Sir William Smith William Latham Bevan.

The student's manual of ancient geography online

. (page 60 of 82)
Online LibrarySir William Smith William Latham BevanThe student's manual of ancient geography → online text (page 60 of 82)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

consequence of having received the latter after his defeat. An arch,
named Porta d'Annibaley some remains of an ancient theatre and of
two or three temples, still exist. Namia, Narni, was strongly situated
on a lofty hill " on the left bank of the Nar, about 8 miles above its
confluence with the Tiber. Previous to the Roman conquest it was
named Nequiniun : it was taken and colonized in 299. For some time
it appears to have been in a depressed condition, and in 199 it re-
ceived a fresh colony, but afterwards its position on the Flaminiau
Road secured to it a high degree of prosperity. The Emperor Nerva
was bom there. The chief remains of antiquity are one of the arches
and the two other piers of a magnificent bridge which Augustus
constructed for the Flaminian Road. AiimXniim, Himinu lay on the
sea-coast about 9 miles S. of the Rubico. It is first noticed in u.c. 268,
when the Romans established a colony there, which became a military
post of the highest importance, and was justly considered the key of
Cisalpine Gaul. It was strongly occupied oy the Romans in the
Gaulish War in 225, in the Second Punic War in 218, and again iu
200. It suffered severely from Sulla s troops in the Civil War with
Marius. Caesar occupied it in his war against Pompey, and we have
it mentioned in sevei-al subsequent wars. The most striking i*emaiu.i
of antiquity are a splendid marble bAdge of five arches over the
Ariminus, commenced by Augustus and finished by Tiberius; and a
triumphal arch, erected in honour of Augustus. Faauza FmriXaUBf
Fano, stood on the left bank of the Metaurus, at the point where the
Flaminian Road fell upon the sea-coast. Its name is due to a temple
of Fortune that stood there. It wna occupied by Ciesar in b.c, 49, and
by the generals of Vespasian in a.d. 69, and was undoubtedly of
importance as a military post. A triumphal arch, erected iu honour
of Augustus, is the only important relic of antiquity.
Of the less important to\^ns we may notice in the same order ;-^

' Exoelflo gtimmnm qua vertlee mentis

Devexam later! pendet Tuder. 8ii . Ital. ri. 64d.

* This name has been assigned to it from the fact that Mars wa.s worshipped
at Tndcr :—

Et gradivicolam oelso de eolle Tudcrtem. Sil. Ital. Iv. 222.

Hand porci Martem coluisse Tudertes. lo. viil. 464.

» Duro monti per saxa reoumbens

Namia. In. viii. 459.

Namia, sulphureo quam gurgite candidus amnis

Circuit, ancipiti vix adcunda jugo. Mart. vii. 93.


by Google

516 UMBRIA. Book IV.

1. W, of the Apennines, — ^Ignvivni,* Gubhio^ stronglv nitiiated on the
W. slope of the Apennines, the place where the Illynan king Gentius
and his sons were confined, but more celebrated for the seven tables
with inscriptions in the old Umbrian tongue, which were found about
8 miles off, on the site of a temple of Jupiter Apenninus. Hiipellimi,
SpellOf N. of Mevania, colonized under Augustus and again under
Yespasuud, and regarded by some critics as the birthplace of Propertius.
Ameria,^ Amelia^ the most ancient of the Umbrian towns, situatisd on a
hill between the Tiber and the Nar. Interaiima, Temiy ** between the
branches " of the river Nar, which here divides and forms an island,
a municipal town of some importance, and generally regarded as the
birth-place of the historian Tacitus. Ooriettlum, Otricoli, the
southernmost town of Umbria, near the Tiber, and on the Flaminian
Road, which leads to frequent incidental notices of it; it became a
favourite residence of the wealthy Romans ; and, from the remains
discovered by excavating in 1780, it appears to have been a splendid
town. ' 2. E. of the Apennine$. — SarriCna, Sarsina, in the extreme N.,
chiefly famed for havmg given birth to Plautus. UrMniiiii, sumamed
Hortenie, Urhino, situated on a hill between the valleys of the Metau-
rus and Pisaurus, the place where Fabius Valens was put to death in
A.D. 69. Pitanram, Pesaro, at the mouth of a river of the same name,
colonized bv the Romans in B.c. 184, again by M. Antonius, and a
third time by Augustus, having been dostroved by an earthquake in
B.C. 31. Sena, sumamed Ctellioa, to distingiush it from the Etrurian
city of the same name, founded by the Romans in B.c. 289 after their
conquest of the Senones, and situated on the coast S. of Fanum For-
tun::^ : the name has been corrupted into Sinigaalia, Senflnnm, 8en-
tinOf near the sources of the .^sis, celebratea as the spot where
Q. Fabius defeated the Samnites and Gkuls in ii.c. 295, and itself a
strong town, besieged by Octavian in the Perusian War without success.
Camerlnnm, Camerfnot in the Apennines near the frontiers of Picbnum,
the old capital of the Camertes, and occupied as a stronghold on several
occasions in the Roman Civil Wars.

