Aventine Hill

The Aventine Hill (/ˈævɪntaɪn, -tɪn/; Latin: Collis Aventinus; Italian: Aventino [avenˈtiːno]) is one of the Seven Hills on which ancient Rome was built. It belongs to Ripa, the twelfth rione, or ward, of Rome.

The Aventine Hill
One of the seven hills of Rome
Latin nameCollis Aventinus
Italian nameAventino
RioneRipa
PeopleAncus Marcius, Lucius Vorenus, Lucius Opimius, Marcus Fulvius Flaccus, Naevius, Pope Sixtus III
EventsAventine Secession (494 BC),
Aventine Secession (20th century)
Ancient Roman religionTemples to Diana, Ceres, Liber and Libera, Bona Dea.

Location and boundaries

Seven Hills of Rome
Schematic map of Rome showing the seven hills and Servian Wall.

The Aventine Hill is the southernmost of Rome's seven hills. It has two distinct heights, one greater to the northwest and one lesser to the southeast, divided by a steep cleft that provides the base for an ancient roadway between the heights. During the Republican era, the two hills may have been recognized as a single entity.[1]

The Augustan reforms of Rome's urban neighbourhoods (vici) recognised the ancient road between the two heights (the modern Viale Aventino) as a common boundary between the new Regio XIII, which absorbed Aventinus Maior, and the part of Regio XII known as Aventinus Minor.[2]

Etymology and mythology

Most Roman sources trace the name of the hill to a legendary king Aventinus. Servius identifies two kings of that name, one ancient Italic, and one Alban, both said to have been buried on the hill in remote antiquity. Servius believes that the hill was named after the ancient Italic king Aventinus. He rejects Varro's proposition that the Sabines named the hill after the nearby Aventus river; likewise, he believes that the Aventinus who was fathered by Hercules on Rhea Silvia was likely named after the Aventine Hill.[3]

The Aventine was a significant site in Roman mythology. In Virgil's Aeneid, a cave on the Aventine's rocky slope next the river is home to the monstrous Cacus, killed by Hercules for stealing Geryon's cattle.[4] In Rome's founding myth, the divinely fathered twins Romulus and Remus hold a contest of augury, whose outcome determines the right to found, name and lead a new city, and to determine its site. In most versions of the story, Remus sets up his augural tent on the Aventine; Romulus sets his up on the Palatine.[5]

Each sees a number of auspicious birds (aves) that signify divine approval but Remus sees fewer than Romulus. Romulus goes on to found the city of Rome at the site of his successful augury. An earlier variant, found in Ennius and some later sources, has Romulus perform his augury on one of the Aventine Hills. Remus performs his elsewhere, perhaps on the southeastern height, the lesser of the Aventine's two hills, which has been tentatively identified with Ennius' Mons Murcus.[6]

Skutsch (1961) regards Ennius' variant as the most likely, with Romulus's Palatine augury as a later development, after common usage had extended the Aventine's name – formerly used for only the greater, northeastern height – to include its lesser neighbour. Augural rules and the mythos itself required that each twin take his auspices at a different place; therefore Romulus, who won the contest and founded the city, was repositioned to the more fortunate Palatine, the traditional site of Rome's foundation. The less fortunate Remus, who lost not only the contest but later, his life, remained on the Aventine: Servius notes the Aventine's reputation as a haunt of "inauspicious birds".[7][8]

History

Roman

According to Roman tradition, the Aventine was not included within Rome's original foundation, and lay outside the city's ancient sacred boundary (pomerium). The Roman historian Livy reports that Ancus Marcius, Rome's fourth king, defeated the Latins of Politorium, and resettled them there.[9] The Roman geographer Strabo credits Ancus with the building of a city wall to incorporate the Aventine.[10] Others credit the same wall to Rome's sixth king, Servius Tullius. The remains known as the Servian Wall used stone quarried at Veii, which was not conquered by Rome until c.393 BC, so the Aventine might have been part-walled, or an extramural suburb.

