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CORA (Cori a Valle) Latium, Italy.

About 32 km NE of Anzio, a center of Latin origin, which was later occupied by the Volsci, sheltered a Latin colony preceding the foedus Cassianum (Livy 2.16). It is known that it minted silver coins and that in 211 B.C. it was already a municipium (Livy 26.7); however, it is not known whether Livy referred to the jurisdictional condition of the city in his own lifetime. Cona apparently later sided with Manius and was destroyed under Sulla (Luc. 7392ff). Its later history is obscure.

The city developed on the W slopes of the Lepini mountains overlooking the Pontine plain, and was connected with the major transit axes of the Via Appia. The habitation area occupied a hill with steep and uneven flanks varying in height from 250 m to 403 m above sea level and isolated by two ditches. The urban plan is extremely irregular, and the network of streets, for the most part sharply curving, is often supported by massive terraces of polygonal masonry. Within the bounds of the urban system, the acropolis may be identified with the upper area, today called Cori a Monte, while the actual habitation site occupied the rest, or what is now Cori a Valle. The city had a circuit wall, at many places still well preserved. Round towers in opus incertum were added during the first half of the 1st c. B.C. Of particular interest are the colossal foundations inside the urban area, for example, in Via Ninfina, Via Pelasga, Piazza Municipio, and those of the Doric Pozzo (well) and of the Temple of Hercules.

The Temple of Castor and Pollux is on the Via delle Colonne. Its scarce remains identify a temple on a high podium built of squared blocks of tufa. It is a six-columned prostyle Corinthian temple, partly supported by the slope of the hill. Two of the travertine columns on the front are preserved in situ with the corresponding architrave. Opening onto the pronaos was a cella divided into three naves by a double colonnade. It was flanked by two alae, at the ends of which were two small rooms. Two inscriptions pertaining to the monument (CIL X, 6505, 6506) indicate the divinities to whom it was dedicated and the magistrates under whom it was constructed. They date the temple to the first half of the 1st c. B.C.

On the summit of the hill, supported by massive foundations, is the temple traditionally attributed to Hercules. Dominating the horizon, the facade is fairly well preserved. It is a tetrastyle pseudo-peripteral temple in the Roman Doric order, with a deep pronaos. In the cella there remains only the entrance with the elegant moldings of the door. It was probably built in the 1st c. B.C. Votive material found there, the earliest of which dates to the end of the 4th or the beginning of the 3d c. B.C., cannot be connected to the building period of the temple. Outside the city were numerous villas, mostly of the rustic type, and a fully developed network of roads.


S. Viola, Memorie Istoriche dell'antichissima città di Cori (1825); A. Nibby, Analisi storico topografica della carta dei contorni di Roma, I (2d ed., 1948), 487ff; A. Accrocca, Cori, storia e monumenti (1936); EAA 2 (1959) s.v. Cori; P. Vittucci, Cori, Quaderni Ist. Topografia Antica Univ. Roma, II (1966) 13ff; G. Schmiedt, Atlante aerofotografico delle sedi umane in Italia, II (1970) 98f; G. A. Mansuelli, Architettura e città (1970) 322.

For the Temple of Hercules. R. Delbrueck, Hellenistische Bauten in Latium, II (1912) 29ff; A. Von Gerkan, “Die Kruemmungen im Gebaelk des dorischen Tempels in Cori,” RömMitt 40 (1924) 167ff.


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