Roads. — Umbria was traversed in its whole length by the celebrated
Via Flaminia, constructed by the censor C. Flaminius, in b.c. 220, as
a means of communication with Cisalpine Gaul. It entered the pro-
vince at Ocriculum, passed by Namia, and thence either by Mevania
or by a more circuitous route by Spoletium to Fulginium, and
across the Apennines to Fanum Fortunae on the Adriatic. A branch
road left at Kuceria for Ancona, whence a road was carried along the
coast by Sena Gallica to Fanum Fortunse.

History. — The early history of the Umbrians is almost unknown.
They were expelled from the maritime distinct by the Senonian Gkiuls.
They made common cause with the Etruscans against the Romans,
and suffered in consequence several defeats, the last of which, near
Mevania in B.o. 308, was a decisive blow. They passed into the con-
dition of a subject state, and remained, with few exceptions, faithful to
their allegiance. Augustus retained the name for the sixth region in
his division, but it was subsequently united to Etruria.

> Inliestiun nebulis hmnentibiu olim

Igariiun. Sil. Ital. viii. 439.

3 Its oBiers are noticed by VirgU : —

Atque Amerlna parant lentoe retinactUa viti. Georg, i. 265.


by Google

Chap. XXV. PICENUM. 517


§ 7. PicSnnm extended along the coast of the Adriatic from the
river ^Esis, which separated it from Umbria, to the Matrinus, which
separated it from the territory of the Vestini ; inland, on the W., it
was bomided by the central ridge of the Apennines. It is a district
of great fertility and beauty, the greater part of it being occupied by
the secondary ridges of the A^jennines, which in their upper regions
were clothed with extensive forests, while the lower slopes produced
abundance of fmit, especially apples * and olives, as well as good
com and wine. The rivers are numerous, but of short course : the
most important is the TrueiitiTUi Trento, which flowed by Asculum.

§ 8. The inhabitants of this district, named Picentes, are generally
regarded as a branch of the Sabine race.'* The Praetutii, who lived
in the S., were to some extent a distinct i3eople, as also were the in-
habitants of Ancona, who were Syracusan Greeks. The towns of
Picenum were numerous, and many of them of considerable size, but
tliey did not attain to any historical celebrity. With the exception of
Ancona, which alone possessed a good port, the most important cities
were situated inland on hills of considerable elevation, and were thus
so many natural fortresses. Asctllum ranked as the capital. We
shall describe these towns in order from N. to S., commencing with
those on the sea-coast.

Anodzia, or Anoon, Ancona, was so named from its being on an
"elbow" (d7#f^i') or bend of the coast between two promontories, a
peculiarity of position which
furniahed the town with a de-
vice for its coins. It was
founded by some dissatisfied
Syracusans in B.C. 392; and it
became, under the Romans, one
of the most important seaport
towns on the Adriatic, and the
chief entrepdt for the trade
with Ulyria. Trajan constructed ^oln of Ancona belonging to the Greek colony

an excellent harbour there, by Obvene,li«iiaofVfnus. Rev«nMS. a bent arm, or Wlofr,

the formation of a mole, lo auu^oo lo iu nome.

' Picenis cedont pomis Tiburtia succo. Hor. Sat. ii. 4, 70.

