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PLANA´SIA

PLANA´SIA (Πλανασία: Pianosa), a small island in the Tyrrhenian sea, about 10 miles SW. of Ilva (Elba), and nearly 40 from the nearest point on the coast of Etruria. It is about 3 miles long by 2 1/2 in width, and is low and flat, from whence probably it derived its name. (Plin. Nat. 3.6. 2. 12; Ptol. 3.1.79; Itin. Marit. p. 513.) The Maritime Itinerary reckons it 90 stadia from Ilva, while Pliny calls the same distance 38 miles; but this is evidently a mistake for its distance from the mainland. It is remarkable that Pliny mentions Planaria and Planasia as if they were two distinct islands, enumerating the one before and the other after Ilva; but it is certain that the two names are only forms of the same, and both refer to the same island. (Cluver. Ital. p. 504; Harduin. Not. ad Plin. l.c.) In Varro's time it seems to have belonged to M. Piso, who kept large flocks of peacocks there in a wild state. (Varr. R. R. 3.6.) It was subsequently used as a place of banishment, and among others it was there that Postumus Agrippa, the grandson of Augustus, spent the last years of his life in exile. (Tac. Ann. 1.3, 5; D. C. 55.32; Suet. Aug. 65.) Some ruins of Roman buildings still remain in the island: and its quarries of granite seem to have been certainly worked in ancient times. It is now inhabited only by a few fishermen.

[E.H.B]

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