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p271 Horti Sallustiani

Article on pp271‑272 of

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


Horti Sallustiani: the gardens of the historian Sallust in Region VI. It is possible that the nucleus of these gardens was the horti that Caesar had owned ad portam Collinam (Ps. Cic. resp. in Sall. 19). Sallust spent on them much of the wealth that he had amassed in Numidia, and they probably remained in the family until the time of Tiberius (supra, p216, n1; CIL VI.9005), when they became imperial property (Tac. Ann. XIII.47; CIL VI.5863, 8670‑8672; xv.7249‑7250; Dig. XXX.39.8), but they seem to have been open to some, if not to the general public (Ps. Sen. ad Paul. 1). They were a favourite resort of Vespasian (Cass. Dio LXV.10.4) and Aurelian (Hist. Aug. Aurel. 49). Nerva died here (Chron. 146), and they were still a resort in the fourth century (Incert. auct. Panegyr. in Const. 14 (ed. Teubn. 300,26)). In 410 they were sacked by the Goths under Alaric (Procop. B. Vand. I.2).

In these gardens was a conditorium, or sepulchral vault (Plin. NH VII.75), and a porticus Miliarensis (Hist. Aug. Aurel. 49), built by Aurelian, in which he exercised himself and his horses. Miliarensis should mean a thousand paces long, and a porticus of that length must have run about the gardens in various directions. v. Domaszewski (SHA 1916, 7.A, 13) regards this as a mere invention from the similar portico in the domus Aurea. There was also a temple to Venus Hortorum Sallustianorum (CIL VI.122, 32451, 32468; BC 1885, 162), of which nothing more is known. In the Acta martyrum (cf. Jord. II.124‑5, 185, 410 for literature) there are references to thermae, palatium, forum, tribunal and pyramis Sallustii, names which were probably attached more or less correctly to some of the buildings in these gardens. Of them the pyramis, identical with that of Eins. (2.7; Jord. II.344; DAP 2.ix.396; cf. however, Mon. L. I.460; BC 1914, 373), is the obeliscus that was erected in the post-Augustan age (Amm. Marcell. XVII.4.16). (For history and description of this obelisk, see Obeliscus Hortorum Sallustianorum.)

The eastern boundary of these horti was probably the via Salaria vetus, and the northern the line afterwards followed by the Aurelian wall from the porta Salaria westward (Tac. Hist. III.82; CIL VI.35243; Jord. II.123; Mitt. 1891, 268; BC 1888, 9; HJ 433). On the south the boundary must have run along the ridge of the Quirinal, close to the Fortunae Tres (q.v.; cf. Anth. Pal. app. iv.40), between the Servian wall and the vicus portae Collinae (Via Venti Settembre). How far the gardens stretched to the west is uncertain, but probably not beyond the Piazza Barberini. This district was called Sallustricum in the Middle Ages (Andreas Fulvius, Antiquitates, f.24).

Within this area many works of art and remains of various structures have been found — a hippodromus1 in the valley between the Pincian and Quirinal with walls and terraces extending up the slope of the latter p272hill, a nymphaeum in the north-east part, and three piscinae (Mél. 1891, 167‑170; LS passim; Schreiber, Villa Ludovisi, passim; BC 1888, 3‑11; 1902, 69; 1906, 159‑185; Mitt. 1889, 270‑274; 1892, 313; HJ 434‑5 and literature cited; Gilbert, III376 and literature cited; Homo, Aurélien 241; LR 415‑421; PT 78‑108, 158‑159). The only ruins now visible are those of a nymphaeum at the end of the via Sallustiana, with an adjacent four-story building (Middleton, II243‑5, Rivoira, RA 96‑99, who attributes it to the reign of Vespasian).


The Authors' Note:

1 For the use of the name to denote a garden, cf. supra, 162. Renaissance antiquarians called it circus Florae: see Hülsen, Röm. Antikengärten, 85‑89; and cf. Cose Maravigliose dell' Alma Città di Roma, 1563, 37v.


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