Quid qaom Picenis exeerpens semina pomis
Gaudes? Jrf. U. 3, 272.

De oorbibns iadem
.£mala Picenis, et odoris mala recentls. Jw. xi. 73.

* The name was usually derived from picu9 " a wood-pecker," which guided
the emigrants on their road. SiUus Italicus, however, refers it to an Italian
divinity of that name : —

Hoc Picus, quondam nomen mf>morabile ab alto

Satumo, statuit genitor, qucm carmine Circe

Exutum formse volitare per sethera Jussit,

£t sparsit plumis croceum fagientis honorem. viii. 441.


by Google

518 PICENUM. Book IV.

which still remains, and is adorned with a triumphal arch of white
mai'ble, erected in honour of that emperor. The town possessed a
celebrated temple of Venus,* and was also noted for its purple dye.«
The surrounding district yielded large crops of wheat. 'I'he popu-
lation was very large, the number of citizens at the time of the
Roman conquest having been 360,000, according to Pliny. ^ Firmnm,
FermOf was situated about 6 miles from the coast, on which it pos-
sessed a port or emporium called Castellum Firmanum. The Romans
colonized it at the beginning of the First Punic War. It was strongly
placed, and was occupied on several occasions ]t)y Roman generals.
Castrnm Koyam was founded by the Romans at the same time as
Firmum: it probably occupied the site of the deserted town of S,
Flavtano. Hadzia, or Adria, Atri, stood between the rivers Vomanus

and Matrinus, about 5
miles from the coast, on
which it possessed a port
named Matrinum : it was
occupied by a Roman

I colony in b.C. 282, and
' was recolonized by Ha-

drian whose family origi>

nally belonged to this

place. The coins of Adria

ColnofAdria. are remarkable for their

thi.ooiabd<>th«d«»oommoaiykiKHmMibgmT«. gj^at Weight. Great part

of the circuit of the walls
and other ancient remains exist there. Audmiim, Osimo, the most
nortlierly town in the interior, stood on a lofty hill about 12 miles
S.W. of Ancona ; from the strength of its position, it was occupied by
Pooipey in his wars against Sulla and Csesar, but it declared in favour
of the latter.^ It did not become a colony until h.c. 157, though it
was foi*tified by the Romans some twenty years earlier. JJrXm BidTia,
Urhisaglia, was situated in the upper valley of the Flusor, and was
a municipal town. Aaoiiliiin, A$coiL stood on the buiks of the
Truentus.^ It bore an important part in the Social War, which com-
menced in that town. It was hence besieged by Pompeius Strabo, and
not reduced till after a long and obstinate defence.

Of the smaller towns we may notice— Potentia, at the mouth of the
river of the same name, colonized by the Romans in B.C. 184; Onpra
Maritima, 8 miles N. of the Truentus, the site of an ancient temple of
Cupra (Juno), founded by the Etruscans;' CingUimi, Cingolif W. of
Auximum, a place of great streDgth,^ noticed iu the Civil War between

* It i« noticed by Juvenal : —

Ante domain Veneris, qoain Dorica sustinet Ancon.— iv. 40.
^ Stat fucare colus nee Sidone vilior Ancon
Marice neo Libyoo. Sxl. Ital. rilL 438.

' Lnean refers to this in the line —

Varus, nt adniot® pulsarunt Auximon alee, &c. il. 466.
" The natural strength of its position was remarkable, and it was f^irther
fortified by art : —

Et inclemens hirnOi signifer Ascli. Sn.. Ital. viii. 440.

• Et quels littoresB flunant altaria Cuprce — Id. viii. 434.

1 Celsis Lablenum Cingula sax a

Mlserunt muris. Id. x. 84.


by Google

Chap. XXV. SABINI. 519

Caesar and Pompey; Trnentam, or Outram Trnmitfnuni, at the mouth
of the Truentufly one of the places occupied by Csesar in the Civil
Wars; and, lastly, Interanma, Teramo, the capital of the Pnotutii,
whose name was subsequently applied to the town under the form of
Aprutium, whence the modem name of the province Abruzzo.

