Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Janiculum

Janiculum

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Janiculum'
Start a new discussion about 'Janiculum'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia

The Janiculum is a hill in western Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. Although the second-tallest hill (the tallest being Monte Mario
Monte Mario
-External links :* * *...

) in the contemporary city of Rome, the Janiculum does not figure among the proverbial Seven Hills of Rome
Seven hills of Rome
The Seven Hills of Rome east of the river Tiber form the geographical heart of Rome, within the walls of the ancient city.The seven hills are:* Aventine Hill * Caelian Hill...

, being west of the Tiber
Tiber
The Tiber is the third-longest river in Italy, rising in the Apennine Mountains in Emilia-Romagna and flowing through Umbria and Lazio to the Tyrrhenian Sea. It drains a basin estimated at...

 and outside the boundaries of the ancient city.

Sights


The Janiculum is one of the best locations in Rome for a breathtaking view of the innumerable domes and bell tower
Bell tower
A bell tower is a tower which contains one or more bells, or which is designed to hold bells, even if it has none. In the European tradition, such a tower most commonly serves as part of a church and contains church bells. When attached to a city hall or other civic building, especially in...

s that pierce the skyline of the multi-hued architectural museum. Other sights on the Janiculum include the church of San Pietro in Montorio
San Pietro in Montorio
San Pietro in Montorio is a church in Rome, Italy, which includes in its courtyard The Tempietto built by Donato Bramante.-History:...

, built upon the site formerly thought to be where St Peter
Saint Peter
Saint Peter or Simon Peter was an early Christian leader, who is featured prominently in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The son of John or of Jonah and from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, his brother Andrew was also an apostle...

 was crucified
Crucifixion
Crucifixion is an ancient method of painful execution in which the condemned person is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross and left to hang until dead...

; the small shrine known as the Tempietto, designed by Donato Bramante
Donato Bramante
Donato Bramante was an Italian architect, who introduced the Early Renaissance style to Milan and the High Renaissance style to Rome, where his most famous design was St...

, marks the supposed site of Peter's death. The Janiculum also houses a Baroque
Baroque architecture
Baroque architecture is a term used to describe the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late sixteenth century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church and...

 fountain built by Pope Paul V
Pope Paul V
-Theology:Paul met with Galileo Galilei in 1616 after Cardinal Bellarmine had, on his orders, warned Galileo not to hold or defend the heliocentric ideas of Copernicus. Whether there was also an order not to teach those ideas in any way has been a matter for controversy...

 in the late-17th century, the Acqua Paola, and several foreign research institutions, including the American Academy in Rome
American Academy in Rome
The American Academy in Rome is a research and arts institution located on the Gianicolo in Rome.- History :In 1893, a group of American architects, painters and sculptors met regularly while planning the fine arts section of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition...

 and the Spanish Academy in Rome. The Hill is also the location of the American University of Rome
American University of Rome
The American University of Rome is the oldest degree-granting American university in Rome, Italy. The school was founded in 1969, and has an undergraduate enrollment of around 500.The language of instruction is English....

, Pontifical Urban University, and Pontifical North American College
Pontifical North American College
The Pontifical North American College is a Roman Catholic educational institution in Rome, Italy educating seminarians for the dioceses in the United States and providing a residence for American priests studying in Rome. It was founded in 1859 by Blessed Pope Pius IX and was granted pontifical...

, as well as the Orto Botanico dell'Università di Roma "La Sapienza" and the Palazzo Montorio, residence of the Ambassadors of Spain.

Ancient history and mythology


The Janiculum was a center for the cult of the god Janus
Janus (mythology)
In ancient Roman religion and mythology, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, thence also of gates, doors, doorways, endings and time. He is usually a two-faced god since he looks to the future and the past...

, and the fact that it overlooked the city made it a good place for augur
Augur
The augur was a priest and official in the classical world, especially ancient Rome and Etruria. His main role was to interpret the will of the gods by studying the flight of birds: whether they are flying in groups/alone, what noises they make as they fly, direction of flight and what kind of...

s to observe the auspice
Auspice
An auspice is literally "one who looks at birds", a diviner who reads omens from the observed flight of birds...

s.

In Roman mythology, Janiculum is the name of an ancient town founded by the god Janus (the two-faced god of beginnings). In Book VIII of the Aeneid
Aeneid
The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. It is composed of roughly 10,000 lines in dactylic hexameter...

 by Virgil
Virgil
Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English , was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues , the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid...

