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date: 26 September 2022

Campus Martiuslocked

Campus Martiuslocked

  • Penelope Davies

Extract

A spacious tract of land outside the original pomerium, often known simply as the Campus, the Campus Martius comprised most of the low-lying plain bounded by the Tiber on the west, the Pincian and Quirinal hills to the east, and the Capitoline hill to the south. Prone to flooding from the river, it was also traversed by streams such as the amnis Petronia, and watered by natural springs. Dedicated to the war god, it took its name from the Altar of Mars. The Campus occupied a special place in Rome’s mythic past, for, according to one tradition, at its lowest point, the palus Caprae, Romulus was enveloped in a dark cloud in front of his assembled troops and lifted to the heavens in apotheosis. Tradition also held that toward the end of the regal period Tarquinius Superbus either took possession of the grassy plain or received it as an honour; upon his expulsion, it was restored to the people as public pasture, ager publicus.

Subjects

  • Roman Material Culture

Updated in this version

Article rewritten to reflect current scholarship.

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