Aqua Marcia Aqueduct Rome

The Aqua Marcia Aqueduct in Rome is one of the oldest aqueducts leading water to the Eternal City. With a length of 19 km, it is also one of the longest ones. Water from this aqueduct already in ancient Roman times was known for its excellence. Good places to see ruins of the Acquedotto Marcio are in the Parco degli Acquedotti, the Piazza di Porta Maggiore and at the Porta Tiburtina.

Aqua Marcia Acqueduct Rome

History and description

Marcio Aqueduct Rome (near Porta Maggiore)
Part of the aqueduct near Porta Maggiore.

The aqueduct gets its name from the magistrate Quinto Marcio Re, who in 144 BC ordered the aqueduct to be built in order to get water from the springs near the city of Arsoli (east of Rome).

The aqueduct underwent major restorations and repairs in 33 BC, during Marcus Agrippa‘s reign, and then again under Augustus, between 11 and 14 BC. Augustus also increased its capacity by linking it to the Augusta (another source of water). In 79 AD Titus was responsible for another restoration and in 212-13 AD it was Caracalla‘s turn. On the upper part of the Porta Tiburtina a record of these restorations can be seen.

Aqua Marica Aqueduct Rome - Porta Tiburtina
Porta Tiburtina.

When Diocletian had his baths constructed, the water was supplied by the Acqua Marcia and a new channel was built. Various restorations were carried out and documented again by inscriptions on buildings. 10 different Roman districts ended up being supplied with water from the Acqua Marcia. The Celio and the Aventino districts got their water from the Rivus Herculaneus, an underground side channel of the Marcia that started just before the Porta Tiburtina.

Ruins of the Acqua Marcia can also be seen in the Casale district. Unfortunately big parts of it were either destroyed or broken down to be reused for the construction of the Acqua Felice, as can especially be seen between Porta Maggiore and Porta Tiburtina.

The Acqua Marcia shares part of its structure with the Acqua Tepula and the Acqua Julia.

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