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The name derives from the gens Pincia, who owned the eponymous hill (Pincian Hill). In ancient times it was also called Porta Turata ("Plugged Gate", for it was partially closed) and Porta Salaria vetus, as the oldest Via Salaria passed under it (the Via Salaria nova passed under the Porta Salaria).
The gate was built under the emperor Honorius in the early 5th century, by adapting a previous smaller service entrance. The two side passages are a modern addition. The gate remained closed until the early 20th century.