History for the Rest of Us

Temple of Concord

Temple of Concord

Jun 6, 2014

Dedicated to the Roman goddess Concordia (goddess of concord and harmony), the Temple of Concord was vowed in 367 BC to commemorate reconciliation between patricians and plebians after the Aventine Secession. The Licinian laws, expanding the civil rights of the commoners or ‘plebians’, had been proposed and were eventually accepted despite great...

Shrine of Cloacina – Sacrum Cloacina

Shrine of Cloacina – Sacrum Cloacina

Apr 21, 2014

Shrine of Cloacina or Sacrum Cloacina The Sacrum Cloacina was a shrine to Cloacina, an Etruscan diety who may well have been associated with the small brook that would eventually become the sewer of Rome, the Cloaca Maxima. Cloacina’s name may be a derivation of the Latin verb cloare (to purify or to clean), or the noun cloaca (sewer). For unknown...

All Roads Lead to Rome – Milliarium Aureum

In 20 BC, Augustus, as curator viarum or inspector-in-chief of a road or roads, erected the Milliarium Aureum. This monument was most likely a marble column sheathed in gilded bronze and was adjacent to the Rostra on the opposite side from the Umbilicus Urbis. A huge marble cylinder matching this description was found in 1835 near this location. All roman roads...

Scalae Gemoniæ

Scalae Gemoniæ

Dec 22, 2012

The Scalae Gemoniæ was a flight of steps leading up to the Capitoline past the carcer, on which the bodies of certain criminals, who had been executed, were thrown and left exposed for a time — a frequent practice during the empire. They are often mentioned, first under Tiberius, and are called scalae Gemoniæ, …gradus gemitorii, and…gradus Gemonii....

Belly Button of Ancient Rome

Belly Button of Ancient Rome

May 2, 2012

The Umbilicus Urbis Romae Adjacent to the Arch of Septimius Severus in the Roman Forum, lie the remains of the Umbilicus Urbis Romae, or “Navel of the City of Rome”. It is from this monument that all distances in Ancient Rome were measured (all roads lead to Rome). The Umbilicus was originally covered in marble. There is some debate as to whether or...