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ARDEA Latium, Italy.

A city of the Rutuli ca. 4.5 km from the coast on the last slopes of the mountain chain that culminates in the Alban Hills. Connected with the legend of Aeneas in Latium (Verg. Aen. 7.409-411), Ardea is recorded in the first Roman-Carthaginian treaty (Polyb. 3.22.24) and was one of the thirty cities of the Latin League (Dion. Hal. 5.61.3). A Latin colony from 442 B.C. (Livy 4.9-11; Diod. 12.34.3), Ardea is mentioned by ancient sources (Ptol. 3.1.61), which refer particularly to the principal temples (Plin. HN 35.115, Iuno Regina; Serv. Aen. 1.44, Castor et Pollux). Like other centers in S Latium, Ardea was important in archaic times, but in steady decline after the middle Republican period. It was already reduced to a small hamlet in the first Imperial age, and Virgil could say of it: nunc magnum Ardea nomen, sed fortuna fuit (Aen. 7.412).

The terrain, level but crossed by frequent and deep fissures, probably accounts for the articulation of the Latin city that, like nearby Lavinium, had its acropolis almost completely isolated from the remaining urban zone. Recent excavations in the part of the acropolis occupied by the modern town have brought to light remains of protohistoric huts with material that dates to the Early Iron Age. Earlier occupation is attested by the discovery of ceramics from the Late Bronze Age. A considerable number of axes, hatchets, and fibulae in bronze have been found in a cache from the 9th-8th c. B.C. The archaic city expanded on the hill of Civitavecchia to the E of the acropolis, which has natural defenses on three sides and on the NE flank an interesting fortification with an agger and fore-ditch. The agger, constructed with the earth extracted from the ditch, was consolidated by a rampart of large blocks of tufa in squared work, placed on its exterior to contain it. The acropolis had its own autonomous fortification at the point of contact with Civitavecchia, but the handsome wall in blocks of yellow tufa visible today seems to date between the second half of the 3d c. and the beginning of the 1st c. B.C. The remains of a three-celled temple, identified by some as that of Juno Regina, are visible in the W zone. It is famous for the paintings executed there by M. Plautius, and its architectural terracottas are preserved in the Museum of the Villa Giulia in Rome. Nearby, next to a storage place for water and for foodstuffs and a drainage tunnel, the remains of a private house with two construction phases have been found. The second is in opus incertum and the mosaic pavement has the name P. Cervisius inserted in it.

In the Casalinaccio section of the city is a temple from which there remain parts of the podium with the characteristic profiles of projecting moldings and fictile decorations analogous to those found on the acropolis. Beside it is one of the oldest basilicas known, probably built at the beginning of the 1st c. B.C. There remain structural parts in opus incertum and the bases of the colonnade. Also inside the city there have been sporadic finds of villas and a monetary treasure from the Imperial period. Outside the city, several tombs have been found at Casalazzaro. A necropolis with painted chambered tombs and a small dromos from the 4th-3d c. B.C. has been discovered to the SW of the city at the place called Valle Guarniera. Recently a Roman hypogeum has been found, which was probably used for cult purposes and reused in mediaeval times. A large villa with massive foundations in squared work, which occupies a level area along the road to the sea, has been discovered.


For bibliography to 1954 see C. Caprino in EAA 1 (1958) 600; A. Andrén, “Scavi e scoperte sull'cropoli di Ardea,” Acta Inst. Rom. R. Sueciae 21 (1961) 1-68; P. C. Sestieri, “Il Museo della Preistoria e Protostoria del Lazio,” Itiner. Mus. Gall. 58 (1964) 23; P. G. Gierow, “The Iron Age Culture of Latium,” Acta Inst. Rom. R. Sueciae 26.1 (1966) 440ff; R. Peroni, “Considerazioni ed ipotesi sul ripostglio di Ardea,” BPI 75 (1966) 176-96; id., “Inventaria Archaeologica,” Italia 4.19 (1967).

City plan and fortifications: G. Lugli, La tecnica edilizia romana, I (1957) 269f; A. Boëthius, “Le fortificazioni di Ardea,” Acta Inst. Rom. R. Sueciae 22 (1962) 29-43; L. Quilici, “A proposito del secondo aggere di Ardea,” ArchCl 20.1 (1968) 137-40; G. Schmiedt, Atlante aereofotografico della sedi umane in Italia, II (1970) plan 20.

The Temple on Casalinaccio: L. T. Shoe, “Etruscan and Republican Mouldings,” MemAmAcRome 28 (1965) 84ff.

Roads and Monuments outside the City: A. Ferrua, “Oratorio cristiano ipogeo in quel di Ardea,” AttiPontAcc 3.37 (1964-65) 283-306; P. Sommella, “La via Ardentina,” Quad. Ist. Topog. Ant. Univ. Roma, I (1964) 17ff; G. M. De Rossi, Tellenae, Forma Italiae, IV (1967) 128ff.


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