By the dawn of the Republic in 509 BCE, Rome was a substantial settlement. Its first bridge spanning the Tiber, Pons Sublicius, had been built by its fourth king, Ancus Marcius, in 642 BCE, channelling trade to a bustling cattle and food market, the Forum Boarium, and the city docks (the Roman port of Ostia was founded by the same king). In around 600 BCE, Tarquinius Priscus had ordered construction of the Cloaca Maxima, Rome’s great sewer. He also drained its malarial marshland. Priscus built the city’s stone fortifications and, on Capitoline Hill, the Temple of Jupiter. This was the most important temple in Ancient Rome. Beside it, on the main forum, was the Capitol, Rome’s seat of government and business. The covered main street, the Sacra Via, which led outward to west central Italy, was used for triumphs and religious processions.
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