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SATI´CULA (Σατίκολα, Diod.: Eth. Σατικολανός, Steph. B. sub voce Saticulanus, Liv.; but Saticulus, Virg.), a town of Samnium, nearly on the frontiers of Campania. It is first mentioned at the outbreak of the First Samnite War (B.C. 343), when the consul Cornelius established his camp there, apparently to watch the movements of the Samnites in that quarter, and from thence subsequently advancing into their territory, was drawn into a defile, where he narrowly escaped the loss of his whole army, but was saved by the courage and ability of Decius. (Liv. 7.32, 34.) Again, in B.C. 315, during the Second Samnite War, it was besieged by the Roman dictator L. Aemilius, and was considered of sufficient importance to engage a Roman army for nearly a year, when it was taken by Q. Fabius. The Samnites made a vigorous attempt to relieve it, but without effect, and it fell into the hands of the Romans. (Id. 9.21, 22; Diod. 19.72.) From this time it continued in their power; and before the close of the war it was one of the places which they determined to occupy with a colony, which was established there in B.C. 313. (Vell. 1.14; Fest. s. v. Saticula, p. 340, M.) Livy does not notice the establishment of a colony there on this occasion, but he afterwards mentions it as one of the “coloniae Latinae,” which distinguished themselves in the Second Punic War by their zeal and fidelity. (Liv. 27.10.) It is remarkable, however, that a few years before the name of Saticula is found among the towns that had revolted to Hannibal, and were recovered by Fabius in B.C. 215. (Liv. 23.39.) But it appears that all the MSS. have “Austicula” (Alschefski, ad loc.); and though this name is otherwise quite unknown, it is certainly not safe to alter [p. 2.923]it, when, by so doing, we involve ourselves in a great historical difficulty; for the revolt of one of the Latin colonies is in itself most improbable, and was certainly not an event to be passed over with such slight notice. The territory of Saticulum ( “ager Saticulanus” ) is again noticed during the same war in conjunction with that of Trebula (Liv. 23.14); but from the end of the Second Punic War all trace of it disappears. The name is not found in any of the geographers, and its site is extremely uncertain. But the passages in Livy (9.21, 22) seem to point to its being situated not far from Plistia, which may very probably be placed at Prestia near Sta Agata dei Goti; while the description of the march of Marcellus in B.C. 216, shows clearly that it must have been situated S. of the Vulturnus, and probably in the valley at the back of Mount Tifata, between that ridge and the underfalls of Mount Taburnus. It may be added that such a position would be a very natural one for the Roman consul to occupy at the first outbreak of the Samnite wars, from its proximity to Capua.


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