The Praetorian Camp was built by Emperor Tiberius between 21 and 23 AD. It was situated between the ancient Roman roads called the Via Nomentana and Via Tiburtina, today corresponding to the area lying between Umberto I hospital and the National Library. Only a part of the original walling of this camp is visible today, along the modern Viale Bianchi, Viale del Policlinico and Viale dell’Università. The Praetorian Guard cohorts had been established by Emperor Augustus as the emperor’s personal guard and had before then been stationed in various parts of the city. Each of the four sides of the camp had a gate, and outside the wall facing the city there was a large open ground for military exercises. There were various buildings inside the camp itself: a headquarters, armoury, hospital, stores and the Praetorian barracks proper. Some of these buildings were still visible at the end of the 19th century, while others have been excavated more recently during the construction work for the National Library. Three sides of the camp’s walls were later incorporated in the Aurelian walls. When the Praetorian Guards were finally disbanded by Emperor Constantine, the inside wall facing the city was pulled down.
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