101457 | ITALY. Papal States. Tivoli. Gregorian Tunnels bronze Medal.

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    101457  |  ITALY. Papal States. Tivoli. Gregorian Tunnels/Aniene River Diversion bronze Medal. Issued 1835. Commemorating the massive earthworks project (75mm, 165.77 g, 12h). By H. Lorenz.

     

    GREGORIVS XVI AVSV ROMANO SACRI PRINCIPATVS ANNO II INCHOAVIT V PERFECIT, view of the two Gregorian Tunnels for the Aniene at Monte Catillo / TIBVRTES CATILLO PERFORATO INDVCTO ANIENE SERVATI / ANNO DOMINI MDCCCXXXV, view of the waterfalls at the Grotta della Sirene. Edge: Plain.

     

    Mazio 623; Boccia 67; Patrignani 37; Wurzbach 3364. Choice Mint State. Warm chocolate brown surfaces, with a hint of underlying brilliance; a few inconsequential marks near the edge are noted merely for completeness. Includes original box of issue. A large and rare medal that is highly impressive and detailed. Compare to a similar example in Stack's Coin Galleries (18 December 2007), lot 2326 (which sold for a total of $833.75).

     

    The Latium town of Tivoli lies next to the Aniene River which, on occasion, would flood well beyond its banks, causing great damage to the surrounding town. Pliny the Younger recorded such devastation in A.D. 105, with other catastrophic events occurring in 1688, 1689, and 1826. After that latest diluvial chaos, Pope Gregory XVI intervened, with the river being diverted via a massive earthworks project that ultimately created two underground tunnels and a charming cascade. Overall, it was a highly celebrated feat of civil engineering.

     

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