A Tourist in Rome - Trophies of Marius

Location:At the western end of Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, one metro stop south of Termini
Metro:Vittorio Emanuele, located along my Southeastern Sights Walking Tour
Time:about 30 minutes
Cost:Free
Hours:Viewable at any time

The Trophies of Marius is a large monumental fountain which was built inside an imperial villa at the time of Emperor Alexander Severus (222 - 235 AD). The Aqua Julia, built by Agrippa in 33 AD by order of Augustus provided water for this fountain, which stood 3 stories tall. The entry point of the aqueduct is still visible (see the arch in the 2nd photo below). The fountain had a large central niche (1st photo below), probably housing a statue of Alexander Severus, with a smaller niche on either side which contained the marble statues known as the "Trophies of Marius". Those statues actually date back to the time of Emperor Domitian, and were moved to the ballustrade of the Piazza del Campidoglio by Pope Sixtus V in 1590 where they still stand today (3rd photo below). The fountain was made of brick covered by snow-white marble and various sculptures. A chariot stood on top of it. In addition to its purpose as a monumental fountain, it distributed water from the main input pipe into multiple secondary channels. Water would gush down from a basin near the top into niches with statues from which it gushed out again into a large semicircular basin at street level. This fountain inspired baroque artists in designing the monumental fountains we still see today: the Moses Fountain, the Big Fountain, and the Trevi Fountain.

    
Trophies of Marius
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Trophies of Marius
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One of the Trophies of Marius, on the south side of the western edge of the Campidoglio, photographed from near the top of the Cordonata, the stairway to the Campidoglio
See all Capitoline Hill photos.
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