Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 5.3.11 Str. 5.4.2 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 5.4.4


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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AFTER having commenced with the nations about the Alps, and the Apennine mountains which are near to these, we proceeded from thence and passed through that portion of the hither country lying between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Apennine mountains, which incline towards the Adriatic, as far as the Samnites and the Campani. We will now return again, and describe the mountaineers, and those who dwell at the foot of the mountains; whether on the coast of the Adriatic, or in the interior. Thus, we must recommence from the boundaries of Keltica. [Note] 5.4.2

After the cities of the Ombrici, which are comprised between Ariminum [Note] and Ancona, comes Picenum. The Picentini proceeded originally from the land of the Sabini. A woodpecker led the way for their chieftains, and from this bird they have taken their name, it being called in their language Picus, and is regarded as sacred to Mars. They inhabit the plains extending from the mountains to the sea; the length of their country considerably exceeds its breadth; the soil is every where good, but better fitted for the cultivation of fruits than grain. Its breadth, from the mountains to the sea varies in different parts. But its length; from the river æsis [Note] to Castrum, [Note] sailing round the coast, is 800 stadia. Of its cities, Ancona is of Grecian origin, having been founded by the Syracusans who fled from the tyranny of Dionysius. It is situated upon a cape, which bending round towards the north forms a harbour; and it abounds in wine and wheat. Near to it is the city of Auxumon, [Note] at a little distance from the sea. After it are Septempeda, [Note] Pneuentia, [Note] Potentia, [Note] and Firmum Picenum, [Note] with its port of Castellum. [Note] Beyond, is the temple of Cupra, [Note] built and dedicated by the Tyrrheni to Juno, who is named by them Cupra; and after it the river Tronto, [Note]

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with a city of the same name. [Note] Beyond this is Castrum Novum, [Note] and the river Piomba, [Note] flowing from the city of Adria, [Note] and having [at its mouth] the naval station of Adria, which bears the same name as itself. In the interior is [the city of Adria] itself and Asculum Picenum, [Note] a very strong position, upon which is built a wall: the mountains which surround it are not accessible to armies. [Note] Above Picenum are the Vestini, [Note] the Marsi, [Note] the Peligni, [Note] the Marucini, [Note] and the Frentani, [Note] a Samnitic nation possessing the hill-country, and extending almost to the sea. All these nations are small, but extremely brave, and have frequently given the Romans proofs of their valour, first as enemies, afterwards as allies; and finally, having demanded the liberty and rights of citizens, and being denied, they revolted and kindled the Marsian war. [Note] They decreed that Corfinium, [Note] the metropolis of the Peligni, should be the capital for all the Italians instead of Rome: made it their place d'armes, and new-named it Italica. Then, having convoked deputies from all the people friendly to their design, they created consuls [Note] and pretors, and maintained the war for two [Note] years, until they had obtained the rights for which they struggled. The war was named the Marsian [Note] war, be-

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cause that nation commenced the insurrection, and particularly on account of Pompædius. [Note] These nations live generally in villages, nevertheless they are possessed of certain cities, some of which are at some little distance from the sea, as Corfinium, Sulmo, [Note]

Maruvium, [Note]

and Teatea [Note] the metropolis of the Marrucini. Others are on the coast, as Aternum [Note] on the Picentine boundary, so named from the river [Aternus], which separates the Vestini from the Marrucini. This river flows from the territory of Amiternum and through the Vestini, leaving on its right the Marrucini, who lie above the Peligni, [at the place where the river] is crossed by a bridge. The city, which bears the same name, (viz. Aternum,) belongs to the Vestini, but its port is used in common both by the Peligni and the Marrucini. The bridge I have mentioned is about 24 stadia from Corfinium. After Aternum is Orton, [Note] a naval arsenal of the Frentani, and Buca, [Note] which belongs to the same people, and is conterminous with the Apulian Teanum. [Note] † Ortonium [Note] is situated in the territory of the Frentani. It is rocky, and inhabited by banditti, who construct their dwellings of the wrecks of ships, and lead other-

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wise a savage life. † Between Orton and Aternum is the river Sagrus, [Note] which separates the Frentani from the Peligni. From Picenum to the Apuli, named by the Greeks the Daunii, [Note] sailing round the coast, is a distance of about 490 [Note] stadia.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 5.3.11 Str. 5.4.2 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 5.4.4

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