Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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Thus then the Latini originally were few in number, and for the most part under no subjection to the Romans; but afterwards, being struck by the valour of Romulus and the kings who succeeded him, they all submitted. But the æqui, [Note] the Volsci, the Hernici; and before them the Rutuli, the aborigines, the Rhæci, together with certain of the

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Argyrusci and the Preferni, [Note] being subdued, the whole of their different countries were included under the name of Latium. To the Volsci pertained the pomentine plain, bordering on the territory of the Latini, and the city of Apiola, levelled to the ground [Note] by Tarquinius Priscus. The æqui principally were neighbours to the Quirites, whose cities Tarquinius Priscus likewise devastated. His son took Suessa, [Note] the metropolis of the Volsci. The Hernici dwelt near to Lanuvium, Alba, and to Rome itself; neither were Aricia, [Note] the Tellenæ, and Antium [Note] at any great distance. The Albani were at first friendly with the Romans, speaking as they did the same language, and being likewise of the Latin stock; and though they were under separate governments, this did not prevent them from marrying together, nor from performing in common the sacred ceremonies at Alba, and other civil rites. In after-time, however, war having sprung up, Alba was entirely destroyed with the exception of the temple, and the Albani were declared citizens of Rome. Of the other surrounding cities, those which resisted were either destroyed or enfeebled, while others, which were friendly to the Romans, flourished. At the present day the coast from Ostia to the city of Sinuessa [Note] is denominated the Latin coast; formerly the country thus designated extended only so far as Circæum. [Note] The interior also [of Latium] was formerly small; but it afterwards extended to Campania, the Samnitæ, the Peligni, [Note] and other nations dwelling around the Apennines. 5.3.5

The whole [of Latium] is fertile, and abounding in every production, with the exception of a few districts along the coast, which are marshy and unhealthy; such as the country of Ardea, the lands between Antium and Lanuvium as far as Pometia, and certain of the districts of Setia, [Note] Terracina, and Circæum. Some parts may also be too moun-

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tainous and rocky; but even these are not absolutely idle and useless, since they furnish abundant pasturage, wood, and the peculiar productions of the marsh and rock; while Cæcubum, which is entirely marshy, nourishes a vine, the dendritis, [Note] which produces the most excellent wine. Of the maritime cities of Latium, one is Ostia. This city has no port, owing to the accumulation of the alluvial deposit Brought down by the Tiber, which is swelled by numerous rivers; vessels therefore bring to anchor further out, but not without danger; however, gain overcomes every thing, for there is an abundance of lighters in readiness to freight and unfreight the larger ships, before they approach the mouth of the river, and thus enable them to perform their voyage speedily. Being lightened of a part of their cargo, they enter the river and sail up to Rome, a distance of about 190 stadia. Such is the city of Ostia, founded by Ancus Martius. Next in order comes Antium, which city is likewise destitute of any port; it is situated on rocks, and about 260 stadia distant from Ostia. At the present day it is devoted to the leisure and recreation of statesmen from their political duties, whenever they can find time, and is in consequence covered with sumptuous mansions suited to such rusticating. The inhabitants of Antium had formerly a marine, and even after they were under subjection to the Romans, took part with the Tyrrhenian pirates. Of this, first, Alexander sent to complain; after him Demetrius, having taken many of these pirates, sent them to the Romans, saying that he would surrender them their persons on account of their affinity to the Greeks, and remarking at the same time, that it seemed to him a great impropriety, that those who held sway over the whole of Italy should send out pirates, and that they who had consecrated in their forum a temple to the honour of the Dioscuri, [Note] whom all denominated the Saviours, should likewise send to commit acts of piracy on Greece, which was the father-land of those divinities. Hereupon the Romans put a stop to this occupation [piracy]. Between these two cities is Lavinium, which contains a temple of Venus common to all the Latini, the care of which is intrusted to the priests of

