previous next

ULUBRAE

ULUBRAE (Eth. Ulubrensis), a small town of Latium on the borders of the Pontine Marshes. It is not mentioned in history previous to the establishment of the Roman dominion, but is noticed repeatedly by Latin writers of the best period, though always as a poor and decayed town, a condition which appears to have resulted from its marshy and unhealthy position. Hence Cicero jestingly terms its citizens little frogs (ranunculi, Ep. ad Fam. 7.18), and both Horace and Juvenal select it as an almost proverbial example of a deserted and melancholy place. (Hor. Ep. 1.11. 30; Juv. 10.101.) Still it appears from the expressions of the latter, that it still retained the rank of a municipal town, and had its own local magistrates; and in accordance with this, we find the Ulubrenses enumerated by Pliny among the municipal towns of the First Region. (Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 9.) The same thing is attested by inscriptions (Orell. Inscr. 121--123), and the discovery of these at the place now called Cisterna, about eight miles from Velletri, and 35 from Rome, immediately at the entrance of the Pontine Marshes, leaves no doubt that Ulubrae was situated somewhere in that neighbourhood. But the village of Cisterna (called in the middle ages Cisterna Neronis), does not appear to occupy an ancient site, and the exact position of Ulubrae is still undetermined (Nibby, Dintorni di Roma, vol. i. p. 463.)

[E.H.B]

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