Seven hills of Rome
The Seven Hills of Rome east of the Tiber form the heart of Rome. They figure prominently into Roman mythology, religion, and politics; the original city was held by tradition to have been founded by Romulus on the Palatine Hill (Collis Palatinus). The other six of the Seven Hills of Rome are the Aventine Hill (Collis Aventinus), the Capitoline Hill (Collis Capitolinus), the Quirinal Hill (Collis Quirinalis), the Viminal Hill (Collis Viminalis), the Esquiline Hill (Collis Esquilinus), and the Caelian Hill (Collis Caelius). The now-famous Vatican Hill (Collis Vaticanus) is west of the Tiber and is not one of the Seven Hills of Rome.
Allusion to "the city on seven hills" is frequently either a reference to Rome ("the Eternal City") or to Jerusalem ("the Holy City"), both of which were sited on seven hills. Possibly the most famous such reference is the apocalyptic imagery of the Book of Revelation; Revelation 17 makes reference to the "great harlot" seated on "a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names, with seven heads and ten horns", and the angel speaking to St. John says (Revelation xvii, 9 - 10):
- "Here is a clue for one who has wisdom. The seven heads represent seven hills upon which the woman sits. They also represent seven kings: five have already fallen, one still lives, and the last has not yet come, and when he comes he must remain only a short while."
The angel adds (Revelation xvii, 18) that "the woman... represents the great city that has sovereignty over the kings of the earth". There remains considerable hermeneutic disagreement among Biblical scholars as to which city and which kings this passage refers to, if any in particular.
The Seven Hills of Rome are now very different: five of them (in Italian) (Aventino, Celio, Esquilino, Quirinale, Viminale) are populated areas with monuments, buildings and parks; the Campidoglio (Capitol Hill) now hosts the Municipality of Rome; the Palatino is an archaeological area.
For other cities known for being built upon seven hills see: List of cities claiming to be built on seven hills