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Cloaca Maxima

The Roman sewer system was the 8th wonder of the ancient world


The great ancient sewer system of Rome was as impressive as Roman roads and aqueducts. (More below....)
Cloaca Maxima

Cloaca Maxima

Public Domain. Courtesy of Lalupa at Wikipedia.
The cloaca maxima was the sewer system built in the sixth or seventh century B.C., by one of the kings of Rome to drain the marshes in the valleys between the hills into the Tiber River. The cloaca maxima began under the Argiletum, the street of booksellers, then it went under the forum and then it joined up with streams carrying water from the Esquiline, Viminal and Quirinal hills to finally discharge into the Tiber. The cloaca maxima itself was the large central canal. It is because of this drainage (and probably land-fill), that the area among the hills became habitable and provided the space for the forum Romanum.

See: "The Anatomy of Rome from Capitol to Cloaca," by Emily Gowers The Journal of Roman Studies Vol. 85, (1995), pp. 23-32.

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