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Bill Thayer

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 p408  Porta Latina

Article on pp408‑409 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: An early‑20c photograph of a small stone gate, about 5 meters wide and 7 meters tall. It is crenellated, and its single rounded arch is blocked up. It is a view of the Porta Latina in Rome.]

40 Porta Latina (p408)
The archway has now been opened

[image ALT: A section of an old stone wall, about 7 meters high: in the center a small single-arched crenellated gate, decoratively faced with regular courses of limestone blocks, has five small rounded-arch windows and a central archway. It is a view of the Porta Latina in Rome.]

Porta Latina: a gate in the Aurelian wall through which passed the Via Latina (q.v.) (DMH). It has a single arch (Ill. 40) of irregular blocks of travertine, with a row of five windows above on the outside, and a sixth in brick, at the south end, surmounted by stone battlements, and flanked by two semi-circular towers of brick-faced concrete (almost  p409 entirely rebuilt), which do not rise above the top of the central section. The north tower rests on a foundation of masonry which hay have belonged to a tomb (PBS IV.13). Most of the structure dates from Honorius, including the voussoirs of the arch; though they are often (wrongly) attributed to a restoration of the sixth century, because a cross and circle is sculptured on the inner keystone, and on the outer the monogram of Christ between Α and Ω. It retained its name throughout the Middle Ages (T II.18‑24; XI.6‑10; Jord. I.1.366; Reber 537; ZA 320; BC 1927, 57).

[image ALT: A partial view, taken upwards, of an old stone wall, decoratively faced with regular courses of limestone blocks. In the upper part of the photo we see five small rounded-arch windows; in the lower part, the top of a central archway. It is a detail of the Porta Latina in Rome.]

If you look carefully, you will be able to make out the monogram of Christ on the keystone.

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Page updated: 5 Jun 20