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p200 Emporium

Article on p200 of

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


Emporium: the landing place and market for the merchandise that was brought up the Tiber from Ostia. It is said to have been established by M. Aemilius Lepidus and L. Aemilius Paullus when curule aediles in 193 B.C. (Liv. XXXV.10.12: porticum unam extra portam Trigeminam emporio ad Tiberim adiecto), and was probably at first not much more than an open space with wharf and offices, for it was paved and enclosed by barriers by the censors of 174 (Liv. XLI.27). It is not mentioned after this time, and as it lay between the river and the horrea Sulpicia, it became a part of the system of quays (portus) and warehouses (horrea) that extended along the left bank of the river for a kilometre south from the porta Trigemina.

Fragments of the wall and quay and of the steps and paved inclines which led down to the water to facilitate unloading have been found, and a few of the stone corbels, sometimes in the shape of lions' heads, which projected out from the quay and were pierced with holes for mooring rings. One or two chambers in opus reticulatum were found in 1919 and have been built into the embankment just above the Ponte Aventino. Farther back from the bank between the Vie Romolo Gessi and Beniamino Franklin, were ruins of a large rectangular structure of opus incertum, dating probably from the period before Sulla, which are often regarded as part of the Emporium, or sometimes (wrongly) as belonging to the Porticus Aemilia (q.v.). They may be identical with the 'paries antiquus maior' mentioned as existing near the church of S. Petrus in Horrea in the eleventh century (HCh 416, 417). See Bull. d. Inst. 1868, 145‑152; 1872, 134; BC 1886, 34; 1915, 330; 1916, 236; Sächs. Ber. 1848, 137 ff.; Jord. I.1.431‑433; HJ 173, 178; LR 44‑45, 511‑513; Bruzza, Triplice Omaggio a Pio IX (1871), 39‑46; DE II.2106‑2108; RA 21‑23). After the construction of the great horrea, the Emporium was largely used for unloading marble (Ann. d. Inst. 1870, 106‑204; LR 511).


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Page updated: 7 Jan 02