(ἡ περὶ Οὐολσινιους λίμνη
, Strab. v. p.226
: Lago di Bolsena
), a considerable lake of Etruria, scarcely inferior in size to that of Trasimene.
It took its name from the town of Volsinii, which stood on its NE. shore; but it was also sometimes called Lacus Tarquiniensis, as its western side adjoined the territory of Tarquinii. (Plin. Nat. 2.96
.) Notwithstanding its great size, it is probable, from the nature of the surrounding hills and rocks, that it is the crater of an extinct volcano (Dennis, Etruria,
vol. i. p. 514).
In this lake the river Marta has its source.
It abounded in fish, and its sedgy shores harboured large quantities of water-fowl, with which articles it supplied the Roman markets. (Strab. l.c.; Col. 8.16
It contained two islands, of which, as well as of the lake itself, wonderful stories were related by the ancients. They were remarked to be ever changing their forms (Plin. l.c.
), and on one occasion during the Second Punic War its waters are said to have flowed with blood. (Liv. 27.23
The shores of the lake were noted for their quarries. (Plin. Nat. 36.22
. a. 49.)
In a castle on one of the islands queen Amalasontha was murdered by order of her husband Theodatus. (Procop. B. Goth.
1.100.4, p. 23, ed. Bonn.)