(δ Ἱερὸς λιμήν
, Appian, App. BC 1.87
), a place in Latium, between Signia and Praeneste, celebrated as the scene of the decisive battle between Sulla and the younger Marius, in which the latter was totally defeated, and compelled to take refuge within the walls of Praeneste, B.C. 82. (Liv. Epit.
lxxxvii.; Appian, App. BC 1.87
; Vell. 2.26
; Flor. 3.21.23
; Vict. Vir. Ill.
68, 75; Lucan 2.134
The scene of the battle is universally described as “apud Sacriportum,” but with no more precise distinction of the locality.
The name of Sacriportus does not occur upon any other occasion, and we do not know what was the meaning of the name, whether it were a village or small town, or merely a spot so designated.
But its loeality may be approximately fixed by the accounts of the battle; this is described by Appian as taking palce near
Praeneste, and by Plutarch (Plut. Sull. 28
) as near
Signia. We learn moreover from Appian that Sulla having besieged and taken Setia, the younger Marius, who had in vain endeavoured to relieve it, retreated step by step before him until he arrived in the neighbourhood of Praeneste, when he halted at Sacriportus, and gave battle to his pursuer.
It is therefore evident that it must have been situated in the plain below Praeneste, between that city and Signia, and probably not far from the opening between the Alban hills and the Volscian mountains, through which must have lain the line of retreat of Marius; [p. 2.872]
but it is impossible to fix the site with more precision.