A fountain. Ornamental edifices were erected by both the Greeks and Romans over natural
springs, such as the temple of Erechtheus at Athens and of Poseidon at Mantinea (both over
salt springs), that of Salmacis at Halicarnassus (Vitruv. ii. 8.12), and that of the
so-called Grotto of Egeria near Rome. (Cf. Vitruv. viii. 3.7; Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 154.
At Rome, also, a good proportion of the water brought into the city by the aqueducts was
devoted to the public fountains. Of these there were two classes, the lacus
(ponds or reservoirs) and the salientes
or jets d'eau.
Agrippa alone is said to have constructed 700 lacus
and 500 salientes.
Street Fountain. (Pompeii.)
were also used in the atria
of houses (see Domus
), and the basins exhibited a great variety of ornament, sculptural
and otherwise. On the Monte Cavallo at Rome is a fountain representing the colossal figure of
a river-god, perhaps the Rhine, which pours a stream into a basin of granite
Statues at a Fountain. (Pompeii.)
twenty-seven feet in diameter. There are other excellent examples in the Capitoline
Museum, and the celebrated group of the Farnese
(q.v.) probably once adorned a fountain. Some of the fountain-statuettes are of
the finest artistic workmanship. See Stieglitz, Archäol. d. Baukunst
ii. pt. 2, pp. 76, 79; Middleton, Remains of Ancient Rome
, ii. pp. 329, 349,
350, 351 (London, 1892)