Roads. — Picenum was reached from Rome by the "^a Salaria, which
crossed the Apennines to Asculum and thence descended to the
Adriatic. Another road followed the line of coast from Ancona to
Atemum, where it united with the Via Valeria. A third left Ancona
and Auximum for Nuceria, where it fell into the Via Flaminia.

History, — The history of Picenum is unimportant: it was reduced
by the Romans in a single campaign in D.a 268 : it suffered severely
from the ravages of the Second Punic War. The Social War took its
rise in this province in b.c. 90, and led to the siege of Asculum. Csesar
occupied it at the commencement of the Civil War.

VII. The Sabini, Mabsi, Vestini, Marbucini, and Peliqki.

§ 9. The country of the SaUni was a narrow strip, extending
about 85 miles in length, from the sources of the Nar'in the N. to
the junction of the Tiber and Anio in the S. It was bounded on the
N. and W. by the Umbrians and Etruscans; on the N.E. by
Picenum ; on the E. by the Vestini, Marsi, and -^uiculi ; and on
the S. by Latium. This country is generally rugged and moun-
tainous : but the valleys are fertile, and the sides of the hills and
lower slopes of the mountains are adai)ted to the growth of the vine
and the olive. ITie lower valley of the Velinns, about Reate, was
particularly celebrated for its fertility. The country produced large
quantities of oil and wine, though not of the best quality .* The
savin, which was used instead of incense,' derives its name from the
Sabine hills, where it was found in abundance. The neighbourhood
of Reate was famous for its mules and horses, and the mountains
afforded excellent pasturage for sheep.

§ 10. The Apennines attain their greatest elevation in this part
of their course. A few of the prominent points received special
names, as Tetrloa and Sevfims,* but it is difficult to identify them.
Of the lesser heights we may notice Moni LuoretiOis,* Monte Gennaro,

* Deprome quadrimuin Sabina,

Thaliarche, merum dlota. Hor. Carm, i. 9, 7.

VUe potabis modicis Sablnum
Canlbarifl. Id. i. 20, 1.

> Are dabat ftimoa herbis eontenta Sabinla. Ov. Fa$t, i. 34S.

* Qui TetriccD horrentes rupes, montemque Severum. — Mn, vii. 718.
Horace's villa was situated near it ; hence the allusion : —
Velox amomum stepe Lucrctilem
Mutat Lycno Faunas ; et igneam
Defendit ®8tatem capellis

Usque meis, pluviosque ventos. Otrm. i. 17, I.


by Google

520 SABINI. Book IV.

which rises on the borders of the Roman Campagna, The chief
rivers were the Far, the Tiber, and the Anio. The two former have
been already noticed : the Anio belongs more properly to Latium.
Among the tributaries of these rivers we may specially notice the
VellniUf VelinOf which rises in the Apennines N. of Interocrea, and
flows in the upper part of its course from N. to S., then to the W.,
and finally to the N.W., discharging itself into the Xar about 3
miles above Interamna. The ToldnTUi TuranOy is a small tributary
of the Velinus, joining it a few miles below Reate. We may also
notice the small stream Digentia, Licenza, a tributary of the Anio,
on the banks of which Horace had a farm ;• and the still smaller
Allia, also a tributary of the Anio, and probably to be identified with
the Scolo del Casqle^ 12 miles from Rome, memorable for the defeat
sustained by the Romans from the Ghiuls under Brennus in B.C. 390.^
§ 11. The Sabines were members of a race which was widely
spread throughout Central and Southern Italy, and which may 1«
divided into three great classes : — the Sabini, with whom we are now
more immediately concerned; the Sabelli, including the various
lesser tribes of the Vestini, Marsi, &c. ; and the Samnites, who were
the most important of all. The earliest abode of the race appears
to have been about Amiternum, at the foot of the Apennines :
thence they issued in a series of migrations founded on a i)eculiar
custom called Ver Scuiram, which consisted in the dedication of a
whole generation to some god under the pressure of any great cala-
mity. The Sabines were a frucjal ® and hardy race, deeply imbued
with religious feelings, and skilled in augury and magical rites.
They dwelt principally in villages, and the towns were accordingly
very few. Reate ranked as the capital, and Amiternum was a place
of some importance.

