The Servian Wall was an ancient Roman defensive barrier constructed around the city of Rome in the early 4th century BC. The wall was up to 10 metres in height in places, 3.6 metres wide at its base, 11 km long, and is believed to have had 16 main gates, though many of these are mentioned only from writings, with no other known remains. By the 3rd century AD it was superseded by the construction of the larger Aurelian Walls.
It is presumed that the wall is named after the sixth Roman King, Servius Tullius. Although its outline may go back to the 6th century BC, the currently extant wall was, it is estimated, built during the early Roman Republic, possibly as a way to prevent a repeat of the sack of Rome after the Battle of the Allia by the Gauls of Brennus. Due to the ease with which the Gauls entered the city, it is conjectured that at some time previous to this, Rome had been forced by its Etruscan rulers to dismantle any significant prior defenses.
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