In ancient Rome, the Piscina Publica ("Public Pool") was a public reservoir and swimming pool located in Regio XII. The region itself came to be called informally Piscina Publica from the landmark. The piscina was situated in the low-lying area between the Via Appia, the Servian Wall, and the northeast slope of the Aventine Hill, an area later occupied by the Baths of Caracalla.
There is some disagreement as to whether the reservoir was fed by one of several springs in the immediate area or by the aqua Appia, the first public aqueduct built by Appius Claudius Caecus. Located just inside the Porta Capena, it was the first site for both communal water distribution and sports. The aqueduct supplied water for wool processors near the piscina.
Mention of a piscina publica was first made in 215 BC, when the two city praetors moved their tribunals to the site, near where the senate was meeting with generals to discuss the ongoing Hannibalic War. A reference in Festus indicates that it no longer existed in the 2nd century.
- CIL VI.975; Ammianus Marcellinus 17.4.14; Lawrence Richardson, A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), p. 332.
- Samuel Ball Platner and Thomas Ashby, A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome (Oxford University Press, 1929), pp. 391‑392, in the LacusCurtius edition of Bill Thayer online.
- Richardson, A New Topographical Dictionary, p. 291.
- Mario Torelli, "The Topography and Archaeology of Republican Rome," in A Companion to the Roman Republic (Blackwell, 2010), p. 92.
- Richardson, A New Topographical Dictionary, p. 292.
- Torelli, "Topography and Archaeology," p. 92.
- CIL VI.167; Stephen L. Dyson, Rome: A Living Portrait of an Ancient City (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010), p. 67.
- Livy 23.32.4 (in Latin); Richardson, A New Topographical Dictionary, p. 292.
- T. Corey Brennan, The Praetorship in the Roman Republic (Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 106.
- Festus 213 (Verrius): "The name of the Public Pool remains today, but the pool itself does not."