Tiber

The Tiber (/ˈtaɪbər/; Latin: Tiberis;[1] Italian: Tevere [ˈteːvere])[2] is the third-longest river in Italy, rising in the Apennine Mountains in Emilia-Romagna and flowing 406 kilometres (252 mi) through Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio, where it is joined by the river Aniene, to the Tyrrhenian Sea, between Ostia and Fiumicino.[3] It drains a basin estimated at 17,375 square kilometres (6,709 sq mi). The river has achieved lasting fame as the main watercourse of the city of Rome, founded on its eastern banks.

The river rises at Mount Fumaiolo in central Italy and flows in a generally southerly direction past Perugia and Rome to meet the sea at Ostia. Popularly called flavus ("the blond"), in reference to the yellowish colour of its water, the Tiber has heavily advanced at the mouth by about 3 kilometres (2 miles) since Roman times, leaving the ancient port of Ostia Antica 6 kilometres (4 miles) inland.[4][5] However, it does not form a proportional delta, owing to a strong north-flowing sea current close to the shore, to the steep shelving of the coast, and to slow tectonic subsidence.

Tiber
PonteSantAngeloRom
The Tiber in Rome
Tiber
Native nameTevere  (Italian)
Location
CountryItaly
Physical characteristics
Source 
 - locationMount Fumaiolo
 - elevation1,268 m (4,160 ft)
Mouth 
 - location
Tyrrhenian Sea
Length406 km (252 mi)
Basin size17,375 km2 (6,709 sq mi)
Discharge 
 - average239 m3/s (8,400 cu ft/s) (in Rome)
Source of Tiber
Mussolini's headstone near the source of Tiber
Roman sculpture
Roman representation of Tiber as a god (Tiberinus) with cornucopia at the Campidoglio, Rome
0 Tibre - Pont Vittorio Emanuele II - San Spirito in Sassia - St-Pierre (Vatican)
View of the Tiber looking towards the Vatican City
Rome flood marker
Rome flood marker, 1598, set into a pillar of the Santo Spirito Hospital near Basilica di San Pietro
Tiber in flood
Highest level of Tiber for 40+ years, 13 December 2008. View of Tiber Island

Sources

The source of the Tiber consists of two springs 10 metres (33 ft) away from each other on Mount Fumaiolo. These springs are called "Le Vene".[6] The springs are in a beech forest 1,268 metres (4,160 ft) above sea level. During the 1930s, Benito Mussolini placed an antique marble Roman column at the point where the river arises, inscribed QUI NASCE IL FIUME SACRO AI DESTINI DI ROMA ("Here is born the river / sacred to the destinies of Rome"). There is an eagle on the top of this column. The first miles of the Tiber run through Valtiberina before entering Umbria.[7]

Etymology

It is probable that the genesis of the name Tiber was pre-Latin, like the Roman name of Tibur (modern Tivoli), and may be specifically Italic in origin. The same root is found in the Latin praenomen Tiberius. There are also Etruscan variants of this praenomen in Thefarie (borrowed from Faliscan *Tiferios, lit. '(He) from the Tiber' < *Tiferis 'Tiber') and Teperie (via the Latin hydronym Tiber).[8][9]

The legendary king Tiberinus, ninth in the king-list of Alba Longa, was said to have drowned in the river Albula, which was afterward called Tiberis.[8] The myth may have explained a memory of an earlier, perhaps pre-Indo-European name for the river, "white" (alba) with sediment, or "from the mountains" from pre-Indo-European word "alba, albion" mount, elevated area.[10] Tiberis/Tifernus may be a pre-Indo-European substrate word related to Aegean tifos "still water", Greek phytonym τύφη a kind of swamp and river bank weed (Typha angustifolia), Iberian hydronyms Tibilis, Tebro and Numidian Aquae Tibilitanae.[11] Yet another etymology is from *dubri-, water, considered by Alessio as Sicel, whence the form Θύβρις later Tiberis. This root *dubri- is widespread in Western Europe e.g. Dover, Portus Dubris.[12]