The Aventine appears to have functioned as some kind of staging post for the legitimate ingress of foreign peoples and foreign cults into the Roman ambit. During the late regal era, Servius Tullius built a temple to Diana on the Aventine, as a Roman focus for the new-founded Latin League. The Aventine's outlying position, its longstanding association with Latins and plebeians and its extra-pomerial position reflect its early marginal status. At some time around 493 BC, soon after the expulsion of Rome's last King and the establishment of the Roman Republic, the Roman senate provided a temple for the so-called Aventine Triad of Ceres, Liber and Libera, patron deities of the Roman commoners or plebs; the dedication followed one of the first in a long series of threatened or actual plebeian secessions. The temple overlooked the Circus Maximus and the Temple of Vesta, and faced the Palatine Hill. It became an important repository for plebeian and senatorial records.[11]

It is presumed that the Aventine was state-owned public land; in c.456 BC a Lex Icilia allowed or granted the plebs property rights there. By c.391 BC, the city's overspill had overtaken the Aventine and the Campus Martius, and left the city vulnerable to attack; around that year, the Gauls overran and temporarily held the city. After this, the walls were rebuilt or extended to properly incorporate the Aventine; this is more or less coincident with the increasing power and influence of the Aventine-based plebeian aediles and tribunes in Roman public affairs, and the rise of a plebeian nobility.[12]

Rome absorbed many more foreign deities via the Aventine: "No other location approaches [its] concentration of foreign cults". In 392 BC, Camillus established a temple there to Juno Regina. Later introductions include Summanus, c. 278, Vortumnus c. 264, and at some time before the end of the 3rd century, Minerva.[13] The Aventine was also the site of the Baths of Decius, built in 252.

Modern

Rom, Basilika Santa Sabina, Außenansicht
Basilica Santa Sabina

During the Fascist period, many deputies of the opposition retired on this hill after the murder of Giacomo Matteotti, here ending - by the so-called "Aventine Secession" - their presence at the Parliament and, as a consequence, their political activity.

The hill is now an elegant residential part of Rome with a wealth of architectural interest, including palaces, churches, and gardens, for example, the basilica of Santa Sabina and the Rome Rose Garden.

Popular culture references

The Aventine Hill is portrayed as a rough working-class area of ancient Rome in the popular Falco series of historical novels written by Lindsey Davis about Marcus Didius Falco, a 'private informer' who occasionally works for the Emperor Vespasian and lives in the Aventine.

The same image is portrayed in much of the series Rome, in which the Aventine is the home of Lucius Vorenus. In season two, Vorenus and his friend legionary Titus Pullo seek to maintain order over the various collegia competing there for power.

The Vesta-class of starships in the Star Trek novels are named for Rome's seven hills. The most featured ship is the U.S.S. Aventine under Captain Ezri Dax.

See also

Seven hills:

Other Roman hills:

References

  1. ^ Lawrence Richardson, A new topographical dictionary of ancient Rome, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992, p.47 googlebooks preview. Richardson asserts the single identity of the two heights as Aventine during the Republican era as commonly accepted in modern scholarship. O. Skutsch, "Enniana IV: Condendae urbis auspicia", The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Nov., 1961), pp. 252-267, argues that they were originally considered and named as separate hills: the Aventine was the northwestern height only, and the slightly lower southeastern height was Mons Murca.
  2. ^ Lawrence Richardson, A new topographical dictionary of ancient Rome, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992, p.47 googlebooks preview. Richardson asserts the single identity of the two heights as Aventine during the Republican era as commonly accepted in modern scholarship. O. Skutsch, "Enniana IV: Condendae urbis auspicia", The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Nov., 1961), pp. 252-267, argues that they were originally considered and named as separate hills: the Aventine was the northwestern height only, and the slightly lower southeastern height was Mons Murca.
  3. ^ Maurus Servius Honoratus, Commentary on the Aeneid of Vergil, 7. 657.
  4. ^ Brill's New Pauly: Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World. "Cacus", 2002. Retrieved on May 4, 2007.
  5. ^ For discussion of Remus in Roman founder-myth, see T.P. Wiseman, Remus: a Roman myth, Cambridge University Press, 1995, p.7 ff. For discussion of Ennius' much copied, corrupted and problematic text, particularly his Mons Murca as the lesser Aventine hill, see O. Skutsch, "Enniana IV: Condendae urbis auspicia", The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Nov., 1961), pp. 255-259.
  6. ^ For discussion of Remus in Roman founder-myth, see T.P. Wiseman, Remus: a Roman myth, Cambridge University Press, 1995, p.7 ff. For discussion of Ennius' much copied, corrupted and problematic text, and particularly his Mons Murca as the lesser Aventine hill, see O. Skutsch, "Enniana IV: Condendae urbis auspicia", The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Nov., 1961), pp. 255-259.
  7. ^ Otto Skutsch, "Enniana IV: Condendae urbis auspicia", The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Nov., 1961), pp. 252-267.
  8. ^ Maurus Servius Honoratus, Commentary on the Aeneid of Vergil, 7. 657.
  9. ^ Livy, Ab urbe condita, 1.33.
  10. ^ Strabo. "Geography", November 6, 2006. Retrieved on May 8, 2007.
  11. ^ Cornell, T., The beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (c.1000–264 BC), Routledge, 1995, p. 264.
  12. ^ Carter, Jesse Benedict. "The Evolution of the City of Rome from Its Origin to the Gallic Catastrophe"], Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, September 2, 1909, pp. 132 - 140. googlebooks preview (link updated 27 November 2010).
  13. ^ Orlin, Eric M., Foreign Cults in Republican Rome: Rethinking the Pomerial Rule, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, Vol. 47 (2002), pp. 4-5. For Camillus and Juno, see Stephen Benko, The virgin goddess: studies in the pagan and Christian roots of mariology, BRILL, 2004, p.27.

