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Bill Thayer

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 p430  Porticus Vipsania

Article on p430 of

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

Porticus Vipsania: begun by Polla, the sister of Agrippa, and finished by Augustus (Cass. Dio LV.8.3‑4). It extended along the east side of the via Lata, occupying the western part of the Campus Agrippae (q.v.). It was near the aqua Virgo (Mart. IV.18.1‑2: qua vicina pluit Vipsania porta columnis | et madet assiduo lubricus imbre lapis), and therefore it has hitherto been supposed that it extended nearly as far south as that aqueduct, but recent excavations (NS 1915, 35, etc.; 1917, 9‑20; BC 1914, 209; 1915, 218; 1917, 220) seem to indicate that a colonnade on the south side of the Via del Tritone was the southern end of the porticus. Farther south no traces of such a building have been found. Hülsen indeed identifies it with the Porticus Europae (q.v.).

In this porticus was a map of the world, prepared by order of Agrippa (Plin. NH III.17); there were laurels in its garden (Mart. I.108.1); and detachments of the Illyrian army camped in it in 69 A.D. (Plut. Galba 25; Tac. Hist. I.31). In the fourth century its name had been corrupted into porticus Gypsiani (Not. Reg. VII).

In construction it resembled the Saepta (q.v.) on the outer side of the via Lata, a little farther south, but it underwent changes in later times, as part of the remains date from the Flavian period, and in the second century the intercolumnar spaces were closed with brick-faced walls, thus making rows of separate chambers. At various points in the area parts of semi-circular arches with travertine pillars and pilasters with Doric capitals have been found, and a travertine pavement and cipollino columns with Corinthian capitals (BC 1887, 146‑148; 1892, 275‑279; 1895, 46‑48; HJ 458‑459; Gilb. III.246).

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Page updated: 14 Apr 11