Tiber River

Type
Geological Feature
Highlights
  • The Tiber is famous for being the main river that runs through the city of Rome. Rome is situated on the Tiber's eastern banks. The Tiber is one of the longest watercourses in Italy.
Description
The Tiber River in Rome

The Tiber is famous for being the main river that runs through the city of Rome. Rome is situated on the Tiber's eastern banks. The Tiber (called the Tevere in Italian) is one of the longest watercourses in Italy. Its depth is between 7 and 20 feet. The Tiber rises from the Apennine Mountains in Emilia-Romagna and flows for 406 Kilometers. Its course runs through Umbria and Lazio and ends at the Sea. The source of the Tiber is in two springs 10 33 feet apart from each other situated on Mount Fumaiolo in central Italy.

The river rises from these two springs in Mount Fumaiolo and flows in a southern direction passing Perugia and then Rome. The Tiber eventually arrives at the sea at Ostia, now a Suburb of Rome. the Tiber has advanced since the ancient Roman era, which is why the ancient port of Ostia Antica is now almost 6 km inland. The Tiber has an island in the center of Rome called Isola Tiberina which is situated between the ancient center and the neighborhood of Trastevere. Coming from the direction of the center of Rome the Vatican is situated across the Tiber.

Scholars think that name Tiber dates to ancient times, It originated in another language before the Latin " Tiberis". Most probably it is a very ancient name. According to an ancient Roman myth the king Tiberinus Silvius of Alba Longa urinated into a river named the Albula River, which was then renamed in his honor. Jupiter then made him a guardian spirit of the river and a god. The Tiber is also called flavus ("the blond") because of the yellowish hue of its water.

The Tiber used to be famous for its floods as it used flood regularly. In order to prevent floods the river is now confined by stone embankments. The building of these high embankments started in 1876. Inside the city today, the edges of the Tiber are lined with streets called lungoteveri, which means along the Tiber in Italian.

The Tiber has become very much identified with the City of Rome. The famous legend about the founding of Rome takes place on the banks of the Tiber. The Legend says that, the twins Romulus and Remus, Rome's founders, were abandoned to its waters. This is where they were saved by a she-wolf.

The Tiber played an important strategic defensive and economic part for Rome during ancient Roman times. The Tiber was crucial for trade and commerce. The Tiber had many other uses in ancient Rome . For example: the Tiber a used to be connected to the ancient Roman sewage system. Also, In ancient Rome, criminals who were executed were thrown into the Tiber afterwards.An interesting fact is that due to the identification of Rome with the Tiber "Swimming the Tiber" has come to be the Protestant euphemism for converting to Roman Catholicism
 
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