Aurelian Walls


The Aurelian Walls (Italian: Mura aureliane) are a line of city walls built between 271 AD and 275 AD in Rome, Italy, during the reign of the Roman Emperors Aurelian and Probus. They superseded the earlier Servian Wall built during the 4th century BC.

The walls enclosed all the seven hills of Rome plus the Campus Martius and, on the right bank of the Tiber, the Trastevere district. The river banks within the city limits appear to have been left unfortified, although they were fortified along the Campus Martius. The size of the entire enclosed area is 1,400 hectares (3,500 acres).[1] The wall cut through populated areas: in reality the city at the time embraced 2,400 hectares or 6,000 acres.[citation needed] Pliny the Elder in the first century A.D. suggested that the densely populated areas, 'extrema tectorum' (the limits of the roofed areas) extended 2.8 kilometres (1.7 mi) from the Golden Milestone in the Forum (Natural History 3.67).


Location" Location: Porta Ardeatina Street Mura Latine Street, Rome 00179 Italy
Open Access Visit Type: Open Access
Co-ordinates" Co-ordinates: 41.873493, 12.501483



Based on the style of sculptural details, Domitian's favored architect Rabirius, sometimes credited with the Colosseum, may have executed the arch. Without contemporary documentation, however, attributions of Roman buildings on basis of style are considered shaky.[citation needed]

The medieval Latin travel guide Mirabilia Urbis Romae noted the monument, writing: "the arch of the Seven Lamps of Titus and Vespasian; [where Moses' candlestick is having seven branches, with the Ark, at the foot of the Cartulary Tower"].

During the Middle Ages, the Frangipani family added a second story to the vault, converting it into a fortified tower; beam holes from the construction remain in the panels. Pope Paul IV (papacy 1555–1559) made it the place of a yearly oath of submission.[citation needed]

It was one of the first buildings sustaining a modern restoration, starting with Raffaele Stern in 1817 and continued by Valadier under Pius VII in 1821, with new capitals and with travertine masonry, distinguishable from the original marble. The restoration was a model for the country side of Porta Pia.

At an unknown date, a local ban on Jews walking under the arch was placed on the monument by Rome's Chief Rabbinate; this was rescinded on the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948, and at a Hanukkah event in 1997 the change was made public. The arch was never mentioned in Rabbinic literature.

Nearby Locations

Porta San Sebastiano Italy bullet_black0.01 milesSSW
Museo delle Mura Italy bullet_black0.01 milesSSW
Tomb of the Scipios Italy0.17 milesNNW
Baths of Caracalla Italy bullet_black0.59 milesNW
Catacombs of St. Callixtus Italy1.11 milesSSE
Palatine Hill Italy bullet_black1.16 milesNNW
Collosseum Italy bullet_black1.21 milesNW
Circus Maximus Italy bullet_black1.21 milesNW
Domus Aurea Italy1.25 milesNNW
Arch of Constantine Italy bullet_black1.26 milesNNW
Baths of Trajan Italy1.30 milesNNW
Arch of Titus Italy bullet_black1.36 milesNNW
Catacombs of San Sebastiano Italy1.43 milesSSE
Roman Forum Italy bullet_black1.54 milesNNW
Arch of Septimius Severus Italy bullet_black1.59 milesNNW
Imperial Fora Italy bullet_black1.59 milesNNW
Circus of Maxentius Italy1.64 milesSSE
Capitoline Museums Italy bullet_black1.69 milesNW
Santa Maria in Aracoeli Italy bullet_black1.69 milesNW
Trajan's Forum Italy1.72 milesNNW
Information correct as of 16/09/2020