), a town of the Sabines, situated in the valley of the Anio, on the right bank of the river, about 8 miles above Tibur.
The name is corruptly written in most editions of Strabo Valeria (Οὐαλερία
), for which there is no doubt that we should read Varia (Οὐαρία, Strab. v. p.237
; Kramer, ad loc.
). Strabo there calls it a Latin city, as well as Carseoli and Alba, both of which were certainly Aequian towns, and subsequently included in Latium. But Horace speaks of it as the town to which the peasantry from his Sabine farm and the neighbouring villages used to resort (Hor. Ep. 1.14. 3
), in a manner that certainly seems to imply that it was the municipal centre of that district, and if so, it must have then been reckoned a Sabine town.
It is not mentioned by Pliny, but according to his limitation was certainly included among the Sabines, and not in Latium.
It was probably never a large place, though the remains of the ancient walls still extant prove that it must at one time have been a fortified town.
But it early sank into a mere village; the old commentator on Horace calls it “Oppidum in Sabinis olim, nunc vicus” (Schol. Cruq. ad l.c.
): and hence in the middle ages it came to be called Vicus Varia, whence its modern appellation of Vicovaro.
It is still a considerable village of above 1000 inhabitants, standing on a hill to the left of the Via Valeria, and a short distance above the Anio, which flows in a deep valley beneath. The Tabula and the old commentary on Horace both place it 8 miles above Tibur, which is very nearly exact. (Tab. Peut.
Comm. Cruq. l.c.
Pliny mentions among the cities of Calabria a place called Varia, “cui cognomen Apulae” (3.11. s. 16); but the name is otherwise unknown, and it is probable that we should read “Uria;” the place meant being apparently the same that is called by other writers Hyria or Uria [HYRIA