From Republican Rome to the Middle Imperial Period

At the end of the fourth century the city of Rome, being already one of the most powerful of the Mediterranean basin (circumscribed by the eleven kilometres long Servian Wall) started its expansion throughout the rest of the Italian peninsula.

In 312 B.C., under censor Appio Claudio Crasso, the construction of the Appian Way began; in the same year, the first Roman aqueduct was also begun, starting from the water source, located between the seventh and eighth mile of the Via Prenestina, to Porta Maggiore.

The construction of a second aqueduct, the Anio vetus, took place between 272- 269 B.C.. It drew water directly from the Aniene, between the towns of Vicovaro and Mandela, passing through the Colli Albani area and, therefore the area of Tor Vergata, down to Porta Maggiore. Ruins of the underground channels of this aqueduct were found on the University campus.

The third aqueduct was constructed under the Roman praetor Quinto Marcio Re in 144 B.C. and was, therefore, called “Acqua Marcia”. Water was carried from the source with a continuous gradual decline through the highlands of the Aniene river passing through the Colli Albani area (ruins still stand along Via Tuscolana) and reaching the Viminale by gravity flow. The network of these aqueducts, all running through the southeastern area, along with the development of a road system, does not only demonstrate the complete control of Rome over this area, but it also favoured the construction of colonial settlements and suburban villa which belonged to the local and Roman aristocracy.

Remains of Via Labicana, as well as those of a rural villa probably dated 150 B.C.,were also found in the area of Tor Vergata. The villa features pavements decorated with mosaics and a water tank used for water collection. From the samples found, it seems that this villa was actually used, with various modifications throughout the years, until 150-200 A.D..