previous next


PEDUM (Πέδα, Steph. B. sub voce: Eth. Πεδανός, Eth. Pedanus: Gallicano), an ancient city of Latium, which appears to have been at one period of considerable importance. It is mentioned by Dionysius as one of the cities which composed the league against Rome in B.C. 493; and there is no doubt that it was, in fact, one of the thirty cities of the Latin League. (Dionys. A. R. 5.61; Niebuhr, vol. ii. p. 17.) It is next mentioned among the cities which are said to have been taken by Coriolanus in the campaign of B.C. 488, where its name is associated with those of Labicum and Corbio. (Liv. 2.39; Dionys. A. R. 8.19; Plut. Cor. 28.) Dionysius terms it at this time a small city (Ib. 26); and it is remarkable that its name does not again occur during the wars of the Romans with the Aequians, notwithstanding its proximity to the frontier of the two nations. It is next mentioned in B.C. 358, when the Gauls, who had invaded Latium, encamped in its neighbourhood, where they sustained a severe defeat from the dictator C. Sulpicius. (Liv. 7.12.) During the last great struggle of the Latins with Rome, the Pedani bear a more considerable part. Their name, indeed, is not mentioned at the first outbreak of the war, though there can be no doubt of their having taken part in it; but, in B.C. 339, Pedum became for a time the centre of hostilities, being besieged by the Roman consul Aemilius, and defended by the allied forces assembled from Tibur, Praeneste, Velitrae, Lanuvium, and Antium. Aemilius on this occasion abandoned the enterprise; but the next year Camillus again advanced to Pedum, and, the forces of the Latins being now divided, the Tiburtines and Praenestines alone arrived for its protection. They were defeated in a great battle by Camillus, and the city of Pedum taken by assault immediately afterwards. (Liv. 8.12, 13; Fast. Capit.) In the general pacification that followed the Pedani obtained the Roman franchise, but on the same terms as the Lanuvians, that is to say, without the right of the suffrage. (Ib. 14.) From this time not only does the name of the people disappear from history, but we find no subsequent mention of the town of Pedum, which appears to have rapidly fallen into decay. The “Pedanus ager,” or “regio Pedana,” is alluded to both by Cicero and Horace; but in Pliny's time even the “populus” had become utterly extinct, and we find no subsequent trace of the name. (Cic. Att. 9.1. 5; Hor. Ep. 1.4. 2; Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 9.) Hence the only clue to its position is derived from the passages already cited, and from the statement of the old scholiast on Horace (Schol. Cruq. ad l.c.) that it was situated between Tibur and Praeneste. Its proximity to those cities is distinctly attested by Livy (8.13), and there seems no reason to reject the opinion first advanced by Cluverius, and adopted by Gell, Nibby, and Abeken, which would place Pedum on the site of Gallicano, though we have certainly no conclusive evidence in its favour. The modern village of Gallicano, the name of which first occurs in the tenth century, in all probability occupies an ancient site; it stands on a narrow tongue of land projecting between two narrow valleys or ravines with lofty and precipitous banks; but, from the peculiar nature of the country, this position almost exactly resembles that of Zagarolo and other neighbouring places. No ruins exist at Gallicano; and from the early decay of Pedum we can hardly expect to meet with inscriptions, the only evidence that can really set the question at rest. Gallicano is 4 1/2 miles from Palestrina (Praeneste), and about the same distance from La Colonna (Labicum); it is about a mile on the left of the Via Praenestina, and ] 9 miles from Rome. (Cluver, Ital. p. 966; Gell, Top. of Ro<*>e, p. 340; Nibby, Dintorni, vol. ii. p. 552; Abeken, Mittel Italien, p. 77.)


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: