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Vaticānus Mons

A hill at Rome, forming the prolongation of the Ianiculum towards the north, and supposed to derive its name from the Latin word vates, “a soothsayer,” or vaticinium, “divination,” as it was once the seat of Etruscan divination ( Fest. s. h. v.). The Campus Vaticanus included all the space between the foot of this range and the Tiber. According to Tacitus, the air of this part of Rome was considered very unwholesome ( Hist. ii. 93). The ground now covered by St. Peter's, the papal palace, museum, and gardens, was anciently designated as Vaticani loci, “places belonging to the Vatican Hill” (Tacit. Hist. l. c.).

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