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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces part of
The Roman Forum — Its History and Its Monuments

by Christian Hülsen

published by Ermanno Loescher & Co
Publishers to H. M. the Queen of Italy

Text, maps, and black-and‑white images
are in the public domain.
Color photos are © William P. Thayer.


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 p68  IV. The so‑called 'Rostri cesarei'

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Fig. 22. Coin representing the Rostra before the time of Augustus.
Behind the Schola Xantha is to be seen a row of (eight) low arches,  p69 excellent specimens of opus reticulatum, which form small arched rooms. Near the arch of Severus one end of the structure has been preserved, but at the other end at least two arches were demolished in connection with the erection of the arch of Tiberius. Of the chambers that have been preserved, the four at the northern end (behind the Rostra) are somewhat deeper than those at the southern end (behind the arch of Tiberius): they have all of them an archaic pavement made of bits of brick, which extends out somewhatº in front of the arcades toward the Forum. The whole structure is scarcely more than 6 feet higher than the level of the Forum (the topmost layer of blocks of brown tufa is a modern addition): it is nothing but a supporting wall for the Clivus Capitolinus, which had to be moved about six feet to the east in consequence of the rebuilding of the temple of Saturn in B.C. 42 (below p78). Instead of a stout sloping wall with earth packed behind it, a small viaduct with low arches was made. A very similar construction in the neighbourhood of Salona in Dalmatia is represented in fig. 25. On account of a certain resemblance to the  p70 representation of the Rostra, as it was before the time of Augustus, on coins of Lollius Palikanus (B.C. 45), the suggestion has recently been made that this structure is the Rostra which was removed by Julius Caesar to the west end of the Forum. But this theory is untenable not only on account of the narrowness and lowness of the structure, but also because it is inconceivable how it could have been ornamented with the beaks of ships.

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Fig. 25. Roman viaduct near Salona.

The right (northern) side wall of the Schola Xantha is built directly against the stout wall of the Rostra.

See: Notizie d. scavi 1899, 627‑634; Huelsen, R. M. 1902, 15; Vaglieri 154. — Coin of Palikanus: Cohen-Babelon, Monnaies de la république, Lollia n. 2.

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Page updated: 13 Jan 02