Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 5.3.10 Str. 5.3.12 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 5.4.2


The Via Valeria, commencing from Tibura, [Note] leads to the country of the Marsi, and to Corfinium, [Note] the metropolis of the Peligni. Upon it are situated the Latin cities of Valeria, [Note] Carseoli, [Note] Alba, [Note] and near to it the city of Cuculum. [Note] Within sight of Rome are Tibura, Præneste, and Tusculum. [Note] At Tibura is a temple of Hercules, and a cataract formed by the fall of the Teverone [Note] (which is here navigable,) from a great height into a deep and wooded ravine close to the city. From thence the river flows through a highly fertile plain along by

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the Tiburtine stone-quarries, those of the Gabii, and those denominated the red-stone quarries. As both the carriage from the quarries and the conveyance by river are easy, most of the Roman edifices are built of materials from hence. In this plain flow the cold waters called Albula, they spring from numerous fountains, and are taken both as a beverage and as baths, [Note] for the cure of various diseases. Of the same kind are the Labanæ, [Note] not far from these, on the Via Nomentana, and near to Eretum. [Note] At Præneste is the celebrated temple and oracle of Fortune. Both this and the preceding city are situated on the same chain of mountains, and are distant from each other 100 stadia. Præneste is 200 stadia from Rome, Tibura less than that distance. They are said to be both of Grecian foundation, Præneste being formerly named Polystephanus. They are both fortified, but Præneste is the stronger place of the two, having for its citadel a lofty mountain, which overhangs the town, and is divided at the back from the adjoining mountain range by a neck of land. This mountain is two stadia higher than the neck in direct altitude. In addition to these [natural] defences, the city is furnished on all sides with subterraneous passages, which extend to the plains, and some of which serve to convey water, while others form secret ways; it was in one of these that Marius [Note] perished, when he was besieged. Other cities are in most instances benefited by a strong position, but to the people of Præneste it has proved a bane, owing to the civil wars of the Romans.

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For hither the revolutionary movers take refuge, and when at last they surrender, in addition to the injury sustained by the city during the war, the country is confiscated, and the guilt thus imputed to the guiltless. The river Verestis [Note] flows through this region. The said cities are to the east of Rome. 5.3.12

But within-side the chain of mountains, [where these cities are situated,] there is another ridge, leaving a valley between it and Mount Algidus; it is lofty, and extends as far as Mount Albanus. [Note] It is on this ridge that Tusculum is situated, a city which is not wanting in adornment, being entirely surrounded by ornamental plantations and edifices, particularly that part of it which looks towards Rome. For on this side Tusculum presents a fertile hill, well irrigated, and with numerous gentle slopes embellished with majestic palaces. Contiguous are the undulating slopes of Mount Albanus, which are equally fertile and ornamented. Beyond are plains which extend some of them to Rome and its environs, others to the sea; these latter are unhealthy, but the others are salubrious and well cultivated. Next after Albanum is the city Aricia, on the Appian Way. It is 160 stadia from Rome. This place is situated in a hollow, and has a strong citadel. [Note] Beyond it on one side of the way is Lanuvium, [Note] a Roman city on the right of the Via Appia, and from which both the sea and Antium may be viewed. On the other side is the Artemisium, [Note] which is called Nemus, [Note] on the left side of the way, leading from Aricia to the temple. [Note] They say that it is consecrated to Diana Taurica, and certainly the rites performed in this temple are something barbarous and Scythic. They appoint as priest a fugitive who has murdered the preceding priest with his own hand. Apprehensive of an attack upon himself, the priest is always armed with a sword, ready for resistance. The temple is in a grove, and before it is a

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lake of considerable size. The temple and water are sur- rounded by abrupt and lofty precipices, so that they seem to be situated in a deep and hollow ravine. The springs by which the lake is filled are visible. One of these is denominated Egeria, after the name of a certain divinity; however, their course on leaving the lake is subterraneous, but they may be observed at some distance, when they rise to the surface of the ground. 5.3.13

Near to these localities is Mount Albanus, [Note] which is much higher than either the Artemisium or the heights surrounding it, although these are sufficiently lofty and precipitous. It has likewise a lake, [Note] much larger than that of the Artemisium. Further forward than these are the cities on the Via Latina, we have already mentioned. Alba [Note] is the most inland of all the Latin cities; it borders on the Marsi, and is situated on a high hill near to Lake Fucinus. This [lake] is vast as a sea, and is of great service to the Marsi and all the surrounding nations. They say, that at times its waters rise to the height of the mountains which surround it, and at others subside so much, that the places which had been covered with water reappear and may be cultivated; however, the sub- sidings of the waters occur irregularly and without previous warning, and are followed by their rising again; the springs fail altogether and gush out again after a time; as they say is the case with the Amenanus, [Note] which flows through Catana, [Note] for after remaining dry for a number of years, it again flows. It is reported that the Marcian [Note] water, which is drunk at Rome in preference to any other, has its source in [Lake] Fucinus. As Alba is situated in the depths of the country, and is besides a strong position, the Romans have often employed it as a place of security, for lodging important prisoners. [Note]

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Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 5.3.10 Str. 5.3.12 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 5.4.2

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