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Bill Thayer

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Steps and Staircases

Collecting all the individual
gradus entries on pp247‑248
and scalae entries on pp465‑467
of Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.

 p247  Gradus Aurelii: see Tribunal Aurelium.

 p248  Gradus Gemitorii: see Scalae Gemoniae.

Gradus Heliogabali: mentioned twice in mediaeval documents (Acta S. Sebastiani AA. SS. Ian. 20, p278;a Mirab. 10), and probably on the north-east part of the Palatine (Jord. II.382, 616; HJ 106; HCh 305, 595; see Templum Elagabali).

Gradus Monetae: steps mentioned only in Ovid (Fast. I.638), and evidently leading up to the arx from the temple of Concord. It is not certain whether these steps were independent of the scalae Gemoniae, or are to be identified with them (Gilb. I.327), or were a prolongation of them (Rodocanachi, Le Capitole 17).

Gradus S. Sabinae: steps leading down to the Tiber from the church of S. Sabina on the north-west side of the Aventine. They are mentioned only by Gregory the Great (ep. reg. ii.10 ed. Mon. Germ., ii.4, ed. Migne, Maur.: hortum Feliciani presbyteri positum in regione prima ante gradus S. Sabinae) and are marked Scalae Gemoniae (q.v.) on Bufalini's map of the city (1551).

 p465  Scalae Anulariae: a flight of steps known only from one passage (Suet. Aug. 72), which states that Augustus lived in a house of Licinius Calvus (q.v.) iuxta Romanorum forum supra scalas anularias, and afterwards in Palatio. These steps, therefore, probably led up the side of the Palatine but not so far that a house above them could be called in Palatio. They were evidently named from adjacent shops of anularii, or ring makers (RE I.2651).

Scalae Caci: see separate page.

 p466  Scalae [?Ca]niniae: see Busta Gallica.

Scalae Cassii: a flight of steps in Region XIII (Not.), leading perhaps to the top of the Aventine from the bank of the river, or farther south from the horrea, and possibly to be identified with the scala usque in Aventinum of the eighth century (Eins. 9.6) near S. Sabina (Mem. L. i.512; Merlin 322; HJ 179; Pr. Reg. 204).

Scalae Deum Penatium: see Penates Dei, Aedes.

Scalae Gemoniae: see separate page.

Scala Mediana: a flight of steps known only from one inscription (CIL VI.9683: negotiatrix frumentaria et leguminaria ab scala mediana). Whether it had any connection with the porticus Fabaria (Reg. XIII) and led up the Aventine (De Rossi, Ann. d. Inst. 1885, 224), or up the  p467 Capitoline from the forum Holitorium (Pr. Reg. 204) is wholly conjectural (HJ 177).

Scalae Tarquitiae: mentioned only once (Fest. 363: Tarquitias scalas quas Tarquinius Superbus fecerit, abominandi eius nominis gratia ita appellatas esse ait (i.e. Verrius) volgo existimari) and quite unknown, although the suggestion that they were steps up to the Capitol is plausible enough (Pais, Ancient Legends, 111).

Thayer's Note:

a As an indication of how time-consuming it is, often, to find and insert these links: Platner's text actually reads p642, which is neither in the Acta S. Sebastiani nor under January 20: Platner's citations of the Acta Sanctorum are frequently in error. Mind you, the AA. SS.'s own Index Topographicus, s.v. Gradus Heliogabali Romæ, has "178 b d".

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Page updated: 7 Apr 14