 (Publius Vergilius Maro), King Evander shows Aeneas
Aeneas
Aeneas , in Greco-Roman mythology, was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. His father was the second cousin of King Priam of Troy, making Aeneas Priam's second cousin, once removed. The journey of Aeneas from Troy , which led to the founding a hamlet south of...

 (the Trojan hero of this epic poem) the ruins of Saturnia and Janiculum on the Capitoline hill near the Arcadian city of Pallanteum (the future site of Rome) (see line 473, Bk. 8). Vergil uses the presence of these ruins to stress the significance of the Capitoline hill as the religious center of Rome.

According to Livy
Livy
Titus Livius — known as Livy in English — was a Roman historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people. Ab Urbe Condita Libri, "Chapters from the Foundation of the City," covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome well before the traditional foundation in 753 BC...

, the Janiculum was incorporated into ancient Rome
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 during the time of king Ancus Marcius
Ancus Marcius
Ancus Marcius was the legendary fourth of the Kings of Rome.He was the son of Marcius and Pompilia...

 in order that it not be occupied by an enemy. It was fortified by a wall and a bridge constructed across the Tiber to join it to the rest of the city.

During the war between Rome and Clusium in 508 BC, it is said that the forces of Lars Porsena
Lars Porsena
Lars Porsena, in Etruscan Pursenas, was an Etruscan king known for his war against the city of Rome. He ruled over the city of Clusium...

 occupied the Janiculum and laid siege to Rome.

The Water Mills


The Aurelian Walls
Aurelian Walls
The Aurelian Walls is a line of city walls built between 271 and 275 in Rome, Italy, during the reign of the Roman Emperors Aurelian and Probus....

 were carried up the hill to include the water mills used to grind grain towards providing bread
Bread
Bread is a staple food prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and often additional ingredients. Doughs are usually baked, but in some cuisines breads are steamed , fried , or baked on an unoiled frying pan . It may be leavened or unleavened...

 flour
Flour
Flour is a powder which is made by grinding cereal grains, other seeds or roots . It is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for many cultures, making the availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political issue at various times throughout history...

 for the city. The mill was, thus, it is presumed, built at the same time as or before the walls were built by the emperor Aurelian
Aurelian
Aurelian , was Roman Emperor from 270 to 275. During his reign, he defeated the Alamanni after a devastating war. He also defeated the Goths, Vandals, Juthungi, Sarmatians, and Carpi. Aurelian restored the Empire's eastern provinces after his conquest of the Palmyrene Empire in 273. The following...

 (reigned 270-275 AD). The mills were supplied from an aqueduct, where it plunged down a steep hill. Thus, the site resembles Barbegal
Barbegal aqueduct and mill
The Barbegal aqueduct and mill is a Roman watermill complex located on the territory of the commune of Fontvieille, near the town of Arles, in southern France. The complex has been referred to as "the greatest known concentration of mechanical power in the ancient world"...

, although excavations in the late 1990s suggest that they may have been undershot rather than overshot in design. The mills were in use in 537 AD when the Goths
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

 besieging the city cut off their water supply. However, they were subsequently restored and may have remained in operation until at least the time of Pope Gregory IV
Pope Gregory IV
Pope Gregory IV was chosen to succeed Valentine in December 827, on which occasion he recognized the supremacy of the Frankish emperor Louis the Pious in the most unequivocal manner....

 (827-44).

19th century to present


The Janiculum is the site of a battle in 1849 between the forces of Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian military and political figure. In his twenties, he joined the Carbonari Italian patriot revolutionaries, and fled Italy after a failed insurrection. Garibaldi took part in the War of the Farrapos and the Uruguayan Civil War leading the Italian Legion, and...

, defending the revolutionary Roman Republic
Roman Republic (19th century)
The Roman Republic was a state declared on February 9, 1849, when the government of Papal States was temporarily substituted by a republican government due to Pope Pius IX's flight to Gaeta. The republic was led by Carlo Armellini, Giuseppe Mazzini and Aurelio Saffi...

 and French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 forces fighting to restore the Temporal power of the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 over Rome. Because of this battle, several monuments to Garibaldi and to the fallen in the wars of Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 independence are on the Janiculum, as well.

