During the 13th century, to control access to the city from the ancient Via Latina road, a 98-foot-tall (30-meter-tall) tower was built at the intersection of the ancient Roman aqueducts of the Aqua Claudia and the Aqua Marcia. Today, this preserved tower stands as a testimony to the era when the more powerful families of Rome built castles, towers, and fortifications to control trade routes and access points to the city.
People have used the area where the two aqueducts intersect for more than 1,000 years, long before the park’s namesake tower was erected. The Ostrogoths used it in 537, when they were laying siege to the city of Rome, which was being held by the Byzantine troops of General Belisarius during the Gothic Wars. King Witiges and his troops closed off the arcades and built a makeshift camp, which effectively blocked access to the city from the Via Latina and the Appia Antica. Ever since this episode, the area has been known as Campus Barbaricus (Barbarian Camp).
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