Natural and Man-Made Landmarks of Ancient Rome

Below you'll read about some of the ancient landmarks of Rome. Some of these are natural landmarks; others, made by man, but all are utterly awe-inspiring to see.

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Seven Hills of Rome

Palatine hill / Roman forum at night , Rome , Italy
Palatine Hill, Roman forum at night. Shaji Manshad / Getty Images

Rome geographically features seven hills: Esquiline, Palatine, Aventine, Capitoline, Quirinal, Viminal, and Caelian Hill.

Before the founding of Rome, each of the seven hills boasted its own small settlement. The groups of people interacted with each other and eventually merged together, symbolized by the construction of the Servian Walls around the seven traditional hills of Rome.

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Tiber River

Sunset over the River Tiber with a view of Vatican City
Christine Wehrmeier / Getty Images

The Tiber River is the main river of Rome. The Trans Tiberim is referred to as the right bank of the Tiber, according to "The Cults of Ancient Trastevere," by S. M. Savage ("Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome", Vol. 17, (1940), pp. 26-56) and includes the Janiculum ridge and the lowland between it and the Tiber. The Trans Tiberim appears to have been the site of the annual ludi piscatorii (Fishermen's Games) held in honor of Father Tiber. Inscriptions show the games were held in the third century B.C. They were celebrated by the City Praetor.

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Cloaca Maxima

Cloaca Maxima

Lalupa / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

The cloaca maxima was the sewer system built in the sixth or seventh century B.C., by one of the kings of Rome—probably Tarquinius Priscus, although Livy attributes it to Tarquin the Proud—to drain the marshes in the valleys between the hills into the Tiber River.

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Sunrise at the Colosseum, Rome, Italy
Artie Photography (Artie Ng) / Getty Images

The Colosseum is also known as the Flavian Amphitheater. The Colosseum is a large sports arena. Gladiatorial games were played in the Colosseum.

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Curia - The House of the Roman Senate

Santi Luca Church Curia Senate House Roman Forum Rome Italy
bpperry / Getty Images

The curia was part of the political center of Roman life, the Roman forum's comitium, which was at the time a rectangular space mostly aligned with the cardinal points, with the curia to the north.

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Roman Forum

The Arch of Septimius Severus and The Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Rome, Lazio, Italy, Europe
Neale Clark / Getty Images

The Roman Forum (Forum Romanum) began as a marketplace but became the economic, political, and religious center of all Rome. It is thought to have been created as a result of a deliberate landfill project. The forum stood between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills in the center of Rome.

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Trajan Forum

Trajans Forum with Trajans Column and columns of the Basilica Ulpia, at back right churches of Chiesa SS Nome di Maria e Bernardo, left Santa Maria di Loreto, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Kim Petersen / Getty Images

The Roman Forum is what we call the main Roman forum, but there were other forums for specific types of food as well as imperial forums, like this one for Trajan that celebrates his victory over the Dacians.

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Servian Wall

Remains of the Servian wall near the railway station, Rome, 1902.
Print Collector/Getty Images / Getty Images

The Servian Wall that surrounded the city of Rome was supposedly built by the Roman king Servius Tullius in the 6th century B.C.

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Aurelian Gates

gate in ancient city Aurelian Wall in Rome
VvoeVale / Getty Images

The Aurelian Walls were built in Rome from 271–275 to enclose all seven hills, the Campus Martius, and the Trans Tiberim (Trastevere, in Italian) region of the formerly Etruscan west bank of the Tiber.

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Lacus Curtius

Roman civilization, Relief with Marcus Curtius on horseback leaping into chasm Lacus Curtius
DEA / A. DAGLI ORTI / Getty Images

The Lacus Curtius was an area located in the Roman Forum named for a Sabine Mettius Curtius.

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Appian Way

Aerial view of the Aqueduct Park
Nico De Pasquale Photography / Getty Images

Leading out of Rome, from the Servian Gate, the Appian Way took travelers all the way from Rome to the Adriatic coastal city of Brundisium whence they could head to Greece. The well-storied road was the site of the grisly punishment of Spartacan rebels and the demise of the leader of one of two rival gangs in the period of Caesar and Cicero.

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Your Citation
Gill, N.S. "Natural and Man-Made Landmarks of Ancient Rome." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, Gill, N.S. (2021, February 16). Natural and Man-Made Landmarks of Ancient Rome. Retrieved from Gill, N.S. "Natural and Man-Made Landmarks of Ancient Rome." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 6, 2023).