Caelian Hill

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The Caelian Hill
One of the seven hills of Rome
Latin nameCollis Caelius
Italian nameCelio
BuildingsBaths of Caracalla,
Villa Celimontana
ChurchesSanti Giovanni e Paolo,
Santo Stefano Rotondo,
San Gregorio Magno al Celio,
San Tommaso in Formis,
Santa Maria in Domnica
PeopleTullus Hostilius, Caelius Vibenna, Servius Tullius

The Caelian Hill (/ˈsliən/; Latin: Collis Caelius; Italian: Celio [ˈtʃɛːljo]) is one of the famous Seven Hills of Rome, Italy.


Schematic map of Rome showing the seven hills and Servian wall.

Under reign of Tullus Hostilius, the entire population of Alba Longa was forcibly resettled on the Caelian Hill.[1] According to a tradition recounted by Titus Livy, the hill received its name from the Etruscan folk hero Caelius Vibenna, because he either settled there or was honored posthumously by his friend Servius Tullius. Other authors have linked the name to the Latin caelum, "heaven."[2]

In antiquity[edit]

This basanite statue of Agrippina the Younger as a priestess of the divine Claudius, 54-59 AD, was discovered on the Caelian Hill in 1885.

In Republican-era and Imperial Rome alike, the Caelian Hill was a fashionable residential district and the site of residences of the wealthy. This is attested to by a section of Pliny the Elder's Natural History, "Who Was the First to Encrust the Walls of Houses at Rome with Marble".[3] This expensive feat was achieved on the Caelian Hill by Mamurra, a soldier who served under Julius Caesar in Gaul, profited tremendously from corruption, and was accordingly mocked by Horace and Catullus.[4] Jerome alleges that Marcus Aurelius was born on the Caelian Hill in 121.[3] Archaeological work under the Baths of Caracalla have uncovered the remains of lavish villas complete with murals and mosaics.

Later history[edit]

As seen from the Aventine Hill.

The Caelian is also the site of the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo and the ancient basilica of Santo Stefano Rotondo, known for its centralized, circular plan. A significant area of the hill is taken up by Villa Celimontana and its gardens.

George Santayana lived in a room at the Convent of English blue sisters on the Caelian Hill from 1912 until his death.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Titus Livy. "28-30". From the Founding of the City: Book 1: The Earliest Legends of Rome. Canon Roberts (translator). Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  2. ^ Anderson, Benedict (July 6, 2017). "Buried City, Unearthing Teufelsberg: Berlin and its Geography of Forgetting". Taylor & Francis – via Google Books.
  3. ^ a b Mann, Euphemia M. (March 1, 1926). "Some Private Houses in Ancient Rome". The Classical Weekly. 19 (16): 127–132. doi:10.2307/30107860. JSTOR 30107860.
  4. ^ Bostock, John. "Pliny the Elder, Natural History". Perseus Project. Tufts University. Retrieved 4 March 2019.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°53′06″N 12°29′48″E / 41.88500°N 12.49667°E / 41.88500; 12.49667