Amitemnxn was situated in the upper valley of the Atemus. We
have already stated that it was the cnidle of the Sabine race. It suf-
fered severely in the Social and Civil Wai-s, but subsequently became a
place of much importance, as the ruins at San Vittorino testify. It was
the birth-place of the historian Sallust. Beate, Rietit was situated on
the Via Salaria, 48 miles from Rome, and on the banks of the Velinus.
The surrounding district was one of the most fertile and beautiful in
the whole of Italy; the plains that intervened between the town and the

« Me qaoties refidt gelidus Digentia rivus,
Quern Mandela bibit, rugosus frigore pagns. Hos. Ep. i. 18, 104.
Thia disaster is frequently referred to by the Roman poeU : —

Quosque secans infaustum interluit Allia nomen. — ^En. vii. 717.

Ccdant feralia nomina Cannse
Et damnata diu Romanis Allia fastis. Lvc. vii. 408.

> Vel Gabils, vel cum riff id ia icquata Sabinis. Hoa. Sp. ii. 1, 2d.

Translatus subito ad Marsos mensamque Sabellam
Contentusque illic vencto duroque culuUo. Jcv. iii. 169.


by Google


Lacus YelinuB were known as the Rosen Campi,^ and the valley is
termed by Cicero the ''Reatine Tempe." The plam was however
liable to inundation from the blocking up of the channel of the Ve-
linus, and disputes occurred between Reate and Interamna on this sub-
ject. Vmna, Norcia, was situated in the upper valley of the Nar at a
great elevation, and consequently enjoyed a very cold climate.* It is
noticed in B.C. 205, along with Reate and Amitemiim, as aiding Scipio
with volunteers. It was also the birth-place of Vespasian's mother.
We may further notice— Falacrlnum, on the Via Salaria, the birth-
place of the Emperor Vespasian ; Interoorea, between Reate and Ami-
tomum, deriving its name from its position between two rugged
mountains ; OntiliaB, between Reate and Interocrea, with a lake in its
neighbourhood feuned for the phenomenon of a floating isle, and also
possessing medicinal springs of great repute, which were visited by
Vespasian ; Caret, Correse, about 3 miles from the Tiber and 24 from
Rome, the birth-place of Numa^ and the city of Tatius, but afterwards
a poor decayed village; and ErStom, GroUa Marozza, about 18 miles
fix)m Rome, at the junction of the Via Nomentana with the Via Salaria,
and from its position frequently mentioned in connexion with the wars
between the Sabines and Romans.

Boadt. — The territory of the Sabini was traversed throughout its
whole length by the Via Salaria, which proceeded from Rome by Reate
and Interocrea across the Apennines to Picenum.

History, — ^The Sabines occupy a prominent place in the early history
of Rome. They established themselves on the Quirinal Hill, and be-
came a constituent element in the Roman population. Wars neverthe-
less ensued between the two nations, and were continued down to
B c. 290, when the Sabines were subdued by M. Curius Dentatus. The
most signal event in the course of these wars was the decisive victory
gained in n.c. 449 by M. Horatius. They are seldom mentioned after
their incorporation with the Roman state.

$ 12. The Marti occupied a mountainous district aroimd the basin
of Lake Fucinus, having to the N. of them the Sabines, to the E.
the Peligni, and to the W. and S. the -^qui, Hemici, and Volsci.
Their territory lies at an elevation of more than 2000 feet above the
sea : hence the climate is severe, and ill adapted to the growth of
com ; fruit, however, abounded, and wine of an inferior quality was
produced there. In addition to the basin about the lake, the Marsi
also possessed the upper valley of the Liris. The FneXnot Laont has
been already briefly noticed : we may here add that it is about 29

' Qui Nomentum urbem, qui roeea rura Velini

Casperiamque colunt ^n. vii. 712.

^ Qui Tiberim Fabarimque blbunt, quos frigida mint

Nuraia. /«f. vii. 715.

Necnon habitata pruinis

Nursifl. SiL. ITAL. rlii. 41&

' Nosco orinea incanaqne menta

Regis Romani ; primus qui legibuB xurbem

Fandabit, Curibus parvis et paupere terra

Missus in imperium magnum. jEh* tI. 809.

