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This article is about the Italian river. For other uses, see Tiber (disambiguation).

The Tiber (; Latin: Tiberis; Italian: Tevere ) is the third-longest river in Italy and the longest in Central Italy, rising in the Apennine Mountains in Emilia-Romagna and flowing 406 km (252 mi) through Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio, where it is joined by the River Aniene, to the Tyrrhenian Sea, between Ostia and Fiumicino. It drains a basin estimated at 17,375 km2 (6,709 sq mi). The river has achieved lasting fame as the main watercourse of the city of Rome, which was founded on its eastern banks.

Tiber
The Tiber in Rome
Native nameTevere(Italian)
Location
CountryItaly
Physical characteristics
Source
• locationMount Fumaiolo
• elevation1,268 m (4,160 ft)
Mouth
• location
Tyrrhenian Sea
Length406 km (252 mi)
Basin size17,375 km2 (6,709 sq mi)
Discharge
• average239 m3/s (8,400 cu ft/s)[citation needed] (in Rome)
View of the Tiber looking towards Vatican City
Rome flood marker, 1598, set into a pillar of the Santo Spirito Hospital near Basilica di San Pietro
Highest level of Tiber for 40+ years, 13 December 2008, at Tiber Island

The river rises at Mount Fumaiolo in central Italy and flows in a generally southerly direction past Perugia and Rome to meet the sea at Ostia. Known in ancient times (in Latin) as flavus ("the blond"), in reference to the yellowish colour of its water, the Tiber has advanced significantly at its mouth, by about 3 km (2 mi), since Roman times, leaving the ancient port of Ostia Antica 6 kilometres (4 miles) inland. However, it does not form a proportional delta, owing to a strong north-flowing sea current close to the shore, to the steep shelving of the coast, and to slow tectonic subsidence.

Contents

Column built by Mussolini near the source of Tiber

The source of the Tiber consists of two springs 10 m (33 ft) away from each other on Mount Fumaiolo. These springs are called le Vene. The springs are in a beech forest 1,268 m (4,160 ft) above sea level. During the 1930s, Benito Mussolini had an antique marble Roman column built at the point where the river rises, inscribed QUI NASCE IL FIUME SACRO AI DESTINI DI ROMA ("Here is born the river / sacred to the destinies of Rome"). An eagle is on the top of the column, part of its fascist symbolism. The first miles of the Tiber run through Valtiberina before entering Umbria.

The genesis of the name Tiber probably was pre-Latin, like the Roman name of Tibur (modern Tivoli), and may be specifically Italic in origin. The same root is found in the Latin praenomen Tiberius. Also, Etruscan variants of this praenomen are in Thefarie (borrowed from Faliscan *Tiferios, lit. '(He) from the Tiber' < *Tiferis 'Tiber') and Teperie (via the Latin hydronym Tiber).

Legendary king Tiberinus, ninth in the king-list of Alba Longa, was said to have drowned in the River Albula, which was afterward called Tiberis. The myth may have explained a memory of an earlier, perhaps pre-Indo-European name for the river, "white" (alba) with sediment, or "from the mountains" from pre-Indo-European word "alba, albion" mount, elevated area. Tiberis/Tifernus may be a pre-Indo-European substrate word related to Aegean tifos "still water", Greek phytonym τύφη a kind of swamp and river bank weed (Typha angustifolia), Iberian hydronyms Tibilis, Tebro and Numidian Aquae Tibilitanae. Yet another etymology is from *dubri-, water, considered by Alessio as Sicel, whence the form Θύβρις later Tiberis. This root *dubri- is widespread in Western Europe e.g. Dover, Portus Dubris.

According to legend, the city of Rome was founded in 753 BC on the banks of the Tiber about 25 km (16 mi) from the sea at Ostia. Tiber Island, in the center of the river between Trastevere and the ancient city center, was the site of an important ancient ford and was later bridged. Legend says Rome's founders, the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, were abandoned on its waters, where they were rescued by the she-wolf, Lupa.

The river marked the boundary between the lands of the Etruscans to the west, the Sabines to the east and the Latins to the south. Benito Mussolini, born in Romagna, adjusted the boundary between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna, so that the springs of the Tiber would lie in Romagna.

The Tiber was critically important to Roman trade and commerce, as ships could reach as far as 100 km (60 mi) upriver; some evidence indicates that it was used to ship grain from the Val Teverina as long ago as the fifth century BC. It was later used to ship stone, timber, and foodstuffs to Rome.

