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Ruins of Ancient Rome (1725–1750) by Giovanni Paolo Panini, from the collection of the National Museum of Ancient Art, Lisbon, Portugal


From Latin pōmoerium, pōmērium (the religious boundary of a city), either from post (behind) + moerus, mūrus (wall) + -ium (neuter form of -ius (suffix indicating an adjective)), or derived from an Etruscan word.[1]



pomerium (plural pomeria)

  1. (historical, Roman Empire) The tract of land denoting the formal, sacral ambit of a Roman city.
    • 1997, [Lucius Annaeus] Seneca; C. D. N. Costa, editor and transl., “On the Shortness of Life”, in Dialogues and Letters (Penguin Classics), London; New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books, ISBN 978-0-14-044679-1; extracted as On the Shortness of Life (Great Ideas; 1), London: Penguin Books, 2004, ISBN 978-0-141-01881-2, page 22:
      But to return to the point from which I digressed, and to illustrate how some people spend useless efforts on these same topics, the man I referred to reported that Metellus in his triumph, after conquering the Carthaginians in Sicily, alone among all the Romans had 120 elephants led before his chariot, and that Sulla was the last of the Romans to have extended the pomerium, [footnote: The religious boundary of a city.] which it was the ancient practice to extend after acquiring Italian, but never provincial territory. Is it better to know this than to know that the Aventine Hill, as he asserted, is outside the pomerium for one of two reasons, either because the plebs withdrew to it or because when Remus took the auspices there the birds had not been favourable – and countless further theories that are either false or very close to lies?

Alternative forms[edit]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 pomerium, n.”, in OED Online, Oxford: Oxford University Press, December 2006.




Equivalent to post- +‎ mūrus, from Proto-Italic *posti- +‎ *moiro-. According to De Vaan, this is likely an archaism since *pōmirīum is expected from the Proto-Italic -oi- in the non-initial syllable.



pōmērium n (genitive pōmēriī); second declension

  1. bounds, limits, especially the space either side of town walls left free of buildings


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative pōmērium pōmēria
genitive pōmēriī pōmēriōrum
dative pōmēriō pōmēriīs
accusative pōmērium pōmēria
ablative pōmēriō pōmēriīs
vocative pōmērium pōmēria


  • pomerium in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • pomerium in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • POMERIUM in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • pomerium in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • pomerium in Samuel Ball Platner (1929), Thomas Ashby, editor, A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, London: Oxford University Press
  • pomerium in Ramminger, Johann (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[1], pre-publication website, 2005-2016
  • pomerium in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin