Italy’s Drought Reveals 2000-Year-Old Bridge Piers In Tiber River In Rome

Italy is within the midst of the worst drought it has skilled in 70 years. Because of these situations, the water degree of Rome’s river Tiber has fallen about 5 toes.

Consequently, the often submerged ruins of an historic bridge constructed by Roman Emperor Nero are actually seen. The 2 piers of Pons Neronianus (Latin for the “Bridge of Nero”) will be seen close to the Vittorio Emmanuele II bridge within the heart of Rome, close to Castel Sant’Angelo and the Vatican.

It’s usually believed that the bridge initially had 4 piers. Two of these piers had been then eliminated within the nineteenth century to enhance the circulate of river visitors, explains historian Anthony Majanlahti, according to the Associated Press.

In regular years, one of many bridge’s fallen piers could also be seen in the course of the dry season, however this isn’t a traditional yr.

“As a result of the water degree of the river is so low now on account of widespread drought throughout Italy, we’re in a position to see much more of the piers of the bridge than we often might,” Majanlahti mentioned.

An Emperor Nero Refresher

Nero Claudius Caesar (37–68 AD) wouldn’t have truly “fiddled” whereas Rome burned in the course of the nice fireplace of 64 AD as a result of fiddles hadn’t been invented but. He was, nevertheless, definitely identified for political murders, the continued persecution of Christians, and his nice love for chariot races, arts, and, after all, music. Nero was even identified for his expertise at enjoying the lyre.

Nero’s father died when he was 2 years previous. His mom later married emperor Claudius, who adopted Nero. Then, when Claudius died instantly, maybe poisoned by Nero’s mom, Nero turned emperor on the age of 17, explains.

Though the Roman Empire skilled a string of navy victories throughout Nero’s rule, issues took a special flip in later years. First, Nero depleted the Roman treasury that was rebuilding Rome after the good fireplace, resulting in revolts in Britain and Judea, one other revolt in Gaul, and extra uprisings in Africa and Spain.

Lastly, after the Roman Senate declared Nero “an enemy of the folks” in 68 AD, he dedicated suicide on the age of 30.

The Bridge Of Nero

Contemplating its location in Rome, the Bridge of Nero was most likely a reconstruction of an earlier bridge, says Nicholas Temple, professor of architectural historical past at London Metropolitan College, according to Live Science

“It’s true that Nero had in depth gardens and properties within the space of the Vatican, and so a bridge at this level would have given quick access to those,” says Robert Coates-Stephens, an archaeologist on the British College at Rome.

The bridge’s location possible additionally served two key capabilities.

First, it might have served as a crossing level for triumphant armies to cross the river Tiber on their return to Rome in a procession seen by Rome’s residents and Senate.

The opposite objective is much less cheerful. That’s as a result of the bridge could have additionally been used to parade high-profile prisoners on their approach to execution earlier than Rome’s residents and Senate. As an illustration, in line with Temple, the bridge “could have been utilized by St. Peter when he was taken in chains after his trial” to be crucified round 64 AD.

To be taught extra about comparable matters, make sure you learn our ruins and archaeology content material, together with:

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