Coordinates: 41°53′N 12°29′E / 41.883°N 12.483°E

Armilustrium

In ancient Roman religion, the Armilustrium was a festival in honor of Mars, the god of war, celebrated on October 19. On this day the weapons of the soldiers were ritually purified and stored for winter. The army would be assembled and reviewed in the Circus Maximus, garlanded with flowers. The trumpets (tubae) would be played as part of the purification rites. The Romans gathered with their arms and armour on the Aventine Hill, and held a procession with torches and sacrificial animals. The dancing priests of Mars known as the Salii may also have taken part in the ceremony.

Festivals associated with Mars were held mainly in March, Latin Martius, the month that was named after him, and in October, to begin and end the military campaigning season. These festivals were the Equirria, the sacral chariot races held on February 27 and March 14, and on October 15 with the sacrifice of the October Horse; the Agonium Martiale on March 17; the Quinquatrus, another ritual for purifying weapons before the military campaigning season, on March 19; and following the Armilustrium, the Tubilustrium, "Purification of the Trumpets," on October 23.

Armilustrium also refers to a large open space on the Aventine Hill where the festival was held.

Aventinus

Aventinus may refer to:

Places:

Aventinus, Latin name of Abensberg, Germany

Aventine Hill, named after Aventinus, king of Alba and LatiumPersons:

Aventinus (mythology), son of Hercules and Rhea

Aventinus of Alba Longa, descendant of Aeneas, king of the Latins (future Rome site)

Saint Aventinus (d. c 537), disciple of St. Loup

Aventinus of Tours (d. 1180), hermit and saint

Johannes Aventinus, Bavarian historian and philologistOthers:

Aventinus (beer), a wheat doppelbock brewed by G. Schneider & Sohn, in Bavaria, Germany

Aventinus (mythology)

Aventinus was a son of Hercules and the priestess Rhea mentioned in Virgil's Aeneid, Book vii. 656, as an ally of Mezentius and enemy of Aeneas (Dryden's translation):

Servius on this passage speaks of an Aventinus, a king of the aboriginal inhabitants of Rome, who was killed and buried on the hill afterwards called the Aventine Hill. This king may be conflated with the Aeneid figure or with Aventinus:

"The Aventine is a hill in the city of Rome. It is accepted that it derives its name from birds (aves) which, rising from the Tiber, nested there (as we read in the eighth book of a suitable home for the nests of ill-omened birds). This is because of a king of the Aboriginal Italians, Aventinus by name, who was both killed and buried there - just as the Alban king Aventinus was, he who was succeeded by Procas. Varro, however, states that amongst the Roman people, the Sabines accepted this mountain when it was offered them by Romulus, and called it the Aventine after the Aventus river in its area. It is therefore accepted that these different opinions came later, for in the beginning it was called Aventinus after either the birds or the Aboriginal King: from which it is accepted that the son of Hercules mentioned here took his name from that of the hill, not vice versa."This Aventinus (the son of Hercules) is not mentioned elsewhere in classical literature.

Aventinus of Alba Longa

Aventinus (said to have reigned 854-817 BC), one of the mythical kings of Alba Longa, who was buried on the Aventine Hill later named after him. He is said to have reigned thirty-seven years, and to have been succeeded by Procas, the father of Amulius.

Servius, in analysing Virgil's Aeneid, Book vii. 656, speaks of an Aventinus, a king of the aboriginal inhabitants of Rome, who was killed and buried on the hill afterwards called the Aventine Hill. This king may be conflated with this one or with a separate figure in the Aeneid:

"The Aventine is a hill in the city of Rome. It is accepted that it derives its name from birds (aves) which, rising from the Tiber, nested there (as we read in the eighth book of a suitable home for the nests of ill-omened birds). This is because of a king of the Aboriginal Italians, Aventinus by name, who was both killed and buried there - just as the Alban king Aventinus was, he who was succeeded by Procas. Varro, however, states that amongst the Roman people, the Sabines accepted this mountain when it was offered them by Romulus, and called it the Aventine after the Aventus river in its area. It is therefore accepted that these different opinions came later, for in the beginning it was called Aventinus after either the birds or the Aboriginal King: from which it is accepted that the son of Hercules mentioned here took his name from that of the hill, not vice versa."

