The soil of Rome continues to reveal surprises, the last one of the stones that marked the sacred limits of the capital of the Empire, a find without precedent in more than a century and that gives new information about the development of the city over time.
This stone or landmark (“cippus”, in Latin), dated in the year 49 or 50 AD, It was found in its original place, while it is currently being excavated in the vicinity of the Mausoleum of the first emperor, Augustus, in the heart of the city and which has just been reopened.
The piece delimited known as “pomerium”, a strip of land that separated the city from Rome and the exterior along its walls and that the emperors expanded according to their conquests and the expansion of the imperial borders.
In this consecrated space a special jurisdiction ruled and, for example, it was forbidden to plow and cultivate, live, build buildings and, very importantly, go through it armed or leading an army. Specific, the new “cippus” found was erected by Emperor Claudius two millennia ago, in whose mandate Rome annexed numerous provinces such as Britania, Mauritania or Thrace, present-day Bulgaria.
Only ten other milestones have been found
“From the political point of view, this milestone sends us an important message because it shows the will of Emperor Claudio to expand the limits of the city,” the superintendent of Culture of Rome, Daniela Porro, told EFE this Friday at the presentation. The travertine block still preserves some lines of the original inscription, which recalls Claudio with all his titles and gives him the authority to modify the limit of Rome.
Who altered the “pomerium” He presented himself as the “new founder” of the city, something that happened very rarely, although the historical sources speak of other changes made by Sila, Julius Caesar, Augustus, Nero, Trajan or Aurelian.
Along the centuries Only ten other landmarks from the Claudian era have been found, the last one in 1909, More than a hundred years ago, and “only three were found in their original place and none were so well preserved,” Porro said.
The mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, who also attended the presentation, celebrated that “Rome never ceases to amaze and is always shown with new treasures.” The new “cippus” will be kept in the Paladino room of the neighboring Ara Pacis museum, the mythical altar with which Augustus commemorated the pacification of Rome and where his presentation took place this Friday. Later it will be transferred to the interior of the mausoleum of Augustus, when its rehabilitation is completed.