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The fifth region is that of Picenum, once remarkable for the denseness of its population; 360,000 Picentines took the oaths of fidelity to the Roman people. They are descended from the Sabines, who had made a vow to celebrate a holy spring1. Their territory commenced at the river Aternus2, where the present district and colony of Adria3 is, at a distance of six miles from the sea. Here we find the river Vomanus, the territories of Prætutia and Palma4, Castrum Novum5, the river Batinus; Truentum6, with its river of the same name, which place is the only remnant of the Liburni7 in Italy; the river Albula8; Tervium, at which the Prætutian district ends, and that of Picenum begins; the town of Cupra9, Castellum Firmanorum10, and above it the colony of Asculum11, the most illustrious in Picenum; in the interior there is the town of Novana12. Upon the coast we have Cluana13, Potentia, Numana, founded by the Siculi, and Ancona14, a colony founded by the same people on the Promontory of Cumerus, forming an elbow of the coast, where it begins to bend in- wards, and distant from Garganus 183 miles. In the interior are the Auximates15, the Beregrani16, the Cingulani, the Cuprenses surnamed Montani17, the Falarienses18, the Pausulani, the Planinenses, the Ricinenses, the Septempedani19, the Tollentinates, the Treienses, and the Pollentini of Urbs Salvia20.

1 It was a custom with the early Italian nations, especially the Sabines, in times of danger and distress, to vow to the deity the sacrifice of all the produce of the ensuing spring, that is, of the period from the first day of March till the last day of April. It is probable that in early times human sacrifices were the consequence; but at a later period the following custom was adopted instead. The children were allowed to grow up, and in the spring of their twentieth or twenty-first year were with covered faces driven across the frontier of their native country, to go whithersoever chance or the guidance of the deity might lead them. The Mamertini in Sicily were said to have had this origin.

2 Now the Aterno, which falls into the sea at Atri or Ortona.

3 A famous city of Etruscan origin, which still retains its name of Adria or Atri. It had very considerable intercourse with Greece, and there are extensive remains of antiquity in its vicinity, towards Ravegnano. The river is still called the Vomano.

4 These places are again mentioned in B. xiv. c. 8.

5 Or "New Castle." It probably occupied the site of the now deserted town of Santo Flaviano, near the banks of the river Tordino, the Batinus of Pliny, and below the modern town of Giulia Nova.

6 The river still has the name of Tronto; Porto di Martin Scuro occupies the site of the town.

7 Who had crossed over as colonists from the opposite coast of Illyricum.

8 According to Mannert the river Tesino is the same as the Albula, and Tervium is the modern town of Grotte a Mare; but D'Anville makes the latter to be the town of Cupra next mentioned.

9 This was called Cupra Maritima, to distinguish it from the town of the Cuprenses Montani, afterwards mentioned. It is said by Strabo to have had its name from the Tyrrhenian name of Juno. From the discovery of an inscription belonging to her temple here, there is little doubt that D'Anville is right in his suggestion that the site of Cupra is at Grotte a Mare, eight miles from the mouth of the Truentus or Tronto.

10 The Fortress of the Firmani," five miles from Firmum, an important city of Picenum. The Fortress was situate at the mouth of the Leta, and was the port of the city. It is still called Porto di Fermo.

11 Often called "Asculum Picenum" to distinguish it from Asculum in Apulia. It was a place of considerable strength, and played a great part in the Social War. It is unknown at what period it became a Roman colony. The modern city of Ascoli stands on its site.

12 Now called Monte Novano, according to D'Anville and Brotier.

13 Its site is supposed to have been that of the small town called Santo Elpidio a Mare, four miles from the sea, and the same distance north of Fermo. The remains of Potentia are supposed to be those in the vicinity of the modern Porto di Recanati. Numana is supposed to be the modern Umana, near the Cuscione, where, in the seventeenth century, extensive ruins were to be seen.

14 It still retains its ancient name, which was derived from the Greek ἀγκὼν "the elbow," it being situate on a promontory which forms a curve, and almost encloses the port. The promontory is still called Monte Comero. A triumphal arch, erected in honour of Trajan, who constructed a new mole for the port, is still in fine preservation, and there are remains of an amphitheatre.

15 The modern city of Osimo stands on the site of Auximum, about twelve miles south-west of Ancona. Numerous inscriptions, statues, and other remains have been found there.

16 Cluver conjectures that Beregra stood at Civitella di Tronto, ten miles north of Teramo; but nothing further relative to it is known. Cingulum was situate on a lofty mountain; the modern town of Cingoli occupies its site.

17 The mountaineers." They inhabited Cupra Montana, which is supposed to have stood on the same site as the modern Ripa Transone.

18 The people of Falaria or Faleria. There are considerable remains of this town about a mile from the village of Falerona, among which a theatre and amphitheatre are most conspicuous. The remains of Pausula are supposed to be those seen on the Monte dell' Olmo. The town of the Ricinenses is supposed to have been on the banks of the Potenza, two miles from Macerata, where some remains were to be seen in the seventeenth century.

19 Septempeda is supposed to have occupied the site of the modern San Severino, on the river Potenza. Tollentinum or Tollentum was probably on the site of the modern Tolentino. The town of the Treienses is supposed to have occupied a site near the modern San Severino, in the vicinity of Montecchio.

20 A colony of the people of Pollentia was established at Urbs Salvia, occupying the site of the modern Urbisaglia on the bank of the Chiento.

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  • Cross-references to this page (24):
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, Friends and foes.
    • The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, ALTINUM (Altino) Veneto, Italy.
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), LATI´NITAS
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), TROPAEUM
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ALSA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ALTI´NUM
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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), FO´RMIO
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), I´STRIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ITA´LIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), LIBURNI
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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), NATISO
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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), PLAVIS
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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), SILIS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), TARVI´SIUM
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), TERGESTE
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), TILAVEMPTUS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), VENETIA
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