Carcer Tullianus

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The Carcer Tullianus (also: Carcer Mamertinus ; however, this spelling does not occur in the ancient writers, also Mamertinum or Tullianum ) is an ancient prison in Rome . It was founded in the 3rd century BC. Built on the Roman Forum . Originally it is said to have been built by Servius Tullius , the legendary sixth king of Rome , and Ancus Marcius .

Initially, the building was used as a spring house (Tullianum) at the foot of the Capitol Hill . The part still preserved today was considered the most terrible and was called the Tullianum. Here the prisoners awaited their further fate, which usually had the following sequence: Participation in the triumphal procession of the victorious Roman general (or the political opponent); then death - often by strangulation - in the depths of the dungeon; finally exhibition of the corpse on the Gemonischen stairs ; after a while, most of the executed were thrown into the Tiber .

Prominent delinquents who died here included Pleminy (194 BC), Aristonikos (129 BC), Jugurtha (104 BC), Vercingetorix (46 BC) and Seianus ( 31 AD). On December 5, 63 BC Five co-conspirators of Catiline , among them Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sura and Gaius Cornelius Cethegus , were executed there after the consul Marcus Tullius Cicero , who had acted as prosecutor, and the praetors personally to her immediately after their conviction in the nearby Senate building ( Curia Hostilia ) Execution site in Carcer Tullianus.

The Christian tradition calls the mamertine prison as the place where the Apostles Peter and Paul caught were kept. The building was therefore converted into a church in the 16th century, which is now called San Giuseppe dei Falegnami (formerly San Pietro in Carcere ). Here two underground rooms have been preserved one above the other. According to the inscription, the upper room was restored under Emperor Tiberius and has a vaulted ceiling, the lower - the Tullianum - was built in a very ancient construction from layers of towering stone. The Tullianum was connected to the Cloaca Maxima , into which the corpses of executed people were thrown.

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Commons : Carcer Tullianus  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. ^ Sallust , De coniuratione Catilinae 55.
  2. Olivia Ercoli: Rome . Dorling Kindersley Verlag GmbH, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-8310-1804-8 , p. 91.

Coordinates: 41 ° 53 ′ 35.6 ″  N , 12 ° 29 ′ 4.2 ″  E