (q.v.) of which only 60 paces near the porta Capena were carried on substructions and on arches. Near Spes Vetus (q.v.) it was joined ad Gemellos by a branch named Augusta because constructed by Augustus, the springs of which were 980 paces to the left of the sixth mile of the via Praenestina, near the via Collatina; the channel of this branch was 6380 paces long, and a piece of its channel (?)3 is described in BC 1912, 232‑233. From the porta Capena the aqueduct ran underground, and remains of its channel were found in 1677 and in 1887 between the Aventinus minor and the Aventinus maior on the south-east of the Via di Porta S. Paolo (LF 35, 41).4

Passing under the Aventine, it ended at the bottom of the clivus Publicius near the porta Trigemina (Frontinus I.5). In level it was the lowest of all the aqueducts. It was repaired by Q. Marcius Rex in 144‑140 B.C., and by Augustus in 11‑4 B.C. It may be the aqua subtus montem Aventinum currens of Eins. 13.8;5 for aqua Tocia (a false reading: see Aqua Marcia). See Jord. I.1.462; LA 246‑255; LR 48, 49; Mon. L. I.512; PSB I.143; BC 1903, 243‑248; 1904, 215‑232.

The Authors' Notes:

1 Eutrop. II.9: eo tempore Appius Claudius censor aquam Claudiam (sic) induxit et viam Appiam stravit.

2 So Frontinus; Lanciani emends to Collatina.

3 This seems almost impossible owing to considerations of level.

4 See Addendum to p40, l. 28 (in this Web edition, incorporated into the text here).

5 In that case 'et currit usque ad ripam,' applied to the Aqua Marcia (p27, l. 3), would be due to confusion with it.

Thayer's Note:

a Also Diodorus, XX.36.

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Page updated: 24 Aug 12