1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Latium
LATIUM, in ancient geography, the name given to the portion of central Italy which was bounded on the N.W. by Etruria, on the S.W. by the Tyrrhenian Sea, on the S.E. by Campania, on the E. by Samnium and on the N.E. by the mountainous district inhabited by the Sabini, Aequi and Marsi. The name was, however, applied very differently at different times. Latium originally means the land of the Latini, and in this sense, which alone is in use historically, it was a tract of limited extent; but after the overthrow of the Latin confederacy, when the neighbouring tribes of the Rutuli, Hernici, Volsci and Aurunci, as well as the Latini properly so called, were reduced to the condition of subjects and citizens of Rome, the name of Latium was extended to comprise them all. It thus denoted the whole country from the Tiber to the mouth of the Savo, and just included the Mons Massicus, though the boundary was not very precisely fixed (see below). The change thus introduced, though already manifest in the composition of the Latin league (see below) was not formally established till the reign of Augustus, who formed of this larger Latium and Campania taken together the first region of Italy; but it is already recognized by Strabo (v. 3. 2. p. 228), as well as by Pliny, who terms the additional territory thus incorporated Latium Adjectum, while he designates the original Latium, extending from the Tiber to Circeii, as Latium Antiquum.
1. Latium Antiquum consisted principally of an extensive plain, now known as the Campagna di Roma, bounded towards the interior by the Apennines, which rise very abruptly from the plains to a height of between 4000 and 5000 ft. Several of the Latin cities, including Tibur and Praeneste, were situated on the terrace-like underfalls of these mountains, while Cora, Norba and Setia were placed in like manner on the slopes of the Volscian mountains (Monti Lepini), a rugged and lofty limestone range, which runs parallel to the main mass of the Apennines, being separated from them, however, by the valley of the Trerus (Sacco), and forms a continuous barrier from there to Terracina. No volcanic eruptions are known to have taken place in these mountains within the historic period, though Livy sometimes speaks of it “raining stones in the Alban hills” (i. 31, xxxv. 9—on the latter occasion it even did so on the Aventine). It is asserted, too, that some of the earliest tombs of the necropolis of Alba Longa (q.v.) were found beneath a stratum of peperino. Earthquakes (not of a violent character within recent centuries, though the ruin of the Colosseum is probably to be ascribed to this cause) are not unknown even at the present day in Rome and in the Alban Hills, and a seismograph has been established at Rocca di Papa. The surface is by no means a uniform plain, but is a broad undulating tract, furrowed throughout by numerous depressions, with precipitous banks, serving as water-courses, though rarely traversed by any considerable stream. As the general level of the plain rises gradually, though almost imperceptibly, to the foot of the Apennines, these channels by degrees assume the character of ravines of a formidable description.
Four main periods may be distinguished in the geological history of Rome and the surrounding district. The hills on the right bank of the Tiber culminating in Monte Mario (455 ft.) belong to the first of these, being of the Pliocene formation; they consist of a lower bluish-grey clay and an upper group of yellow sands Geology. and gravels. This clay since Roman times has supplied the material for brick-making, and the valleys which now separate the different summits (Janiculum, Vatican, Monte Mario) are in considerable measure artificial. On the left bank this clay has been reached at a lower level, at the foot of the Pincian Hill, while in the Campagna it has been found to extend below the later volcanic formations. The latter may be divided into two groups, corresponding to the second and third periods. In the second period volcanic activity occurred at the bottom of the Pliocene sea, and the tufa, which extends over the whole Campagna to a thickness of 300 ft. or more, was formed. At the same time, hot springs, containing abundant carbonate of lime in solution, produced deposits of travertine at various points. In the third, after the Campagna, by a great general uplift, had become a land surface, volcanic energy found an outlet in comparatively few large craters, which emitted streams of hard lava as well as fragmentary materials, the latter forming sperone (lapis Gabinus) and peperino (lapis Albanus), while upon one of the former, which runs from the Alban Hills to within 2 m. of Rome, the Via Appia was carried. The two main areas near Rome are formed by the group of craters on the north (Bracciano, Bolsena, &c.) and the Alban Hills on the south, the latter consisting of one great crater with a base about 12 m. in diameter, in the centre of which a smaller crater was later on built up (the basin is now known as the Campo di Annibale) with several lateral vents (the Lake of Albano, the Lake of Nemi, &c.). The Alban Mount (Monte Cavo) is almost the highest point on the rim of the inner crater, while Mount Algidus and Tusculum are on the outer ring wall of the larger (earlier) crater.
The fourth period is that in which the various subaërial agencies of abrasion, and especially the streams which drain the mountain chain of the Apennines, have produced the present features of the Campagna, a plain furrowed by gullies and ravines. The communities which inhabited the detached hills and projecting ridges which later on formed the city of Rome were in a specially favourable position. These hills (especially the Palatine, the site of the original settlement) with their naturally steep sides, partly surrounded at the base by marshes and situated not far from the confluence of the Anio with the Tiber, possessed natural advantages not shared by the other primitive settlements of the district; and their proximity to one another rendered it easy to bring them into a larger whole. The volcanic materials available in Rome and its neighbourhood were especially useful in building. The tufa, sperone and peperino were easy to quarry, and could be employed by those who possessed comparatively elementary tools, while travertine, which came into use later, was an excellent building stone, and the lava (selce) served for paving stones and as material for concrete. The strength of the renowned Roman concrete is largely due to the use of pozzolana (see Puteoli), which also is found in plenty in the Campagna.
