The Seven Hills of Rome

Of Early Rome:

Cermalus
Cispius
Fagutal
Oppius
Palatium
Sucusa
Velia

Of Later Rome:

Aventinus (Aventine)
Caelius (Caelian)
Capitolium (Capitoline)
Esquiliae (Esquiline)
Palatium (Palatine)
Quirinalis (Quirinal)
Viminalis (Viminal)
Map of the Seven Hills of Rome

Though the Capitoline is the only distinct hill today, all seven hills were once discernable. The Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline, and Caelian hills are really promontories of an ancient volcanic ridge. The Palatine, Aventine, and Capitoline hills were hills separate from the others (not part of the same ancient ridge). There were once marshy ravines between all of the hills, and between the hills and the Tiber River, but these were drained in antiquity and the ravines are now filled in with the remains of civilisation.

Archaeological evidence supports the notion that there were walled cities on each of the seven original hills. It also suggests that there was a wall that surrounded the Palatine, Esquiline, Velian, and Caelian hills but left out the Capitoline, Quirinal, and Viminal hills.

Historians and Archaeologists have found evidence of ancient enmity between peoples living on the Quirinal and Esquiline hills against those on the Velian and Palatine hills. This could help explain the reasons for choosing Remus and Romulus as leaders of the warring peoples living on the Aventine and Palatine hills respectively.

Aventine: Mons/Collis Aventinus

This hill is where Remus chose to live. In historical times it was the home of the plebeans, who built a temple to Ceres in the 5th century BCE. It also had temples for Liber and Libera.

Caelian: Mons/Collis Caelius

Many of Rome's elite lived on this hill during the Roman Republic.

Capitoline: Mons/Collis Capitolinus

This hill was the site of many of Rome's earliest fortresses. It was also the hill of the government. The temples of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Juno Moneta, and Concord are located on this hill.

Esquiline: Mons/Collis Esquilinus

This hill had a walled city on it since at least the 700s BCE.

Palatine: Mons/Collis Palatinus

This hill is the hill of Romulus. In Classical times it was the hill where Rome's rich and powerful chose to live. Walled villages and tombs have been found here, and the people who lived in those villages seem to be dominant to their contemporaries since the 700s BCE. The temple of Magna Mater is located on the Palatine.

Quirinal: Mons/Collis Quirinalis

It is on this hill that the Sabines once lived and built their city. Archaeological evidence supports habitation of this hill since at least the 8th century BCE through tomb and walled village excavations.

Viminalis: Mons/Collis Viminalis

This is the smallest of the Seven Great Hills, and was one of the last to be included inside the walls of Rome.

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