Article Index

The only "survived" arch of the old Pons Aemilius dates back to the half of the 1500, when the last remake of the bridge was executed; however it still loads on the spur pylons, in travertine blocks, of the II sec. b.C.
The symbols of pope Gregorio XIII dragon are still visible on both sides of the bridge, either in the insignia at the top of the flood eye than in the frieze at the arch corners.

Legends and curiosities

from Christoff Neumeister [2] - page 194:
Also in the ancient Rome bridges were some of the preferred places to kill oneself and moreover, at that time as nowadays, their arches provided a shelter to the beggars.
As it concerns the first aspect, there is a fairly funny story transmitted us by Giovenale in his Satire VI (VV. 28-32), in the passage in which he tells about a certain Postumo that is on the point of get married: "Are you perhaps become crazy?", the troubled poet asks him: "you want get married although you have at your disposal all the ropes that you need (to hang yourself), and so many windows at the high floors (to throw yourself down) and the Emilio bridge is here at two steps distance?" (cum tibi vicinum if praebeat Aemilius Pons?).
Finally the fact that the beggars lived under the bridges was for the Roman such a familiar situation that the word pons itself was used to shortly indicate an extreme poverty condition. Martial concludes the description of that miserable removal we already spoke about in the chapt.II (XII 32) with the sentence: "This procession of bits and pieces is very suited for a bridge" (haec sarcinarum pompa convenit ponti).
Giovenale, in his Satire
XIV, concludes the picture of the poor dinner of a rich miser (mouldy bread stockies, remainders of the day before, old broad beans, low price fish, few onion slices) with these words (v. 134): "If one were invited, also who lives under the bridges would refuse" (invitatus to haec aliquis de ponte negabit).