aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Frontinus, On the Water-Supply of the City of Rome 1.11

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quae ratio moverit Augustum, providentissimum principem, perducendi Alsietinam aquam, quae vocatur Augusta, non satis perspicio, nullius gratiae, immo etiam parum salubrem ideoque nusquam in usus populi fluentem; nisi forte cum opus Naumachiae adgrederetur, ne quid salubrioribus aquis detraheret, hanc proprio opere perduxit et quod Naumachiae coeperat superesse, hortis adiacentibus et privatorum usibus ad inrigandum concessit.

What the reason was which prompted Augustus, a most prudent ruler, to bring in a water-supply from Alsium (which is known as the ‘Augustan’ water-supply), I cannot fully ascertain; there is nothing good about it, and in fact it is all too unwholesome, for which reason it nowhere runs for the use of the general population. The reason could perhaps have been that when Augustus set about the construction of his Naumachia, he brought in this water in its own conduit, so that he would not be drawing water away from the more wholesome water-supplies – and because there then began to be more water than was needed for the Naumachia, he allowed it to be used in the neighbouring gardens and by private citizens for the purpose of irrigation.

Written by aleatorclassicus

October 27, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Frontinus

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