The Tiber River of Rome - Ancient History Glossary

Tiber River
Tiber River.

Definition: The Tiber is one of longest rivers in Italy. It is about 250 miles long and varies between 7 and 20 feet deep. It is the second longest river in Italy; the Po, the longest. The Tiber flows from the Appenines at Mount Fumaiolo through Rome and into the Tyrrhenian Sea at Ostia. The Encyclopedia Britannica says that the Tiber was originally called Albulula because it was so white, but it was renamed Tiberis after Tiberinus, who was a king of Alba Longa who drowned in the river.

Theodor Mommsen says the Tiber was the natural highway for traffic in Latium, and provided an early defense against neighbors on the other side of the river, which in the area of Rome runs approximately southwards. The Veientine Wars were fought over control of the Tiber. The Tiber was connected with the Cloaca Maxima, the sewer system of Rome. Most of the city of Rome is to the east of the Tiber River. The area to the west, including the island in the Tiber, Insula Tiberina, was in Augustus' XIVth region of Rome [source: The topography and monuments of ancient Rome, by Samuel Ball Platner].

Also Known As: Fiume Tevere,Tiberis,

Examples: In antiquity, ten bridges were built over the Tiber. Eight spanned the Tiber, while two permitted passage to the island.

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