During the Punic Wars of the third century BC, the harbour at Ostia became a key naval base. It later became Rome's most important port, where wheat, olive oil, and wine were imported from Rome's colonies around the Mediterranean. Wharves were also built along the riverside in Rome itself, lining the riverbanks around the Campus Martius area. The Romans connected the river with a sewer system (the Cloaca Maxima) and with an underground network of tunnels and other channels, to bring its water into the middle of the city.

Wealthy Romans had garden-parks or horti on the banks of the river in Rome through the first century BC. These may have been sold and developed about a century later.

The heavy sedimentation of the river made maintaining Ostia difficult, prompting the emperors Claudius and Trajan to establish a new port on the Fiumicino in the first century AD. They built a new road, the Via Portuensis, to connect Rome with Fiumicino, leaving the city by Porta Portese (the port gate). Both ports were eventually abandoned due to silting.

Several popes attempted to improve navigation on the Tiber in the 17th and 18th centuries, with extensive dredging continuing into the 19th century. Trade was boosted for a while, but by the 20th century, silting had resulted in the river only being navigable as far as Rome.

The Tiber was once known for its floods — the Campus Martius is a flood plain and would regularly flood to a depth of 2 m (6 ft 7 in). The river is now confined between high stone embankments, which were begun in 1876. Within the city, the riverbanks are lined by boulevards known as lungoteveri, streets "along the Tiber".

Because the river is identified with Rome, the terms "swimming the Tiber" or "crossing the Tiber" have come to be the shorthand term for converting to Roman Catholicism. A Catholic who converts to Protestantism, in particular Anglicanism, is referred to as "swimming the Thames" or "crossing the Thames".[citation needed]

In ancient Rome, executed criminals were thrown into the Tiber. People executed at the Gemonian stairs were thrown in the Tiber during the later part of the reign of the emperor Tiberius. This practice continued over the centuries. For example, the corpse of Pope Formosus was thrown into the Tiber after the infamous Cadaver Synod held in 897.

In addition to the numerous modern bridges over the Tiber in Rome, there remain a few ancient bridges (now mostly pedestrian-only) that have survived in part (e.g., the Ponte Milvio and the Ponte Sant'Angelo), or in whole (Pons Fabricius).

In addition to bridges, the Metro trains use tunnels.

Roman representation of Tiber as a god (Tiberinus) with cornucopia at the Campidoglio, Rome

Following the standard Roman depiction of rivers as powerfully built reclining male gods, the Tiber, also interpreted as a god named Tiberinus, is shown with streams of water flowing from his hair and beard.

In the Command & Conquer video game series, the alien mineral the game revolves around, Tiberium, was first discovered by, and named after, the Tiber River.

  1. Richard J. A. Talbert, ed. (2000). Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World: Map-By-Map Directory. Vol. I. Princeton, NJ and Oxford, UK: Princeton University Press. p. 630. ISBN 0691049459.
  2. (in Italian) Dizionario d'ortografia e di pronunzia
  3. Lazio – Latium | Italy Archived 2009-08-28 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "Tiber River". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006
  5. "Tiber". World Encyclopedia. Philip's, 2005.
  6. "Tiber Springs – Mount Fumaiolo". turismo.fc.it. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved23 February 2019.
  7. "Tuscany tours – the origin of the Tiber River". Farm Holidays Le Ceregne. Archived from the original on 11 May 2010. Retrieved23 February 2019.
  8. "Tiber". Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names. John Everett-Heath. Oxford University Press 2005.
  9. George Davis Chase, "The Origin of Roman Praenomina", in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, vol. VIII (1897)
  10. Cf. e.g. G. Alessio "Studi storico-linguisitci messapici" in Archivio Storico Pugliese p. 304; "Sul nome di Brindisi" in Archivio Storico Puglese VIII 1955 p. 211 f.; "Apulia et Calabria nel quadro della toponomastica mediterranea" in Atti del VII Congresso Internazionale di Studi Onomastici Firenze 1962 p. 85.
  11. G. Simonetta "La stratificazione linguistica dell' Agro Falisco" p. 6 citing G. Alessio.
  12. G. Alessio "Problemi storico-linguistici messapici" in Studi Salentini12 1962 p. 304.
  13. Moore, Malcolm (21 November 2007)."The legend of Romulus and Remus". Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Archived from the original on 2022-01-12. Retrieved23 February 2019.
  14. "Horti:LacusCurtius • Gardens of Ancient Rome (Platner & Ashby, 1929)".
  15. Madigam, Kevin (2010). "Pope Benedict, Disaffected Anglicans, and Holocaust-Denying Bishops". Harvard Divinity Bulletin. 38 (1 & 2). RetrievedJune 16, 2022.
  16. Tiber. Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth (1996)
Wikimedia Commons has media related toTiber.
The river mouth of the Tiber and city of Fiumicino on the Tyrrhenian Sea