Daily at noon, a cannon fires once from the Janiculum in the direction of the Tiber
Tiber
The Tiber is the third-longest river in Italy, rising in the Apennine Mountains in Emilia-Romagna and flowing through Umbria and Lazio to the Tyrrhenian Sea. It drains a basin estimated at...

 to signal the exact time. This tradition goes back to December 1847, when the cannon of the Castel Sant'Angelo
Castel Sant'Angelo
The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as the Castel Sant'Angelo, is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, Rome, Italy. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family...

 gave the sign to the surrounding belltowers to start ringing at midday. In 1904, the ritual was transferred to the Janiculum and continued until 1939. On 21 April 1959, popular appeal convinced the Commune of Rome to resume the tradition after a twenty-year interruption.

The hill is featured in the third section of Ottorino Respighi
Ottorino Respighi
Ottorino Respighi was an Italian composer, musicologist and conductor. He is best known for his orchestral "Roman trilogy": Fountains of Rome ; Pines of Rome ; and Roman Festivals...

's famous orchestral piece The Pines of Rome.

See also

  • Seven hills of Rome
    Seven hills of Rome
    The Seven Hills of Rome east of the river Tiber form the geographical heart of Rome, within the walls of the ancient city.The seven hills are:* Aventine Hill * Caelian Hill...

  • Aventine Hill (Aventino)
    Aventine Hill
    The Aventine Hill is one of the seven hills on which ancient Rome was built. It belongs to Ripa, the twelfth rione, or ward, of Rome.-Location and boundaries:The Aventine hill is the southernmost of Rome's seven hills...

  • Caelian Hill (Celio)
    Caelian Hill
    The Caelian Hill is one of the famous Seven Hills of Rome. Under reign of Tullus Hostilius, the entire population of Alba Longa was forcibly resettled on the Caelian Hill...

  • Capitoline Hill (Capitolino)
    Capitoline Hill
    The Capitoline Hill , between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the seven hills of Rome. It was the citadel of the earliest Romans. By the 16th century, Capitolinus had become Capitolino in Italian, with the alternative Campidoglio stemming from Capitolium. The English word capitol...

  • Cispian Hill (Cispio)
    Cispius
    Cispius is the nomen of the Roman gens Cispia.-Cispius Laevus:The Mons Cispius, or Cispian Hill, is one of several summits of the Esquiline Hill in Rome. The grammarian Festus says that it was named for a Cispius Laevus of Anagnia, of the Publilia voting tribe . This Cispius may be legendary.-M...

  • Esquiline Hill (Esquilino)
  • Monte Mario
    Monte Mario
    -External links :* * *...

  • Oppian Hill (Oppio)
    Oppian Hill
    The Oppian Hill is the southern spur of the Esquiline Hill , one of the famous Seven Hills of Rome. It is separated from the Cispius on the north by the valley of the Subura, and from the Caelian Hill on the south by the valley of the Colosseum...

  • Palatine Hill (Palatino)
    Palatine Hill
    The Palatine Hill is the centermost of the Seven Hills of Rome and is one of the most ancient parts of the city...

  • Pincian Hill (Pincio)
    Pincian Hill
    The Pincian Hill is a hill in the northeast quadrant of the historical center of Rome. The hill lies to the north of the Quirinal, overlooking the Campus Martius...

  • Quirinal Hill (Quirinale)
    Quirinal Hill
    The Quirinal Hill is one of the Seven Hills of Rome, at the north-east of the city center. It is the location of the official residence of the Italian Head of State, who resides in the Quirinal Palace; by metonymy "the Quirinal" has come to stand for the Italian President.- History :It was...

  • Vatican Hill (Vaticano)
    Vatican Hill
    Vatican Hill is the name given, long before the founding of Christianity, to one of the hills on the side of the Tiber opposite the traditional seven hills of Rome...

  • Velian Hill (Velia)
    Velian Hill
    The Velia — or Velian Hill or Velian Ridge — is a saddle or spur stretching out from the middle of the north side of the Palatine Hill towards the Oppian Hill ....

  • Viminal Hill (Viminale)
    Viminal Hill
    The Viminal Hill is the smallest of the famous seven hills of Rome. A finger-shape cusp pointing toward central Rome between the Quirinal Hill to the northwest and the Esquiline Hill to the southeast, it is home to the Teatro dell'Opera and the Termini Railway Station.At the top of Viminal Hill...

  • Mountain View High School
    Mountain View High School
    Mountain View High School is a name for several high schools in North America and one in India, including:*Mountain View High School , Arizona*Mountain View High School , Arizona*Mountain View High School in Mountain View, Arkansas...


External links