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Pons Aemilius - Ancient Rome Live

Pons Aemilius - Ancient Rome Live



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The Pons Aemilius (now known as the Ponte Rotto), dating to the era of Augustus (r. 27 BCE - 14 CE), was one of Rome's largest ancient bridges. Three arches were still standing in the Renaissance and plans were made to reconstruct the lost arches. Unfortunately, further destruction occurred and more was destroyed at the construction of the 1870 CE flood walls. Today, the single arch is overshadowed by the Ponte Palatino replacement bridge completed in the early 20th Century CE. Ponte Rotto ("broken bridge") stands as a testament of incredible Roman engineering.


Ponte Milvio

The Milvian (or Mulvian) Bridge (Italian: Ponte Milvio or Ponte Molle Latin: Pons Milvius or Pons Mulvius) is a bridge over the Tiber in northern Rome, Italy. It was an economically and strategically important bridge in the era of the Roman Empire and was the site of the famous Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312, which led to the imperial rule of Constantine.


Additional source material

116. The Pons Aemilius and the Pons Sublicius (“The Pile Bridge”). Sources.

The censors Marcus Aemelius Lepidus and Marcus Fulvius Nobilior carried out a number of public works with the money assigned and divided between them [in 179 BC].… The works contracted out by Marcus Fulvius were of greater utility, including a harbor and piers for a bridge across the Tiber. Some years later [142 BC], the censors Publius Scipio Africanus and Lucius Mummius added the arches to these piers.

Livy, History 40.51.2, 4

©2008 by the Rectors and Visitors of the University of Virginia. All rights reserved.


Các trụ cầu cổ nhất có lẽ đã được đặt khi đường Via Aurelia được xây dựng vào giữa thế kỷ thứ 2 trước Công nguyên. [3] Theo Titus Livius, có thể đã tồn tại một cây cầu ở cùng vị trí với Pons Aemilius vào năm 192 trước Công nguyên. Cây cầu lần tiên được chính thức xây dựng dưới quyền quản lý của một quan chức là Marcus Fulvius Nobilior vào năm 179 trước Công nguyên [4] (mặc dù nó không được hoàn thành cho đến năm 151 trước Công nguyên). [5] Các trụ cầu được đặt đầu tiên, sau đó các vòm của nó được Scipio Aemilianus và L. Mummius xây dựng vào năm 142 trước Công nguyên. [4] [6]

Cây cầu đã được sử dụng trong vài trăm năm, sau đó được sửa chữa và xây dựng lại bởi cả Augustus, [7] và sau đó bởi Hoàng đế Probus vào năm 280 sau Công nguyên. [5]

Sau sự sụp đổ của Đế chế La Mã, cây cầu đã bị hư hại nhiều lần do lũ lụt, mỗi trận lũ tàn phá một phần công trình cầu. Khiến cầu đã bị hư hại nặng nề đầu tiên vào năm 1230 sau Công nguyên, sau đó nó được xây dựng lại bởi Giáo hoàng Gregory XI.

Sau đó, cây cầu bị hư hại nghiêm trọng hơn bởi trận lụt xảy ra vào năm 1557, nhưng một lần nữa được xây dựng lại bởi Giáo hoàng Gregory XIII tàn tích của cây cầu ngày nay vẫn còn khắc chữ Latin chi tiết về việc cải tạo cây cầu của Gregory XIII. [5] [8]

Trận lũ lụt vào năm 1575 và 1598 đã hủy hoại một nửa phía đông cầu, dẫn đến việc nó bị bỏ hoang trong nhiều thế kỷ. [5] [9] Trong nhiều năm, nó được sử dụng như một bến tàu đánh cá. [10]

Vào năm 1853, Giáo hoàng Pius IX cho sửa chữa cây cầu để nối với đất liền bằng việc xây dựng thêm các vật liệu sắt, nhưng kim loại nặng làm suy yếu tính toàn vẹn cấu trúc của đá. [5] [10] Nửa còn lại đã bị phá hủy vào năm 1887 để nhường chỗ cho Ponte Palatino, phế tích cầu chỉ còn lại một vòm duy nhất cho đến ngày nay. [9]


Roman bridges have been constructed with stone and/or concrete and utilized the arch. Inbuilt 142 BC, the Pons Aemilius, later named Ponte Rotto is the oldest Roman stone bridge in Rome, Italy.

The largest Roman bridge was Trajan’s bridge over the in the Danube, constructed by Apollodorus of Damascus

13. Carts

Roman carts had many functions and got here in a wide range of varieties. Freight carts have been used to move items from one place to another. Barrel carts have been used to move liquids.

Public transportation carts as well as railed cargo systems for transporting heavy goods were in place.


Before its destruction, Ponte Rotto was known as Ponte Emilio. It was preceded by a wooden version, which was later replaced by stone in 179 BC.