Between the volcanic tract of the Campagna and the sea there is a broad strip of sandy plain, evidently formed merely by the accumulation of sand from the sea, and constituting a barren tract, still covered almost entirely with wood as it was in ancient times, except for the almost uninterrupted line of villas along the ancient coast-line, which is now marked by a line of sand-hills, some 1 m. or more inland (see Lavinium, Tiber). This long belt of sandy shore extends without a break for a distance of above 30 m. from the mouth of the Tiber to the promontory of Antium (Porto d’Anzio); a low rocky headland, projecting out into the sea, and forming the only considerable angle in this line of coast. Thence again a low sandy shore of similar character, but with extensive shore lagoons which served in Roman times and serve still for fish-breeding, extends for about 24 m. to the foot of the Monte Circeo (Circeius Mons, q.v.). The region of the Pomptine Marshes (q.v.) occupies almost the whole tract between the sandy belt on the seashore and the Volscian mountains, extending from the southern foot of the Alban Hills below Velletri to the sea near Terracina.
The district sloping down from Velletri to the dead level of the Pontine (Pomptine) Marshes has not, like the western and northern slopes of the Alban Hills, drainage towards the Tiber. The subsoil too is differently formed: the surface consists of very absorbent materials, then comes a stratum of less permeable Drainage. tufa or peperino (sometimes clay is present), and below that again more permeable materials. In ancient, and probably pre-Roman, times this district was drained by an elaborate system of cuniculi, small drainage tunnels, about 5 ft. high and 2 ft. wide, which ran, not at the bottom of the valleys, where there were sometimes streams already, and where, in any case, erosion would have broken through their roofs, but along their slopes, through the less permeable tufa, their object being to drain the hills on each side of the valleys. They had probably much to do with the relative healthiness of this district in early times. Some of them have been observed to be earlier in date than the Via Appia (312 B.C.). They were studied in detail by R. de la Blanchère. When they fell into desuetude, malaria gained the upper hand, the lack of drainage providing breeding-places for the malarial mosquito. Remains of similar drainage channels exist in many parts of the Campagna Romana and of southern Etruria at points where the natural drainage was not sufficient, and especially in cultivated or inhabited hills (though it was not necessary here, as in the neighbourhood of Velletri, to create a drainage system, as streams and rivers were already present as natural collectors) and streams very frequently pass through them at the present day. The drainage channels which were dug for the various crater lakes in the neighbourhood of Rome are also interesting in this regard. That of the Alban Lake is the most famous; but all the other crater lakes are similarly provided. As the drainage by cuniculi removed the moisture in the subsoil, so the drainage of the lakes by emissaria, outlet channels at a low level, prevented the permeable strata below the tufa from becoming impregnated with moisture which they would otherwise have derived from the lakes of the Alban Hills. The slopes below Velletri, on the other hand, derive much of their moisture from the space between the inner and outer ring of the Alban volcano, which it was impossible to drain: and this in turn receives much moisture from the basin of the extinct inner crater.
Numerous isolated palaeolithic objects of the Mousterian type have been found in the neighbourhood of Rome in the quaternary gravels of the Tiber and Anio; but no certain traces of the neolithic period have come to light, as the many flint implements found sporadically round Rome probably Pre-historic remains. belong to the period which succeeded neolithic (called by Italian archaeologists the eneolithic period) inasmuch as both stone and metal (not, however, bronze, but copper) were in use. At Sgurgola, in the valley of the Sacco, a skeleton was found in a rock-cut tomb of this period which still bears traces of painting with cinnabar. A similar rock-cut tomb was found at Mandela, in the Anio valley. Both are outside the limits of the Campagna in the narrower sense; but similar tombs were found (though less accurately observed) in travertine quarries between Rome and Tivoli. Objects of the Bronze age too have only been found sporadically. The earliest cemeteries and hut foundations of the Alban Hills belong to the Iron age, and cemeteries and objects of a similar character have been found in Rome itself and in southern Etruria, especially the characteristic hut-urns. The objects found in these cemeteries show close affinity with those found in the terremare of Emilia, these last being of earlier date, and hence Pigorini and Helbig consider that the Latini were close descendants of the inhabitants of the terremare. On the other hand, the ossuaries of the Villanova type, while they occur as far south as Veii and Caere, have never so far been found on the left bank of the Tiber, in Latium proper (see L. Pigorini in Rendiconti dei Lincei, ser. v. vol. xvi., 1907, p. 676, and xviii., 1909). We thus have at the beginning of the Iron age two distinct currents of civilization in central Italy, the Latin and that of Villanova. As to the dates to which these are to be attributed, there is not as yet complete accord, e.g. some archaeologists assign to the 11th, others (and with far better reasons) to the 8th century B.C., the earliest tombs of the Alban necropolis and the coeval tombs of the necropolis recently discovered in the Forum at Rome. In this last necropolis cremation seems slightly to precede inhumation in date.
For the prehistoric period see Bullettino di paleontologia Italiana, passim, B. Modestov, Introduction à l’histoire romaine (Paris, 1907), and T. E. Peet, The Stone and Bronze Ages in Italy (Oxford, 1909).
It is uncertain to what extent reliance can be placed upon the traditional accounts of the gradual spread of the supremacy of Rome in Latium, and the question cannot be discussed here. The list of the thirty communities belonging to the Latin league, given by Dionysius Latin League.of Halicarnassus (v. 61), is, however, of great importance. It is considered by Th. Mommsen (Roman History, i. 448) that it dates from about the year 370 B.C., to which period belong the closing of the confederacy, no fresh communities being afterwards admitted to it, and the consequent fixing of the boundaries of Latium. The list is as follows: Ardeates, Aricini, Bovillani, Bubentani, Cabani, Carventani, Circeiates, Coriolani, Corbintes, Corni (probably Corani), Fortinei (?), Gabini, Laurentini, Lavinates, Labicani, Lanuvini, Nomentani, Norbani, Praenestini, Pedani, Querquetulani, Satricani, Scaptini, Setini, Tellenii, Tiburtini, Tolerini, Tusculani, Veliterni.
