Introduction to an Experiment
The work we present here responds to a lacuna in the field of Roman archaeology and urbanism: there exists no detailed and reasoned period plan of the Republican or Imperial Rome. Our project, a visualization of the Augustan city, is the first step towards remedying this gap.1 As much as we admire F. Scagnetti’s 1979 map of Imperial Rome, it presents a grand, yet vaguely defined, visual summary of the city at its maximum expansion around the 4th c. A.D..2 So do the famous city models by I. Gismondi and P. Bigot, both from the 1930s. R. Lanciani’s Forma Urbis of 1893-1901 is still a fundamental survey of Roman archaeology, and although it is complemented by the more recent (but still incomplete) Carta archaeologica and Carta del centro storico, these projects are, by definition, compilations across time. A new initiative to document digitally all of ancient Rome, with the potential of creating period-specific images, has been launched by the Roman Service of Antiquities (Forma Romae) but this monumental undertaking will require at least a generation to complete. Other digital projects under development, such as Rome Reborn and Fortvna, are focused for the time being on specific areas of the city, while the documentation and analysis of the Severan Marble Plan by the Digital Forma Urbis Romae Project is restricted by the limited number of fragments (recently augmented to c.1200). Despite the promise of these undertakings, current scholarship must confront the dearth of large-scale period depictions of ancient Rome.
That this cartographic lacuna exists for Augustan Rome is all the more surprising, given the groundbreaking work of P. Zanker, Augustus und die Macht der Bilder (1987), which foregrounds the visual culture of the Augustan age. The following year saw the presentation of the ‘Berlin Model’ of Augustan Rome (fig. 1) in the Kaiser Augustus exhibition;3 it is the first holistic attempt to depict the urban appearance (Stadtbild) of Rome at a distinct phase of her ancient history. Yet its role as a scholarly tool is limited by the omission of any written reasoning or documentation. At the other end of the spectrum is D. Favro’s Urban image of Augustan Rome (1996), an insightful text illustrated by just three small maps which fall short of visualizing the Augustan face of Rome.
Our project would, indeed, be impossible without a most fortunate state of scholarship — the recent publication of two topographic dictionaries: L. Richardson’s New topographical dictionary of ancient Rome (1992), intended as a replacement for the aging but still essential Topographical dictionary of ancient Rome by S. B. Platner and T. Ashby, and E. M. Steinby’s six volume Lexicon topographicum urbis Romae (1993-2000), a monumental achievement that benefited from the contributions of no less than 187 experts. To a degree unprecedented in the scholarship of ancient Rome, LTUR allows ready access to detailed and authoritative discussions of individual monuments and areas. At the same time, it is affected — as is any dictionary — by the shortcomings of alphabetization, which “constitutes a sort of Bacchic dismemberment of features that hang together topographically”.4 In fact, the new richness of written scholarship on Rome’s ancient cityscape has only heightened the imbalance between descriptive texts complemented by detailed plans, and the near absence of period-specific views of the city’s fabric.
The lack of synchronic urban images of Rome is particularly painful, as Favro has rightly stressed, for the pivotal phase of Rome’s Augustan transformation — the moment when the Urbs lived up to its new rôle as the capital of the ‘inhabited world’. Augustus’ contemporaries noted with awe that the city’s territory had expanded to the full circle of known lands around the Mediterranean; one could say, with Ovid (Fast. 2.684), that ‘the Roman city and the world are of the same extent’ (Romanae spatium est Urbis et orbis idem). This unique state of power, expressed visually in Rome’s new metropolitan appearance under Augustus, was seen as a stunning world event. The city — its new monuments and unparalleled mixture of built and natural environments — presented a ‘feast for the eyes’, as the eyewitness Strabo (5.3.8) assures us. Yet, while recent scholarship has cast light on the renowned Augustan Stadtbild, the city itself had barely become tangible.
The work by our predecessors has given us a host of urban ingredients, but arranging the pieces to create an urban entity remained to be done. Moreover, well meant, even ingenious, hypotheses attached to those pieces needed to be scrutinized and sometimes removed, like plaster casts from the Laocoon, to avoid working from an artificial construct. The task was, and is, huge and complex, calling for collaborative work, the use of new technology, and for a fresh intellectual focus. Clearly, to aim at finality would discredit any such project from the outset; yet the process of visualization hardens once mutable words into inflexible lines and compels a degree of formal explicitness. We are well aware of these dangers and crave the reader’s indulgence as we risk the first step.
Intentions and method
The purpose of our enterprise is to create a visual synopsis of what is known about the city of Rome in c.A.D. 14, and to justify our renderings in written form. The result is a set of large-scale maps (1 : 6000 for the main map) and a critical commentary addressing every structure, area, and aspect depicted. In wider terms, we attempt to ‘enliven’ word through image and image through word — this latter the goal of a the ancient discipline of ekphrasis (referred to in the introductory quote) aiming at the happy medium between these two polar yet complementary media.
In our methodology we are most insistent about the idea expressed in our title: Mapping Augustan Rome. We are not claiming to present a final map of Augustan Rome: we merely represent the beginning of a process of reasoned visualization which will have to be continued on many levels of scholarship toward that most distant goal that may be called ‘A Map’ (not to mention ‘An Urban Image’) of Augustan Rome — or of any ancient phase of the city’s existence. It is thus appropriate that our mapping was created in digital form which is, by definition, fluid and flexible, easily changed, complemented, refined and, potentially, continued in the future.
Our results, as they stand, come with the confession of knowing so very little. Partly this is our own responsibility, as (no doubt) reviewers will soon let us know. In part, however, we dare to say that this ignorance merely reflects the state of the discipline. Vast areas of our maps offer little information, blatant spots of empty terrain remain. We do not wish to gloss this over. On the contrary, we regard such ‘barren’ areas as exhortations to further research, for the deficiency may lie in the absence of knowledge, not in the city itself.
The platform for the vast bibliographical research required was created by Steinby’s Lexicon, which formed our indispensable research tool, supplemented by Richardson’s Dictionary. Along with more recent publications, they essentially define what is considered ‘known’ about the Urbs. No archival material was consulted nor was any archaeological site research conducted. Our mapping efforts drew only from published and generally available material. In forming our perspective and focus, we profited enormously from D. Favro’s monograph, and I gratefully acknowledge that study of her book spawned the idea for our project.5
We adopted a macroscopic perspective when imaging Augustan Rome: ours is an overall approach to the city and its urban fabric that includes streets and sewers, built up areas and single buildings, city walls and tombs, gardens and water basins. Yet we refrain from claiming or even attempting a complete urban image of the city, with views and impressions of what Rome looked like in the age of Augustus. The fact that a map is, by its very nature, a two-dimensional abstraction, devoid of life and completeness, prevents us from this. A city casts myriad impressions on the residents and visitors who tread its streets, that evade the grasp of a map. Thus, well defined microscopic approaches, following in the wake of Zanker’s Stadtbilder,6 are necessary complements to our efforts; these will regain historical urban views of Rome in ever denser sequences — mosaic tesserae, as it were, towards a larger and more complex period image.
Further, our visualization of Augustan Rome does not, even at its simplifying level of two-dimensional abstraction, reproduce anything close to a historical image. While we aimed at self explanatory legibility, inviting the user to trace a path through the city’s streets, the result remains a rather analytic depiction. Our image may also be deceptive, for it reflects, at its best, the latest state of scholarly error, which may easily be forgotten when examining the nearly ‘complete’ areas of the map, such as the fora or the three theaters in the S Campus Martius. So many aspects of the ancient city’s topography are under constant discussion, as once solid data is superseded by new interpretations. Meanwhile, a good number of identifications, dates, ground plans — even locations — remain unresolved. In each case, we tried to reassess the status quo, weigh differing scholarly opinions, and avoid lighthearted ‘fideism’, while not shying away from the possibility of a fresh conclusion.
