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Meta Sudans

During new excavations on the Place of the Collosseum close to the triumphal arch of Constantine some interesting fundaments were found. First the remains of a portico, which was part of Nero's Domus Aurea. The portico passed along an artificial lake, which later was exhausted and in which the Colosseum was built, and connected the palace on the Velia (where today the temple of Venus and Roma is standing) with the valley.

When after the death of Nero the Flavians had taken over the power in Rome, the largest part of the Domus Aurea was pulled down and the valley totally redesigned. Within the scope of these civil works a monumental fountain emerged, the Meta Sudans. This fountain had the shape of a huge cone (hence the name Meta Sudans = "sweating cone"). The height was 17m, its diameter at the base 7m. It stood in a round tank with a diameter of 16m. The original appearence of this fountain could be reconstructed from contemporary coins.

Source: http://www.roma-antiqua.de


DICTIONARY OF ROMAN COINS


META SUDANS, a fountain so called, situate at Rome, near the amphitheatre of Titus (the Colosseum), and from whose waters the people drank who came to the public spectacles exhibited in that vast structure. It is thought to be represented on a large brass of Vespasian, and a middle brass of Titus.

(it is now thought that all coins showing the Meta as part of their main design are tooled from coins struck with more banal types.  The fountain does however appear on the famouse Colosseum Sestertii of Titus).


View whole page from the Dictionary Of Roman Coins