According to the legend, Jupiter made him a god and guardian spirit of the river (also called Volturnus, "rolling water"). This gave rise to the standard Roman depiction of the river as a powerfully built reclining god, also named Tiberinus, with streams of water flowing from his hair and beard.[13]

The Tiber was also believed to be the river into which Romulus and Remus (the former founded Rome) were thrown as infants.[14]

History

According to legend, the city of Rome was founded in 753 BC on the banks of the Tiber about 25 kilometres (16 mi) from the sea at Ostia. The island Isola Tiberina in the centre of Rome, between Trastevere and the ancient center, was the site of an important ancient ford and was later bridged. Legend says Rome's founders, the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, were abandoned on its waters, where they were rescued by the she-wolf, Lupa.

The river marked the boundary between the lands of the Etruscans to the west, the Sabines to the east and the Latins to the south. Benito Mussolini, born in Romagna, adjusted the boundary between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna, so that the springs of the Tiber would lie in Romagna.

The Tiber was critically important to Roman trade and commerce, as ships could reach as far as 100 kilometres (60 mi) upriver; there is evidence that it was used to ship grain from the Val Teverina as long ago as the 5th century BC.[4] It was later used to ship stone, timber and foodstuffs to Rome.

During the Punic Wars of the 3rd century BC, the harbour at Ostia became a key naval base. It later became Rome's most important port, where wheat, olive oil, and wine were imported from Rome's colonies around the Mediterranean.[4] Wharves were also built along the riverside in Rome itself, lining the riverbanks around the Campus Martius area. The Romans connected the river with a sewer system (the Cloaca Maxima) and with an underground network of tunnels and other channels, to bring its water into the middle of the city.

Wealthy Romans had garden-parks or "horti" on the banks of the river in Rome up through the first century BC.[15] These may have been sold and developed about a century later.

The heavy sedimentation of the river made it difficult to maintain Ostia, prompting the emperors Claudius and Trajan to establish a new port on the Fiumicino in the 1st century AD. They built a new road, the via Portuensis, to connect Rome with Fiumicino, leaving the city by Porta Portese ('the port gate'). Both ports were eventually abandoned due to silting.

Several popes attempted to improve navigation on the Tiber in the 17th and 18th century, with extensive dredging continuing into the 19th century. Trade was boosted for a while but by the 20th century silting had resulted in the river only being navigable as far as Rome itself.[4]

The Tiber was once known for its floods — the Campus Martius is a flood plain and would regularly flood to a depth of 2 metres (6 ft 7 in). The river is now confined between high stone embankments which were begun in 1876. Within the city, the riverbanks are lined by boulevards known as lungoteveri, streets "along the Tiber".

Because the river is identified with Rome, the terms "swimming the Tiber" or "crossing the Tiber" have come to be the Protestant shorthand term for converting to Roman Catholicism. This is most common if the person who converts had been Anglican, the reverse of which is referred to as "swimming the Thames" or "crossing the Thames".

In ancient Rome, executed criminals were thrown into the Tiber. People executed at the Gemonian stairs were thrown in the Tiber during the later part of the reign of the emperor Tiberius. This practice continued over the centuries. For example, the corpse of Pope Formosus was thrown into the Tiber after the infamous Cadaver Synod held in 897.

Bridges

Rom Fiumicino 2011-by-RaBoe-02
Rome Fiumicino airport is also located near the river.

In addition to the numerous modern bridges over the Tiber in Rome, there remain a few ancient bridges (now mostly pedestrian-only) that have survived in part (e.g., the Ponte Milvio and the Ponte Sant'Angelo) or in whole (Fabricius' Bridge).

Metro tevere roma0
Train going under the river

In addition to bridges, there are tunnels which the Metro trains use.

