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View of Capo Miseno at Misenum
The spur from the Aqua Augusta entering the castellum aquae in Pompeii

The Aqua Augusta or Serino Aqueduct was a Roman aqueduct which supplied water to eight cities in the Bay of Naples, including Pompeii, Stabiae and Nola. It started near the modern town of Serino and terminated, after 96 km, in the Piscina Mirabilis at the naval base and port, Portus Julius, of Misenum. The Emperor Augustus (or more likely his close friend and ally Agrippa) built the Aqua Augusta between 30 and 20 BC.

Little remains of the aqueduct today, although traces of the original structure may be found at a number of sites, including several in and around Naples as well as the well-preserved Piscina Mirabilis at Misenum. This is one of the largest such terminal reservoirs on the aqueduct known in the Roman Empire and survives almost intact to this day. It was probably intended as a strategic water resource for the naval base, especially if the base had been besieged.

Literary allusions

It features prominently in the novel Pompeii by Robert Harris, whose protagonist is a water engineer ("Aquarius") sent from Rome to maintain the aqueduct in AD 79 just before the famous eruption of Vesuvius on August 24.

See also


  • Hodge, A.T. (2001). Roman Aqueducts & Water Supply, 2nd ed. London: Duckworth.

External links



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