A town on the Via
Appia that grew up in and around the camp built by
Septimius Severus to house the Legio II Parthica (formed
in A.D. 193) on the steep outer slope of the crater that
encloses Lago d'Albano. The site seems to have been
chosen to put the camp near the imperial villa built by
Domitian at Castel Gandolfo; the ager albanus, sweeping
in an arc from Castrimoenium to Aricia, was probably
largely imperial domain by this time.
There are good remains of the fortifications, all in
massive blocks of the local tufa, some stretches heavily
rusticated, some very lightly if at all. The triple porta
praetoria in the SW front has been excavated, and the
SE front with an arched gate and a rectangular tower
can be followed for nearly its whole length. Near the
highest point is a cistern carved in the tufa with a capacity of 10,000 cubic m. It is divided into five aisles by
four rows of nine pillars supporting vaulted roofs and is
still in use without, it is said, ever having been repaired.
Other adjuncts of the camp outside its walls include an
aqueduct, an amphitheater, two baths, and a necropolis.
A circular nymphaeum in opus mixtum listatum with figured mosaic floors inside the camp may originally have
stood in the park of Domitian's villa; it has been converted into the church of S. Maria Rotonda.
In the Villa Comunale of Albano, on a ridge dominating the campagna, are extensive remains of masonry
of several periods, going back as far as the Late Republic,
commonly identified as ruins of the villa of Pompey, an
attractive notion, since it was certainly an exceptionally
Between Albano and Castel Gandolfo lies the emissary
of Lago d'Albano, a tunnel said to have been driven
originally in 398-397 B.C. to keep the level of the lake
constant (Livy 5.15-19
). It is ca. 2 m high, 1 m broad,
and 1800 m. long.
Just outside Albano on the way to Aricia is the Sepolcro degli Orazi e Curiazi, a monumental tomb, much
restored, with a square base surmounted by a round
drum and four elongated cones at the corners. The whole
is built of concrete with a tufa facing, and there is no
evidence of how it continued above this point or of a
burial chamber. It can hardly be pre-Augustan.
G. B. Piranesi, Antichità d'Albano e di
; G. Lugli, BullComm
29-78; 46 (1918) 3-68; 47 (1919) 153-205; 48 (1920)
3-69; id., Ausonia
9 (1919) 211-65; 10 (1921) 210-59,
; id., NSc
(1946) 60-83; T. Ashby, The Roman
Campagna in Classical Times
(1927) 191-94; H. W.
Benario, “Albano and the Second Parthian Legion,”
25 (1972) 256-63.
L. RICHARDSON, JR.