These communities may be briefly described according to their geographical arrangement. Laurentum and Lavinium, names so conspicuous in the legendary history of Aeneas, were situated in the sandy strip near the sea-coast—the former only 8 m. S.E. of Ostia, which was from the first merely the port of Rome, and never figured as an independent city. Farther S.E. again lay Ardea, the ancient capital of the Rutuli, and some distance beyond that Antium, situated on the sea-coast, which does not occur in the list of Dionysius, and is, in the early annals of Rome, called a Volscian town—even their chief city. On the southern underfalls of the Alban mountains, commanding the plain at the foot, stood Lanuvium and Velitrae; Aricia rose on a neighbouring hill, and Corioli was probably situated on the lower slopes. The village of the Cabani (probably identical with the Cabenses) is possibly to be sought on the site of the modern Rocca di Papa, N. of Monte Cavo. The more important city of Tusculum occupied one of the northern summits of the same group; while opposite to it, in a commanding situation on a lofty offshoot of the Apennines, rose Praeneste, now Palestrina. Bola and Pedum were probably in the same neighbourhood, Labici on an outlying summit (Monte Compatri) of the Alban Hills below Tusculum, and Corbio (probably at Rocca Priora) on a rocky summit east of the same city. Tibur (Tivoli) occupied a height commanding the outlet of the river Anio. Corniculum, farther west, stood on the summit of one of three conical hills that rise abruptly out of the plain at the distance of a few miles from Monte Gennaro, the nearest of the Apennines, and which were thence known as the Montes Corniculani. Nomentum was a few miles farther north, between the Apennines and the Tiber, and close to the Sabine frontier. The boundary between the two nations was indeed in this part very fluctuating. Nearly in the centre of the plain of the Campagna stood Gabii; Bovillae was also in the plain, but close to the Appian Way, where it begins to ascend the Alban Hills. Several other cities—Tellenae, Scaptia and Querquetulum—mentioned in the list of Dionysius were probably situated in the Campagna, but the site cannot be determined. Satricum, on the other hand, was certainly south of the Alban Hills, between Velitrae and Antium; while Cora, Norba and Setia (all of which retain their ancient names with little modification) crowned the rocky heights which form advanced posts from the Volscian mountains towards the Pontine Marshes. Carventum possibly occupied the site of Rocca Massima N. of Cori, and Tolerium was very likely at Valmontone in the valley of the Sacco (anc. Trerus or Tolerus). The cities of the Bubentani and Fortinei are quite unknown.
A considerable number of the Latin cities had before 370 B.C. either been utterly destroyed or reduced to subjection by Rome, and had thus lost their independent existence. Such were Antemnae and Caenina, both of them situated within a few miles of Rome to the N., the conquest of which was ascribed to Romulus; Fidenae, about 5 m. N. of the city, and close to the Tiber; and Crustumerium, in the hilly tract farther north towards the Sabine frontier. Suessa Pometia also, on the borders of the Pontine Marshes, to which it was said to have given name, was a city of importance, the destruction of which was ascribed to Tarquinius Superbus. In any case it had disappeared before 370 B.C., as it does not occur in the list of the Latin league attributable to that date. It is probably to be sought between Velletri and Cisterna. But by far the most important of these extinct cities was Alba, on the lake to which it gave its name, which was, according to universally received tradition, the parent of Rome, as well as of numerous other cities within the limits of Latium, including Gabii, Fidenae, Collatia, Nomentum and other well-known towns. Whether or not this tradition deserves to rank as historical, it appears certain that at a still earlier period there existed a confederacy of thirty towns, of which Alba was the supreme head. A list of those who were wont to participate in the sacrifices on the Alban Mount is given us by Pliny (N.H. iii. 5. 69) under the name of populi albenses, which includes only six or at most eight of those found in the list of Dionysius; and these for the most part among the more obscure and least known of the names given by him. Many of the rest are unknown; while the more powerful cities of Aricia, Lanuvium and Tusculum, though situated immediately on the Alban Hills, are not included, and appear to have maintained a wholly independent position. This earlier league was doubtless broken up by the fall of Alba; it was probably the increasing power of the Volsci and Aequi that led to the formation of the later league, including all the more powerful cities of Latium, as well as to the alliance concluded by them with the Romans in the consulship of Spurius Cassius (493 B.C.). Other cities of the Latin league had already (according to the traditional dates) received Latin colonies—Velitrae (494 B.C.), Norba (492), Ardea (442), Labici (418), Circei (393), Satricum (385), Setia (382).
The cities of the Latin league continued to hold general meetings or assemblies from time to time at the grove of the Aqua Ferentina, a sanctuary at the foot of the Alban Hills, perhaps in a valley below Marino, while they had also a common place of worship on the summit of the Alban Mount (Monte Cavo), where stood the celebrated temple of Jupiter Latiaris. The participation in the annual sacrifices at this sanctuary was regarded as typical of a Latin city (hence the name “prisci Latini” given to the participating peoples); and they continued to be celebrated long after the Latins had lost their independence and been incorporated in the Roman state.
