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Porta Capena


Regions of Rome - Augustus

Map of the regions of Rome set up as administrative districts under Augustus.

PD Courtesy of ColdEel at Wikipedia.

The famous Appian Way, the road from Rome to Brundisium, began near the Circus Maximus at the Roman gate in the Servian Wall that is known as the Porta Capena. The initial stretch of the road, from Porta Capena to Bovillae (12 miles) is well-preserved, but the gate is not. Its remains were found in excavations from 1867-68.

Porta Capena was thought to have been near the grove of the Camenae where the nymph Egeria met the Roman King Numa Pompilius.

When Augustus divided the city of Rome into districts, he divided the Caelian Hill into three parts. The southeastern slope was named for the Porta Capena. This was Region I.

Just beyond the gate was the third century B.C. temple of Honos et Virtus. The sanctuary of Virtus was built by five-time consul M. Claudius Marcellus whose family tomb is thought to have stood beside it.

Also just beyond the gate was where Roman magistrates and emperors departed and returned from their time governing their provinces.

A sanctuary for the god Rediculus was located outside the Porta Capena. This was supposed to have been where the famous Hannibal, advancing on Rome, experienced terrifying visions and retreated.

The funeral, too, of the bird was celebrated with almost endless obsequies; the body was placed upon a litter carried upon the shoulders of two Ethiopians, preceded by a piper, and borne to the pile with garlands of every size and description. The pile was erected on the right-hand side of the Appian Way, at the second milestone from the City, in the field generally known as the "field of Rediculus." Thus did the rare talent of a bird appear a sufficient ground to the Roman people for honouring it with funeral obsequies....
Pliny the Elder Natural History Book X. Chapter 60


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