Occupies a commanding site controlling the route up the Anio valley east into the central Apennines. It was a major settlement by the end of the 7th cent. bc. An important member of the Latin League, in the 4th cent. it often fought Rome until deprived of its territory in 338. Tibur, however, remained independent, acquiring Roman citizenship only in 90. The monuments of the Roman town are conspicuous, and include the forum; a sanctuary to Hercules Victor and other temples; an amphitheatre and a rotunda. The airy foothills of the Apennines around Tibur were fashionable locations for villas (e.g. those of Catullus and Augustus). The most extraordinary was that of Hadrian, begun c.ad 118 on the site of a republican–Augustan villa. The largest ever built, it incorporates many exotic buildings which reflect those that Hadrian had seen in the eastern Mediterranean. Among other important and luxurious buildings were the Poecilē, the island villa, the ‘Piazza d'Oro’, the baths, and a temple of Venus resembling that of Aphrodite at Cnidus.
Subjects: Architecture — Classical Studies.