We are on firmer ground in dealing with the spread of the supremacy of Rome in Latium when we take account of the foundation of new colonies and of the formation of new tribes, processes which as a rule go together. The Roman supremacy. information that we have as to the districts in which the sixteen earliest clans (tribus rusticae) were settled shows us that, except along the Tiber, Rome’s dominion extended hardly more than 5 m. beyond the city gates (Mommsen, History of Rome, i. 58). Thus, towards the N. and E. we find the towns of Antemnae, Fidenae, Caenina and Gabii; on the S.E., towards Alba, the boundary of Roman territory was at the Fossae Cluiliae, 5 m. from Rome, where Coriolanus encamped (Livy ii. 39), and, on the S., towards Laurentum at the 6th mile, where sacrifice to Terminus was made (Ovid, Fasti, ii. 681): the Ambarvalia too were celebrated even in Strabo’s day (v. 3. 3. p. 230) at a place called Φῆστοι between the 5th and 6th mile. The identification (cf. Hülsen in Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopädie, vi. 2223) of this locality with the grove of the Arval brothers at the 5th mile of the Via Portuensis, to the W. of Rome, and of the Ambarvalia with the festival celebrated by this brotherhood in May of each year, is now generally accepted. But Roman sway must either from the first, or very soon, have extended to Ostia, the port of Rome at the mouth of the Tiber: and it was as the emporium of Latium that Rome acquired her first importance. The boundary of the Ager Romanus antiquus towards the north-west is similarly fixed by the festival of the Robigalia at the 5th milestone of the Via Clodia. Within this area fall the districts inhabited by the earliest tribes, so far as these are known to us. The tribus Romilia The primitive tribes. was settled on the right bank of the Tiber near the sanctuary of the Arvales, the Galeria perhaps a little farther west on the lower course of the stream now known as Galera, and the Fabia perhaps on the Cremera towards Veii. We know that the pagus Lemonius was on the Via Latina, and that the tribus Pupinia dwelt between Tusculum and the city, while the territory of the Papiria possibly lay nearer Tusculum, as it was to this tribe that the Roman citizens in Tusculum belonged in later days. It is possible that the Camilia was situated in the direction of Tibur, inasmuch as this town was afterwards enrolled in this tribe. The tribus Claudia, probably the last of the 16 older tribus rusticae, was according to tradition founded in 504 B.C. Its territory lay beyond the Anio, between Fidenae and Ficulea (Liv. ii. 16; Dion. Hal. v. 40). The locality of the pagi round which the other tribes were grouped is not known to us.
With the earliest extensions of the Roman territory coincided the first beginnings of the Roman road system. The road to Ostia may have existed from the first: but after the Latin communities on the lower Anio had fallen under the dominion of Rome, we may well believe that the first portion of the Road system. Via Salaria, leading to Antemnae, Fidenae (the fall of which is placed by tradition in 428 B.C.) and Crustumerium, came into existence. The formation (according to the traditional dating in 495 or 471 B.C.) of the tribus Clustumina (the only one of the earlier twenty-one tribes which bears a local name) is both a consequence of an extension of territory and of the establishment of the assembly of the plebs by tribes, for which an inequality of the total number of divisions was desirable (Mommsen, History of Rome, i. 360). The correlative of the Via Salaria was the Via Campana, so called because it led past the grove of the Arvales along the right bank of the Tiber to the Campus Salinarum Romanarum, the salt marshes, from which the Via Salaria took its name, inasmuch as it was the route by which Sabine traders came from the interior to fetch the salt. To this period would also belong the Via Ficulensis, leading to Ficulea, and afterwards prolonged to Nomentum, and the Via Collatina, which led to Collatia. Gabii became Roman in fairly early times, though at what period is uncertain, and with its subjugation must have originated the Via Gabina, afterwards prolonged to Praeneste. The Via Latina too must be of very early origin; and tradition places the foundation of the Latin colony at Signia (to which it led) as early as 495 B.C. Not long after the capture of Fidenae, the main outpost of Veii, the chief city itself fell (396 B.C.) and a road (still traceable) was probably made thither. There was also probably a road to Caere in early times, inasmuch as we hear of the flight of the Vestals thither in 389 B.C. The origin of the rest of the roads is no doubt to be connected with the gradual establishment of the Latin league. We find that while the later (long distance) roads bear as a rule the name of their constructor, all the short distance roads on the left bank of the Tiber bear the names of towns which belonged to the league—Nomentum, Tibur, Praeneste, Labici, Ardea, Laurentum—while Ficulea and Collatia do not appear. The Via Pedana, leading to Pedum, is known to us only from an inscription (Bull. Soc. Antiquaires de France, 1905, p. 177) discovered in Tunisia in 1905, and may be of much later origin; it was a branch of the Via Praenestina.
There must too have been a road, along the line of the later Via Appia, to Bovillae, Aricia, Lanuvium and Velitrae, going thence to Cora, Norba and Setia along the foot of the Volscian Mountains; while nameless roads, which can still be traced, led direct from Rome to Satricum and to Lavinium.
We can trace the advance of the Roman supremacy with greater ease after 387 B.C., inasmuch as from this year (adopting the traditional dating for what it is worth) until 299 B.C. every accession of territory is marked by the foundation of a group of new tribes; the limit of 35 in all was reached in the latter year. In 387, after the departure of the Gauls, southern Etruria was conquered, and four new tribes were formed: Arnensis (probably derived from Aro, mod. Arrone—though the ancient name does not occur in literature—the stream which forms the outlet to the lake of Bracciano, anc. Lacus Sabatinus),Sabatina (called after this lake), Stellatina (named from the Campus Stellatinus, near Capena; cf. Festus p. 343 Müll.) and Tromentina (which, Festus tells us, was so called from the Campus Tromentus, the situation of which we do not know). Four years later were founded the Latin colonies of Sutrium and Nepet. In 358 B.C. Roman preponderance in the Pomptine territory was shown by the formation of the tribus Pomptina and Publilia, while in 338 and 329 respectively Antium and Tarracina became colonies of Roman citizens, the former having been founded as a Latin colony in 494 B.C.