See also

References

  1. ^ Richard J. A. Talbert, ed. (2000). Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World: Map-By-Map Directory. I. Princeton, NJ and Oxford, UK: Princeton University Press. p. 630. ISBN 0691049459.
  2. ^ (in Italian) Dizionario d'ortografia e di pronunzia
  3. ^ Lazio – Latium | Italy Archived 2009-08-28 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c d "Tiber River". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006
  5. ^ "Tiber". World Encyclopedia. Philip's, 2005.
  6. ^ "Tiber Springs – Mount Fumaiolo". turismo.fc.it. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Tuscany tours – the origin of the Tiber River". Farm Holidays Le Ceregne. Archived from the original on 11 May 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Tiber". Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names. John Everett-Heath. Oxford University Press 2005.
  9. ^ George Davis Chase, "The Origin of Roman Praenomina", in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, vol. VIII (1897)
  10. ^ Cf. e.g. G. Alessio "Studi storico-linguisitci messapici" in Archivio Storico Pugliese p. 304; "Sul nome di Brindisi" in Archivio Storico Puglese VIII 1955 p. 211 f.; "Apulia et Calabria nel quadro della toponomastica mediterranea" in Atti del VII Congresso Internazionale di Studi Onomastici Firenze 1962 p. 85.
  11. ^ G. Simonetta "La stratificazione linguistica dell' Agro Falisco" p. 6 citing G. Alessio.
  12. ^ G. Alessio "Problemi storico-linguistici messapici" in Studi Salentini12 1962 p. 304.
  13. ^ Tiber. Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth (1996)
  14. ^ Moore, Malcolm (21 November 2007). "The legend of Romulus and Remus". Telegrpah. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  15. ^ Horti:LacusCurtius • Gardens of Ancient Rome (Platner & Ashby, 1929)

External links

Comune di Fiumicino and the Tiber River, near Rome
The river mouth of the Tiber and city of Fiumicino on the Tyrrhenian Sea

Coordinates: 41°44′26″N 12°14′00″E / 41.7405°N 12.2334°E

Encounter with Tiber

Encounter With Tiber (ISBN 0-340-62451-5) is a 1996 science fiction novel written by former astronaut Buzz Aldrin and science fiction writer John Barnes. A working title, used on some advance covers for the British edition, was The Tides of Tiber.

Hollywood on the Tiber

Hollywood on the Tiber is a phrase used to describe the period in the 1950s and 1960s when the Italian capital of Rome emerged as a major location for international filmmaking attracting a large number of foreign productions to the Cinecittà studios. By contrast to the native Italian film industry, these movies were made in English for global release. Although the primary markets for such films were American and British audiences, they enjoyed widespread popularity in other countries, including Italy.

The commercial success of Quo Vadis (1951) led to a stream of blockbusters produced in Italy by Hollywood studios, which reached its height with 20th Century Fox's Cleopatra in 1963. The phrase "Hollywood on Tiber", a reference to the river that runs through Rome, was coined in 1950 by Time Magazine during the making of Quo Vadis.

Latium

Latium (, also US: , Latin: [ˈla.ti.ũː]) is the region of central western Italy in which the city of Rome was founded and grew to be the capital city of the Roman Empire. Latium was originally a small triangle of fertile, volcanic soil on which resided the tribe of the Latins or Latians. It was located on the left bank (east and south) of the River Tiber, extending northward to the River Anio (a left-bank tributary of the Tiber) and southeastward to the Pomptina Palus (Pontine Marshes, now the Pontine Fields) as far south as the Circeian promontory. The right bank of the Tiber was occupied by the Etruscan city of Veii, and the other borders were occupied by Italic tribes. Subsequently, Rome defeated Veii and then its Italic neighbours, expanding Latium to the Apennine Mountains in the northeast and to the opposite end of the marsh in the southeast. The modern descendant, the Italian Regione of Lazio, also called Latium in Latin, and occasionally in modern English, is somewhat larger still, but not as much as double the original Latium.