In the process of visualizing our results, realistic explicitness all too often had to give way to schematic rendering. This holds especially true for the built up ‘body’ of the city, whose abstract appearance approaches the diagrammatic.7 Yet, not embedding the known buildings within an urban context of some visibility (for this, the Berlin Model is an inspiring precedent) would have been a much greater transgression and have seriously detracted from the city as a visual entity. Adding another layer of visual abstraction is the use of different colors to separate pre-Augustan from Augustan-period buildings, or to distinguish elements of a ‘city of the dead’ from the ‘city of the living’ — concepts beyond tangible lines of ground plans and yet once readily perceptible.
We did not, however, produce a map comprised of abstract diagrams and signs. Evidence permitting, structures and building complexes appear as footprints of their urban volumes. Parks and gardens, with their water basins and works of architecture, evoke the artful idyllic setting. The rampart of the Agger shows its urban weight and presence. The “Porticus Aemilia” warehouse stands out as Rome’s longest single edifice. The Naumachia basin (tentative as its outline may be) justifies Augustus’ pride in its mere dimensions (RG 23). Pompey’s huge theater complex, larger than the fora of Caesar and Augustus combined, appears as that grand ship implied in Plutarch’s famous simile (Pomp. 40.5). The entire Campus Martius, full of monumental complexes outside the old city, reveals a shifting center of urban splendor. While imaging Rome still remains a far off goal, imagining the Rome of Augustus should now be within closer reach.
One important contribution has placed this into higher relief. The natural topography of the Early Imperial city has been generated in contour lines that approximate the historical terrain in greater detail than any known previous attempt. The outlines of Rome’s famed hills (and her often undervalued valleys) are derived from present day survey plans and turned into an ancient relief using overall computer modeling as well as specific ‘hand carving’; this is discussed in detail in the following chapter, “Making the map”. Our topography of Rome shows, for example, the saddle between the Capitoline and Quirinal before Trajan prominently cut it away, and the Velia before it was flattened, first by Nero, most infamously by Mussolini. In strictly geographic terms, ours is the first serious map of Augustan Rome.
If, in the future, Rome’s Augustan cityscape is depicted on a map worthy of the name, it will still be no more than an abstraction of the city’s fuller, three-dimensional image. Yet such a map will create an urban image on its own terms, one that can claim historical significance as well. After all, the Severan Marble Plan — and its predecessors dating perhaps as early as the Augustan period — conveyed to the public a well calculated urban image of Rome, an image of the city’s higher, perceptional reality, more powerful and holistic than any casual street scene.
Practicalities and procedures
Our enterprise of “Mapping Augustan Rome” began formally in December 1998 with a preview session for a seminar of this title offered in spring 1999. The less formal beginnings reach back to May 1998 when, concluding a seminar on ancient urbanism, I asked a core group of students whether they would commit themselves to such a project. D. G. Romano of the University of Pennsylvania Museum agreed to co-teach the seminar and collaborate on our project, bringing both valued insights and technical expertise. Along the way, additional interested students joined the group, despite the burdens of their coursework and examinations, while others left the project. All who participated in the seminar acquired an intensive personal experience of Rome in March 1999, made possible by C. K. Williams, and those who joined our project subsequently traveled to Rome through the support of the Center for Italian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
While the groundwork was laid in the seminar, that class was merely a beginning. To develop our thoughts into a form worthy of publication required several years of voluntary work, in a seemingly endless effort that left all of us at turns feeling exhausted (since regular obligations did not stop) but more often fulfilled, as the result of outbursts of productivity in a climate of mutual stimulation. The most powerful incentive was the prospect of working towards what we hope will be a useful contribution for others in our field.
In organizing the work, we began by dividing the city into sectors, each assigned to a single author. This added a spatial context to the item-by-item examination of Rome’s archaeology. Individual research was complemented by regular formal meetings and, increasingly, by informal discussions which offered not only mutual criticism and a growing insight into the broader urban aspects but, in particular, a balance between producing text and mapping. This counter play between word and image resulted in a fruitful methodology: written reasoning was put to the test by mapping it out, and vice versa, with no end of rethinking and revisions. Increasingly more valuable as work progressed was the diversity of our contributors, who come from across the United States as well as from the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Turkey, bringing with them different intellectual vantage points. Their professional trainings include the disciplines of archaeology, art history, ancient history, and classics. Thus, the entries reflect a spectrum of individual working styles and a rich variety of approaches which we did not wish to sacrifice to a rigorous uniformity. The initials following each entry serve as keys to the different personalities at work, whether alone or in co-authorship.
Each entry follows a template modeled around three central questions: What is under discussion? What are the pertinent, specific issues? What is our position vis à vis the current state of affairs? The initial sentence presents the topic of the entry, be it an identified monument, a general area, or nameless remains relevant to our period. The body of the entry confronts aspects and debates that impact our depiction; issues tangential to the focus of our work are only cursorily treated, if at all. Our aim is not to repeat the valuable references already available through the efforts of Steinby’s team and others; our goal is to justify and explain each item rendered on the map — which may lead us to question the premises of current scholarly tenets. Lastly, we attempt to bring the deliberations toward some practical conclusion. Readers will find cases in which they think that more (or less) could have been said, where different, perhaps bolder, conclusions might have been drawn, or where oversights could have been avoided. Regrettably, discussions of several overarching urban themes, such as street systems or the distribution of commercial quarters, have been omitted; those would have complemented those present (aqueducts, city walls, suburban expansion, and the main topographical and urban areas).
What was, at the project’s inception, intended to be merely a systematic compilation of published evidence, in the end often led us into a detailed reevaluation. Though hindsight always reveals room for improvement, we hope to have provided a critically commented upon period plan of Rome at a crucial stage of its urban development. It is in our attempt to span the gulf between text and image that we hope the special contribution of this volume lies. Of vital importance in this regard was the close scholarly collaboration offered by D. G. Romano and his research assistant N. L. Stapp. From their expertise they lucidly introduced our group to the advantages and implications of CAD drawing and provided patient help and guidance throughout; Stapp was instrumental in setting the basis for a computer model of Rome’s topography. Stimulated by the opportunity, A. B. Gallia developed and implemented the procedure for modeling the ancient topography that is described in the following chapter. In the final phase, M. Davison enhanced the maps through professional graphic design.
The gains: a first glance
With the main map (sheet 1) spread in front of us, we can attempt a preliminary assessment of the results and place them into a wider perspective. This will be done from three points of view: first, by comparing our approach to existing milestones of research; second, by highlighting a variety of specific urban aspects; and third, through an overall evaluation of the tangible aspects (so far) of Augustan Rome, urbs ornata.
In striking contrast to Scagnetti’s map of the Imperial city, our mapping of the Augustan city necessarily results in greater ‘empty’ areas. It is extremely beneficial for our perception of the Augustan city to see this in a clearer form. From our graphic conventions and choice of colors to the modern urban backdrop, we depend on Scagnetti’s work in many ways.8 His map surpasses ours in that it details building footprints, yet its streets, with an almost uniform width of c.20 m, are greatly over-dimensioned (as P. Zanker kindly pointed out to us), a schematism we wanted to avoid. An essential improvement of our map, to show the city’s period relief in contour lines, has already been mentioned, as well as our fundamentally different approach geared toward one defined period in time.
