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Bill Thayer

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p409 Porta Metrovia

Article on p409 of

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

Black-and‑white images are from Platner; any color photos are mine © William P. Thayer.

[image ALT: A long brick wall about 8 meters high, with two circular arches thru it. A parasol pine towers over it; in front, a bit of urban traffic. It is a view of the Porta Metrovia, in Rome.]

Porta Metrovia, Metrobi, Metronia, Metroni, Metrosi, etc. (the various forms of the name are discussed by T loc. cit.), is first mentioned in DMH (Metrovia) and then by Gregory the Great (Ep. VI.44, Metroni). Cf. GMU 88; R. ii.406, Metrosi. The metropi via mentioned in the Sylloge Turonensis (De Rossi, Inscr. Christ. II.64.15) is the road from this gate to the via Latina. It was in origin only a postern, as it has no towers, and no important road left it; it corresponded to the Porta Querquetulana (q.v.) of the Servian wall. It was blocked up at an uncertain date — certainly before the middle of the fifteenth century. The Marrana, a stream which passes under the Aurelian wall at this point, was brought into the city by Calixtus II in 1122, and he must have closed the gate at the same time,1 even though it continues to be mentioned throughout the Middle Ages. An inscription of 1157 recording the restoration of the walls at this point is built into the interior of the tower which blocks it (Jord. I.1.364; T II.6‑17; xi.13‑17; PBS IV.40‑42; BC 1927, 63).

The Authors' Note:

Calixtus II must have closed the gate in 1122: It has been pointed out by Lais (Rivo dell' Acqua Mariana (Grottaferrata, 1925), 27 n.) that there are only 2.50 metres between the intrados of the arch of the gate and the level of the water, and that there are no signs of the channel having been covered.

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Page updated: 27 Apr 02