The Names of the Major Ancient Aurelian Gates
Public Domain Photo of the Porta Asinaria; Courtesy of Lalupa.
A third century Roman emperor called Aurelian (Lucius Domitius Aurelianus) (A.D. 270-275) grew worried about the possibility that barbarian invaders might attack the city of Rome, so he thought it prudent to fortify the city's defenses (Coarelli: Rome and Environs). To this end, he began the project of building 6m high brick defensive walls, although it was bricklayers who did the work, and his successor, Probus (A.D. 276-82), who finished the walls. Aurelian built the walls to enclose the seven hills, the Campus Martius and part of the West Bank of the Tiber. Entry to the city was through the Aurelian Gates listed below.
There was an article on the collapse of part of the wall on Easter Sunday 2001 from BBC News (news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_1280000/1280611.stm): "A six-metre high section of the Aurelian Wall between the two ancient gates of Porta Latina and Porta St Sebasstiano was reduced to a pile of rubble on Sunday evening."
- Flaminia (Ports del Popolo)
- Nomentana (Porta Pia)
- Tiburtina, originally an Augustan era travertine arch to support three aqueducts (Marcia, Tepula and Julia)
- Double gate of Praenestina and Porta Labicana (now Porta Maggiore); originally arches from the Aqua Claudia
- Appia Now Porta St Sebasstiano.
Sources: Filippo Coarelli Rome and Environs; translated by James J. Clauss and Daniel P. Harmon. University of California Press: 2007.
From Bill Thayer's site, a page from Platner's A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome on the boundary of the city of Rome.
Short Encyclopedia Britannica article on the wall with 16 gates.