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Claudius, Chapter 20: Public works.
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He [Note 1] completed some important public works which, though, not numerous, were very useful. The principal were an aquaduct, which had been begun by Gaius; an outlet for the discharge of the waters of the Fucine Lake, and the harbour of Ostia; although he knew that Augustus had refused to comply with the repeated application of the Marsians for one of these, and that the other had been several times intended by Julius Caesar, but as often abandoned on account of the difficulty of its execution. He brought to the city the cool and plentiful springs of the Claudian water, one of which is called Caeruleus, and the other Curtius and Albudignus, as likewise the river of the New Anio, in a stone canal and distributed them into many magnificent reservoirs. The canal from the Fucine lake was undertaken as much for the sake of profit, as for the honour of the enterprise; for there were parties who offered to drain it at their own expense, on condition of their having a grant of the land laid dry. With great difficulty he completed a canal three miles in length, partly by cutting through, and partly by tunneling, a mountain; thirty thousand men being constantly employed in the work for eleven years. He formed the harbour at Ostia, by carrying out circular piers on the right and on the left, with a mole protecting, in deep water, the entrance of the port. To secure the foundation of this mole, he sunk the vessel in which the great obelisk had been brought from Egypt; and built upon piles a very lofty tower, in imitation of the Pharos at Alexandria, on which lights were burnt to direct mariners in the night. |
Note 1: he = Claudius
|Opera magna potius necessaria quam multa perfecit, sed uel praecipua: ductum aquarum a Gaio incohatum, item emissarium Fucini lacus portumque Ostiensem, quanquam sciret ex iis alterum ab Augusto precantibus assidue Marsis negatum, alterum a Diuo Iulio saepius destinatum ac propter difficultatem omissum. Claudiae aquae gelidos et uberes fontes, quorum alteri Caeruleo, alteri Curtio et Albudigno nomen est, simulque riuum Anienis novi lapideo opere in urbem perduxit diuisitque in plurimos et ornatissimos lacus. Fucinum adgressus est non minus conpendii spe quam gloriae, cum quidam privato sumptu emissuros se repromitterent, si sibi siccati agri concederentur. Per tria autem passuum milia partim effosso monte partim exciso canalem absoluit aegre et post undecim annos, quamuis continuis XXX hominum milibus sine intermissione operantibus. Portum Ostiae extruxit circumducto dextra sinistraque brachio et ad introitum profundo iam solo mole obiecta; quam quo stabilius fundaret, navem ante demersit, qua magnus obeliscus ex Aegypto fverat aduectus, congestisque pilis superposuit altissimam turrem in exemplum Alexandrini Phari, ut ad nocturnos ignes cursum navigia dirigerent.|