After the dissolution of the Latin league which followed upon the defeat of the united forces of the Samnites and of those Latin and Volscian cities which had revolted against Rome, two new tribes, Maecia and Scaptia, were created in 332 B.C. in connexion with the distribution of the newly acquired lands (Mommsen, History, i. 462). A further advance in the same direction ending in the capture of Privernum in 329 B.C. is marked by the establishment in 318 B.C. of the tribus Oufentina (from the river Ufens which runs below Setia, mod. Sezze, and Privernum, mod. Piperno, and the tribus Falerna (in the Ager Falernus), while the foundation of the colonies of Cales (334) and Fregellae (328) secured the newly won south Volscian and Campanian territories and led no doubt to a prolongation of the Via Latina. The moment had now come for the pushing forward of another line of communication, which had no doubt reached Tarracina in 329 B.C. but was now definitely constructed (munita) as a permanent military highway as far as Capua in 312 B.C. by Appius Claudius, after whom it was named. To him no doubt is due the direct line of road through the Pontine Marshes from Velitrae to Terracina. Its construction may fairly be taken to mark the period at which the roads of which we have spoken, hitherto probably mere tracks, began to be transformed into real highways. In the same year (312) the colony of Interamna Lirenas was founded, while Luceria, Suessa (Aurunca) and Saticula had been established a year or two previously. Sora followed nine years later. In 299 B.C. further successes led to the establishment of two new tribes—the Teretina in the upper valley of the Trerus (Sacco) and the Aniensis, in the upper valley of the Anio—while to about the same time we must attribute the construction of two new military roads, both secured by fortresses. The southern road, the Via Valeria led to Carsioli and Alba Fucens (founded as Latin colonies respectively in 298 and 303 B.C.), and the northern (afterwards the Via Flaminia) to Narnia (founded as a Latin colony in 299 B.C.). There is little doubt that the formation of the tribus Quirina (deriving its name possibly from the town of Cures) and the tribus Velina (from the river Velinus, which forms the well-known waterfalls near Terni) is to be connected with the construction of the latter high road, though its date is not certainly known. The further history of Roman supremacy in Italy will be found in the article Rome: History. We notice, however, that the continual warfare in which the Roman state was engaged led to the decadence of the free population of Latium, and that the extension of the empire of Rome was fatal to the prosperity of the territory which immediately surrounded the city.
What had previously, it seems, been a well-peopled region, with peasant proprietors, kept healthy by careful drainage, became in the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. a district consisting in large measure of huge estates (latifundia) owned by the Roman aristocracy, cultivated by gangs Causes of depopulation. of slaves. This led to the disappearance of the agricultural population, to a decline in public safety, and to the spread of malaria in many parts; indeed, it is quite possible that it was not introduced into Latium before the 4th century B.C. The evil increased in the later period of the Republic, and many of the old towns of Latium sank into a very decayed condition; with this the continual competition of the provinces as sources of food-supply no doubt had a good deal to do. Cicero speaks of Gabii, Labici and Bovillae as places that had fallen into abject poverty, while Horace refers to Gabii and Fidenae as mere “deserted villages,” and Strabo as “once fortified towns, but now villages, belonging to private individuals.” Many of the smaller places mentioned in the list of Dionysius, or the early wars of the Romans, had altogether ceased to exist, but the statement of Pliny that fifty-three communities (populi) had thus perished within the boundaries of Old Latium is perhaps exaggerated. By the end of the Republic a good many parts of Latium were infected, and Rome itself was highly malarious in the warm months (see W. H. S. Jones in Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology, ii. 97, Liverpool, 1909). The emperors Claudius, Nerva and Trajan turned their attention to the district, and under their example and exhortation the Roman aristocracy erected numerous villas within its boundaries, and used them at least for summer residences. During the 2nd century the Campagna seems to have entered on a new era of prosperity. The system of roads radiating in all directions from Rome (see Italy: History, § B) belonged to a much earlier period; but they were connected by a network of crossroads (now mostly abandoned, while the main lines are still almost all in use) leading to the very numerous villas with which the Campagna was strewn (even in districts which till recently were devastated by malaria), and which seem in large measure to belong to this period. Some of these are of enormous extent, e.g. the villa of the Quintilii on the Via Appia, that known as Setta Bassi on the Via Latina, and that of Hadrian near Tibur, the largest of all.
When the land tax was introduced into Italy in 292, the first region of Augustus obtained the name of provincia Campania. Later on the name Latium entirely disappeared, and the name Campania extended as far as Veii and the Via Aurelia, whence the medieval and modern name Campagna di Roma. The donation made by Constantine to various churches of Rome of numerous estates belonging to the patrimonium Caesaris in the neighbourhood of Rome was of great historical importance, as being the origin of the territorial dominion of the papacy. His example was followed by others, so that the church property in the Campagna soon became considerable; and, owing to the immunities and privileges which it enjoyed, a certain revival of prosperity ensued. The invasions of the barbarian hordes did great harm, but the formation of centres (domuscultae) in the 8th and 9th centuries was a fact of great importance: the inhabitants, indeed, formed the medieval militia of the papacy. Smaller centres (the colonia—often formed in the remains of an ancient villa—the curtis or curia, the castrum, the casale) grew up later. We may note that, owing to the growth of the temporal power of the popes, there was never a dux Romae dependent on the exarchate of Ravenna, similar to those established by Narses in the other districts of Italy.