The closest ‘competitor’ to our map in terms of its goal is the 1988 Berlin Model of Augustan Rome (fig. 1). The leading ideas for our undertaking originate there. From the outset, the existence of this model demonstrated the possibility of tackling the daunting task we set out for ourselves. Yet the silence of its authors also made clear the crying need for written clarification. What, for instance, forms the basis for the contour lines of its topographic relief? What are the reasons for placing the amphitheater of Statilius Taurus, lost without a reliable trace since antiquity, on the Tiber’s bank south of Pompey’s theater? And why is there a small circus (perhaps the Trigarium) right next to it? Why, on the Esquiline, is the exceptional porticus-and-piscina architecture in Maecenas’ gardens omitted, whereas the similarly grand hemicycle on the Collis Hortulorum, apparently of a post-Augustan date,9 is not? Why are there no aqueducts in the city? The more questions we asked of the model, the clearer became the need to underpin our effort with written documentation. Nevertheless, the model provides an irreplaceable stimulus for imagining the Augustan city: bold and innovative, it raises questions we could not address, such as the varying degrees of urban density, or the transitions between urban, suburban and rural terrain. As for the potential of a three-dimensional rendering in general, its merits for purposes of visualization are indisputable. Yet a map has the distinct advantage of conveying less visible but still very real aspects. In some ways we exploited this by indicating the systems of water flow, including those underground; by marking the pre-Augustan and Augustan periods of buildings; and by graphically separating funerary monuments from the ‘city of the living’. In the future one will have to try to flag predominantly commercial areas and other urban functions; to narrow down the thorny question of the extent of the pomerium during the post-Sullan and pre-Claudian period; and to fine-tune the notoriously indeterminate limits of the 14 Augustan regions (as recently attempted by D. Palombi)10 — complex functional questions indeed, which may best be treated in a map.
Most of the scholarly contributions regarding Rome’s ancient cityscape, and in particular those that address the Augustan period, are written ones. Among them, Favro’s Urban image of Augustan Rome (1996), the first monograph on the subject, explores the visual appearance of the Augustan city and its major monuments, as well as the fundamental transformation of the Urbs under Augustus. While Favro’s volume set the immediate agenda for our project, it also inspired us to adopt an approach that tried to do justice to all of the city rather than focusing upon select areas, and one that balances words equally with that key concept she champions — an ‘image’.
A triad of written accounts on the urbanism of Augustan Rome was presented with the Kaiser Augustus exhibition in Berlin (1988); P. Gros and G. Sauron profiled Augustus’ urban Baupolitik, F. Coarelli analyzed trends in planning the Roman city from Caesar to Augustus, and H. von Hesberg illuminated the changes the city underwent during the Augustan period and presented the model.11 Apart from this model, which was published only as a photograph with a legend, the treatment of Rome’s urbanism was confined to texts. Moreover, the thrust of the three contributions followed a political-artistic line, so they focus topographically on the city center and the Campus Martius where, indeed, major programmatic changes occurred. By addressing the entirety of the Augustan city as evenly as existing scholarship permits, we aim not just at the ‘Rome of Augustus’ but at capturing Rome in the Augustan age.
Zanker’s novel approach to the Bilderwelt of the Augustan age, in his Augustus und die Macht der Bilder (1987), drew upon major urban aspects of Rome to understand both the conflicts and the new harmony that resulted from “Rome’s cultural revolution”.12 The fundamental impact of this revolution on the image of city received its fullest treatment in Zanker’s book, which ultimately provides justification for our focus on the Augustan phase of Rome’s long history. In a conference in 1987, Zanker presented another pioneering approach: by analyzing three distinct and archaeologically well-known Stadtbilder of Augustan Rome, he applied a ‘microscopic’ method of urban analysis.13 This approach is a necessary complement to the polar ‘macroscopic’ methodology employed here.
Apart from the various topographic dictionaries, the most systematic written account on the ancient city is L. Homo’s Rome impériale.14 Covering a multitude of urban facets, including a detailed chapter on Caesar’s and Augustus’ urban activities elucidated with small maps, this work still stands out in its range and depth of scholarship. It also serves as a valuable reminder of the many urban perspectives not treated or only implicitly covered here. In particular, we elected not to map the pomerium, that elusive religious-juridical urban boundary line that testifies to a city fundamentally defined by religio. For this issue, N. Fustel de Coulanges’ La cité antique (1864) remains a primary reference.15
By pulling together and ‘cross-examining’ published material, our mapping of Augustan Rome has resulted in a number of often unexpected insights worthy of greater attention. What follows is neither complete nor fully representative, but a selection of what has been achieved in various aspects of Rome’s Augustan appearance.
Topography, Hydrology, Area units. Generating a new topographical relief of Augustan Rome is a fundamental gain. Urban situations are now contextualized by reasoned contour lines. Among the significant gains are reconstructions of the saddle that joined the Arx and the Quirinal, and of the Velia, a hill that once rose between the Palatine and Oppian. In the Transtiberine area, the placement of the expansive Naumachia basin could plausibly be combined with the contours of the Ianiculum towards the Tiber. As for the Campus Martius plain, mapping its contours gave visual expression to the slight depression which once formed the center of the palus Caprae swamps, before it was transformed into a grand basin, the Stagnum Agrippae. Further, it seems that two streams descended from the eastern hills, the southern one being the Petronia Amnis, which may once have contributed to the palus Caprae swamps but was, at some time before Augustus, apparently channeled straight south into the Tiber; the northern flow, the so-called “Aqua Sallustiana”, previously under appreciated, collected waters from the Pincian and Quirinal, and seems to have maintained a NW course to the Tiber quite separate from the Petronia Amnis and the Stagnum Agrippae. From this basin (probably fed by clear water from the Aqua Virgo), the Euripus brought the water along a clearly man-made course to the west tip of the Campus where, after a sharp bend apparently necessitated by the Tarentum, it flowed into the Tiber. While the key rôle of Rome’s two main drainage systems (the Cloaca Maxima and “Cloaca Circi Maximi”) in creating a contiguous urban area in the valleys has been evident for some time, the regional units they comprised have gone essentially undiscussed in modern scholarship; no names exist for either the central valley situated between Rome’s two primordial hills, the Capitoline and Palatine, nor for the Circus Maximus valley (known as vallis Murcia in late antiquity) and its continuation toward the Colosseum valley. Another such nameless depression seems to be the Via Appia valley (perhaps the vallis Egeriae) along the Via Appia’s first mile..16
Aqueducts. The complicated network of aqueducts bringing water to the Augustan city has been mapped at a new scale and level of detail, building upon Ashby’s remarkable efforts and the achievement of Scagnetti’s map;17 this also marks the first time their paths have been connected to the topographical relief. By the late 30s B.C., with the newly added channel of the Aqua Iulia, a total of five aqueducts approached the city from the E plateau (Aqua Appia, Anio Vetus and, as separate channels of one line, the Marcia, Tepula, and Iulia). Massively reworked and expanded first under Agrippa and then, after his death, by Augustus himself, all five exploited previous structures and carried, for more than half a century to come, the full external supply of water to the old city. Their presence on the E plateau was inescapable: from the point where they intersected, about a mile outside the city, they defined, along with the Servian Wall, a suburban triangle by the Augustan period graced almost exclusively with lavish aristocratic gardens. In order to feed sections of the newly aggrandized metropolis, two aqueducts were constructed ex novo in the course of the last two decades B.C.: arriving from the north and supplying water to the Campus Martius, in particular to the Baths of Agrippa (and with a secondary line to Trans Tiberim), was the Aqua Virgo (19 B.C.); from the west came the Aqua Alsietina (2 B.C.) which fed the Naumachia basin. Primarily serving non-utilitarian, monumental purposes, these two aqueducts are true reflections of Rome’s new metropolitan face.
Servian Wall, Agger, Tiber Defenses. The circuit of the Servian Wall, which played a defining juridical rôle as late as the 2nd/3rd c. A.D. (Paulus, Dig. 50.16.2: ‘urbis’ appellatio muris … finitur), has never been outlined in such detail and with such close attention to the city’s ancient topography. By the Augustan period the city walls already showed signs of neglect, yet the defenses still formed a clear dividing line between intra and extramural areas north and east of the city, where the Agger robustly reinforced the presence of the wall. This huge earthwork, which secured Republican Rome’s weak flank along the E plateau, emerges on our map in some of its volume and urban presence; especially critical is its NW extension which has not been properly mapped before. On the Aventine’s SE summit the trace of the wall has been redrawn to incorporate the archaeological evidence of wall remains and a fossa that had, for the most part, been known for over a century. As for the Republican defenses along the Tiber in the area of the Forum Boarium, the general state of uncertainty continues in the absence of decisive evidence; but perhaps we can contribute to a comprehensive reevaluation of this area by separating facts from constructs — along the lines set by I. Ruggerio18 — and thereby shed new light on the zone of interaction between the Tiber and Rome’s old urban core.
