The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Aquae Ductus – Aquae Haustus


The castella publica were again subdivided into six classes, which furnished water for the following-uses :— (1.) The Praetorian camp (castra) ; (2.) the ponds and fountains (locus et salientes) ; (3.) the circus, naumachiae, and amphitheatres (inunera) • (4.) the baths, and the service of certain im­portant handicrafts, such as the fullers, dyers, and tanners (opera publica) ; (5.) irregular distributions made by the special order of the emperor (nomine Caesaris) ; (b'.j extraordinary grants to private individuals by the favour of the prince (beneficia Caesaris}. The distribution under each of these heads is described by Frontinus (3, 78)..

The castella privata were, as the name implies, for the supply of private houses. When a supply of water from the aqueducts was first granted for private uses, each person obtained his quantum by inserting a branch pipe, as we do, into the main ; which was probably the custom in the age of Vitruvius, as he makes no mention of private re­servoirs. Indeed, in early times, all the water brought to Rome by the aqueducts was applied to public purposes exclusively, it being forbidden to the citizens to divert any portion of it to their, own use, except such as escaped by flaws in the ducts or pipes, which was termed aqua caduca. (Frontin. 94.) But as even this permission opened a door for great abuses from the fraudulent conduct of the aquarii, who damaged the ducts for the purpose of selling the aqua caduca, and as the sub -sequent method of supply required the main-pipe to be punctured in too many places (Frontin. 27), a remedy was sought by the institution of castella privata, and the public were henceforward for­bidden to collect the aqua caduca, unless permission was given by special favour (beneficiuni) of the emperor. (Frontin. 111.) The castella privata were built at the joint expense of the families supplied by them ; but they were considered as public property, and were under the control of the curatores aquarum. (Frontin. 106.) The right of water (jus aquae impetratae) did not follow the heir or purchaser of the property, but was renewed by grant upon every change in the possession. (Frontin. 107.)

The leaden cisterns, which each person had in his own house to receive the water laid on from the castellum privatum, were called castella do-mestica.

All the water which entered the castellum was measured, at its ingress and egress, by the size of the tube through which it passed. The former was called modulus acceptorius, the latter erogato-rius. To distribute the water was termed erogare ; the distribution, erogatio; the size of the tube, fistularum or modulorum capacitas, or lumen. The smaller pipes which led from the main to the houses of private persons, were called punctae; those inserted by fraud into the duct itself, or into the main after it had left the castellum, fistulae illicitae.

•The erogatio was regulated by a tube called calioc, of the diameter required, and not less than a foot in length, attached to the extremity of each pipe, where it entered the castellum ; it was pro­bably of lead in the time of Vitruvius, such only being mentioned by him ; but was made of bronze (aeneus) when Frontinus wrote, in order to check the roguery of the aquarii, who were able to in­crease or dimmish the flow of water from the reservoir by compressing or extending the lead.



As a further security, the calios was stamped. Pipes which had no calioc, were termed solutae. Frontinus also observes that the velocity of the water passing through the calioc, and, consequently, the quantity given out, could be varied according to the angle which the calios made with the side of the reservoir: its proper position was, of course, horizontal.

It is evident how watchful an oversight must have been required to keep the aqueducts in repair, to regulate their use, and to prevent the fraudulent abstraction of their water. Under the republic, this office was discharged, sometimes, by the censors, but more generally by the aediles (Cic. ad Div. viii. 6), and sometimes a special over­seer was appointed. (Frontin. 95, 119.) Augustus first established the office of curator (or prae-fectus} aquarum (Suet. Octav. 37), the duties of which are minutely described by Frontinus (99), who seems, while ,he held the office, to have per­formed it with the utmost zeal: among other cares, he had plans and models made of the whole course of all the aqueducts (17, 64). The ch,-ratores aquarum were invested with considerable authority. They were attended outside the city by two lictors, three public slaves, a secretary, and other attendants.

In the time of Nerva and Trajan, a body of four hundred and sixty slaves were constantly employed under the orders of the curatores aquarum in at­ tending to the aqueducts. They were divided into two families, the familia publica, established by Agrippa, and the familia Caesaris, added by Claudius ; and they were subdivided into the fol­ lowing classes : — 1. The villici, whose duty it was to attend to the pipes and calices. 2. The castel- larii, who had the superintendence of all the castella, both within and without the city. 3. The, circuitores, so called because they had to go from post to post, to examine into the state of the works, and also to keep watch over the labourers em­ ployed upon them. 4. The silicarii, or paviours, who had to remove and relay the pavement when the pipes beneath it required attention. 5. The tectores, who had charge of the masonry of the aqueducts. These and other workmen appear to have been included under the general term of aquarii. (Cod. xii. tit. 42 or 43. s. 10 ; Frontin. 116, 117.) The following are the most important works on the Roman aqueducts : —- Frontinus, de Aquaeductibus Urbis Romae; Fabretti, 'de Aquis 'et Aquaeductibus Veteris Romae; Stieglitz, Ar- ch'dologie der Baukunst; Hirt, Gescldclde d. Bau- kunst; Platner and Bunsen, BescJireibung d. Stadt Rom; Becker, Handbwji d. Romischen Alter- tliumer, vol. i.) [P. S.]

AQUAE DUCTUS. [servitutes.]




That water was called aqua pluvia which fell from the clouds, and overflowed in consequence of showers, and the prevention of injury to land from such water was the object of this action.. The action aquae pluviae was allowed between the owners of adjoining land, and might be maintained either by the owner of the higher land against the owner of the lower land, in case the latter by any thing done to his land (tnanu facto opere) prevented the water from flowing naturally from the higher to the lower


About | First | English Index | Classified Index | Latin Index | Greek Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of