The ancient language of the Latins, the tribespeople who occupied Latium, was to become the immediate predecessor of the Old Latin language, ancestor of Latin and the Romance languages. Latium has played an important role in history owing to its status as the host of the capital city of Rome, at one time the cultural and political centre of the Roman Empire. Consequently, Latium is home to celebrated works of art and architecture.

Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica is a large archaeological site, close to the modern town of Ostia, that is the location of the harbour city of ancient Rome, 15 miles (25 kilometres) southwest of Rome. "Ostia" (plur. of "ostium") is a derivation of "os", the Latin word for "mouth". At the mouth of the River Tiber, Ostia was Rome's seaport, but due to silting the site now lies 3 kilometres (2 miles) from the sea. The site is noted for the excellent preservation of its ancient buildings, magnificent frescoes and impressive mosaics.

Pons Cestius

The Pons Cestius (Italian: Ponte Cestio, meaning "Cestius' Bridge") is a Roman stone bridge in Rome, Italy, spanning the Tiber to the west of the Tiber Island. The original version of this bridge was built around the 1st century BC (some time between 62 and 27 BC), after the Pons Fabricius, sited on the other side of island. Both the pontes Cestius and Fabricius were long-living bridges; however, whereas the Fabricius remains wholly intact, the Ponte Cestio was partly dismantled in the 19th century, with only some of the ancient structure preserved.

The Pons Cestius is the first bridge that reached the right bank of Tiber from the Tiber Island. Whereas the island was long connected with the left bank of the Tiber and the heart of ancient Rome, even before the pons Fabricius, the right bank (Transtiber) remained unconnected until the Cestius was constructed. Several prominent members of the Cestii clan from the 1st century BC are known, but it is uncertain which of them built this bridge.

In the 4th century the Pons Cestius was rebuilt by the Emperors Valentinian I, Valens and Gratian and re-dedicated in 370 as the Pons Gratiani. The bridge was rebuilt using tuff and peperino, with a facing of travertine. Some of the rebuilding material came from the demolished porticus of the nearby Theatre of Marcellus.During the building of the walls along the river embankment in 1888–1892, the bridge had to be demolished and rebuilt, as the western channel was widened from 48 to 76 meters. The ancient bridge, which had two small arches, was simply not long enough. A new bridge, with three large arches, was constructed in its stead, with its central arch reusing about two-thirds of the original material.

Pons Fabricius

The Pons Fabricius (Italian: Ponte Fabricio, meaning "Fabricius' Bridge") or Ponte dei Quattro Capi, is the oldest Roman bridge in Rome, Italy, still existing in its original state. Built in 62 BC, it spans half of the Tiber River, from the Campus Martius on the east side to Tiber Island in the middle (the Pons Cestius is west of the island). Quattro Capi ("four heads") refers to the two marble pillars of the two-faced Janus herms on the parapet, which were moved here from the nearby Church of St Gregory (Monte Savello) in the 14th century.

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.

Ponte Sant'Angelo

Ponte Sant'Angelo, once the Aelian Bridge or Pons Aelius, meaning the Bridge of Hadrian, is a Roman bridge in Rome, Italy, completed in 134 AD by Roman Emperor Hadrian, to span the Tiber, from the city center to his newly constructed mausoleum, now the towering Castel Sant'Angelo. The bridge is faced with travertine marble and spans the Tiber with five arches, three of which are Roman; it was approached by means of ramp from the river. The bridge is now solely pedestrian, and provides a scenic view of Castel Sant'Angelo. It links the rioni of Ponte (which was named after the bridge itself), and Borgo, to whom the bridge administratively belongs.

Santa Maria in Trastevere

The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere (Italian: Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere); English: Our Lady in Trastevere) is a titular minor basilica in the Trastevere district of Rome, and one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I. The church has large areas of important mosaics from the late 13th century by Pietro Cavallini.

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.

Statue of the Tiber river with Romulus and Remus

The Statue of the Tiber river with Romulus and Remus is a large statue from ancient Rome exhibited at the Louvre museum in Paris, France. It is an allegory of the Tiber river that waters the city of Rome.