Coordinates:41°44′26″N12°14′00″E /41.7405°N 12.2334°E /41.7405; 12.2334

Tiber Article Talk Language Watch Edit This article is about the Italian river For other uses see Tiber disambiguation The Tiber ˈ t aɪ b er Latin Tiberis 1 Italian Tevere ˈteːvere 2 is the third longest river in Italy and the longest in Central Italy rising in the Apennine Mountains in Emilia Romagna and flowing 406 km 252 mi through Tuscany Umbria and Lazio where it is joined by the River Aniene to the Tyrrhenian Sea between Ostia and Fiumicino 3 It drains a basin estimated at 17 375 km2 6 709 sq mi The river has achieved lasting fame as the main watercourse of the city of Rome which was founded on its eastern banks TiberThe Tiber in RomeNative nameTevere Italian LocationCountryItalyPhysical characteristicsSource locationMount Fumaiolo elevation1 268 m 4 160 ft Mouth locationTyrrhenian SeaLength406 km 252 mi Basin size17 375 km2 6 709 sq mi Discharge average239 m3 s 8 400 cu ft s citation needed in Rome View of the Tiber looking towards Vatican City Rome flood marker 1598 set into a pillar of the Santo Spirito Hospital near Basilica di San Pietro Highest level of Tiber for 40 years 13 December 2008 at Tiber Island The river rises at Mount Fumaiolo in central Italy and flows in a generally southerly direction past Perugia and Rome to meet the sea at Ostia Known in ancient times in Latin as flavus the blond in reference to the yellowish colour of its water the Tiber has advanced significantly at its mouth by about 3 km 2 mi since Roman times leaving the ancient port of Ostia Antica 6 kilometres 4 miles inland 4 5 However it does not form a proportional delta owing to a strong north flowing sea current close to the shore to the steep shelving of the coast and to slow tectonic subsidence Contents 1 Sources 2 Etymology 3 History 4 Bridges 5 Representations 6 In popular culture 7 See also 8 References 9 External linksSources Edit Column built by Mussolini near the source of Tiber The source of the Tiber consists of two springs 10 m 33 ft away from each other on Mount Fumaiolo These springs are called le Vene 6 The springs are in a beech forest 1 268 m 4 160 ft above sea level During the 1930s Benito Mussolini had an antique marble Roman column built at the point where the river rises inscribed QUI NASCE IL FIUME SACRO AI DESTINI DI ROMA Here is born the river sacred to the destinies of Rome An eagle is on the top of the column part of its fascist symbolism The first miles of the Tiber run through Valtiberina before entering Umbria 7 Etymology EditThe genesis of the name Tiber probably was pre Latin like the Roman name of Tibur modern Tivoli and may be specifically Italic in origin The same root is found in the Latin praenomen Tiberius Also Etruscan variants of this praenomen are in Thefarie borrowed from Faliscan Tiferios lit He from the Tiber lt Tiferis Tiber and Teperie via the Latin hydronym Tiber 8 9 Legendary king Tiberinus ninth in the king list of Alba Longa was said to have drowned in the River Albula which was afterward called Tiberis 8 The myth may have explained a memory of an earlier perhaps pre Indo European name for the river white alba with sediment or from the mountains from pre Indo European word alba albion mount elevated area 10 Tiberis Tifernus may be a pre Indo European substrate word related to Aegean tifos still water Greek phytonym tyfh a kind of swamp and river bank weed Typha angustifolia Iberian hydronyms Tibilis Tebro and Numidian Aquae Tibilitanae 11 Yet another etymology is from dubri water considered by Alessio as Sicel whence the form 8ybris later Tiberis This root dubri is widespread in Western Europe e g Dover Portus Dubris 12 History EditAccording to legend the city of Rome was founded in 753 BC on the banks of the Tiber about 25 km 16 mi from the sea at Ostia Tiber Island in the center of the river between Trastevere and the ancient city center was the site of an important ancient ford and was later bridged Legend says Rome s founders the twin brothers Romulus and Remus were abandoned on its waters where they were rescued by the she wolf Lupa 13 The river marked the boundary between the lands of the Etruscans to the west the Sabines to the east and the Latins to the south Benito Mussolini born in Romagna adjusted the boundary between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna so that the springs of the Tiber would lie in Romagna The Tiber was critically important to Roman trade and commerce as ships could reach as far as 100 km 60 mi upriver some evidence indicates that it was used to ship grain from the Val Teverina as long ago as the fifth century BC 4 It was later used to ship stone timber and foodstuffs to Rome During the Punic Wars of the third century BC the harbour at Ostia became a key naval base It later became Rome s most important port where wheat olive oil and wine were imported from Rome s colonies around the Mediterranean 4 Wharves were also built along the riverside in Rome