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Horti Aciliorum

Article on p264 of

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

Horti Aciliorum: gardens on the Pincian hill which belonged to the Acilii Glabriones in the second century A.D. (CIL VI.623); their exact limits are not known, but the remains that have been found are held to indicate that they may have extended from the Trinità de' Monti 'beyond the slopes of the hill into the Villa Borghese, and on the east as far as the Porta Pinciana' (LS II.131; III.101‑3; IV.14; BC 1891, 132‑155; 1914, 376; LR 421‑429; NA 1904 (May 1); HJ 446; Pl. 481‑482). These horti belonged to the gens Pincia in the fourth century, and then to Anicia Faltonia Proba and her husband Petronius Probus (CIL VI.1751)1 but became imperial property afterwards (cf. Domus Pinciana). They were enclosed on the north, west and east by supporting walls, built along the slope of the hill (Homo, Aurélien 240 ff.); the wall on the east and north was incorporated by Aurelian in his line of defence, and partially rebuilt. The original structure was of opus reticulatum, in a series of lofty arcades with massive intervening piers. The famous Muro Torto is a lower buttress at the north angle in the same material, with tufa quoins.2 Just north of the Trinità was a great hemicycle, opening towards the west, with flights of steps leading down to the plain below (JRS 1919, 174; Mem. L. 5.xvii.535‑537). Beneath the modern casino was a piscina, divided into two sections and connected with a reservoir, consisting of a labyrinth of small galleries hewn in the rock, by tunnels 80 metres long. The mound in the present Villa Medici is built on the ruins of an octagonal nymphaeum (called Parnassus), and ruins have been found all along the brow of the hill from the Trinità to S. Maria del Popolo. See Town Planning Review, XI. (1924) 81, 82; Mon. L. I.456‑459. Remains found a little to the south of the Trinità (BC 1925, 276) may belong either to these horti or to the Horti LUCULL(I)ANI (q.v.).

The Authors' Notes:

1 Cf. also ib. 1754; an inscription set up to her as 'Amnios Pincios Aniciosque decoranti': see Mitt. 1889, 269; 1892, 314.

2 See the description of Procopius, BG I.23.4, which ends περίβολων διερρωγότα . . . καλοῦσι τὸν χῶρον: for an attempt to identify it with the Lapis Pertusus (q.v.) see Eranos, 1923, 40‑42: it seems doubtful, however, if it can be made to bear this sense, for the 'pertunsa petra' on the Via Flaminia is a tunnel for the passage of the road (see JRS XI.186; cf. BG II.11.10‑14; Aur. Victor, Caes. 9.8; Epit. 9.10).

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Page updated: 22 Aug 12