The Elder Scrolls

The Elder Scrolls is a series of action role-playing open world epic fantasy video games primarily developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. The series is known for its elaborate and richly detailed open worlds and its focus on free-form gameplay. Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim all won Game of the Year awards from multiple outlets. The series has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide.Within the fictional The Elder Scrolls universe, each game takes place on the continent of Tamriel. The setting is a mix of early or pre-medieval real-world elements, often revolving around a powerful Roman-like Empire in a world with very limited technological capabilities, and high fantasy elements, such as widespread magic use, travel between parallel worlds and the existence of many mythological creatures such as dragons. The continent is split into a number of provinces of which the inhabitants include humans as well as popular humanoid fantasy races such as elves, orcs and anthropomorphic animals. A common theme in the lore is that a chosen hero rises to defeat an incoming threat, usually a malevolent being or an antagonistic army.

Since debuting with Arena in 1994, the series has produced a total of five main games (of which the last three have each featured two or three expansions) as well as several spin-offs. In 2014, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, The Elder Scrolls Online, was released by Bethesda's affiliated ZeniMax subsidiary ZeniMax Online Studios.

Tiber Creek

Tiber Creek or Tyber Creek was originally called Goose Creek. It is a tributary of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C.. It was a free-flowing creek until 1815 when it was channeled to become part of the Washington City Canal. Today, it is underground in tunnels around the city including under Constitution Avenue NW.

Tiber Island

The Tiber Island (Italian: Isola Tiberina, Latin: Insula Tiberina) is the only island in the part of the Tiber which runs through Rome. Tiber Island is located in the southern bend of the Tiber.

The island is boat-shaped, approximately 270 metres (890 feet) long and 67 metres (220 feet) wide, and has been connected with bridges to both sides of the river since antiquity. Being a seat of the ancient temple of Asclepius and later a hospital, the island is associated with medicine and healing. The Fatebenefratelli Hospital founded in the 16th century, and the Basilica of St. Bartholomew on the Island dating from the 10th century are located on the island.

Tiber station

Tiber is a side platformed Sacramento RT light rail station in La Riviera, California, United States. The station was opened on September 5, 1987, and is operated by the Sacramento Regional Transit District. As part of the Gold Line, it has service to Downtown Sacramento, California State University, Sacramento, Rancho Cordova, Gold River and Folsom. The station is located just west of Tiber Drive on Folsom Boulevard, north of Highway 50.

Tiberinus (god)

Tiberinus is a figure in Roman mythology. He was the god of the Tiber river. He was added to the 3,000 rivers (sons of Oceanus and Tethys), as the genius of the Tiber.

Trastevere

Trastevere (Italian pronunciation: [traˈsteːvere]) is the 13th rione of Rome, on the west bank of the Tiber, south of Vatican City, and within Municipio I. Its name comes from the Latin trans Tiberim, meaning literally "beyond the Tiber". Its logo is a golden head of a lion on a red background, the meaning of which is uncertain. To the north, Trastevere borders the XIV rione, Borgo.

Umbria

Umbria ( UM-bree-ə, Italian: [ˈumbrja]) is a region of central Italy. It includes Lake Trasimeno and Marmore Falls, and is crossed by the River Tiber. The regional capital is Perugia. Umbria is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, culinary delights, artistic legacy, and influence on culture.

The region is characterized by hills, mountains, valleys and historical towns such as the university centre of Perugia, Assisi, a World Heritage Site associated with St. Francis of Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and other Franciscan sites, works by Giotto and Cimabue, Terni. The hometown of Santa Rita, the hometown of St. Valentine, Norcia, the hometown of St. Benedict, Città di Castello, main center of the early Renaissance situated in the Tiber High Valley, Gubbio, the hometown of St. Ubaldo, Spoleto, Orvieto, Castiglione del Lago, Narni, Amelia, and other small cities.

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