Built in the Trastevere, the Naumachia of Augustus is undoubtedly the most representative. Naumachiĉ were actually great basins set up for naval battles. The Colosseum itself could be used as a Naumachia when the arena was flooded through a clever system of water supply. Another well known Naumachia was built in the valley of the Vatican.

It’s in 42 BC, to celebrate the inauguration of the temple of Mars Ultor, that Augustus had this great basin built, with a length of 1800 feet and a width of 1200 feet (552 by 355 meters), and where the battle of Salamina had been represented. The aqueduct Alsietina, underground aqueduct built in 2 BC, supplied the water, running under the buildings at the bottom of the picture. According to some sources, this Naumachia might have disappeared before the beginning of the IInd century.

Details. It’s in this vast basin that the Roman warships were confronting each other in bloody battles. All around rows of seats were welcoming the crowds. In the centre a long pier for the moorings.