Pons Fabricius

Pons Fabricius
Ponte Fabricio
Ponte dei Quattro Capi

Pons Fabricius
Coordinates 41°53′28″N 12°28′42″E / 41.89111°N 12.47833°E / 41.89111; 12.47833Coordinates: 41°53′28″N 12°28′42″E / 41.89111°N 12.47833°E / 41.89111; 12.47833
Carries Connection Campus Martius-Tiber Island
Crosses Tiber
Locale Rome, Italy
Design Arch bridge
Total length 62 m (203 ft)
Width 5.5 m (18 ft)
Height 555
Longest span 24.5 m (80 ft)
Number of spans 2
Designer Lucius Fabricius
Construction end 62 BC
Pons Fabricius as it appears in a Piranesi engraving of 1756

The Pons Fabricius (Italian: Ponte Fabricio, meaning "Fabricius' Bridge") or Ponte dei Quattro Capi, is the oldest Roman bridge in Rome, Italy, still existing in its original state. Built in 62 BC, it spans half of the Tiber River, from the Campus Martius on the east side to Tiber Island in the middle (the Pons Cestius is west of the island). Quattro Capi ("four heads") refers to the two marble pillars of the two-faced Janus herms on the parapet, which were moved here from the nearby Church of St Gregory (Monte Savello) in the 14th century.[1]

According to Dio Cassius, the bridge was built in 62 BC, the year after Cicero was consul, to replace an earlier wooden bridge destroyed by fire. It was commissioned by Lucius Fabricius, the curator of the roads and a member of the gens Fabricia of Rome. Completely intact from Roman antiquity, it has been in continuous use ever since.

The Pons Fabricius has a length of 62 m, and is 5.5 m wide. It is constructed from two wide arches, supported by a central pillar in the middle of the stream. Its core is constructed of tuff. Its outer facing today is made of bricks and travertine.


CIL VI, 1305, the inscription on the bridge

An original inscription on the travertine commemorates its builder in Latin, L . FABRICIVS . C . F . CVR . VIAR | FACIVNDVM . COERAVIT | IDEMQVE | PROBAVIT. (Lucius Fabricius, Son of Gaius, Superintendent of the roads, took care and likewise approved that it be built) It is repeated four times: on each arch, on both sides of the bridge.

A later inscription, in smaller lettering, records that the bridge was later restored under Pope Innocent XI, probably in 1679.

See also


  1. Claridge, Amanda (1998). Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press


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