Decorative or dramatic effect of time honored European wall and pool fountains.
They were connected to springs or aqueducts and used to provide drinking bathing and washing water to the residents of early Minoan cities, towns and villages and later inside Roman private castles and villas.
Ancient civilizations were found to have constructed a network of connected basins in the gorges of several rivers, carved in solid rock, connected by small streams, in order to form a year long steady source of the precious liquid.
It has been said that Egyptians have invented creative water pump systems that allowed the hoisting of water up from the Nile for drinking and irrigation. Unfortunately there has been no recorded depictions of fountains in Egyptian frescoes, carvings or papyri.
The ancient Greeks were apparently the first to use aqueducts and gravity-powered fountains to distribute water. According to ancient historians, fountains existed in Athens, Corinth, and other ancient Greek cities in the 6th century BC as the terminating points of aqueducts which brought water from springs and rivers into the cities.
In the 6th century BC the Athenian rulers built the main fountain of Athens, i was called the Enneacrounos, and was situated in the main town square center of Athens. It had nine large spouts, which supplied drinking water to local residents.
Greek fountains resembled to a high degree their European counterparts and were made of stone or marble just like the ones you can still find today all over Rome. Water flowed from bronze and sculpted bronze, limestone or marble masks that generally depicted the head of a lion an aquatic animal or even a Greek idol.
The excavations at Pompeii, which was destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, uncovered many fountains and basins placed at intervals along city streets, fed by siphoning water upwards from pipes laid under the street and powered by gravity.
The excavations of Pompeii also showed that the homes of wealthy Romans often had a small fountain in the atrium, or interior courtyard, with water coming from city water supply and spouting into a small bowl or basin such as this one depicted below.
Ancient Rome was a city of fountains. According to Sextus Julius Frontinus, the Roman consul who was named curator aquarum or guardian of the water of Rome in 98 AD, Rome had nine aqueducts which fed 39 monumental fountains and 591 public basins, not counting the water supplied to the Imperial household, baths and owners of private villas.
Each of the major fountains was connected to two different aqueducts, in case one was shut down for service. The Romans were able to make fountains jet water into the air, by using the pressure of water flowing from a distant and higher source of water to create hydraulic head, or force. Illustrations of fountains in gardens spouting water are found on wall paintings in Rome from the 1st century BC, and in the villas of Pompeii.
The Villa of Hadrian in Tivoli featured a large swimming basin with jets of water.
Pliny the Younger described the banquet room of a Roman villa where a fountain began to jet water when visitors sat on a marble seat.
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