Streets, Bridges; the Via Triumphalis question. Approaching the city from the south is the Via Appia, the oldest and ‘queen’ of the long-distance streets radiating from Rome. Its cardinal importance for perceiving the ancient city was recognized and made manifest when it was used to define the ‘zero line’ for numbering the 14 Augustan regions (fig. 2, below). On the opposite side of the city is the perfectly straight course (from the pons Mulvius, 3 miles to the north) of the Via Flaminia, which stands out as a singularly monumental street axis; originally a pragmatic feature, the rigid line of the street was exploited for Rome’s new Augustan face on the Campus Martius, first by the decision of Octavian around 30 B.C. to place his colossal Mausoleum with its gardens, groves, and walks adjacent to this axis, and then, two decades later, to locate the Horologium in a similar way.
Bridges across the Tiber were still few in Augustan Rome. Apart from the agglomeration of old bridges at and just south of the Tiber island, the only other existing bridge (apparently) was the new Pons Agrippae, connecting the Campus Martius with the Transtiberine region. Further north, at the Tiber’s sharp bend, the old road to Veii crossed the river not over a bridge but through a ford, the Vada Tarenti — a strangely old-fashioned situation that was to continue at least until Caligula’s time. New attention needs to be drawn to the Via Triumphalis as the tenets behind its identification are shaky yet forcefully maintained and almost unquestioned;19 for both the pre-Augustan and Augustan periods, it is not clear whether the name “Via Triumphalis” can be applied to the Transtiberine road to Veii, much less to the street crossing the SW Campus Martius towards the (still unidentified) Porta Triumphalis.
Horti, Public Parks. A green belt of spectacular aristocratic estates (horti), some exceedingly large, surrounded much of the city.20 The most remarkable were the gardens of Lucullus on the Pincian, Sallust on the Quirinal, Maecenas and the Lamian family on the Esquiline, and Asinius Pollio along the Via Appia. In public hands since 44 B.C. were the Transtiberine gardens of Julius Caesar; the adjacent Nemus Caesarum, another public park, surrounded and in part replaced the Naumachia basin. In addition, public parks and gardens extended across the Campus Martius; notable are the Campus Agrippae in the E, the Mausoleum parks in the N, the Horti Agrippae (public property since 12 B.C.), in the SW, and the Nemus Agrippae near its center.
City, Continentia, Campus. The old, wall-defined city had, by the Augustan period, long outgrown its territory. Massive extramural extensions, the Continentia, covered the S part of the Campus Martius, including the Circus Flaminius area, as well as the two other flood plains further down the Tiber: Trans Tiberim and the Emporium. Both the Campus and the Emporium could boast agglomerations of grand, large-scale buildings that had no match within the old city. Vast warehouses served Rome’s mercantile hub, with the “Porticus Aemilia” reigning for the rest of antiquity as its longest edifice (c.500 m). On the Campus a multitude of regularly organized temple complexes, theaters, and porticoes transformed this ‘field’ into an unusual mixture of artfully arranged nature (parks, water display) and built monuments. In comparison, the old city was rather modestly equipped. With the striking exception of the Circus Maximus, only the heart of the city around the Forum Romanum, the Capitolium, and the two new ‘imperial’ fora could present grandeur of some kind. While such a description does not take into account the ‘intangibles’ connected with sites as revered as the Palatine, or the surprising contrast of the Porticus Liviae with its dense residential surroundings, it becomes clear from our map that Rome’s monumental center expanded primarily onto the extramural terrain of the Campus Martius.
the Vicus question. Perhaps the most serious misconception of Rome’s urban structure involves the interpretation and discussion of her vici. Codified by 1929 in Platner–Ashby, and seamlessly carried on by Richardson,21 the term ‘vicus’ has been consistently and unacceptably narrowed down to the exclusive meaning of ‘street’; only in 1999, with C. Lega’s entries in Steinby’s LTUR, was there a significant and systematic break with this practice.22 The primary urban meaning of ‘vicus’ is best understood and translated as ‘neighborhood’ — a neighborhood organized around a street which served as a platform for communication and, together with its compital shrine, as the public face of the vicus. ‘A vicus consists of houses’, as Varro defined it in the mid-1st c. B.C. (Ling. 5.160: vicus constat ex domibus; cf. 5.145). And it was the ‘space of the city’ (spatium urbis) that Augustus divided into regiones and vici in 7 B.C. (Suet., Aug. 2.5). But even in its most street-related meaning, ‘vicus’ never refers to the physical entity of the street itself, but to an inhabited area shaped and constituted by rows of shops and houses.23 Thus, on our map vici are shown as area names in order to emphasize their predominantly spatial quality whenever sources permit; as a street name, vicus appears only in cases, such as the Vicus Tuscus, where there is little doubt that the ancient term referred primarily to an identifiable street.24 As a modern term for an urban street known only from physical evidence, vicus is certainly ill advised, and we avoid it in our entry titles by using the English ‘street’.25
Tomb monuments, Gräberstrassen. Major tomb monuments, almost exclusively placed next to the main roads radiating from Rome, surrounded the ‘city of the living’ for some distance. The largest tombs, and those with the most distinct shapes, date from the Augustan period. Outstanding is Augustus’ own Mausoleum at the N end of the Campus Martius, by the Via Flaminia; a slightly later and smaller follower, the tumulus tomb of M. Lucilius Paetus, stood on the Via Salaria. The so-called Via Triumphalis featured a pyramid tomb presumably of Egypt’s first prefect, Cornelius Gallus; similar in size and shape is that of C. Cestius at the Via Ostiensis. A large, circular tomb of the later 1st c. B.C. stood prominently on the Aventine’s extramural SE ridge.26 Our map can, by definition, show only those tombs closest to the city, though tombs were erected for several miles outside its walls, such as the Mausoleum-inspired Tomb of Caecilia Metella on the Via Appia; thus, we present a truncated view of the phenomenon of Gräberstraßen, ‘Streets of Tombs’.27 The impression of isolated grand tombs is also misleading; a more complete context has come to light near the Via Salaria, in an area just outside the Aurelian Wall. More often, the expanding Imperial metropolis obliterated many earlier tombs, so our knowledge of similar settings on other major streets (the Via Appia in particular) is limited.28 A glimpse into the process of change, already begun in the early Augustan era, is possible in the early-Republican cemetery outside the Porta Esquilina, where a ‘ghastly’ and ‘gloomy’ zone of paupers’ tombs was replaced by magnificent aristocratic gardens (Hor., Sat. 1.8.16, 2.6.32), and a new agglomeration of late Republican and Augustan tombs rose at its E end.29
Special findings. Among the most surprising monuments represented on our map is the Iseum Metellinum, a Republican-period sanctuary of Isis. Situated on the S slope of the Oppian straddling the Servian Wall, and comparable in type to the Fortuna sanctuary of Praeneste, it is shown in the urban context of Augustan Rome for the first time. The sites of quite a few late-Republican or Augustan aristocratic residences, some with known owners, some without, have been approximated with varying degrees of accuracy (s.v. Domus); taken together, they give structure and nuance to the urban fabric. The same holds true for locating specializations, such as a potters’ district (Figlinae) on the E Oppian, cinnabar workshops (“Officinae Minii”) on the NE Quirinal, or the remains of an apparently independent Republican bathhouse on the S slope of the Collis Hortulorum (s.v. Balneum: Via Sistina). We also plotted detailed locations of several compital altars and shrines: the Compitum Acili, the compita of the Vicus Aesc(u)leti, the Vicus Salutis, and that near S. Martino ai Monti; thus the religious and civic centers of a few select neighborhood vici could be pinpointed.30 Also presented is a well-reasoned, though conditional, visualization of the Augustan Circus Maximus.
