Gruppo Archeologico Romano

This class has been cancelled, but the links will remain for private use by program participants.

Contact Ms. Anna Taggiasco, Gruppo Archeologico English Program, 06-39737703, for full Elglish Language Programmmw details and fee schedule.

Roman Neighborhoods        Autumn 2000

Background material keyed to topics to be covered in the Roman Neighborhoods course of the English Programme of the GAR

Valerie Higgins -- Fridays 10 am, Oct 6 - Dec 15

Tiber Island -- meeting point for the October 6 class

Internet sites of general use to participants:
Ancient Rome -- Topographical Dictionary
Archeology Links
Architecture Links

Art History:

Art History Webmasters ASSOCIATION
Gateway to Art History
Index of artists and architects
OCAIW: Orazio Centaro's Art Images Web -- sculpture, architecture, etc.
Vassari: Lives
World Wide Arts Resources
The Catholic Encyclopedia
Church/Religions Links
History Source books
Indice Monumenti Antichi e Aree Archeologiche -- Roma
Jubilee Links
Literature and eTexts
Maecenas: Images of Ancient Greece and Rome
Marmora Romana
Medieval History Links
Mythology Links
Palaces of Rome - by Italian Tourist Web Guide
POPES -- Catholic Encyclopedia

Roman Churches:

Rome Churches -- RomeTours
Rome Churches -- RomeGuide
Basilicas and Churches - Italian Culture Net Links
Vitruvius on Architecture -- LacusCurtius
Western Civilization Links


October 6:  Origins of Rome -- Tiber Island, Forum Boariun, Capitoline Hill

M.P.:  Piazza on Tiber Island
Tiber Island
The Tiber Island -- VirtualRoma
The Tiber,  Bridges, and Tiber Island in Rome
Aerial View of the Tiber Island
View of the Tiber Island
Forum Boarium
Foro Boario -- Cicero, Monumenti
Forum Boarium (German)
Vegetable and Cattle Markets
Forum Holitorium (Platner & Ashby, 1929)


AREA SACRA di S. Omobono
Image -- Archeological Site of S. Omobono
Temple of Portunus in the Forum Boarium
Temple of Portunus
Temple of Portunus -- Piranesi
Aeneas and the Foundation of Rome
The Legend of Aeneas and the Foundation of Rome
The Aeneid by Virgil
Hercules Victor
Hercules Victor
Temples of Hercules Victor and Portunus
Temple of Hercules Victor -- Franz, late 19th c.
Temple of Hercules Victor -- Vasi, mid 18th c.
Capitoline Hill
As would be expected of a site ot the antiquity and importance of the Capitoline/Campidoglio, there is very much information on the Internet.
Imperial Roma
The center of Rome in the late imperial era (3rd Century A.D.). Detail of the model in the Museo della Civiltà Romana (Rome)

Capitoline Hill/Pza. Campidoglio 58 photos from Leo C. Curran's incomparable collection Maecenas: Images of Ancient Greece and Rome (which totals over 1100 photos)

Jupiter Capitoline -- LacusCurtius (Platner & Ashby, 1929) Although Platner and Ashby are dated, this entry is still the best and most extensive explanation of the great temple to Iovis Optimi Maximi Capitolini on the Internet.  (The whole of Platner and Ashby is on line and can be found here.  LacusCurtius excerpts important Platner and Ashby citations, and they can be found at: LacusCurtius Platner & Ashby's Topography of Ancient Rome.)

Piazza del Campidoglio - Michelangelo - Great Buildings Online
Aerial Campidoglio and Forum
Capitoline Hill -- early print
Images of Palazzo dei Conservatori
Jupiter or Jove (from a concise Roman Gods page)
Leoni Capitolini
Piazza del Campidoglio w/early views
Phototour -- Architectour
Prints (scroll to bottom of page)
Santa Maria in Aracoeli

Tarpeian Rock -- Rupes Tarpeia
Versions of the story:

"So called from Tarpeia, a vestal virgin, the daughter of Spurius Tarpeius, governor of the citadel on the Capitoline Hill. Tarpeia agreed to open the gates to the Sabines if they would give her "what they wore on their arms" (meaning their bracelets). The Sabines, "keeping their promise to the ear," crushed her to death with their shields, and she was buried in that part of the hill called the Tarpeian Rock. Subsequently, traitors were cast down this rock and so killed."

