The Seven Hills of Rome: A Geological Tour of the Eternal City by Grant HeikenThe Seven Hills of Rome: A Geological Tour of the Eternal City by Grant Heiken

The Seven Hills of Rome: A Geological Tour of the Eternal City

byGrant Heiken, Renato Funiciello, Donatella De Rita

Paperback | May 13, 2007

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From humble beginnings, Rome became perhaps the greatest intercontinental power in the world. Why did this historic city become so much more influential than its neighbor, nearby Latium, which was peopled by more or less the same stock? Over the years, historians, political analysts, and sociologists have discussed this questionad infinitum, without considering one underlying factor that led to the rise of Rome--the geology now hidden by the modern city.


This book demonstrates the important link between the history of Rome and its geologic setting in a lively, fact-filled narrative sure to interest geology and history buffs and travelers alike. The authors point out that Rome possessed many geographic advantages over surrounding areas: proximity to a major river with access to the sea, plateaus for protection, nearby sources of building materials, and most significantly, clean drinking water from springs in the Apennines. Even the resiliency of Rome's architecture and the stability of life on its hills are underscored by the city's geologic framework.


If carried along with a good city map, this book will expand the understanding of travelers who explore the eternal city's streets. Chapters are arranged geographically, based on each of the seven hills, the Tiber floodplain, ancient creeks that dissected the plateau, and ridges that rise above the right bank. As an added bonus, the last chapter consists of three field trips around the center of Rome, which can be enjoyed on foot or by using public transportation.

Grant Heikenis a past president of the International Association of Volcanology. He is the author or co-author of several professional and general-interest books on geology, includingVolcanoes: Crucibles of Change(Princeton).Renato Funiciellois Professor of Geology at the University of Roma Tre and Vice President of the National Instit...
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Title:The Seven Hills of Rome: A Geological Tour of the Eternal CityFormat:PaperbackDimensions:264 pagesPublished:May 13, 2007Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691130388

ISBN - 13:9780691130385

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From the Author

From humble beginnings, Rome became perhaps the greatest intercontinental power in the world. Why did this historic city become so much more influential than its neighbor, nearby Latium, which was peopled by more or less the same stock? Over the years, historians, political analysts, and sociologists have discussed this questionad infinitum, without considering one underlying factor that led to the rise of Rome--the geology now hidden by the modern city.This book demonstrates the important link between the history of Rome and its geologic setting in a lively, fact-filled narrative sure to interest geology and history buffs and travelers alike. The authors point out that Rome possessed many geographic advantages over surrounding areas: proximity to a major river with access to the sea, plateaus for protection, nearby sources of building materials, and most significantly, clean drinking water from springs in the Apennines. Even the resiliency of Rome's architecture and the stability of life on its hills are underscored by the city's geologic framework.If carried along with a good city map, this book will expand the understanding of travelers who explore the eternal city's streets. Chapters are arranged geographically, based on each of the seven hills, the Tiber floodplain, ancient creeks that dissected the plateau, and ridges that rise above the right bank. As an added bonus, the last chapter consists of three field trips around the center of Rome, which can be enjoyed on foot or by using public transportation.

Table of Contents

Foreword, by Walter Veltroni vii

Preface ix

CHAPTER 1: A Tourist's Introduction to the Geology of Rome 1

Timelines 18

CHAPTER 2: Center of the Western World--The Capitoline (Campidoglio) Hill 27

CHAPTER 3: Palaces and Gardens--The Palatine (Palatino) Hill 37

CHAPTER 4: The Aventine (Aventino) Hill 51

CHAPTER 5: The Tiber Floodplain, Commerce, and Tragedy 59

CHAPTER 6: The Tiber's Tributaries in Rome--Clogged with Humankind's Debris 85

CHAPTER 7: The Western Heights--Janiculum, Vatican, and Monte Mario 110

CHAPTER 8: The Celian (Celio) Hill 123

CHAPTER 9: Largest of the Seven Hills--The Esquiline (Esquilino)153

CHAPTER 10: Upper Class--The Viminal (Viminale) and Quirinal (Quirinale) Hills 162

CHAPTER 11: Field Trips in and around Rome 174

The Seven Hills of Rome in Fifteen Stops 174

Panoramas, Piazzas, and Plateaus 195

A Field Trip to Rome, the City of Water 216

Acknowledgments 229

Further Reading 231

Index 237

Editorial Reviews

"The authors use their expertise to explain how the landscape and natural resources of the region around Rome made it an inviting place for human habitation, and served as inspirations for Romans' achievements in civil engineering, architecture, and construction. The walking tours featured in the book constitute an insider's travel guide, and the chapters on the seven hills are highly evocative and will please the armchair traveler."-Gail Mahood, Stanford University