Items not shown. Hardly less important than what we show, in several cases, is what we deliberately do not present. Thus, Augustus’ cremation place is not represented, since the site of the “Ustrinum Domus Augustae” next to the Mausoleum can not be maintained after V. Jolivet conclusively rejected it in favor of an attested (but unidentified) site further south ‘in the middle’ of the Campus Martius.31 Purpose-built barracks for the Cohortes Vigilum, the Augustan system of fire brigades, were not likely to have existed in Augustan Rome; so none of the known later Imperial sites have been mapped. We also refrain, as mentioned, from showing the boundary lines of the Augustan regions, let alone the heavily disputed pomerial limits of the Augustan city. An absence seemingly banal to address is that of the Aurelian Wall, yet the idea of these walls, shown time and again in anachronistic terms,32 is so deeply ingrained that it takes a special effort to eliminate this retrospective view. For the better part of its Imperial existence, and starting formally with the introduction of the 14 regions in 7 B.C., Rome was an ‘open’ city — one that lived up to the old ideal of being protected by its men rather than its walls (Strabo 5.3.7; cf. Plato, Leg. 778d).33
The single most important gain realized by our map is the overall context, both urban and topographic, that transforms a multitude of fragmented data into a fuller picture.
Augustan Rome: urbs ornata
When transforming Rome from a brick city to a metropolis of marble ‘adorned’ in ways worthy of the majesty of the empire (Suet., Aug. 28.3: urbem ornatam; Vitr., De arch. 1. pr. 2), Augustus could build upon existing developments, especially on projects left unfinished by his adoptive father, Julius Caesar. The new Forum Iulium was ‘almost finished’, as was the huge Basilica Iulia at the Forum Romanum (RG 20); and the building of a new, ’Julian’ Curia between the two fora was already envisioned (Dio Cass. 44.5.1). Close to the heart of Rome, Caesar’s grand additions to the Circus Maximus had yet to be fully realized when a severe fire in 31 B.C. damaged the monument and called for immediate action.34 Tying into Caesar’s works and adding grandeur to the old center of Rome was a clear line for Augustus to follow.
Setting a similar precedent were Caesar’s ambitious building activities and plans in both the Circus Flaminius area and further out in the Campus Martius. Pompey’s theater complex set a monumental challenge to Caesar, who responded both with the expansive Saepta (Cic., Att. 4.16.8) and plans for a giant theater (‘as Pompey had done’, Dio Cass. 43.49.2), not to mention his rumored intentions to ‘build up’ the Campus and expand it, in utter megalomania, by diverting the Tiber (Cic., Att. 13.33a.1). The situation on the Campus Martius as a whole had become complicated: in the south rose splendid temple precincts and an orthogonal, Hellenistic street plan, while in the middle new grand-scale projects extrapolated a different, cardinally-oriented set of rectangular street axes, yet left aside the potential of Rome’s most powerful street axis, the Via Flaminia. In the north stretched a wide undefined space. Rome’s vast Campus, imbued with the tradition of intense civic and imperatorial competition, had been left as a patchwork, and this promising situation begged for fuller monumental exploitation.
An idea of what happened under Augustus to the visible city of Rome can be gained by looking, on our main map, at just the highlights of the city’s built transformation: the Mausoleum, the Horologium with the Ara Pacis, and the Agrippan monuments — Saepta, Pantheon, Baths, Stagnum, Euripus, Aqua Virgo — in the N and central Campus Martius; the two Octavian porticoes (one unidentified) and Theater of Marcellus at the Circus Flaminius; the porticoes and temples surrounding the Forum Romanum, with the adjacent Forum Iulium and Forum Augustum; the Palatine temples of Magna Mater and Apollo flanking the imperial residences; the monumentalized Circus Maximus, adorned with an Egyptian obelisk (Pliny, NH 36.71); the renewed Aventine temples; the Porticus Liviae and Macellum Liviae on the Esquiline; and the Naumachia with the Aqua Alsietina in Trans Tiberim. This does not even include Augustan building activity which we could not visually represent, such as the renewed Temple of Quirinus atop the Quirinal, or the range of highly visible renovations listed in the Res Gestae (20), such as that, in 28 B.C., of 82 sanctuaries across the city; of the expensive overhaul of the Capitoline Temple and Pompey’s Theater; the rebuilt Pulvinar overlooking the Circus Maximus; or the repair in 27 B.C. of the Via Flaminia (all the way to Ariminum), pointedly graced by statues of Augustus (Dio Cass. 53.22.2).
Even in his earliest and highly personal building projects in Rome during the later 30s B.C., Octavian demonstrated his strategic mindset by creating built signs with an aura strong enough to recharge tradition with new meanings and his personal presence. In 36 B.C. an aspiring Octavian managed to ‘take possession’ of Rome’s numinous Palatine by building Apollo’s temple in intimate connection with his own new house (Suet., Aug. 29; Dio Cass. 49.15.5) and close to Romulus’ mythical residence (Dio Cass. 53.16.5-7).35 Shortly thereafter — before Actium (31 B.C.), it seems — he ‘occupied’ the all-prestigious Field of Mars as visibly and permanently as one could by building his Mausoleum as a sign of his eternal presence. By 33 B.C. Agrippa, his ever-loyal right hand, had launched a city-wide renewal of the urban infrastructure, attending to streets, sewers, water systems, and even to the Circus Maximus’ malfunctioning lap-counting device (Dio Cass. 49.43.1-2). After 29 B.C., allegedly inspired by his artistic and political advisor Maecenas, Augustus followed a sweeping program of ‘adorning the city’ — a program mentioned by the early observer Vitruvius (De arch. 1. pr.), praised at length by the eyewitness Strabo (5.3.8: kÒsmow, kosme›n), highlighted by Suetonius (Aug. 28.3, above; 29.4: urbem adornare), and elaborated on by Dio Cassius (52.30.1: katakosme›n tÚ êstu; 53.27.1: §pikosme›n tÚ êstu). From the Greek perspective of Strabo (loc. cit.), the new Rome combined Greek visible beauty (kãllow) with the old Roman foresight for infrastructure (prÒnoia) resulting in an unprecedented level of all-inclusive adornment (kÒsmow) which even included a novel connection to nature on the Campus Martius. A quantum leap of urban history had taken place, a perfect reflection of Rome’s absolute hegemony (Strabo 6.4.2; Dion. Hal., Ant. Rom. 1.2).
Whether by direct action or by indirect exempla imitanda (RG 8), whether by demonstratively restoring and completing the work of others — that of Caesar foremost, but that of Pompey as well — or by orchestrating new works with ‘his sons and friends, and wife and sister’ (Strabo 5.3.8), Augustus’ directing mind was omnipresent in the image of Rome and gave, on a scale never before employed, visible shape to the city.36 The idea of Octavian-Augustus as a second founder of the city, a new Romulus, circulated as early as 27 B.C. (Suet., Aug. 7.2; Dio Cass. 53.16.7-8), and it was substantiated in 16 B.C. when Augustus rebuilt the Temple of Quirinus (its 76 columns were seen after Augustus’ death as anticipating the years of his life: Dio Cass. 54.19.4).37 The introduction in 7 B.C. of the 14 regions, which fundamentally restructured the territory of the city by mixing intra and extramural terrain and reorganizing the neighborhoods, seems to have fixed the high point of Rome’s dramatic urban metamorphosis under her first emperor: by now, Rome in her entirety had become the city of Augustus.38
Our map reveals, in some detail, certain tendencies in the transformation of Rome’s urban image. They may be examined from three perspectives: works within the Republican city walls, attention to the commercial districts, and monumental additions to the city.