"According to an old Roman legend Tarpeia was the daughter of Spurius Tarpeius who was the defender of the Capitol in Rome in a fight against the Sabines. She delivered the castle to the enemy in exchange for gold and ornaments."

"Another legend tells she was driven by love for Titus Tatius, the leader of the enemy. Instead of rewarding her, the Sabines threw them off a rock on the south-west side of the Capitol. That is why this rock got the name 'rupes Tarpeia', which means 'rock of Tarpeia'."

"Bear him to the rock Tarpeian, and from thence into destruction cast him."  Shakespeare: Coriolanus, iii. 1

October 13 -- Patrician Villas on the Esquiline Hill, Auditorium of Maecenas (fee)

M.P.:  Outside Colosseo Metro, Via dei Fori Imperiali

At 65 meters, the Esquiline, formerly a region of vineyards and gardens, with  few inhabitants, is the highest and most extensive of the Seven Hills of Rome.  Ancient Romans counted four summits:  Oppius, Cispius, Subura, and Fagitalis. Most of the Oppius or Oppian Hill is covered by a park on the site of the baths of Titus and of Trajan and Nero's Domus Aurea. The Cispius, extending to the northeast, is crowned by the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. The Subura is above the low-lying district of that name, and the Fagutalis was named after a beech grove that once stood there.

The four summits of the Esquiline, together with the three of the Palatine, formed the early city of the Septimontium. The name "Esquiline", according to Varro, was derived from the word excultus, which referred to the ornamental groves planted on the hill by Servius Tullius, including the Querquetulanus (oak grove) and Fagutalis.

Although most of the hill was considered an unhealthy place to live, the region between the modern Via Cavour and the slopes of the Oppian Hill, called the Carinoe, was a fashionable residential district. Pompey lived here, in a small but famous house, occupied after his death by Antony.   Maecenas, Octavian's advisor on civil affairs and on what was happening in Rome, planted his gardens (horti) behind his Villa on the Opian, and the building now known as the Auditorium of Maecenas was used for private performances of poetry and music.  The site of the Villa of Maecenas was afterwards occupied by the Baths of Titus. The villa was eventually acquired by Nero, who incorporated it in his famous Domus Aurea.  Virgil had a house near the gardens of Maecenas. Propertius lived in the vicinity and Horace may also have lived nearby.

The auditorium was in the Villa garden and dates from the reign of Augustus.  It may well have been a nymphaeum:  the "seats" in the apse have openings that may have been for water, which would flow down to form a backdrop for poetry readings/musical performances -- poetry was often sung to musical accompaniment.   Images are at:
Auditorium of Maecenas.
A short bio of Maecenas is at:
Maecenas, Gaius (Cilnius) -
Leo Curran's Maecenas Image Collection
Maecenas: Images of Ancient Greece and Rome

October 20:  Celian Hill in Roman and Medieval periods
M.P.:   Arch of Constantine
Antrum Cyclopis -- Platner and Ashby Entry
Arco di Dolabella

Celio Antiquarium

Antiquariun del Celio
Antiquarium Communale
Clivus Scauri

San Gregorio Magno

Chronology of Pope Gregory the Great
GREGORY THE GREAT -- Catholic Encyclopedia
St Gregory's on the Coelian Hill
IMAGES OF ROME -- Koskimies
Plan de Rome Le Caelius -- UniCaen

SS. Quattro Coronati

The Basilica of the Santi Quattro Coronati
Quattro Coronati -- Sylvester fresco cycle
R. Lanciani: Pagan and Christian Rome
Rome Photos -- Celio -- Cornell 287->290

SS. Giovanni e Paolo

Aerial View
Celio -- SS. Giovanni e Paolo (Koskimies)
SS. Giovanni e Paolo -- Vasi Print
Ss. Giovanni e Paolo -- Hager
STS. JOHN AND PAUL -- Catholic Encyclopedia
S. Maria in Domnica (S. M. Navicella)
S. Maria in Domnica -- Thayer
S. Maria in Dominica (sic)
 S. Stefano Rotondo -- Thayer

Villa Celimontana

Villa Celimontana
Societá Geografica Italiana  (Headquarters in Villa C.)