Te Tatius, parvique Cures, Cominaque sensit. Or. Fast, ii. 135.


by Google

622 14ARSI — VESTIKI. Book IV.

miles in circumference, of oval shape, and so completely shut in by
mountains that there was no natural |»a88age for its waters ; these
were originally carried off by subterranean channels, and the waters
were supposed to reappear at the sources of the Aqua Marcia,' in the
valley of the Anio, though the grounds for such belief are very in-
sufficient. An artificial duct was made with immense labour by
the Emperor Claudius, through the solid limestone rock, to the
valley of the Liris ; and by this means the inundations, to which the
country of the Marsi was liable, were for a while checked. The duct
is now closed. The Marsi were a Sabellian race, and resembled the
Sabines in character. They possessed the art of charming venomous
reptiles.* Their principal and indeed only town was Marruvium.*

KarmviQin lay on the E. shore of the Fucine Lake, and evidently
derived its name from the Marsi, whose capital it was. Under the
Romans it became a flourishing municipal town. Portions of the walls
and uf an amphitheatre still remain at a spot now named 8. Benedetto,
We may further notioe Luevs AngitUB, Luro, a place which grew up
about the grove and sanctuary of the goddess Angitia, on the W. bank
of the lake ; and Cerfbnnia, on the Via Valeria, at the foot of the pass
(the Forca di Caruso) leading across to the valley of the PelignL

Road.— The Marsian district was traversed by the Via Valeria, which
was originally constructed from Tibur to the Fucine Lake and Cer>
fennia, but was afterwards, in the reign of Claudius, carried over Mons
Imeus to the vallev of the Atemus and the Adriatic.

History. — ^The Marsi are first noticed in B.C. 340 as being on friendly
terms with Rome: In 308, however, they joined the Samnites against
the Romans; and in 301 they appear to have undertaken war with them
single-handed, and were consequently reduced with ease. At a later
period they took a prominent part in the Social, or, as it was more
usually termed, the Marsic War; and, even after the other tribes had
yielded, they maintained an unequal struggle, which terminated in
their complete subjection.

S 13. The VestXni occupied a mountainous tract between the
Pyrenees and the Adriatic, bounded by the Matrinus on the X.W.,
and by the Atemus on the S.E. Within these limits are two dis-
tinct regions : the upper valley of the Atemus, a bleak and cold
upland tract lying at the back of the Monte Como ; and the district
that lies between that range and the Adriatic, which, though hilly,
enjoys a tolerably fine climate. The mountains were the . haunts of
wild animals to a late period. The upland pastures were good, and

» Henoe Statiot speaks of the aqueduct as—

Marsasque nives et IHgora ducens. SOv. i. 5, 26.

* At Mandca pubet

Et bcUare xnanu, et ohelydris cantare soporem,

Vipcreuisque herbis hebetare, et carmine dentem.— Sn.. Itau viil. 4»7.
See also Vibo. ^n. viL 750.

^ MaiTUTlum, reteris celebratum nomine Marri,
Urbibns est iUls caput. _ Id. vili. 507.


by Google


from them an excellent kind of cheese was produced. The Apen-
nmea here attain their greatest elevation in the group now called
Monte Como, which may perhaps represent the Mons Fiflcellus of
the ancients. The only river worthy of notice is the Atemaif
Pescara^ which rises near Amitemum, and in its upper course flows
from N. to S. through a hroad valley, some 2000 feet above the sea,
and, after passing through a gorge between two masses of mountains,
descends in a N.E. direction to the sea. The inhabitants of this
district were a Sabellian race, and participated in the Sabine cha-
racter. Their chief towns were Pinna in the interior, and Atemuni
on the sea-coast.

Pinna, Penne, was situated on the E. slope of the Apennines, about
1 5 miles from the sea. The only historical notice of it is in the Social
War, when it stood firm to the Koman allegiaDce. Atenrant, Pescara,
stood at the mouth of the Atemus, and was a place of considerable
trade. It joined the cause of Hannibal, and was consequently besieged

Online LibrarySir William Smith William Latham BevanThe student's manual of ancient geography → online text (page 60 of 82)