The Aventine Hill
,( Aventinus Mons
one of the seven hills of Rome, was only a small height. It consists actually of two peaks shared by a small gully,
the first peak is close to the Tiber and the second, the minor Aventine
(and a part of it belonging to the XII Region of Rome, called Piscina Publica
is more south.
During the Republic, it has always been a popular district, and became under the Empire
a more residential area. King Servius Tullius let build a temple of Diana which became
the federal sanctuary of the Latins. Another old religious building was there as well,
the temple of Minerva. In addition to the Baths of Decius, which are the most impressive,
one of Emperor Trajan’s friends let build private baths, the Baths of Sura.
(The Aventine in the opposite angle
At last the sub-aventine
plain which spreads down to the Tiber.
Certainly the biggest construction on the Aventine height, the Baths of Decius were built in 242.
The Baths of Decius.
The private Baths of Licinius Sura
are built along the Clivus Publicius
on the top of the
slope which leads to the Circus Maximus. The view over the Circus and the Palatine should be
This view shows in the centre left of the picture, with two immense porticoes on the sides,
the temple of Diana
, built in the VIth century BC. The temple of Minerva
is just right of
the temple of Diana
. At the bottom of the picture the Temple of Vortumnus.
The Clivus Publicius
, this important way that goes through the Aventine,
went down to the Circus (in the centre of the picture). Close to the way stood the
Temple of the Moon
, which had to compensate the angle of the slope with long stairs.
The Vicus Portæ Trigeminæ
was another important way that linked the Forum Boarium to the Emporium.
The old gate of the Servian Wall that opened the way, the Porta Trigemina
is one of the
most mentioned in History. It seems that the gate had three openings to make the traffic easier.
In the centre of the picture, the Temple of Ceres
A little further down, on the right, you notice the temple of the Moon,
seen from the back side.
Left, the Vicus Portæ Trigeminæ. Under this angle, you can notice two triumphal arches
that line the Vicus Portæ Trigeminæ. The Arch of Lentulus ( Arcus Lentuli et Crispini )in the middle distance,
and the Arch of Germanicus (Arcus Germanici) in the foreground. Many warehouses were built between the Tiber
and the Vicus Portæ Trigeminæ.
By climbing the slope of the Aventine, at the level of the Probus bridge,
we find a remarkable group of temples and porticoes, the temple of Juno Queen
is the great temple almost in the middle of the picture
. Next to the temple of
stood a tiny temple, the temple of Libertas
, which is supposed to be the
first public library of Rome, thanks to Asinius Pollio
’s initiative. The great square
surrounded by a portico on the left of the picture could be the Armilustrium, dedicated
to the feast of the God Mars, on October 19th each year (feast of purification of weapons).
A small altar dedicated to Mars stood in the centre of the square.
Trajan may have had his private residence close to the Armilustrium
at the bottom
of the picture (global identification)
Here another view angle of the Temple of Juno Queen. This temple was erected by the
Roman General Camillus, and rebuilt later by Augustus. The Cassius Stairs
next to the temple allowed to go down to the embankments