signified a height
within the walls of a city, but which was never closed by a wall against the
city in earlier times, and very seldom in later times. The same city may
have had several arces
, as was the case at Rome; and hence
Virgil says with great propriety (Georg
2.535):--“Septemque una sibi muro circumdedit arces.”
As, however, there was generally one principal height in the city, the word
came to be used as equivalent to
]. (Niebuhr, Hist. of Rome
, vol. iii.
note 411.) Where the position of a city was not mainly fixed by commercial
considerations (as in the case of Rome itself), a settlement naturally grew
around a [p. 1.201]
rock well adapted to become an arx.
This is especially observable in the ancient
cities of Central Italy,--for instance of the Sabines, Volscians, and
Hernicans,--which often grew up round an almost inaccessible fastness. At
Rome one of the summits of the Capitoline Hill was especially called
but which of them was so called was
formerly a subject of great dispute among Roman topographers, the German
school for the most part placing the Arx
north-eastern summit (Ara Caeli
), and the
on the south-western (Palazzo
Caffarelli), while the Italians generally transposed their positions. Of
late, however, the German view is conclusively established, even in the
judgment of the Italians themselves. (See the arguments in Burn, Rome
and the Campagna,
p. 185 ff.: and compare Middleton, Anc.
1885, p. 226; Lanciani, in Bull. Comm. Arch.
1875, iii. p. 165.) Within Rome the Arx was the regular place
for taking the auspices (Liv. 1.18
); outside the walls the auspex turned towards
it, if in sight (id. 4.18). The spot in the Arx whence they were taken,
probably an elevated platform at the very summit of it, was called auguraculum;
it commanded a wide prospect to the
east, which was not allowed to be obstructed (Cic.
de Off. 3.1. 6
, § 66). The gloss of
Paulus Diaconus that (auguraculum
ancient name for the Arx itself is almost certainly a mistake (Fest. p. 18
M.; cf. Burn, l.c.
p. 195). The auguraculum
appears to have been transferred by Augustus to
the Palatine; the Notitia
(of the 4th century)
mentions it in the Regio Palatina under the name auguratorium
(Middleton, pp. 86, 235).