Cloaca Maxima

By Kate Duda & Jacqueline Savory

Originally a recessed open-air canal that drained water from the Roman Forum and Velabrum into the Tiber River, the Cloaca Maxima was started and completed during the reign of the Etruscan kings in the 6th century BC. Prior to the construction of this infrastructure, the valley between the Capitoline and Esquiline Hills were marshy and uninhabited. As the area around the Cloaca drained and the city of Rome grew, the Cloaca managed to alter the geographical landscape of the city. The sewer was later covered and placed underground, making way for the development of the Roman Forum and the Republic.

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