(Anzio) Latium, Italy.
A site, ca.
52 km S of Rome, inhabited long before it became a
Volscian city in the 5th c. B.C. The archaic cremation
and inhumation burials from the 8th and 7th c. B.C. are
closely related to those in the Alban Hills and at Rome.
One of the most important Volscian cities, it participated
in the struggle against Rome until 467 B.C. when it became the site of one of the priscae coloniae Latinae.
An uprising against Rome in 338 B.C., after the battle
at the river Astura, was suppressed. The port, the Caenon,
was occupied, the fleet destroyed, and the rostra were
set up as a triumph in the Roman forum. In the same
year a Roman colony was founded at Antium governed
by magistrates sent from Rome. Not until 317 did the
city obtain its own magistrates. A new colony formed
of veterans of the praetorian guard was created under
Nero, who also gave new importance to the harbor.
The barbarian invasions of the 5th and 6th c. A.D.,
as well as the later Saracen invasions, led to the abandonment of the city, which was not repopulated until the
The ancient city had a perimeter of ca. 3900 m, enclosed by fortifications consisting of earthworks with
a supporting wall of tufa blocks dated on stratigraphic
evidence to the 5th or 4th c. B.C. There must have been
at least three gates, one toward Rome where the Via
Anziatina together with the Via Severiana entered the
city. The course of the latter outside the city remains
unchanged today. A second gate must have been situated to the S toward the sea on an axis with the first.
A third gate must have given egress to the Via Anziatina,
which led to Astura. For defensive reasons the port
remained outside the fortified area.
The location of the older harbor, the Caenon (Liv.
; Dion. Hal. 9.56) is not known. Nero built the
Roman harbor (Suet. Ner
. 9) with two piers built out
on two small promontories. The W pier, of which there
are scarce remains, was ca. 850 m long. The S pier was
ca. 700 m long with the beacon at the end of it. Part of
this shorter pier was reused in building the harbor of
Innocent XII. The entrance to the harbor, 68 m long,
opened toward SE. There are remains of storehouses
near the W pier.
Remains of a building with a semicircular front and
straight sides, perhaps a circus, lie between the Villa
Corsini and the route of the Via Anziatina towards
Rome. The Villa Spingarelli, in the area called Le Vignacce, is built on the remains of a Roman villa constructed on terraces descending toward the sea. Of the ancient theater, found in the city proper, the cavea has
a diameter of 30 m and there is a long colonnade behind the scena. It is constructed in opus mixtum and
is dated to the second half of the 1st c. A.D. An aqueduct
of the 2d c. A.D. built of brick brought water into the
city from a spring ca. 4 km to the W. On the coast,
beyond the W pier are the remains of an imperial villa
mainly dating between the reigns of Nero and Hadrian.
It faced the sea with terraces, cryptoportici, and an exedra surrounded by a colonnade. Of the villa's theater,
built on an artificial terrace, there are no remains. Almost all the emperors of the 1st c. A.D. and Septimius
Severus lived here.
Ruins no longer visible are known to us from the works
of G. R. Volpi. Thus we know how the Temple of Fortuna looked although we do not know its location. The
shore in front of the harbor was occupied by a series
of buildings, probably horrea with windows and arched
doors. The Temple of Aesculapius mentioned by Livy
) and by Ovid (Met
. 15.718) must have been
located in the same area, near the harbor.
L. Bayard, “Elpénor à Antium?,” MélRome
40 (1923) 115-22; G. Lugli, “Saggio sulla topografia della antica Antium,” RivIstArch
153-88; id., “Le fortificazioni delle antiche città italiche,” RendLinc
2 (1947) 294-307; P. Barocelli, “Sepolcreto preromano di Anzio,” BPI
5-6 (1941-52) 231; L. Morpurgo, “Sepolcreto sotterraneo pagano,” NSc
105-26; cf. also AttiPontAcc
22 (1946-47) 155-66; R. De
Coster, “La Fortuna d'Antium,” AntCl
19 (1950) 65-80; M. L. Scevola, RendIstLomb
93 (1959) 417-36; 94
(1960) 221-60: 100 (1966) 205-43; L. R. Taylor, “The
voting districts of the Roman republic,” PAAR
319-23; A. La Regina, EAA
6 (1965) s.v. Porto d'Anzio,
with bibl. on ancient art objects found at Antium; P. G.
Gierow, The Iron Age Culture of Latium
, I (1966) passim; G. Schmiedt, Atlante Aerofotografico
, II (1970) pls. 22, 133.
A. LA REGINA