The papal influence was also retained by means of the suburban bishoprics, which took their rise as early as the 4th and 5th centuries. The rise of the democratic commune of Rome about 1143 and of the various trade corporations Under the commune. which we already find in the early 11th century led to struggles with the papacy; the commune of Rome made various attempts to exercise supremacy in the Campagna and levied various taxes from the 12th century until the 15th. The commune also tried to restrict the power of the barons, who, in the 13th century especially, though we find them feudatories of the holy see from the 10th century onwards, threatened to become masters of the whole territory, which is still dotted over with the baronial castles and lofty solitary towers of the rival families of Rome—Orsini, Colonna, Savelli, Conti, Caetani—who ruthlessly destroyed the remains of earlier edifices to obtain materials for their own, and whose castles, often placed upon the high roads, thus following a strategic line to a stronghold in the country, did not contribute to the undisturbed security of traffic upon them, but rather led to their abandonment. On a list of the inhabited centres of the Campagna of the 14th century with the amount of salt (which was a monopoly of the commune of Rome) consumed by each, Tomassetti bases an estimate of the population: this was about equal to that of our own times, but differently distributed, some of the smaller centres having disappeared at the expense of the towns. Several of the popes, as Sixtus IV. and Julius III., made unsuccessful attempts to improve the condition of the Campagna, the former making a serious attempt to revive agriculture as against pasture, while in the latter part of the 16th century a line of watch-towers was erected along the coast. In the Renaissance, it is true, falls the erection of many fine villas in the neighbourhood of Rome—not only in the hills round the Campagna, but even in certain places in the lower ground, e.g. those of Julius II. at La Magliana and of Cardinal Trivulzio at Salone,—and these continued to be frequented until the end of the 18th century, when the French Revolution dealt a fatal blow to the prosperity of the Roman nobility. The 17th and 18th centuries, however, mark the worst period of depopulation in the more malarious parts of the Campagna, which seems to have begun in the 15th century, though we hear of malaria throughout the middle ages. The most healthy portions of the territory are in the north and east, embracing the slopes of the Apennines which are watered by the Teverone and Sacco; and the most pestilential is the stretch between the Monti Lepini and the sea. The Pontine Marshes (q.v.) included in the latter division, were drained, according to the plan of Bolognini, by Pius VI., who restored the ancient Via Appia to Modern conditions. traffic; but though they have returned to pasture and cultivation, their insalubrity is still notorious. The soil in many parts is very fertile and springs are plentiful and abundant: the water is in some cases sulphureous or ferruginous. In summer, indeed, the vast expanse is little better than an arid steppe; but in the winter it furnishes abundant pasture to flocks of sheep from the Apennines and herds of silver-grey oxen and shaggy black horses, and sheep passing in the summer to the mountain pastures. A certain amount of horse-breeding is done, and the government has, as elsewhere in Italy, a certain number of stallions. Efforts have been made since 1882 to cure the waterlogged condition of the marshy grounds. The methods employed have been three—(i.) the cutting of drainage channels and clearing the marshes by pumping, the method principally employed; (ii.) the system of warping, i.e. directing a river so that it may deposit its sedimentary matter in the lower-lying parts, thus levelling them up and consolidating them, and then leading the water away again by drainage; (iii.) the planting of firs and eucalyptus trees, e.g. at Tre Fontane and elsewhere. These efforts have not been without success, though it cannot be affirmed that the malarial Campagna is anything like healthy yet. The regulation of the rivers, more especially of the Tiber, is probably the most efficient method for coping with the problem. Since 1884 the Italian Government have been systematically enclosing, pumping dry and generally draining the marshes of the Agro Romano, that is, the tracts around Ostia; the Isola Sacra, at the mouth of the Tiber; and Maccarese. Of the whole of the Campagna less than one-tenth comes annually under the plough. In its picturesque desolation, contrasting so strongly with its prosperity in Roman times, immediately surrounding a city of over half a million inhabitants, and with lofty mountains in view from all parts of it, it is one of the most interesting districts in the world, and has a peculiar and indefinable charm. The modern province of Rome (forming the compartimento of Lazio) includes also considerable mountain districts, extending as far N.W. as the Lake of Bolsena, and being divided on the N.E. from Umbria by the Tiber, while on the E. it includes a considerable part of the Sabine mountains and Apennines. The ancient district of the Hernicans, of which Alatri is regarded as the centre, is known as the Ciociaria, from a kind of sandals (cioce) worn by the peasants. On the S.E. too a considerable proportion of the group of the Lepini belongs to the province. The land is for the most part let by the proprietors to mercanti di Campagna, who employ a subordinate class of factors (fattori) to manage their affairs on the spot.
The recent discovery that the malaria which has hitherto rendered parts of the Campagna almost uninhabitable during the summer is propagated by the mosquito (Anopheles claviger) marks a new epoch; the most diverse theories as to its origin had hitherto been propounded, but it is now Malaria. possible to combat it on a definite plan, by draining the marshes, protecting the houses by fine mosquito-proof wire netting (for Anopheles is not active by day), improving the water supply, &c., while for those who have fever, quinine (now sold cheaply by the state) is a great specific. A great improvement is already apparent; and a law carried in 1903 for the Bonifica dell’ Agro Romano compels the proprietors within a radius of some 6 m. of Rome to cultivate their lands in a more productive way than has often hitherto been the case, exemption from taxes for ten years and loans at 2½% from the government being granted to those who carry on improvements, and those who refuse being expropriated compulsorily. The government further resolved to open roads and schools and provide twelve additional doctors. Much is done in contending against malaria by the Italian Red Cross Society. In 1900 31% of the inhabitants of the Agro Romano had been fever-stricken; since then the figure has rapidly decreased (5.1% in 1905).
