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FREGE´NAE

FREGE´NAE (Φρεγήνα, Strab.), a maritime town of Etruria, situated between Alsium and the mouth of the Tiber. (Strab. v. p.226; Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 8; Itin. Ant. p. 300.) It is mentioned by Livy among the “coloniae maritimae” (36.3); and there is every reason to suppose that it was established at the same time with Alsium, in B.C. 245, and that we should read Fregenae for Fregellae in Velleius Paterculus (1.14), where he speaks of the foundation of these two colonies. This is confirmed by the Epitome of the 19th book of Livy, where, though Alsium is not mentioned, the foundation of Fregenae is coupled with that of Brundusium, which Velleius refers to the following year. (Vell. Pat. l.c.; Liv. Epit. xix., where the reading Fregenae is supported by the best MSS., though the old editions have Fregellae.) No subsequent notice of it occurs in history: its marshy and unhealthy situation (alluded to by Silius Italicus, 8.475) probably prevented its rising to prosperity; and, after the construction of the Portus Augusti on the right bank of the Tiber, it seems to have gradually sunk into insignificance. Hence, though its name is found in Strabo, Pliny, and the Itineraries, it is not noticed by Rutilius in his description of the coast of Etruria, and no ruins now mark the site. But the distances given in the Itinerary of 9 M.P. from Alsium, and the same from Portus Augusti at the mouth of the Tiber, enable us to fix its position with certainty at a spot now called the Torre di Maccarese, just midway between Palo and Porto, and at the mouth of the river Arone. (Cluver, Ital. p. 499; Nibby, Dintorni di Roma, vol. ii. p. 280.).

[E.H.B]

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    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.5
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