The Old Walled City. Augustus’ activities in the old, wall-defined city focused on both reshaping the center at a grand scale and demonstrating his presence on the hill tops. The ‘adornment’ of the Forum Romanum alone was so thorough that its appearance changed more under Augustus than at any other point in history. In addition to the completed Forum Iulium, which was ‘distinctly more beautiful than the Forum Romanum’ (Dio Cass. 43.22.2), a third forum was added, the Forum Augustum, which was quickly regarded as one of Rome’s ‘most beautiful works’ (Pliny, NH 36.102). In the utilitarian background stood the Horrea Agrippiana. The ostentatious, personal appropriation of the Palatine has already been stressed as a key point of Augustan building policy, which also resulted in the rebuilding of the Magna Mater temple (feci: RG 19). On the Capitoline, apart from the renovation of the Capitoline Temple, a ‘gateway temple’ of Iuppiter Tonans was added (along with a rebuilt shrine to Iuppiter Feretrius: RG 19). On the Quirinal, the huge Temple of Quirinus was rebuilt, and on the Aventine he did the same for three temples — Minerva, Iuno, and Iuppiter (RG 19), echoing the triad of the Capitoline. Another strong statement of Augustan building policy in the old city was set by the Porticus Liviae on the Esquiline; the porticus was built on the site of Vedius Pollio’s excessively luxurious residence which, once bequeathed to Augustus, was torn down as a symbol of immodest living (Ov., Fast. 6.639-48; Dio Cass. 54.23.6). Most tangible, perhaps, for all who lived in the old city was the overhaul and increased volume of the three old aqueducts.
Tellingly, of all the structures that Augustus claims to have ‘built’ (RG 19, 21: feci), only two — the Porticus of Octavius and Theater of Marcellus — were situated outside the walls. The old city had, indeed, received his fullest attention, as Augustus’ final written testimony leaves in no doubt.
Commercial Rome. Surprisingly, no urban initiatives can be recognized in the Emporium, Rome’s commercial center to the southwest of the old city, or in the related warehouse areas across the Tiber. This is all the more remarkable since the Tiber was Rome’s main artery to the world, and this side of the city presented itself first to anyone who arrived by ship. Yet the grain supply, as vital for the city as ever, did receive Augustus’ personal attention (RG 5; Suet., Aug. 37). Agrippa’s horrea were built next to the Forum Romanum, complementing an existing warehouse along the Sacra Via. Augustus took measures to clear and widen the Tiber bed (Suet., Aug. 30). A small new hill, the so-called Monte Testaccio, kept growing as never-ending loads of amphorae were dumped there. Harbor and storage facilities were no doubt added. But the commercial side of Augustan Rome as a whole, including the harbor at Ostia (despite Caesar’s perceived need for improvement: Suet., Claud. 20), apparently did not receive any large-scale Augustan interventions.
Monumental Rome. The Augustan ‘city of the monuments’ — Rome’s huge range of new temples, theaters, porticoes as well as water displays, public parks, and tombs — was centered on, but not restricted to, the Campus Martius. The Naumachia in Trans Tiberim, a grandiose multimedia Gesamtkunstwerk combining water and theater, idyllic nature and high-tech artistry, evoked such pride that Augustus laid down its dimensions in the Res Gestae (23), a distinction enjoyed by no other of his built works. Moreover, the Julian-Augustan tri-forum complex in the city center, together with the embellished hill tops of the Capitoline, Quirinal, Aventine, and a redefined Palatine, literally covered all the key positions of the old city. Yet most Augustan-era building happened outside the walls in the vicinity of the Circus Flaminius and on the Campus Martius (in its narrower sense). In the Circus Flaminius area Augustus rebuilt both the theater ad aedem Apollinis which he named after Marcellus and the Porticus of Octavius whose name he deliberately kept (RG 19, 21), and he stood behind the rebuilding of the quadriportico named after his step-sister Octavia (Suet., Aug. 29.4). Immediately to the north, Balbus was permitted to build his theater and portico in the shadows of Pompey’s giant theater complex, which Augustus renovated ‘at great expense, without attaching [his] name’ (RG 20). Just north of Pompey’s ‘theater city’, which featured its own curia, temples, and gardens, stood the even larger agglomeration of Agrippa’s monuments, including the Stagnum Agrippae, which not only sanitized the old ‘Goat’s Marsh’ but would be spacious enough to serve Nero’s waterborne banquets (Tac., Ann. 15.37). Further north, we find the most peculiar and individual monuments of Augustus: the self-referential pairing of the Horologium and Ara Pacis and, delimiting the entry to the Campus, his Mausoleum. Somewhere in the middle of the Campus, south of the Horologium and close to other Julian tomb monuments, was the Ustrinum Augusti, the structure that marks the conclusion of the Augustan age.
Hardly any of this extensive building activity is mentioned in the Res Gestae, where Augustus takes credit for nothing on the narrower Campus; at most, an allusion is made to the obelisk of the Horologium (together with its ‘twin’ in the Circus Maximus: RG 27) which proclaimed, both figuratively and literally, ‘Egypt brought back to the power of the Roman people’.39 Omitted entirely from the Res Gestae, among other things, is the introduction of the 14 regions in 7 B.C., that tradition-breaking urban re-definition which extended Rome’s city territory beyond the Republican walls — thereby undermining ‘numinous’ restrictions against widening the city (‘since the daimonion, they say, has not permitted it’: Dion. Hal., Ant. Rom. 4.13.3; cf. 1.7.2; published in 7 B.C.). Against this backdrop, our map highlights the focus of Augustus’ monumental intentions on the extramural Campus Martius; intramural activities balanced and bolstered his bold, ever-evolving strategy to aggrandize the Campus. Not verbalized in Augustus’ testimony to posterity — by choice rather than by chance — his accomplishments in the Campus were nevertheless a fait accompli. Referenced only under the veiled phrase ‘adorning the city’, Augustus’ work to embellish the Campus Martius, and then to incorporate the area into the city (in 7 B.C. as Regions VII and IX), resulted in the premier showcase for new, Imperial, Rome. It is here, in the Campus, that we may see the urbanistic and architectural heart of The Roman revolution.
Using the volume and maps: a few remarks
The visual sum of what we think can be said about the Augustan city of Rome is shown on our main map (scale 1 : 6000). An additional sheet enlarges the central area, including the Agrippan monuments on the Campus (1: 3000). This pair of maps forms the core of this volume and, though in pockets, should be consulted first.
The accompanying text comments and elaborates on what is shown on the maps. Following the chapter on “Making the map”, the “Catalogue of entries” comprises a long, alphabetical list of areas, built structures, streets, gardens, and several overarching aspects, such as aqueducts or the continentia. At the end comes a list of special bibliographic abbreviations.
