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Le Rovine Del Castello Dell'Acqua Giulia Situato in Roma Presso S Eusebio E Falsament[e] Detto Dell'Acqua Marcia Colla Dichiarazione Di Uno De' Celebri Passi Del Commentario Frontiniano E Sposizione Della Maniera Con Cui Gli Antichi Romani Distribuivan Le Acque Per Uso Della Città Di Gio Batista Piranesi

Giovanni Battista Piranesi

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Variant Title

Del Castello Dell' Acqua Giulia


(In Roma): Si vendono presso l'Autore alla Trinità de' Monti, (MDCCLXI.)

Physical Description

[2], 26 p., t.-pl., [18] sheets carrying 19 [i.e. 20] pl.; 537 mm. (Folio).

General Note

Pl. 17, 18 are carried on one sheet. Pl. 4 comprises two images, printed from 2 coppers.


[Half-t., t.-pl.] - Del Castello Dell'Acqua Giulia - Spiegazione Delle Tavole Del Castello Dell' Acqua Giulia [on pl. 1-16]; Imprimatur - Delle Cautele Usate Dagli Antichi Nella oncessione E Distribuzione Delle Acque; [colophon].

Responsibility Note

Plate 19 is unsigned. All other plates, and the title-plate, are signed as made by F. Piranesi. An initial letter and two tailpieces are also signed as made by him; one initial is unsigned. The name of the printer, Generoso Salomoni, is given in the colophon.


National Gallery (Washington), Mark J. Millard, 4 (2000), 89; RIBA, Early printed books, 3 (1999), no.2565; Giovanni Battista Piranesi: the complete etchings, ed. J. Wilton-Ely (1994), 529-552; J. Wilton-Ely, Piranesi [exhibition catalogue] (1978), 147; A.M. Hind, Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1922 repr. 1978), 85; H. Focillon, Giovanni-Battista Piranesi (1918 repr. 1964), 396-420.

Summary Note

The date and place of publication, 'In Roma MDCCLXI', are stated in the colophon. The book describes the ruins in the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele that constitute the only surviving relic of an ancient Roman 'castellum aquarum' or terminus of an aqueduct - in this case the Aqua Julia, built by Agrippa in 33 B.C. In the third century this was made into a magnificent nymphaeum by the emperor Alexander Severus; of which some surviving sculptures - known as 'the trophies of Marius' - were removed in 1590 by Pope Sixtus V to the balustrade of the Capitol, where they may still be seen. Fortunately engravings were made of the remains as they stood in the 16th century. They gave the architects of Sixtus V and Paul V an indication of what an ancient terminal fountain had been like, and influenced the designs of the Fountain of Moses, the terminal fountain of the Acqua Felice, the Acqua Paola on the Janiculum and the Fontana di Trevi. Piranesi had already published a description of the trophy sculptures (Trofei Di Ottaviano Augusto, 1753); and plate 18 is a reprint, and pl. 17 a reduced copy, of a plate in the earlier publication.


Recorded in RAA Library, Catalogue, 1802.

Binding Note

18th-century mottled calf, the upper cover gilt-stamped with arms of Britain and 'R.A.'; rebacked in 20th century, red and green spine-labels lettered 'Acqua Giulia Carceri lapides Piranesi', spine lettered 'R.A.' Bound with 3 others.

Name as Subject


Aqua Julia (Rome) - Fountains - Aqueducts - Civil engineering - Hydraulics - Conduits - Plumbing systems - Ruins - Italy - Rome - 1st century B.C.
Fountains - Nymphaea (architecture) - Ruins - Italy - Rome - 3rd century
Views - Italy - Rome - 18th century
Pictorial works - Italy - 18th century
Armorial bindings - Great Britain - 18th century