V E L I A
This is a picture of the cutting of Via dei Fori Imperiali through the
Velia, one of the seven hills of Rome.
The Velia was in fact the last southern projection of the Exquiline hill, almost reaching to the Palatine, together with the Fagutale, another height in front of the Colosseum.
In Roman times the Velia hill gave the area a sacred character, as it housed very ancient temples. There was the oldest temple dedicated in Rome to Jupiter Stator, an alternative name of Jupiter as the god who halted retreat or flight (stare - to stand).
In Rome there were two temples of Jupiter Stator The one on the Velia Hill was, according to the legend, built by Romulus himself during the war against the people from Sabina, when the Romans where forced to retreat (Livius I, 12).
Later on the first simple sanctuary of Romulus was replaced by a proper temple in 294 BCE (Livius X, 36). On the Velia there was also a very important temple dedicated to Vesta, housing the sacred fire.
The hill was completely razed during the thirties, to the point that today it is difficult even to imagine it was there.
At the time they did the job very quickly, and the archaeologists who followed the works found a lot of important remains, leading back to prehistoric days.
The picture on the right shows the changes in the area in recent times.
The black and white map is By Falda, 1676.
The green lines show the cutting of Via degli Annibaldi (I think it was cut in the thirties).
The yellow lines correspond to Via dei Fori Imperiali (1932)
The red line shows the path of the underground, that was started in the 40s and inaugurated in the 50s.