The TIBER (/ˈtaɪbər/ ,
Latin Tiberis, Italian Tevere, Italian
pronunciation: ) is the third-longest river in
Italy , rising in the
Apennine Mountains in
Emilia-Romagna and flowing 406 kilometres (252
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 square kilometres (6,709 sq mi). The river
has achieved lasting fame as the main watercourse of the city of Rome
, founded on its eastern banks.
The river rises at
Mount Fumaiolo in central
Italy and flows in a
generally southerly direction past
Rome to meet the sea at
Ostia . Popularly called flavus ("the blond"), in reference to the
yellowish colour of its water, the
Tiber has heavily advanced at the
mouth by about 3 kilometres (2 miles) 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 .
* 1 Sources
* 2 Etymology
* 3 History about
* 4 Bridges
* 5 See also
* 6 References
The source of the
Tiber consists of two springs 10 metres (33 ft)
away from each other on
Mount Fumaiolo . These springs are called "Le
Vene." The springs are in a beech forest 1,268 metres (4,160 ft)
above sea level . During the 1930s,
Benito Mussolini placed an antique
marble Roman column at the point where the river arises, inscribed QUI
NASCE IL FIUME SACRO AI DESTINI DI ROMA ("Here is born the river /
sacred to the destinies of Rome"). There is an eagle on the top of
this column. The first miles of the
Tiber run through Valtiberina
It is probable that the genesis of the name
Tiber 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
Tiberius . There are also Etruscan variants of this praenomen in
Thefarie (borrowed from Faliscan *TIFERIOS, lit. '(He) from the Tiber'
< *TIFERIS 'Tiber') and Teperie (via the
Latin hydronym Tiber).
While often claimed, there is no evidence supporting Etruscan origin
and rather it is more likely that the
Etruscans adopted these terms
from the native Italic-speaking population particularly given
Faliscan's characteristic f/b sound correspondence with
Latin which is
preserved in the Etruscan forms.
The 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 preindoeuropean word "alba,
albion" mount, elevated area. Tiberis/Tifernus may be a
preindoeuropean substrate word related to Aegaean tifos still water,
Greek phytonym τύφη a kind of swamp and river bank weed (Typha
angustifolia ), Hiberian 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
According to the legend, Jupiter made him a god and guardian spirit
of the river (also called Volturnus, "rolling water"). This gave rise
to the standard Roman depiction of the river as a powerfully built
reclining god, also named Tiberinus , with streams of water flowing
from his hair and beard.
Tiber was also believed to be the river into which Romulus and
Remus (the former founded Rome) were thrown as infants.
HISTORY ABOUT TIBER
According to legend, the city of
Rome was founded in 753 BC on the
banks of the
Tiber about 25 kilometres (16 mi) from the sea at Ostia .
The island Isola Tiberina in the centre of Rome, between Trastevere
and the ancient 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
the west, the
Sabines to the east and the
Latins to the south. Benito
Mussolini, born in
Romagna , adjusted the boundary between
Emilia-Romagna , so that the springs of the
Tiber would lie in
Tiber was critically important to Roman trade and commerce, as
ships could reach as far as 100 kilometres (60 mi) upriver; there is
evidence that it was used to ship grain from the Val Teverina as long
ago as the 5th century BC. It was later used to ship stone, timber
and foodstuffs to Rome.
Punic Wars of the 3rd 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
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
Rome up through the first century BC. These may have been sold and
developed about a century later.
The heavy sedimentation of the river made it difficult to maintain
Ostia, prompting the emperors
Trajan to establish a new
port on the
Fiumicino in the 1st 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 century, 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
Tiber was once known for its floods — the
Campus Martius is a
flood plain and would regularly flood to a depth of 2 metres (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 Protestant
shorthand term for converting to Roman Catholicism . This is most
common if the person who converts had been Anglican , the reverse of
which is referred to as "swimming the Thames " or "crossing the
In ancient Rome, executed criminals were thrown into the Tiber.
People executed at the
Gemonian stairs were thrown in the
the later part of the reign of the emperor
Tiberius . This practice
continued over the centuries. For example, the corpse of
was thrown into the
Tiber after the infamous
Cadaver Synod held in
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 Milvian
Bridge and the Ponte
Sant\'Angelo ) or in whole (Fabricius\'
Hollywood on the Tiber
* ^ Richard J.A. Talbert, ed. (2000). Barrington Atlas of the Greek
and Roman World: Map-By-Map Directory. I. Princeton, NJ and Oxford,
UK: Princeton University Press. p. 630. ISBN 0691049459 .
* ^ (in Italian) Dizionario d\'ortografia e di pronunzia
* ^ A B C D "
Tiber River." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006
* ^ "Tiber". World Encyclopedia. Philip's, 2005.
Tiber Springs – Mount Fumaiolo
Tuscany tours – the origin of the
* ^ A B "Tiber". Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names. John
Oxford University Press
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.
* ^ Tiber. Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth (1996)
* ^ Horti:LacusCurtius • Gardens of Ancient
Rome (Platner ">
Fiumicino and the mouth of the Tiber, May 2013
Wikimedia Commons has media related to TIBER .
* Roman Republic (18th century)
* Roman Republic (19th century)
Lago di Canterno
Lago di Caprolace
Lago di Fondi
Lago di Giulianello
Lago dei Monaci
Lago di Posta Fibreno
Lago di Rascino
* Lago di Sabaudia
Lago del Salto
Lago del Turano
* Seven hills of
Monti della Laga