The entry titles tend to follow the familiar forms established by Platner–Ashby and continued by Steinby and Richardson; only where it seemed both necessary and helpful to deviate from traditional terminology did we employ new names. There is, for instance, no good reason to retain the unattested “Porticus Pompei” if Vitruvius’ accurately-transmitted porticus Pompeianae is at hand (De arch. 5.1.9; perhaps with poetic license, Prop. 2.32.11: porticus Pompeia).40 Similarly, composites such as “Mausoleum Augusti” or ”Thermae Agrippae” are Latinizing constructs best replaced by the simpler ‘Mausoleum: Augustus’ and ‘Thermae: Agrippa’, to avoid the illusion of antiquity. In many cases, instead of coining new Latinisms, we preferred formations such as ‘Velia: building (1)’, which opened up the possibility to accommodate nameless structures under meaningful topographical labels; many of these unidentified buildings have been passed over by topographical dictionaries for lack of a suitable name.41We also avoided the problematic use of vicus names as street labels (see pp. 17-18 above); a number of anonymous urban roads are listed under their respective topographic regions simply with the generic English ‘street’ (e.g., the traditional, yet unattested, “Vicus Piscinae Publicae” is discussed under the title ‘Aventinus: Street’).42 Also new is the use of double quotation marks to distinguish the few remaining post-antique Latin names, such as “Aqua Sallustiana” or the “Ustrinum Domus Augustae”.43
For the temporal classification of structures we rely, sometimes exclusively, on the commonly accepted time frame for the use of certain types of wall construction in Rome. Thus, ashlar masonry of soft capellaccio tufa (from the hills of Rome itself) was used almost exclusively from the 7th to the 5th c. B.C. From the early 4th c. B.C. onward (after the defeat of Veii), Grotta Oscura tufa was predominantly employed, but by the end of the 2nd c. B.C. better alternatives, such as Anio tufa, came to supplant it. The building technique of opus incertum, with its tufa nodules ‘irregularly’ distributed, is assumed to date from the 2nd c. B.C.; the transitional technique of opus quasi reticulatum from the decades around 100 B.C.; opus reticulatum, with tufa nodules in regular diagonal distribution, from the early 1st c. B.C. to about the 60s A.D.; and opus latericium (or testaceum), with its brick-faced concrete core, usually not earlier than the A.D. 20s (see, e.g., Coarelli’s concise summary44), and we follow the relatively well-established chronology of Roman wall-painting, with the Second Style giving way to the Third Style in the years around 20 B.C. (cf. Vitr., De arch. 7.5). For technical terms, such as peperino (another variety of tufa) or tetrastyle (a four-column façade), the glossaries by A. Claridge and W. B. Dinsmoor are recommended.45
A specific issue of period classification is raised by Augustus’ own claim, in the Res Gestae, to have ‘built’ certain metropolitan buildings (feci in RG 19, as opposed to refeci or perfeci in RG 20), although we know that this was sometimes only the more or less comprehensive rebuilding of an existing edifice, such as the history-charged Temple of Magna Mater. Sensitized by R. Sablayrolles’ lucid and focused study (1981) and in view of the full weight of Augustus’ public testimony (‘I built it’, feci), we included those buildings among the Augustan-period structures on our map.46
In mapping what is known about Augustan Rome, we attempted to be as concrete as possible and abstract only when necessary. A key to the detailed graphic conventions is given on the map sheets themselves. The following outline provides an overview with some additional explanations:
Index numbers. Bright red index numbers identify each structure or monument that can be located on the map. Identifying the names of these structures is possible with the help of the indices, printed at the margins of the map sheets; once the name is known, its entry in the commentary may be consulted. The assignment of index numbers on the map follows general topographical units, though no rigorous definitions of regions are implied by the enumeration employed; specific numbers can be readily located using the grid references provided in the main map indices.
Area Names. Known names of areas in Augustan Rome, including several large horti, are indicated in bright red text. The 14 Augustan regions, shown without fixed borders, are marked by their respective Roman numerals. An effort has been made to avoid post-Augustan area names on the map.
Well-documented buildings. The plan of a building or monument is given in a black outline and filled with solid gray, brown, or gold, whenever its footprint can be determined with full or reasonable certainty. Usually this applies to a structure that is sufficiently preserved, but the ground-plan may also draw upon other sources, such as the Severan Marble Plan, if deemed applicable. Underground portions of edifices and tombs have not been differentiated (in the case of the Forum Iulium, the subterranean tabernae are not represented; for other underground structures, see Water Systems, below). Our map’s scale dictates that only structures above a minimum size of c.4 x 4 m can reasonably be represented (a few exceptions were made, such as the Compitum Acili and the obelisk in the Circus Maximus). This category provides the most tangible rendering of the built city; evidently, areas with a high concentration of well-preserved structures come closer than others to a true map of Augustan Rome.
Incompletely preserved buildings. Securely located buildings and structures lacking a fully-known ground plan are represented schematically; when evidence permits, an expanse of solid color with a partial or absent outline denotes the structure (e.g., Agrippa’s Baths). The far more frequent solution — employed for in situ remains insufficent for one to discern a structural outline — is to mark the location by a cross Ä. Non-extant sections of aqueducts and the Servian Wall are rendered in a less intense color than their known segments.
Unlocated buildings. Buildings and structures lacking a precise location are indicated by an encircled index number when they can be placed within a relatively small area. If their site is too vaguely attested, the structure cannot be shown on the map; such cases are listed in the legend of the main map, and are treated in individual entries so that specific aspects can be highlighted (e.g., Horti Pompei).
Time periods. Well-documented buildings (other than tombs) dating to the pre-Augustan period are rendered in dark brown; those from the Augustan period are shown in dark gray. The period differentiation is based on the overall appearance of a given structure by the end of Augustus’ rule in A.D. 14. Augustan-era changes in a structure’s artistic program or minor architectural alterations, decisive as they may have been for the character of a building, are deemed insufficient to date it to the Augustan period. In all cases where Augustus claimed to have ‘built’ a structure (feci in RG 19), we accept its new appearance and include it among Augustan works. For our purposes, the dividing line between the pre-Augustan and Augustan periods is 33 B.C.: the beginning of Agrippa’s aedileship, hence also of Octavian-Augustus’ urban program (this implies a slightly inaccurate use of the term ‘Augustan’, which should strictly refer only to dates after January 27 B.C.).
Tombs. Tombs and funeral monuments, both those well preserved and large enough to be shown in outline (c.4 x 4 m or greater) and those only marked by a cross Ä, are visually distinguished by their deep gold color, in order to express the fundamentally different character of this category from the ‘city of the living’. Augustan and pre-Augustan tombs are not differentiated, since the small size of most prohibited a further level of visual distinction. Another necessary simplification is the use of a continuous outline to indicate a tomb’s maximum extent, regardless of whether it was fully or only partially visible above ground.
Area conventions. Shades of solid ochre and variegated green are used, respectively, to articulate built-up urban fabric and large gardens; these expansive areas of color give, perhaps, the most striking initial impression. While the solid ochre is visually the most dominating feature of the entire map, and indispensable to understand the wholeness of the city, in its entirety this ochre shading represents our ‘best guess’ as to the built body of Augustan Rome. Next in visual weight are the green shaded areas of large formal gardens or parks. Since the function of these conventions is to characterize broad swathes of the city, the borderlines of each zone are, by definition, secondary; hence, the edges of each area should not to be taken as definite outlines, but rather as zones of likely transition.
Defined urban space. Open spaces of the city whose perimeters were defined by architecture are treated as a distinct urban element and rendered in a shade of cream. This broad category includes well-defined areas, such as the Forum Augusti and Circus Maximus, as well as informal settings, like the Circus Flaminius and “Horologium Augusti”. Streets and bridges. Important streets are drawn as light ochre bands wherever their course and their Augustan-period existence is not under (severe) doubt. Since streets are among the most difficult urban elements to date and represent, we adopted an inclusive outlook to existing gaps of evidence; often only a few pavers attest the presence of a once vital artery and do not permit more than a certain uniformity when rendering street width. Smaller roads and alleyways are, for the most part, not represented. Bridges known to have crossed the Tiber in the Augustan era are fully indicated, regardless of their state of preservation.
Fig. 2. Augustan Rome. Outline of urban topography as known (see main map), with Regio I and the Via Appia at the top so that north is at the lower left. Scale 1 : 30 000.
Water systems. Major systems of water flow and aquatic architecture are rendered in shades of blue. Included are both natural elements, such as the Tiber and “Aqua Sallustiana”, and man-made water features, such as the Naumachia, Euripus, and Cloaca Maxima. Aqueducts are depicted where evidence and hypothesis permit; the absence of sufficient remains prohibits us from rendering the secondary water distribution network within the city.47
City wall. The circuit of the Servian Wall is drawn in red brown, darker where preserved and lighter where hypothetical. The huge earthwork of the Agger, which extended along the city’s north and east flank, is outlined in its physical bulk and juxtaposed against its ditch (fossa).
Topography. Topographic elevations are measured in meters above sea level (± 0 m); contour lines are drawn in light gray and appear at 5-m intervals. Since the level of the Tiber is c.3-4 m above sea level, space between the river’s edge and the first contour line, which represents + 10 m above sea level, has a rise of only 6-7 m. For all premises and details, see “Making the map” below.