The bridge once spanned the river Tiber, with a primitive version of the later stone bridge existing in 192 BC. Several years later the first stone bridge was constructed in 179 BC, but, the Romans being fine and through builders and architects, was not completed until 151 BC. The bridge’s piers date from this period, although its arches were constructed in 142 BC. This bridge stayed in place for several hundred years before undergoing repairs by both Emperors Augustus and Probus as late as AD 280.

Floods have damaged the bridge many times, with the first being in AD 1230, after which Pope Gregory XI repaired it. Further heavy damage occurred in 1557, until the most serious on Christmas Eve, 1598, which carried away the eastern half of the bridge and rendered the bridge unusable.

For many years, it was used as a fishing pier, until Pope Pius IX attempted to repair it in 1853 by adding an iron footbridge to connect the bridge to the mainland on the other side. This proved too heavy, however, and the metal structure was demolished along with another arch to make way for the Ponte Palatino, leaving the single arch which still stands to this day.

It was at this time that the bridge gained its current name, Ponte Rotto, or the ‘Broken Bridge’. It enjoys cult status amongst visitors to Rome, including William Turner, who, in 1819, left behind a series of sketches of the bridge after his visit to Rome.


Forum Boarium

This is the cattle market of Rome, attributed by the Romans to Hercules’ own presence here while on his labor to bring cattle from Spain to Greece (Propertius, Elegies 4.91-20). The first gladiatorial games were documented here in 264 BC (Val. Max. 2.4.7), and the first mention of a Roman insula in the city was located here by Livy (21.62, 218 BC). Excavations have revealed a number of temples and shrines. What remains visible in this area, defined by the Circus Maximus, Velabrum, Capitoline, and Tiber River, are the following:

  • Temple of Hercules (Olivarius or Victor)
  • Arch of Janus (late Antique)
  • Arch of the Argentarii (Severan)
  • Structure under S. Maria in Cosmedin (Ara Maxima?)

Forum Boarium: (Bovarium, Reference Latin Library: Cic. pro Scaur. 23 Liv. passim ἀγορὰ καλουμένη or λεγομένη Βοαρία Dionys. βοῶν ἀγορά Plut. cit.) was, as its name implies, the cattle-market of ancient Rome. It originally extended from the boundary of the Velabrum (later marked by the arcus Septimii Severei and the Janus Quadrifronis to the Tiber, and from the valley of the circus Maximus to the road leading from the pons Sublicius (or pons Aemilius) towards the Velabrum, but not as far north as the Servian wall (Reference Latin: Ov. Fast. VI.477, 478 Varro, LL V.146 id. ap. Propert. IV.9.17 Liv. X.23.3 XXI.62.3 XXII.57.6 XXIV.10.7 XXVII.37.15 XXIX.37.2 XXXIII.27.4 XXXV.40.8 Plin. NH xxxiv. ( cf. Oros. IV.13.3 Cass. Dio, fr. 47) Fest. 30 Aethicus p83, Riese CIL VI.1035). The first gladiatorial games were held here. See Arcus Septimii Severi (in foro Boario).

In process of time this large open space was greatly encroached upon by buildings but the name was still applied to the whole district. A bronze statue of a bull (said to have been brought from Aegina) symbolised its purpose, and (according to some authorities) gave it its name. It was an important centre of traffic, and had been so from a remote period for the original route from the north and east came along the Vicus lugarius or the Vicus Tuscus (q.v.) p224 on its way to the crossing of the Tiber at the pons Sublicius (or later the pons Aemilius), and here intersected the road which ran from the campus Martius between the Capitol and the river, passing through the porta Carmentalis and the porta Flumentana, and on to the porta Trigeminia. The road along the valley of the circus Maximus and the cilvus Publicius descending from the Aventine also opened into this narrow level space between the hills and the river. Thus streets, in later days adorned with porticoes, radiated from the forum Boarium in all directions (DAP 2.vi.247‑248).

This crowded area was often devastated by fire. It seems to have lain for the most part within the eleventh region of Augustus, but to have also included a small portion of the eighth.