itself lining the riverbanks around the Campus Martius area The Romans connected the river with a sewer system the Cloaca Maxima and with an underground network of tunnels and other channels to bring its water into the middle of the city Wealthy Romans had garden parks or horti on the banks of the river in Rome through the first century BC 14 These may have been sold and developed about a century later The heavy sedimentation of the river made maintaining Ostia difficult prompting the emperors Claudius and Trajan to establish a new port on the Fiumicino in the first century AD They built a new road the Via Portuensis to connect Rome with Fiumicino leaving the city by Porta Portese the port gate Both ports were eventually abandoned due to silting Several popes attempted to improve navigation on the Tiber in the 17th and 18th centuries with extensive dredging continuing into the 19th century Trade was boosted for a while but by the 20th century silting had resulted in the river only being navigable as far as Rome 4 The Tiber was once known for its floods the Campus Martius is a flood plain and would regularly flood to a depth of 2 m 6 ft 7 in The river is now confined between high stone embankments which were begun in 1876 Within the city the riverbanks are lined by boulevards known as lungoteveri streets along the Tiber Because the river is identified with Rome the terms swimming the Tiber or crossing the Tiber have come to be the shorthand term for converting to Roman Catholicism 15 A Catholic who converts to Protestantism in particular Anglicanism is referred to as swimming the Thames or crossing the Thames citation needed In ancient Rome executed criminals were thrown into the Tiber People executed at the Gemonian stairs were thrown in the Tiber during the later part of the reign of the emperor Tiberius This practice continued over the centuries For example the corpse of Pope Formosus was thrown into the Tiber after the infamous Cadaver Synod held in 897 Bridges EditIn addition to the numerous modern bridges over the Tiber in Rome there remain a few ancient bridges now mostly pedestrian only that have survived in part e g the Ponte Milvio and the Ponte Sant Angelo or in whole Pons Fabricius In addition to bridges the Metro trains use tunnels Roman representation of Tiber as a god Tiberinus with cornucopia at the Campidoglio RomeRepresentations EditFollowing the standard Roman depiction of rivers as powerfully built reclining male gods the Tiber also interpreted as a god named Tiberinus is shown with streams of water flowing from his hair and beard 16 In popular culture EditIn the Command amp Conquer video game series the alien mineral the game revolves around Tiberium was first discovered by and named after the Tiber River See also EditHollywood on the TiberReferences Edit Richard J A Talbert ed 2000 Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World Map By Map Directory Vol I Princeton NJ and Oxford UK Princeton University Press p 630 ISBN 0691049459 in Italian Dizionario d ortografia e di pronunzia Lazio Latium Italy Archived 2009 08 28 at the Wayback Machine a b c d Tiber River Encyclopaedia Britannica 2006 Tiber World Encyclopedia Philip s 2005 Tiber Springs Mount Fumaiolo turismo fc it Archived from the original on 27 September 2013 Retrieved 23 February 2019 Tuscany tours the origin of the Tiber River Farm Holidays Le Ceregne Archived from the original on 11 May 2010 Retrieved 23 February 2019 a b Tiber Concise Dictionary of World Place Names John Everett Heath Oxford University Press 2005 George Davis Chase The Origin of Roman Praenomina in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology vol VIII 1897 Cf e g G Alessio Studi storico linguisitci messapici in Archivio Storico Pugliese p 304 Sul nome di Brindisi in Archivio Storico Puglese VIII 1955 p 211 f Apulia et Calabria nel quadro della toponomastica mediterranea in Atti del VII Congresso Internazionale di Studi Onomastici Firenze 1962 p 85 G Simonetta La stratificazione linguistica dell Agro Falisco p 6 citing G Alessio G Alessio Problemi storico linguistici messapici in Studi Salentini12 1962 p 304 Moore Malcolm 21 November 2007 The legend of Romulus and Remus Telegraph Telegraph Media Group Limited Archived from the original on 2022 01 12 Retrieved 23 February 2019 Horti LacusCurtius Gardens of Ancient Rome Platner amp Ashby 1929 Madigam Kevin 2010 Pope Benedict Disaffected Anglicans and Holocaust Denying Bishops Harvard Divinity Bulletin 38 1 amp 2 Retrieved June 16 2022 Tiber Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth 1996 External links EditWikimedia Commons has media related to Tiber The river mouth of the Tiber and city of Fiumicino on the Tyrrhenian Sea Coordinates 41 44 26 N 12 14 00 E 41 7405 N 12 2334 E 41 7405 12 2334 Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Tiber amp oldid 1093478452, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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