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Regiones Quattuor

p443 Article on pp443‑444 of

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


Regiones Quattuor: the four regions — Suburana, Esquilina, Collina, Palatina — into which the city, within the pomerium, was divided during the republic (Varro, LL V.45). Tradition ascribed to Servius Tullius (Liv. I.43; Dionys. IV.14; de vir. ill. 7; Fest. 368) the division of the inhabitants of Rome into four tribus, which, while purely a political division so far as our knowledge goes, are usually supposed to have been based on the earlier local division described by Varro. This city of the Four Regions (text fig. 5) was a stage of development intermediate between the Palatine settlement (or the Septimontium) and what is ordinarily p444called the Servian city, a stage that was the result of the union of the Palatine and Esquiline settlements, that is shown by archaeological evidence to have taken place about the middle of the seventh century B.C. (Mon. L. XV.764). The division into four regions remained in force until the reorganisation of Augustus.


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Text Figure 5.

All the area within the Pomerium (q.v.) was included in the regions except, apparently, the Capitoline, perhaps because this hill was always regarded as the citadel and religious centre of the city, and not as a local division. Our knowledge of the area of the regions is derived principally from Varro's description (LL V.46‑54) of the location of the sacraria of the Argei (q.v.), a description based quite certainly on documents which represented the topographical conditions of the third century B.C. His incomplete and somewhat obscure account distributes twenty-seven sacraria among the four regions, eleven of which can be located with reasonable certainty, and thirteen are conjectural, while three are wholly unknown. The outer boundary of the regions was the pomerium, which coincided with the Servian wall down to the time of Sulla, except that the Aventine was excluded. Region I, Suburana, comprised the Sucusa, Ceroliensis and Caelius, according to the generally accepted view, although this is a matter of sharp dispute (see literature cited below); II, Esquilina, the Oppius and Cispius; III, Collina, the Quirinal and the Viminal; IV, Palatina, the Palatium, Velia and Cermalus. It is not possible to draw the inner boundaries of these regions with exactness, nor is it certain that all four met at a common point, near the Velia, as is sometimes maintained.

The discussion of the four regions involves that of the Argei, and the literature of the subject includes both topics to a greater or less degree. Cf. especially, Jord. II.237‑290, 599‑604; Gilb. II.329‑375; Diels, Sybil. Blätter 43‑44; DS IV.817; Richter 9‑10, 198‑208; RE II.689‑700; I. A. 1021‑1024; Mommsen, Staatsrecht III.122‑126; Marquardt, Staatsverwaltung III.190‑194; Rosch. I.496‑500; KH I; Phil. 1889, 168‑169; RhM 1894, 414‑416; BC 1905, 198‑208; Mél. 1908, 272‑274; Mon. L. XV.775‑795; Wissowa, Satura Viadrina, 1‑19 = Ges. Abh. 230‑252; Beloch, Röm. Gesch. 208. zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz An inactive area of this clickmap. If you click here, you will stay exactly where you are.


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