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Bill Thayer

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 p567  Via Salaria

Article on pp567‑568 of

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

Via Salaria: a road leading due north and then north-east, passing through the porta Collina of the Servian wall (immediately outside which it left the via Nomentana on the right) and the porta Salaria of the Aurelian wall. It was a very ancient road, by which the Sabines came to fetch salt from the salt marshes at the mouth of the Tiber (Festus 326; Paul. ex Fest. 327; Cic. de nat. deor. III.5.11; Strabo V.3.1 p228, who calls it οὐ πολλή;​a Plin. NH XXXI.89; Not. app.; Eins. 12.4, and see Salinae), which may have thus originated even before the foundation of Rome (see Vicus Iugarius). There was a legend that a treaty with the Sabines was made by Tullus Hostilius (Hor. Epist. II.1.24; Dionys. III.33). It was also the route to Antemnae and Fidenae (Liv. VII.9.6), and later on acquired importance as the thoroughfare to Reate and through the Apennines, to Amiternum and Ausculum (Ascoli Piceno, not far from the Adriatic coast). We have inscriptions of five of its curatores (CIL VI.1507, 1509; VIII.7033;​1 XIV.2405; Rev. Arch. 1890, II.139; BC 1891, 121‑124; and also the eighteenth milestone of Nerva (NS 1910, 366; Mitt. 1912, 223). Brickfields were situated on it (CIL XV.478‑532, 683), no doubt beyond the bridge over the Anio.

The via Salaria vetus (first mentioned in the Depos. Mart. of 335‑336 ap. Chron. p71 (M), and then in other lists of catacombs) undoubtedly diverged to the left from the main via Salaria, and was cut by the Aurelian wall between the second and third towers west of the gate. A very large number of tombs have been found along the first part of its course (Ill. 56). It can be traced as far as the foot of the Monti Parioli, but no further; and though it has been supposed, it is more than doubtful whether it crossed the Tiber (JRS 1921, 130; Riv. Arch. Cris. i. (1924), 19‑41). It is  p568 not impossible that the name came from the fact that in 335‑336 people still remembered its having been closed by the construction of the Aurelian wall. That the original road ran this way is unlikely. See Jord. I.1.430; T III.1‑133; HJ 437; PBS III.7 sqq.; Mitt. 1908, 275‑329, 376; 1909, 121‑169, 208‑255; 1912, 221‑229, 248; RE I. A. 1845, 2078; SR I.353.

The Authors' Note:

1 In this inscription we have curatori via]rum Salariae Fo. . . . What the second name may be is quite uncertain. For an inscription of a tabularius, cf. ib. vi.8467.

Thayer's Note:

a As pointed out by an alert reader, the authors might better have cited the phrase in full, οὐ πολλὴ οὖσα.

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Page updated: 1 Nov 21