originally the stronghold, commonly overlooking the
plain (ob pedum
), which served as a refuge in
times of danger, for the inhabitants of the surrounding district. (The
derivation from opus,
suggested by Mommsen,
1.39, E. T., is impossible, and has been abandoned
by him in later editions.) Hence it did not differ essentially from urbs.
But while the latter word came to be used
especially of Rome, oppidum
became the general
name for country towns, including municipia,
]. The term is also
commonly used of the towns. which possessed Latin rights (oppida Latina
); for the organisation of these, cf. the Leges
Salpensana et Malacitana in C. I. L.
ii. pp. 253 ff.