The hill was earlier known as Mons Saturnius, dedicated to the god Saturn. The word Capitolium first meant the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus later built here, and afterwards it was used for the whole hill , thus Mons Capitolinus . Ancient sources refer the name to caput and the tale was that, when laying the foundations for the temple, the head of a man was found. Some sources even saying it was the head of some Tolus or Olus. The Capitolium was regarded by the Romans as indestructible, and was adopted as a symbol of eternity.
By the 16th century, Capitolinus had become Capitolino in Italian, and Capitolium Campidoglio. The Capitoline Hill contains few ancient ground-level ruins, as they are almost entirely covered up by Medieval and Renaissance palaces that surround a piazza, a significant urban plan designed by Michelangelo.
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