Clivus Capitolinus

Richardson, L. jr

Clivus Capitolinus (Fig. 19): the principal approach to the Capitoline Hill, the only road that could be negotiated by vehicles from the forum side. It began at the Area Volcani (see Volcanal), climbed steeply to the southwest along the Temple of Saturn (Servius ad Aen. 2.116, Servius ad Aen. 8.319), and bent sharply back at the corner of the Porticus Deorum Consentium, part of the back wall of which serves as terracing for the clivus. Its upper course is very uncertain and was probably changed and extended by branches several times. Originally this must have been simply a path and led to the saddle, Inter Duos Lucos, from which other paths led to the crests of the hill. After the construction of the Capitoline temple, it was made a processional way and suitable for vehicles. It was paved by the censors of 174 B.C., Q. Fulvius Flaccus and A. Postumius Albinus (Livy 41.27.7). In 190 B.C. Scipio erected an elaborate arch somewhere along it, adversus viam, but probably not a gateway to the Area Capitolina, as otherwise this would be specified (Livy 37.3.7). It may have been considered part of the Sacra Via, but was no longer so in Varro's day (Varro Ling. 547; Festus 372L).

Because it commanded the Forum Romanum, it was a convenient place for a show of strength (Livy 3.18.7, Livy 3.19.7; Cicero Att. 2.1.7). Along some part of it there were private houses (Cicero Milon. 64). And about halfway up was the Porta Stercoraria (Festus 466L), leading to an angiportus. Portions of the pavement still exist in the lower reaches, but nothing in the upper parts.

Nash 1.250-51.

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