Simple as our results may look, and as much as they owe to Scagnetti’s map, this was a long and excruciating process of trial and error, of constant change, simplification, and refinement, before arriving at a set of functional and attractive visual conventions. The process of visualizing and formally defining the city needs to be continued, by others and by ourselves.
A final point, essential to informed looking at the map, may literally turn matters upside down. Using the orientation of the Severan Marble Plan, evidence of an earlier such plan from the 1st c. A.D., and the numerical start in the southeast for the 14 Augustan regions, E. Rodríguez Almeida has pointed out the likelihood that the Augustan depiction of Rome, too, “had the southeast at the top”.48 Consequently, for a period view of Augustan Rome in its mapped form, one needs to turn our map around so that Regio I and the Via Appia are at the top: a thumbnail reduction of it, arranged accordingly (fig. 2), illuminates this unfamiliar view.
The results of our collaborative enterprise now have to survive the cold winds of scholarly critique. We hope our efforts will be received both with a degree of approbation and with dissent that leads to improvements. Tantae molis erat Romanam pingere urbem (Verg., Aen. 1.33, adapted).
Department of the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania
I am much indebted to E. A. Dumser for revising my English text and, through raising thoughtful and critical questions, for improving its substance in many ways; to this, A. G. Thein and A. B. Gallia also contributed. The photo for fig. 1 was kindly provided by W.-D. Heilmeyer, Director of the Antikenmuseum Berlin. The map turned upside down in fig. 2 was produced by A. B. Gallia on the basis of our general map, following a suggestion by C. F. Noreña.
Urbs Roma: bibliography, models, and projects
Existing City Models
L. Quilici: model of Archaic Rome (time of Tarquins) in the Museo della Civiltà Romana, Rome. Early 1990s; size c.20 m2; see C. d’Amato and A. M. Liberati Silverio (edd.), Roma arcaica (poster, Rome 1995).
H. von Hesberg with R. Biering and C. Braun, model of Augustan Rome in the Antikenmuseum, Berlin. Mid-1980s; size 4 m2; see H. von Hesberg, in Kaiser Augustus (1988) 114-15, with fig. See our fig. 1 on p. 8.
I. Gismondi: model of Imperial Rome (4th c. A.D.) in the Museo della Civiltà Romana, Rome. Mid-1930s, with subsequent updates until 1961; size c.200 m2; see A. P. Frutaz, Le piante di Roma (Rome 1962) plan 60, pls. 125-32; cf. F. Hinard and M. Royo (edd.), Rome. L’espace urbain et ses représentations (Paris 1991) 237-77.
P. Bigot: two models of Imperial Rome (4th c. A.D.), at Caen University and the Musées royaux d’art et d’histoire, Brussels. Mid-1930s; sizes unknown; see P. Bigot, Rome antique au IV'e' siècle ap. J.-C. (Paris 1942); Roma antiqua (1992) 280-86; cf. Hinard and Royo, loc. cit. 201-21, 223-26, 237-56.
Two partial models of Rome, built c.1910, now destroyed; see Roma antiqua (1992) 280 (for the Paris model); L. Haselberger, JRA 13 (2000) 519 n.13 (for the Philadelphia model, also destroyed; this model was kindly located by D. White and its remaining fragments shown to me by C. Kokolus, Director of the Library, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia).
Current Digital Projects
(Information on digital projects kindly provided by C. Häuber, E. La Rocca, D. G. Romano, and L. Sasso d’Elia.)
Nuova Forma Urbis Romae project, directed by E. La Rocca, Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma. Based on the information system developed by L. Sasso d’Elia, this 30-50 year project was initiated in December 1999, with the goal of collecting and presenting electronically all available data on ancient Rome. The office is located at Casina dei Pierleoni, Via del teatro di Marcello 5.
Fortvna Research Center for Archaeological Information Systems GmbH?, directed by C. Häuber with F. X. Schütz, established 1997. Developed and tested on the E slope of Monte Oppio, this information system aims at providing the fullest possible historical and spatial context to archaeological data.
Rome Reborn project, directed by B. Frischer in collaboration with D. Favro, both of the Cultural Virtual Reality Lab, University of California at Los Angeles. Founded in 1998, the Lab sees its mission in creating highly-accurate 3D computer models of culturally significant sites around the world; thus far, work has been focusing on ancient Rome, the Forum of Trajan in particular.
Digital Forma Urbis Romae Project, directed by Marc Levoy, Computer Science Department, with the help of J. Davis, N. Gelfand, L. Guibas, D. Koller, N. Scapel, and J. Trimble, all of Stanford University, and in collaboration with the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma. Begun in 1997, the project has digitized c.1200 fragments from the Severan Marble Plan in order to develop computer algorithms for assembling and placing unpositioned fragments.
- T. Hölscher, “Augustus und die Macht der Archäologie,” in F. Millar et al., La révolution romaine après Ronald Syme (Geneva 2000) 237-81.
- W.V. Harris (ed.), The transformations of urbs Roma in late antiquity (JRA suppl. 33, 1999).
- La Rome impériale. Démographie et logistique (Rome 1997).
- P. Zanker, Der Kaiser baut fürs Volk (Opladen 1997).
- D. Favro, The urban image of Augustan Rome (Cambridge 1996).
- D. Palombi, “Rome,” in Orazio. Enciclopedia Oraziana I (Rome 1996) 533-53.
- N. Purcell, “Rome and its development under Augustus and his successors,” in CAH X (2nd edn. 1996) 330-69.
- D. W. Reynolds, Forma urbis Romae: the Severan marble plan and the urban form of ancient Rome (Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor 1996).
- F. Kolb, Rom. Die Geschichte der Stadt in der Antike (Munich 1995).
- M. Steinby (ed.), Lexicon topographicum urbis Romae I-VI (Rome 1993-2000).
- L. Richardson, jr., A new topographical dictionary of ancient Rome (Baltimore 1992).
- Roma antiqua. Grandi edifici publici (exh. cat., Rome 1992).
- Atlante di Roma (Venice 1991, 4th edn. 1996).
- A. Cassatella and L. Vendittelli, Roma arcaica. Documenti e materiali per una pianta di Roma (Rome 1991).
- F. Hinard and M. Royo (edd.), Rome. L’espace urbain et ses représentations (Paris 1991).
- Kaiser Augustus und die verlorene Republik (exh. cat., Mainz 1988).
- L’Urbs: espace urbain et histoire, Ier siècle av. J.-C.–IIIe siècle ap. J.-C. (CollEFR? 98, 1987).
- P. Zanker, Augustus und die Macht der Bilder (Munich 1987); The power of images in the age of Augustus (Ann Arbor 1988).
- Roma antiqua. Forum, Colisée, Palatin (exh. cat., Rome 1985).
- Città e architettura nella Roma imperiale (AnalRom? suppl. 10, 1983).
- E. Rodríguez Almeida, Forma urbis marmorea: aggiornamento generale 1980 (Rome 1981).
- F. Scagnetti with G. Grande, Roma urbs imperatorum aetate (map, Rome 1979, 3rd edn. 1997).
- E. Nash, Pictorial dictionary of ancient Rome I-II (New York 1961-62, 2nd ed. 1968).
- G. Carettoni et al., La pianta marmorea di Roma antica (Rome 1960).
- L. Homo, Rome impériale et l’urbanisme dans l’antiquité (Paris 1951, 2nd edn. 1971).
- R. Valentini and G. Zucchetti, Codice topografico della città di Roma I-IV (Rome 1940-53)
- S. B. Platner and T. Ashby, A topographical dictionary of ancient Rome (London 1929).
- R. Lanciani, Forma urbis Romae (Milan 1893-1901; repr. 1990).
- H. Jordan, Topographie der Stadt Rom im Alterthum II, I.1-2, I.3 with C. Hülsen (Berlin 1871, 1878, and 1907, respectively).