October 27:  Campus Martius -- Roman monumental center to Renaissance palace

M.P.:  Largo Argentina outside Teatro Argentina

Ara Pacis

AUGUSTUS: IMAGES OF POWER (for Mausoleum and Ara Pacis)
LacusCurtius - The Ara Pacis Augustæ
LacusCurtius Rodolfo Lanciani -Ara Pacis (1892)
Obeliscus Augusti (Platner & Ashby, 1929)
LacusCurtius - Pliny the Elder(latin)
Stefano del Lungo on the horologium (Italian) Gnomen
(Scroll down for sections on northern and southern Campus Martius -- each link takes you to multiple images, including important Palazzi.)
Marmora Romana

Mausoleum of Augustus

AUGUSTUS: IMAGES OF POWER (for Mausoleum and Ara Pacis)
The Mausoleum of Augustus
Piaza Navona
Nerone: The articles of the month
Piazza Navona--Koskimies
Piazza Navona -- Piranesi
Francesco Borromini 1599-1667
S. Agnese -- Piazza Navona
S. Agnese -- Morlacchi
Palazzo Pamphili -- Morlacchi
Four Rivers fountain, by Bernini, 1648-51
Pantheon --
Pantheon -- Great Buildings Online
Pantheon -- Maecenas
The Pantheon -- Rodolpho Lanciani
Transformation of Rome under Augustus


Funeral Customs
Riti funerari
Roman Funerals
The Via Flaminia -- LacusCurtius

November 3:  The Borgo

M.P.:  Via della Conciliazione, outside the main entrance to Santa Cecili


The BORGO, the district on the right bank of the Tiber between the Janiculum to the south and Monte Mario to the north, was known in ancient Rome as Ager Vaticanus (Vatican field). It was the stronghold of the papacy from 850, when Leo IV surrounded it with a line of walls, until 1586, when it was formally incorporated in the city of Rome.

The Ager Vaticanus was chosen by Caligula (37-41 AD ) for his circus, which was enlarged by Nero (54 68). The site of the Circus of Nero, just south of the Basilica of St. Peter's, was identified during excavations in the 20th century. In the adjoining gardens many Christians were martyred under Nero in 65 AD, including St. Peter who was buried in a pagan cemetery nearby. Over his grave the first church of St. Peter's was built (ca. 90 AD ) to commemorate his martyrdom. Also within the Ager Vaticanus, Hadrian built his mausoleum (now Castel Sant'Angelo) in 135 AD .

Some sources say that the Borgo was founded as a separate residential community in the 6th century by Totila, King of the Goths, but archeological evidence does not agree.  Inscriptions found in temples of Cybele and Mithras suggest that Roman pagan communities preexisted and that paganism retained its hold in the area until the late 4th century.  Meanwhile, Christians were moving into the area:  churches, chapels and convents were built round the first church of St. Peter, and the district, which attracted Saxon, Frank and Lombard pilgrims, came to be called the Borgo (borough), a name of Germanic origin from borgus meaning a small fortified settlement.  Most authorities agree that the name originally was applied to the Borgus Saxonum founded by King Ine of Wessex, who abdicated his throne and came to live in Rome in 726 AD.  That borgus stood at the site of the present Arciospedale di Santo Spirito in Sassia on the street now named Borgo S. Spirito.  Other such communities followed.  (The ospedaletto next door to S. Spirito [built by Sixtus IV from 1473-78] has a museum of the history of medicine starting with ancient Roman times and the Palazzo del Commendatore, the historic residence of the hospital director, further on [built 1567-71], has a corresponding medical history library, the Biblioteca Lancisiana.)