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Ardea. After this is Laurentum; [Note] and above these lies Ardea, a colony of the Rutuli, 70 stadia from the sea; near to it is another temple of Venus, where all the Latini hold a public festival. These regions have been ravaged by the Samnitæ, and only the traces of the cities left; but even these are reverenced on account of the arrival of æneas here, and of the religious rites which they say were bequeathed from those times. 5.3.6

At 290 stadia from Antium is Mount Circæum, insulated by the sea and marshes. They say that it contains numerous roots, but this perhaps is only to harmonize with the myth relating to Circe. It has a small city, together with a temple to Circe and an altar to Minerva; they likewise say that a cup is shown which belonged to Ulysses. Between [Antium and Circæum] is the river Stura, [Note] which has a station for ships: the rest of the coast is exposed to the southwest wind, [Note] with the exception of this small harbour of Circæum. [Note] Above this, in the interior, is the Pomentine plain: the region next to this was formerly inhabited by the Ausonians, who likewise possessed Campania: next after these the Osci, who also held part of Campania; now, however, as we have remarked, the whole, as far as Sinuessa, belongs to the Latini. A peculiar fate has attended the Osci and Ausonians; for although the Osci have ceased to exist as a distinct tribe, their dialect is extant among the Romans, dramatic and burlesque pieces composed in it being still represented at certain games which were instituted in ancient times. And as for the Ausonians, although they never have dwelt by the sea of Sicily, [Note] it is named the Ausonian Sea. At 100 stadia from Circæum is Tarracina, formerly named Trachina, [Note] on account of its ruggedness; before it is a great marsh, formed by two rivers, the larger of which is called the Aufidus. [Note] This is the first place where the Via Appia approaches the sea. This

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road is paved from Rome to Brundusium, [Note] and has great traffic. Of the maritime cities, these alone are situated on it; Tarracina, beyond it Formiæ, [Note] Minturnæ, [Note] Sinuessa, [Note] and towards its extremity Tarentum and Brundusium. Near to Tarracina, advancing in the direction of Rome, a canal runs by the side of the Via Appia, which is supplied at intervals by water from the marshes and rivers. Travellers generally sail up it by night, embarking in the evening, and landing in the morning to travel the rest of their journey by the way; however, during the day the passage boat is towed by mules. [Note] Beyond is Formiæ, founded by the Lacedæmonians, and formerly called Hormiæ, on account of its excellent port. Between these [two cities], [Note] is a gulf which they have named Caiata, [Note] in fact all gulfs are called by the Lacedæmonians Caietæ: some, however, say that the gulf received this appellation from [Caieta], the nurse of æneas. From Tarracina to the promontory of Caiata is a length of 100 stadia. Here [Note] are opened vast caverns, which contain large and sumptuous mansions. From hence to Formiæ is a distance of 40 stadia. Between this city and Sinuessa, at a distance of about 80 stadia from each, is Minturnæ. The river Liris, [Note] formerly named the Clanis, flows through it. It descends from the Apennines, passes through the country of the Vescini, [Note] and by the village of Fregellæ, (formerly a famous city,) and so into a sacred grove situated below the city, and held in great veneration by the people of Minturnæ. There are two islands, named Pandataria and Pontia, [Note] lying in the high sea, and clearly discernible from the caverns. Although small, they are well inhabited, are not at any great distance from each other, and at 250 stadia from the mainland. Cæcubum is situated on the gulf of Caiata, and next to it Fundi, a city on the Via Appia. All these places produce excellent wines; but those of Cæcubum, Fundi, and Setia [Note] are most in repute, and so are the Falernian, Alban, [Note] and Statanian wines. Sinuessa is situated in a gulf from which it takes its name, sinus signify-

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ing [in Latin] a gulf. Near to it are some fine hot-baths, good for the cure of various maladies. Such are the maritime cities of Latium.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 5.3.3 Str. 5.3.5 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 5.3.8

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