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Coordinates: 41°50′46″N 12°33′40″E / 41.846°N 12.561°E / 41.846; 12.561

Aqua Claudia in the Parco degli Acquedotti
Route of the Aqua Claudia
Aqua Claudia within Rome with the Arcus Neroniani extension

Aqua Claudia[1] (Classical Latin: [ˈakwa ˈklaoodia][dubious ]) was an ancient Roman aqueduct that, like the Anio Novus, was begun by Emperor Caligula (12–41 AD) in 38 AD and finished by Emperor Claudius (10 BC – 54 AD) in 52 AD.[2]

Together with Aqua Anio Vetus, Aqua Anio Novus, and Aqua Marcia, it is regarded as one of the "four great aqueducts of Rome".[3]



Its main springs, the Caeruleus and Curtius, were situated 300 paces to the left of the 38th milestone of the Via Sublacensis.[4]

The total length was approximately 69 kilometres (43 mi) 45 to 46 miles (c. 69 km), most of which was underground. The flow was about 190,000 cubic metres (6,700,000 cu ft) in 24 hours (about 2.3 cubic metres per second (80 cu ft/s)).[5] Directly after its filtering tank, near the seventh mile of the Via Latina, it finally emerged onto arches, which increase in height as the ground falls toward the city, reaching over 30 metres (100 ft).

It is one of the two ancient aqueducts that flowed through the Porta Maggiore, the other being the Anio Novus. It is described in some detail by Frontinus in his work published in the later 1st century, De aquaeductu.

Nero extended the aqueduct with the Arcus Neroniani to the Caelian hill and Domitian further extended it to the Palatine[6] when the Aqua Claudia could provide all 14 Roman districts with water.[7]


The aqueduct went through at least two major repairs. It was said[by whom?] that Aqua Claudia was used for ten years, then failed and was out of use for nine years. The first repair was done by Emperor Vespasian in 71 AD; it was repaired again in 81 AD by Emperor Titus.

Aqua Claudia maintained its structure and appearance for so long partly because of Roman pozzolana mortar.

The church of San Tommaso in Formis was later built into the side of the aqueduct.


Panoramic view of the aqueduct (near the Via Lemonia)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ In Latin, "the Claudian water"
  2. ^ Frontinus, De aquaeductu 1.13
  3. ^ Blackman, Deane R. "The Volume of Water Delivered by the Four Great Aqueducts of Rome." Papers of the British School at Rome 46 (1978): 52-72.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Schram, Wilke D. “Aqua Claudia.” Website on Roman Aqueducts. N.p., Jan. 2010. Web. 15 Mar. 2013.
  6. ^
  7. ^*/Arcus_Neroniani.html

External linksEdit