The wheat crop in 1906 in the Agro Romano was 8,108,500 bushels, the Indian corn 3,314,000 bushels, the wine 12,100,000 gallons and the olive oil 1,980,000 gallons,—these last two from the hill districts. The wine production had declined by one-half from the previous year, exportation Produce. having fallen off in the whole country. 1907, however, was a year of great overproduction all over Italy. The wine of the Alban hills is famous in modern as in ancient times, but will not as a rule bear exportation. The forests of the Alban hills and near the coast produce much charcoal and light timber, while the Sabine and Volscian hills have been largely deforested and are now bare limestone rocks. Much of the labour in the winter and spring is furnished by peasants who come down from the Volscian and Hernican mountains, and from Abruzzi, and occupy sometimes caves, but more often the straw or wicker huts which are so characteristic a feature of the Campagna. The fixed population of the Campagna in the narrower sense (as distinct from the hills) is less than 1000. Emigration to America, especially from the Volscian and Hernican towns, is now considerable.
2. Latium Novum or Adjectum, as it is termed by Pliny, comprised the territories occupied in earlier times by the Volsci and Hernici. It was for the most part a rugged and mountainous country, extending at the back of Latium proper, from the frontier of the Sabines to the sea-coast between Terracina and Sinuessa. But it was not separated from the adjacent territories by any natural frontier or physical boundaries, and it is only by the enumeration of the towns in Pliny according to the division of Italy by Augustus that we can determine its limits. It included the Hernican cities of Anagnia, Ferentinum, Alatrium and Verulae—a group of mountain strongholds on the north side of the valley of the Trerus (Sacco); together with the Volscian cities on the south of the same valley, and in that of the Liris, the whole of which, with the exception of its extreme upper end, was included in the Volscian territory. Here were situated Signia, Frusino, Fabrateria, Fregellae, Sora, Arpinum, Atina, Aquinum, Casinum and Interamna; Anxur (Terracina) was the only seaport that properly belonged to the Volscians, the coast from thence to the mouth of the Liris being included in the territory of the Aurunci, or Ausones as they were termed by Greek writers, who possessed the maritime towns of Fundi, Formiae, Caieta and Minturnae, together with Suessa in the interior, which had replaced their more ancient capital of Aurunca. Sinuessa, on the sea-coast between the Liris (Garigliano) and the Vulturnus, at the foot of the Monte Massico, was the last town in Latium according to the official use of the term and was sometimes assigned to Campania, while Suessa was more assigned to Latium. On the other hand, as Nissen points out (Italische Landeskunde, ii. 554), the Pons Campanus, by which the Via Appia crossed the Savo some 9 m. S.E. of Sinuessa, indicates by its name the position of the old Campanian frontier. In the interior the boundary fell between Casinum and Teanum Sidicinum, at about the 100th milestone of the Via Latina—a fact which led later to the jurisdiction of the Roman courts being extended on every side to the 100th mile from the city, and to this being the limit beyond which banishment from Rome was considered to begin.
Though the Apennines comprised within the boundaries of Latium do not rise to a height approaching that of the loftiest summits of the central range, they attain to a considerable altitude, and form steep and rugged mountain masses from 4000 to 5000 ft. high. They are traversed by three principal valleys: (1) that of the Anio, now called Teverone, which descends from above Subiaco to Tivoli, where it enters the plain of the Campagna; (2) that of the Trerus (Sacco), which has its source below Palestrina (Praeneste), and flows through a comparatively broad valley that separates the main mass of the Apennines from the Volscian mountains or Monti Lepini, till it joins the Liris below Ceprano; (3) that of the Liris (Garigliano), which enters the confines of New Latium about 20 m. from its source, flows past the town of Sora, and has a very tortuous course from thence to the sea at Minturnae; its lower valley is for the most part of considerable width, and forms a fertile tract of considerable extent, bordered on both sides by hills covered with vines, olives and fruit trees, and thickly studded with towns and villages.
It may be observed that, long after the Latins had ceased to exist as a separate people we meet in Roman writers with the phrase of nomen Latinum, used not in an ethnical but a purely political sense, to designate the inhabitants of all those cities on which the Romans had conferred “Latin rights” (jus Latinum)—an inferior form of the Roman franchise, which had been granted in the first instance to certain cities of the Latins, when they became subjects of Rome, and was afterwards bestowed upon many other cities of Italy, especially the so-called Latin colonies. At a later period the same privileges were extended to places in other countries also—as for instance to most of the cities in Sicily and Spain. All persons enjoying these rights were termed in legal phraseology Latini or Latinae conditionis.