In 850 Leo IV (847-55) built 12 meter high walls around the Borgo, fortified with circular towers, to protect the neighborhood from the incursions of the Saracens: Since then, the area has also been known as the Leonine City (Citta Leonina).  Remnants of Leo's wall survive to the west of St. Peter's. The Leonine City became the papal citadel: within its walls John VIII was besieged in 878 by the Duke of Spoleto; in 896 Arnulph of Carinthia attacked it and Formosus crowned him emperor. Gregory VII took refuge in the Castel Sant'Angelo from the Emperor Henry, and was rescued by Robert Guiscard in 1084. After the coronation in 1167 of Barbarossa in St. Peter's, the Romans besieged the Leonine City (and attacked it again 12 years later).

During the "Babylonian captivity" (1309-78) the Borgo fell into ruin, but when the popes returned from Avignon to Rome they chose the Vatican as their residence in place of the Lateran. In the 15th century Eugenius IV and Sixtus IV, and early in the 16th century Julius II and Leo X were active in developing and embellishing the Borgo as well as the Vatican. The original area of the Borgo was enlarged to the north of Borgo Angelico. However, after the sack of Rome in 1527 the Borgo became one of the poorest and least populated districts of Rome, and in 1586 Sixtus V relinquished the papal claim to this area, so that it was united to the city of Rome.

Five (originally seven) streets in the Leonine City have the prefix Borgo. Borgo Sant'Angelo and Borgo Santo Spirito run respectively north and south of Via della Conciliazione. In the construction of that street, the central Borghi, Nuovo and Vecchio, were destroyed along with the narrow strip of buildings between them, the spina, so named because of its resemblance to the spina of classical circuses.  Via della Concilazione was built between (1936 to 1949) to celebrate the reconciliation of the Papacy and the Italian state achieved by the Lateran Treaty of 1929.  The remaining Borgo streets, the Borghi Angelico, Vittorio, and Pio survive north of Borgo Sant'Angelo, between the Castel Sant'Angelo and the Vatican.

The passetto, a raised fortified corridor emerges from the palace behind the northern wing of the great elliptical colonnade around St. Peter's Square and runs along Via dei Corridori and Borgo Sant'Angelo to Castel Sant'Angelo.  Sources disagree on when and by whom the passetto was constructed:  either by Pope Nicholas II in 1277 or by the anti Pope John XXIII (1410-15).  Pope Alexander VI Borgia repaired the passetto late in the 15th Century.  On some maps it is shown as the Corridore di Alessandro VI.  In 1527, Pope Clement VII used this escape route to Castel Sant'Angelo during the sack of Rome.

The famous Ponte Sant'Angelo (pedestrians only), the ancient Pons Aelius or Pons Adrianus, was built by Emperor Hadrian (Publius Aelius Hadrianus) in 134 as a fitting approach from the Campus Martius to his mausoleum, known since the Middle Ages as the Castel Sant'Angelo. Although the Roman bridge was decorated with statues, it was transformed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini when he designed the ten statues on the balustrade of angels holding the symbols of the Passion. These were executed in 1688 by his pupils, including Ercole Ferrata, Pietro Paolo Naldini, Cosimo Fancelli, and Antonio Raggi; two of the angels are copies of the originals which were removed to the church of Sant'Andrea delle Fratte. At the end towards the castle, the statues of St. Peter and Paul, by the school of Lorenzetto and Paolo Taccone (1464), were set up by Clement VII in 1534. The three central arches are part of the original structure; the end arches were restored and enlarged in 1892-94 during the construction of the lungotevere embankments.

To the south of Ponte Sant'Angelo is Ponte Vittorio Emanuele (1911), decorated with monumental sculptures in travertine, and bronze victories.

