January 24, 2022

Esquiline Hill (lat. Mons Esquilinus) is one of the seven hills of Rome, on which the oldest Roman settlement after the Palatine was located, towards which Palatine Rome (lat. Roma Quadrata) developed.


Esquilia (from ex + colere - "suburban part, suburb") was a plateau ending in the western part with two languages ​​\u200b\u200b- Cispius (46 m) and Oppius (49 m), of which the latter adjoined Velia, which separated Palatine from Esquiline. Oppium, Cispius and the ancient site of Oppia - Fagutal were part of the prehistoric Semiholmia (lat. Septimontium), which developed from Square Rome: the memory of this seven-hill city was preserved only in the Semiholmia festival, in which communities took part, timed to coincide with the seven ancient hills (montes) , including the three named Esquiline communities. Later, from the city of seven hills, a city of four quarters grew up, when the communities of Caelian Hill, Viminal and Quirinal joined the seven hills mentioned. The division into four quarters, of which one was called the Esquiline, continued throughout the Republican period, until the expansion of the city under Sulla and the introduction of a new division of Rome into 14 quarters under Augustus. Instead of the oldest fortification, which surrounded four quarters, around the 4th century BC. e. the so-called Servian wall was built, the eastern line of which expanded the boundaries of the Esquiline quarter, pushing them further to the east. From the side of the Esquiline Hill, the wall was interrupted by the Esquiline Gate, on the site of which the triumphal arch of Gallienus was subsequently built. Under Augustus the hill was divided into three quarters (regiones); Cispius retreated to the IV regio, Oppius with Colossus - to III, the Esquiline field - to V. The discoveries of recent years show that even before the construction of the Servian wall, between it and the wall of four ancient regions there was an ancient necropolis with graves and a well, at a depth of 4-5 meters, in tuff soil; traces of the most ancient Esquiline settlements were also found in the same layer. Above this row of ancient graves, at a depth of 1-2 meters, lay the second layer of stone urns and sarcophagi (especially many of them were found immediately beyond the Servian wall). The third, later type of tombs are plastered and decorated with paintings.

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