Pons Cestius

The Pons Cestius (Italian: Ponte Cestio) is an ancient Roman bridge connecting the right bank of the Tiber with the west of the Tiber Island in Rome, Italy. [1] In Late Antiquity, the bridge was replaced and renamed the Pons Gratiani. [1] It is also known as the Italian: Ponte San Bartolomeo, lit. 'Bridge of Saint Bartholomew'. [1] No more than one third of the present stone bridge is of ancient material, as it was entirely rebuilt and extended in the 19th century, after numerous earlier restorations. [1]

1st-century BC bridge Edit

The original bridge (Latin: pons Cestius, lit. 'Bridge of Cestius') was built around the 1st century BC (some time between 62 and 27 BC), [ citation needed ] after the Pons Fabricius, which connects the other side of island to the river's left bank. The identity of the Cestius referred to in the bridge's name is unknown he may have been responsible for building the bridge or for later restoring an existing one, and may have been a member of the gens Cestia during the later Roman Republic. [1]

The Pons Cestius was the first bridge that reached the right bank of the Tiber from 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 was built, the right bank (Transtiber) remained unconnected until the Pons Cestius was constructed. Several members of the Cestii clan from the 1st century BC are known, but it is unknown which of them was responsible. [2] The gens Cestia was not a prominent family until the time of Gaius Cestius Epulo, whose tomb, the Pyramid of Cestius, survives built into Rome's 3rd-century Aurelian Walls. [1]

4th-century bridge Edit

In the 4th century the Pons Cestius was replaced by a new structure. According to the 5th century Latin historian Polemius Silvius, in 370 it was re-dedicated as the Pons Gratiani, to the brother-emperors Valentinian I ( r . 364–375 ) and Valens ( r . 364–378 ) and Valentinian's son Gratian ( r . 367–383 ), the reigning co-augusti of the Valentinianic dynasty. [1] The bridge was rebuilt using volcanic tuff stone and peperino marble, with a facing of travertine limestone. [1] Some of the rebuilding material came from the demolished porticus of the nearby Theatre of Marcellus. [3] Inscriptions on marble panels commemorating the work and naming the emperors were installed on the bridge and on the parapet. [1] The 4th-century bridge probably followed the architectural lines of its Republican predecessor. [1] Before the 19th-century rebuilding, the bridge was 48 metres (157 ft) long, with central arch spanning of 23.65 metres (77.6 ft) flanked by two arches each spanning 5.8 metres (19 ft). The bridge was 8.2 metres (27 ft) broad. [1]

Both the pontes Cestius and Fabricius were long-living bridges although the Fabricius remains wholly intact, the Ponte Cestio was restored several times from the 12th century and wholly dismantled and rebuilt in the 19th century, with only some of the ancient structure preserved. [1]

19th-century rebuilding Edit

During the embankment of the Tiber's channel in 1888–1892, the building of the walls and boulevards (the lungoteveri) along the river necessitated the Roman bridge's demolition and the reconstruction of a new bridge. [1] The ancient bridge, which had two small arches either side of the wide central span, was simply not long enough. The present bridge, with three large arches, was constructed in its stead, with its central arch reusing about two-thirds of the original material. [1]

Two thirds of the present structure dates to this period, with the only around a third of the structure built from pre-modern material. [1] After the 19th-century rebuilding, the bridge was 80.4 metres (264 ft) long, with the original central arch flanked by two other arches of equal span. [1] The bridge's derives its connection with the saint of the New Testament from the church and minor basilica dedicated to Bartholomew the Apostle on Tiber Island (Italian: San Bartolomeo all'Isola, lit. 'Saint Bartholomew of the Island').


Roman Roads Helped Transport and Trade

One of the great improvements to ancient society was the building of roads which were well thought out and well built. The vast majority of roads were made with cut and dressed stones, but there were also concrete roads. Such civil engineering skills by the building of these roads also lead to greater commerce within the Roman Empire and allowed the merchants to reach ever further out and expand trade. In the time of ancient Rome those roads were considered so important that some 29 roads were made to lead to and from the eternal city.


Pons Aemilius, 147 BC. The oldest bridge in Rome

What amazes me is how fast the engineering capability just vanished. Civilization fell to the lowest bidders.

Oldest stone bridge in Rome. Taken on my vacation in 2016. Ducks were chilling in the small arch and a man was fishing from the base.

Popularly known as Ponte Rotto "the broken bridge". Built by the Romans, styled by Michelangelo, destroyed by the Tiber.

The oldest one still standing is the Pons Fabricius that links Isola Tiberina to the Jewish Ghetto, about 50 yards away.

If you every walk over the bridge you feel surreal knowing that Cicero probably also strolled over it. Its an insane feeling.

Almost 2200 years old and it still looks better than the modern one behind it.

Except it fell over. That arch is all that's left the one behind it is the replacement.

Is the blue at the bottom right the man fishing?? Because I just looked at a photo I took and see the same blue thing there from 2015 https://imgur.com/CV219fc

Na I’m not sure what that is. He was out of frame when I took this.

Fascinating. Thanks for sharing!

Ponte Rotto! One of my favorite little pieces of history I fondly and vividly remember during my time living in the Eternal City! Wrote a cool lil blog piece about it a few years ago for a tour company I worked at for a brief period!


Watch the video: Romes Broken Bridge, the Ponte Rotto - Pons Aemilius - Ancient Rome Live (September 2022).

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