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 The Via Valeria, commencing from Tibura,1 leads to the country of the Marsi, and to Corfinium,2 the metropolis of the Peligni. Upon it are situated the Latin cities of Valeria,3 Carseoli,4 Alba,5 and near to it the city of Cuculum.6 Within sight of Rome are Tibura, Præneste, and Tusculum.7 At Tibura is a temple of Hercules, and a cataract formed by the fall of the Teverone8 (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 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,9 for the cure of various diseases. Of the same kind are the Labanæ,10 not far from these, on the Via Nomentana, and near to Eretum.11 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 Marius12 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. 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 Verestis13 flows through this region. The said cities are to the east of Rome.
2 The modern Pentima is supposed to occupy the site where the citadel of Corfinium stood, and the church of S. Pelino, about three miles from Popoli, stands on that of the ancient city of Corfinium.
3 We read with all MSS. and editions, Valeria, but Kramer, following the conjectures of Cluvier and others, has adopted Varia in his text.
6 Groskurd considers this to be Cucullo, alias Scutolo.
7 Il Tuscolo, above the modern town of Frascati.
8 The classic Anio.
9 The waters from the sulphur-lake; named the Solfatara di Tivoli.
10 Now the Lago di S. Giovanni, or Bagni di Grotta Marozza.
11 Prob. Cretona, not Monte Rotondo.
12 The younger Marius being entirely defeated by Sulla in the decisive battle fought near Sacriportus, B. C. 82, Marius threw himself into Præneste, where he had deposited the treasures of the Capitoline temple. (Pliny H. N. 1. xxxiii. s. 5.) Sulla left Lucretius Opella to prosecute the siege while he hastened on to Rome. Various efforts were made to relieve Præneste, but they all failed; and after Sulla's great victory at the Colline gate of Rome, in which Pontius Telesinus was defeated and slain, Marius despaired of holding out any longer, and in company with the brother of Telesinus attempted to escape by a subterraneous passage, which led from the town into the open country; but finding that their flight was discovered, they put all end to one another's lives. According to other accounts, Marius killed himself, or was killed by his slave at his own request. Marius perished in the year of his consulship. Smith, Diet. Biogr. and Myth.
13 The Abbé Chaupy is inclined to think that this was a name given to the part nearest the source of the river which Strabo, § 9, calls the Trerus, but Kramer thinks it was originally written ὸ τρῆρος, and corrupted by the copyists.
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