Roman Building Projects
A Marker of Social Organization and Military Success
- Initially built as a monumental, open-air, fresh-water canal during the Regal (archaic) era by the last 3 kings of Rome (6th century BC)
- The Cloaca Maxima transformed a valley that was marshy, often inundated and, therefore, unusable, into a monumental public space where the commercial, political and religious business of the city could be transacted
- It guided a stream across the valley, toward the Tiber River
- Over time, the drain was extended and additional branches created
- By the Republican period, it was covered over and its function expanded to not only drain water away from the valley but also to carry away the effluent of the city. Thus it became a drain and a sewer
Platner, SB. Platner’s Topography and Monuments of ancient Rome. Second Edition. Allyn and Bacon. Boston. Norwood Press JS Cushing Co.–Berwick and Smith Co. Norwood, Mass. 1904, 1911. Pages 18, 56, 107-109.