Raphael's The Fire in the Borgo  -- Vatican Stanzae (image)
The Districts of Rome - Rione Borgo
Mausoleum of Hadrian/Castel Sant'Angelo
S. Pietro

November 10:  Roma as a Pilgrimage Centere

M.P.:  Statue of St. Francis of Assisi in front of St. John Lateran
Catholic Encyclopedia: HOLY YEAR OF JUBILEE
Catholic Encyclopedia: PILGRIMAGES
History of the Jubilees - 1300
The Jubilee of the year 2000 - Battaglia
Itineraries -- The Seven Churches
Pilgrims in Rome, Official Vatican Guide -- Amazon

Pilgrimage Routes to Rome:

Pilgrimage Ways
Routes today
Via Romea
Via Francigena
For historians, the most famous Pilgrim, who visited Rome and Jerusalem:
Bordeaux Pilgrim - Map I: Europe

November 17:  Via Papale

M.P.:  Ponte Sant'Angelo

As soon as Sixtus V (reigned 1585-90) had built the Lateran Palace, the necesity for a regularized route or Via Papale between St. John Lateran and the Vatican became manifest.  It was well established by the mid 18th century when Giovanni Battista Nolli's 1748 figure/ground map of Rome was published.  The extremely accurate, entirely black and white map was commissioned by Clement XII.  Nolli's inventive map-making strategy was to show all public spaces in white and private inaccessible spaces in black.  The Nolli map was the result of seven years of measuring and recording by a group of surveyors.  The studies of 18th century Rome by Nolli, are an unique perspective revealing the intimate boundaries of public and private space within the city. The visual 'footprint' is defined by not only streets and pathways, but also by lobbies, courts, and interior public spaces of buildings.  The Internet version of the map, linked here, was prepared for an Art History course at Princeton University and has active links to many features on the map, including the Via Papale.
Nolli Map -- interactive
Medium scale map -- takes long to load, but all the links are active.  The Via Papale is clearly marked running between the Vatican Palace, upper left, and the Lateran, lower right.
Nolli's Rome
Via Papale Text-- from Nolli's Rome
Via Papale on Nolli's Map -- not interactive
Rome and the Nolli Map of 1748
San Giovanni a Roma - Piano sistino

November 24:  Artists of the 18th and 19th Centuries

M.P.:  Piazza del Popolo

18th Century Art -- Witcombe/Harbrace
19th Century Art -- Witcombe/Harbrace
1400 - 1800 Ren/Baroque --
1800 - 1880 Pre-Modern --
Post-1880 Modernism --
Italy, 1700s -- CGFA
Italy, 1800s -- CGFA
Artcyclopedia: Italian Artists

December 1:  Garbatella and the garden City

M.P.:  Garbatella Metro Station ticket barrier
FIUHAT Claudia
Archivio pubblicazioni della Associazione
Roma di Carlo Tombola 1
Roma di Carlo Tombola 2

The Citta-Giardino Aniene, also designed by Gustavo Giovannoni, if well documented on the internet.

December 8:  No meeting -- Feast of the Immaculate Conception

A good day to visit Piazza di Spagna if you like crowds.

Everything really happens in Piazza Mignanelli, the southern extension of Piazza di Spagna, and the focus is on the enormous column, topped with a statue of Mary, that was erected and blessed by Pope Pius IX in 1857 to commemorate his promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception three years earlier.  The observances and celebrations take place throughout the day, but the festa really gets rolling in late afternoon -- the Pope usually comes by at 4 PM.  Traditionally, the religious part of the festa is celebrated in Piazza Mignanelli.  The food vendors and street entertainers are in the northern end of Piazza di Spagna and surrounding streets, but
there is a lot of blending.

If you have lots of energy and a high tolerance for crowds, you can do as many Romans do, and hit the festa and the opening of the Christmas fair in Piazza Navona on the same day.

Piazza di Spagna/Spanish Steps:
PIAZZA DI SPAGNA -- Vasi, inter alii has a very good picture of the Barcaccio fountain, but the page takes forever to come on-screen

Piazza di Spagna, or the Spanish Steps a spooky 3d virtual reality view

Jigsaw Puzzle - Spanish Steps     Actually lights up!     Make your friends who are not Rome dwellers really jealous by ordering this for them for Christmas ($29).

December 15:  EUR and Modern Rome

M.P.:  Outside the EUR Fermi Metro Station

Eur - Home -- Ente EUR
EUR History -- Ente EUR
Plans and drawings
Rome EUR

mmdtkw    dean - wukitsch