Authorities.—For the topography of Latium, and the local history of its more important cities, the reader may consult Sir W. Gell’s Topography of Rome and its Vicinity (2nd ed., 1 vol., London, 1846); A. Nibby, Analisi storico-topografico-antiquaria della carta dei dintorni di Roma (3 vols., 2nd ed., 1848); J. Westphal, Die römische Kampagne (Berlin, 1829); A. Bormann, Alt-lateinische Chorographie und Städte-Geschichte (Halle, 1852); M. Zoeller, Latium und Rom (Leipzig, 1878); R. Burn’s Rome and the Campagna (London, 1871); H. Dessau, Corp. Inscr. Lat. v. xiv. (Berlin, 1887) (Latium); Th. Mommsen, Corp. Inscr. Lat. vol. x. pp. 498-675 (Berlin, 1883); G. Tomassetti, “Della Campagna Romana nel medio evo,” published in the Archivio della Società Romana di Storia Patria (Rome, 1874–1907), and separately (a work dealing with the medieval history and topography of the Campagna in great detail, containing also valuable notices of the classical period); by the same author, La Campagna romana (Rome, 1910 foll.); R. A. Lanciani, “I Comentari di Frontino intorno agli acquedotti,” Memorie dei Lincei (Rome, 1880), serie iii. vol. v. p. 215 sqq. (and separately), also many articles, and Wanderings in the Roman Campagna (London, 1909); E. Abbate, Guida della provincia di Roma (Rome, 1894, 2 vols.); H. Nissen, Italische Landeskunde, ii. (Berlin, 1902), 557 sqq.; T. Ashby, “The Classical Topography of the Roman Campagna,” in Papers of the British School at Rome, i. iii.-v. (London, 1902 foll.). (T. As.)
- Latium, from the same root as lătus, side; later, brick; πλατύς, flat; Sans. prath: not connected with lātus, wide.
- In the time of Augustus the boundary of Latium extended as far E. as Treba (Trevi), 12 m. S.E. of Sublaqueum (Subiaco).
- See R. de la Blanchère in Daremberg and Saglio, Dictionnaire des antiquités, s.vv. Cuniculus, Emissarium, and the same author’s Chapitre d’histoire pontine (Paris, 1889).
- See G. A. Colini in Bullettino di Italiana, xxxi. (1905).
- The most important results will be found stated at the outset of the articles Rome: History (the chief being that the Plebeians of Rome probably consisted of Latins and the Patricians of Sabines), Liguria, Siculi and Aricia. For the Etruscan dominion in the Latin plain see Etruria. Special mention may here be made of one or two points of importance. The legends represent the Latins of the historical period as a fusion of different races, Ligures, Veneti and Siculi among them; the story of the alliance of the Trojan settler Aeneas with the daughter of Latinus, king of the aborigines, and the consequent enmity of the Rutulian prince Turnus, well known to readers of Virgil, is thoroughly typical of the reflection of these distant ethnical phenomena in the surviving traditions. In view of the historical significance of the NO- ethnicon (see Sabini) it is important to observe that the original form of the ethnic adjective no doubt appears in the title of Juppiter Latiaris (not Latinus); and that Virgil’s description of the descent of the noble Drances at Latinus’s court (Aen. xi. 340)—genus huic materna superbum Nobilitas dabat, incertum de patre ferebat—indicates a very different system of family ties from the famous patria potestas and agnation of the Patrician and Sabine clans. (R. S. C.)
- The MSS. read βοϊλλανῶν or βοϊλανῶν: the Latin translation has Bolanorum. It is difficult to say which is to be preferred. The list gives only twenty-nine names, and Mommsen proposes to insert Signini.
- Albani, Aesolani (probably E. of Tibur), Accienses, Abolani, Bubetani, Bolani, Cusuetani (Carventani?), Coriolani, Fidenates, Foreti (Fortinei?), Hortenses (near Corbio), Latinienses (near Rome itself), Longani, Manates, Macrales, Munienses (Castrimoenienses?), Numinienses, Olliculani, Octulani, Pedani, Poletaurini, Querquetulani, Sicani, Sisolenses, Tolerienses, Tutienses (not, one would think, connected with the small stream called Tutia at the 6th mile of the Via Salaria; Liv. xxvi. 11), Vimitellari, Velienses, Venetulani, Vitellenses (not far from Corbio).
- To an earlier stage of the Latin league, perhaps to about 430 B.C. (Mommsen, op. cit. 445 n. 2) belongs the dedication of the grove of Diana by a dictator Latinus, in the name of the people of Tusculum, Aricia, Lanuvium, Laurentum, Cora, Tibur, Suessa Pometia and Ardea.
- Of the gentes from which these tribes took their names, six entirely disappeared in later days, while the other ten can be traced as patrician—a proof that the patricians were not noble families in origin (Mommsen, Römische Forschungen, i. 106). For the tribes see W. Kubitschek, De Romanarum tribuum origine (Vienna, 1882).
- We have various traces of the early antagonism to Gabii, e.g. the opposition between ager Romanus and ager Gabinus in the augural law.
- For the early extension of Roman territory towards the sea, cf. Festus, p. 213, Müll., s.v. “Pectuscum:” Pectuscum Palati dicta est ea regio urbis, quam Romulus obversam posuit, ea parte, in qua plurimum erat agri Romani ad mare versus et qua mollissime adibatur Urbo, cum Etruscorum agrum a Romano Tiberis discluderet, ceterae vicinae civitates colles aliquos haberent oppositos.
- The ancient name is known from an inscription discovered in 1888.
- So Kubitschek in Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopädie, ii. 1204.
- Festus tells us (p. 136 Müll.) that the Maecia derived its name “a quodam castro.” Scaptia was the only member of the Latin league that gave its name to a tribe.
- See Flaminia, Via and Valeria, Via.
- L. Caetani indeed (Nineteenth Century and After, 1908) attributes the economic decadence of the Roman Campagna to the existence of free trade throughout the Roman empire.
- The commune of Rome as such seems to have been in existence in 999 at least.