Cacus

In Roman mythology, Cacus was a fire-breathing giant and the son of Vulcan. He was killed by Hercules after terrorizing the Aventine Hill before the founding of Rome.

Embassy of the United States to the Holy See

The Embassy of the United States of America to the Holy See (or Embassy Vatican for short) is the diplomatic mission of United States of America to the Holy See, a term referring to the central government and universal reach of the Roman Catholic Church. The current embassy moved to new headquarters in September 2015 in a separate building on the same compound as the United States Embassy Rome. The embassy was previously located on Aventine Hill in the Villa Domiziana in Rome, Italy, which was built as a private residence in 1953. In 1994, the U.S. government acquired the property as the new chancery for embassy. On October 16, 2017, Callista L. Gingrich was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the next Ambassador to the Holy See.The embassy is a part of the "Tri-Mission Community" in Rome, the other two being the Embassy of the United States, Rome and the United States Mission to the U.N. Agencies in Rome.

Evander of Pallene

In Roman mythology, Evander (from Greek Εὔανδρος Euandros, "good man" or "strong man": an etymology used by poets to emphasize the hero's virtue) was a culture hero from Arcadia, Greece, who brought the Greek pantheon, laws, and alphabet to Italy, where he founded the city of Pallantium on the future site of Rome, sixty years before the Trojan War. He instituted the festival of the Lupercalia. Evander was deified after his death and an altar was constructed to him on the Aventine Hill.

In addition, Strabo, mention that one of the stories about Rome is that it was an Arcadian colony and was founded by Evander.

Faunus

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Faunus [fau̯nʊs] was the horned god of the forest, plains and fields; when he made cattle fertile he was called Inuus. He came to be equated in literature with the Greek god Pan.

Faunus was one of the oldest Roman deities, known as the di indigetes. According to the epic poet Virgil, he was a legendary king of the Latins. His shade was consulted as a goddess of prophecy under the name of Fatuus, with oracles in the sacred grove of Tibur, around the well Albunea, and on the Aventine Hill in ancient Rome itself.Marcus Terentius Varro asserted that the oracular responses were given in Saturnian verse. Faunus revealed the future in dreams and voices that were communicated to those who came to sleep in his precincts, lying on the fleeces of sacrificed lambs. W. Warde Fowler suggested that Faunus is identical with Favonius, one of the Roman wind gods (compare the Anemoi). Faunus is very probably of Indo-European origin, which he shares with the Vedic god Rudra.

List of ancient monuments in Rome

This is a list of ancient monuments from republican and imperial periods in the city of Rome, Italy.

Murcia (deity)

Murcia was a little-known goddess in ancient Rome. Her name occurs as a surname of Venus.According to Livy she had a temple at the foot of the Aventine Hill near to the Palatine Hill. Murcus is said to have been an old name for the Aventine Hill itself; hence the adjective murtius (= murcius) was applied to the turning-posts of the Circus Maximus, which was also situated in a valley between the Aventine and the Palatine Hills.The name Murcia was linked to the name of the myrtle tree (Latin myrtus) by folk etymology; hence the spellings Murtia and Murtea. This association with myrtle, which was a sign of Venus, led to her naming as "Venus of the Myrtles". Christian writers, in their turn, connected Murcia with the adjective murcus or murcidus "lazy, inactive", thus interpreting her as a "goddess of sloth and laziness".

Pales

In ancient Roman religion, Pales was a deity of shepherds, flocks and livestock. Regarded as male by some sources and female by others, Pales can be either singular or plural in Latin, and refers at least once to a pair of deities.

Pales' festival, called the Parilia, was celebrated on April 21. Cattle were driven through bonfires on this day. Pales and the Parilia were strictly connected to the foundation of Rome which took place on the day of their festival.

Marcus Atilius Regulus built a temple to Pales in Rome following his victory over the Salentini in 267 BC. It is generally thought to have been located on the Palatine Hill, but, being a victory monument, it may have been located on the route of the triumphal procession, either on the Campus Martius or the Aventine Hill. According to the Fasti Antiates Maiores, there was a festival for "the two Pales" (Palibus duobus) on July 7, probably to mark the dedication of this temple.

Piazza Albania

Piazza Albania is a square of Rome (Italy), placed along Viale Aventino, not far from Porta San Paolo, at the footsteps of the Aventine Hill.

Pons Probi

The Pons Probi (Bridge of Probus) was a bridge over the River Tiber in Ancient Rome, just south of Porta Trigemina.

