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CAPENA (Civitùcola) Italy.

An ancient city between the Via Flaminia and the Tiber, S of Soracte on the NE rim of Lago Vecchio, an extinct crater, between two tributaries of Fosso di San Martino, the river Capenas of Silius (13.85), which flows S of Capena to Lucus Feroniae (Sacrofano) and the Tiber. The discovery in 1952 of a number of honorary inscriptions of Imperial date set up by the Capenates foederati has identified the site. Cato (ap. Serv. Aen. 7.697) says that Capena was a colony of Veii and that the Capenates considered themselves Etruscans but spoke a Latin dialect, like the Faliscans. Capena sided with Veii in her war with Rome but was forced to make peace in 395 B.C. (Livy 5.24.3); the Capenates who had deserted to Rome were given full citizenship (Livy 6.4). Subsequently Capena became a municipium foederatum, governed by a single praetor even in Imperial times.

Some traces of the city walls remain, presumably built during the Veientine war. The site is surrounded by necropoleis; the earliest burials are of the 8th c.; the richest, of the 7th and 6th c., have produced a wealth of fantastic impasto vases with incised decoration in an exuberant local style. The tomb goods have connections with Italic material rather than Etruscan; the Tiber highway and the Lucus Feroniae in Capena's territory may explain this.

Feronia is an Italic goddess (Varro Ling. 5.74 calls her Sabine), and her grove by the Tiber, honored by Latins and Sabines alike (Livy 1.30; Dion. Hal. 3.32) was the site of a great annual fair. The sanctuary was sacked by Hannibal in 211 B.C. (Livy 26.11.8). In 47-46 B.C. a colony of Caesar's veterans, Colonia Iulia Felix Lucoferoniensis, was settled here (Cic. Fam. 9.17.2).

The site was identified in 1952; the long Italic forum with its adjacent buildings and a small amphitheater have been excavated, and excavations are in progress. Almost everything is of Augustan date except the foundations of a large Republican temple found in 1961.


R. Paribeni, MonAnt 16 (1906) 277-490; L. R. Taylor, Local Cults in Etruria (PAAR 2, 1923) 40-59; G. Foti, NSc (1953) 13-17; G. Mancini, NSc (1953) 18-28; G.D.B. Jones, BSR 30 (1962) 116-207, 194-95; 31 (1963) 100-58MPI.


hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Servius, Commentary on the Aeneid of Vergil, 7.697
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 5, 24.3
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 26, 11.8
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 1, 30
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 6, 4
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