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Bill Thayer

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 p53  Argiletum

 p53  Article on pp53‑54 of

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

Argiletum: * the street between the Subura and the forum, which it entered between the Curia and the basilica Aemilia (Liv. I.19.2; Serv. ad Aen. VII.607).1 The lower part of the Argiletum, which had been occupied by private houses (Cic. Att. I.14.7; XII.32.2), was converted by Domitian and Nerva into the forum Transitorium. The name was probably derived from the clay (argilla) that was dug near by, although other explanations, more or less fanciful, were current in antiquity (Varro, LL V.157; Serv. ad Aen. VIII.345; cf. Mart. Cap. III.273). It was one of the great arteries of communication in Rome, and  p54 a centre of trade, but not by any means the centre of the book trade; it also bore a somewhat unsavoury reputation (Mart. I.3.1; 117, 8‑11; II.17; cf. I.2.7, 8; Jord. I.2. 347‑351; HJ 327; CP 1914, 77‑78; DR 513‑514. For its course in the period of Sulla see JRS 1922, 16).

The Authors' Note:

1 For this passage see p277, n1.

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