The Pons Probi connected the Aventine Hill to the Trastevere. The Roman bridge was probably built during the reign of the Emperor Probus (276–282 AD). Possibly it was built because of the grain reforms of Aurelian, Probus's predecessor, which necessitated a number of aqueduct-powered water mills in this area, and a bridge to transport the grain from these across the Tiber.

In 374 there was a heavy flood of the Tiber, and it is likely that the flood inflicted considerable damage on the bridge. Between 381 and 387 the bridge was renovated or completely rebuilt under the Emperors Theodosius I and Valentinian II. In the Middle Ages the bridge became known as the Pons Novus ("New Bridge") and Pons Marmoreus Theodosii.The bridge was rebuilt again in the 11th century and later partially destroyed. The remains were completely demolished in 1484 by order of Pope Sixtus IV. Remains of the bridge's ancient piers were visible until the 1870s at low water level in the Tiber. The piers of the Pons Probis were finally removed in 1878.

Rome, From Mount Aventine

Rome, From Mount Aventine is an 1835 painting by J M W Turner, based on drawings made by him in the city in 1828. It shows a view of the city of Rome from the Aventine Hill.

It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1836, where it was described by the Morning Post as "one of those amazing pictures by which Mr Turner dazzles the imagination and confounds all criticism: it is beyond praise”.

It had been commissioned from Turner by Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro of Novar and remained in his family collection until it was bought by the 5th Earl of Roseberry in 1878. It then remained in the Roseberry collection until 2014. It was sold at Sotheby's in London on 3 December 2014 to a telephone bidder for £30.3m including buyer's premium, having had an estimate of £15-20m.

Rome Rose Garden

Rome Rose Garden is a public garden in Rome, Italy, located opposite the Circus Maximus on the Aventine Hill.

The park was established in 1931. Over 1100 varieties of roses are grown there, many of them gifts from countries around the world. The Rome Rose Garden covers 10,000 m square and each section has rose varieties characteristic of, or grown in, the respective variety.

The park also has an experimental section where new varieties of roses are tested for their suitability for public and private gardens in Italy.

San Saba, Rome

San Saba is an ancient basilica church in Rome, Italy. It lies on the so-called Piccolo Aventino, which is an area close to the ancient Aurelian Walls next to the Aventine Hill and Caelian Hill.

The current Cardinal Deacon of the Titulus S. Sabae is Jorge Medina Estévez. The titulus was established in 1959.

Seven hills of Rome

The seven hills of Rome (Italian: Sette colli di Roma [ˈsɛtte ˈkɔlli di ˈroːma], Latin: Septem colles/montes Romae) east of the river Tiber form the geographical heart of Rome, within the walls of the city.

The seven hills are:

Aventine Hill (Latin, Aventinus; Italian, Aventino)

Caelian Hill (Cælius, Celio)

Capitoline Hill (Capitolinus, Campidoglio)

Esquiline Hill (Esquilinus, Esquilino)

Palatine Hill (Palatinus, Palatino)

Quirinal Hill (Quirinalis, Quirinale)

Viminal Hill (Viminalis, Viminale)The Vatican Hill (Latin Collis Vaticanus) lying northwest of the Tiber, the Pincian Hill (Latin Mons Pincius), lying to the north, and the Janiculum Hill (Latin Ianiculum), lying to the west, are not counted among the traditional Seven Hills.

Via Ostiensis

The Via Ostiensis (Italian: via Ostiense) was an important road in ancient Rome. It ran west 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the city of Rome to its important sea port of Ostia Antica, from which it took its name. The road began near the Forum Boarium, ran between the Aventine Hill and the Tiber River along its left (eastern) bank, and left the city's Servian Walls through the Porta Trigemina. When the later Aurelian Walls were built, the road left the city through the Porta Ostiensis (Porta San Paolo). In the late Roman Empire, trade suffered under an economic crisis, and Ostia declined as an important port. With the accompanying growth of importance of the Via Portuensis from the time of Constantine onwards, that of the Via Ostiensis correspondingly decreased. Modern Via Ostiense, following a similar path, is the main connection of Rome to Ostia (one of the quarters of Rome at present) together with the Via del Mare. On its way to Ostia, the road passes by the important basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls.

Villa del Priorato di Malta

Villa del Priorato di Malta or Magistral Villa, located on the Aventine Hill in Rome, is one of the two institutional seats of the government of the Sovereign Order of Malta. Along with Magistral Palace, the estate is granted extraterritorial status by Italy. It also hosts the Grand Priory of Rome and the embassy of the Sovereign Order of Malta to Italy.

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