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Bill Thayer

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Porta Salaria

Article on p416 of

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

Porta Salaria: a gate in the Aurelian wall, by which the Via Salaria (q.v.) left the city (DMH; Procop. Bell. Vandal. I.2.17, 22; B. G. I.18.1939; 19.14; 22.1‑9; 23 passim; 27.6; 22.27a In the first passage of B. G. some MSS. and most editors read ἣ Βελισαρία ὠνομάσται νῦν and in B. G. 22.12 Βελισαρία; but Comparetti prefers Σαλαρία; contrast Jord. I.1.354, n23). The two being mutually exclusive, Βελισαρία, as Jordan notes, may equally well mean Porta Pinciana.

In GMU 87; R. ii.405, it is called Porta Sancti Silvestri, because it led to the catacombs of S. Priscilla, where he was buried, though Magister Gregorius gives it under its correct name (JRS 1919, 19, 46). It was flanked by two semi-circular towers of brickwork, that of the west tower being perhaps the original work of Aurelian, below which were tombs faced with marble, wrongly described by Nibby (Mura di Roma 321) as bastions. The arch was of stone, with a brick arcade repaired in opus mixtum above it.

It was seriously damaged in the capture of Rome in 1870; and the removal of its remains led to the discovery under the eastern tower of the tomb of Q. Sulpicius Maximus (see Sepulcrum Q. Sulpicii Maximi); while under the western tower was the round tomb of Cornelia L. Scipionis f. Vatieni (CIL VI.1296). The modern gate, built in 1873, was removed in 1921 (Jord. I.1.354; T III.10‑11; PBS III.11; Mitt. 1908, 286‑290).

Thayer's Note:

a Sic; but there is no B. G. I.22.27; this may be a garbled citation to the only other mention of the Salarian Gate not cited by Platner-Ashby, I.28.15.

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Page updated: 23 May 20