), a place on the W. shore of the lake Fucinus, in the territory of the Marsi, originally, as its name imports, nothing more than a sanctuary of the goddess Angitia, but which seems to have gradually grown up into a town.
This was sometimes called, as we learn from an inscription, ANGITIA; but the name of Lucus or Lucus Angitiae must have been the more prevalent, as we find the inhabitants styled by Pliny simply Lucenses, and the modern name of Luco
points to the same conclusion.
It is evident, both from Pliny and from the inscription referred to, that it was a municipal town, having its own local magistrates. (Plin. Nat. 3.12. s. 17
; Orell. Inscr.
115.) About half a mile N. of the modern village of Luco,
and close to the shores of the lake, are the remains of ancient walls constructed in the polygonal style, but which, from their position, could never have been designed as fortifications; and these probably formed part of the sacred enclosure or Peribolus of the grove and temple.
The site is now marked, as is so often the case in Italy, by an ancient church. (Nibby, Viaggio Antiq.
vol. i. p. 210; Class. Mus.
vol. ii. p. 175, note.) Virgil alludes in a well-known passage to the “nemus Angitiae” (Aen.
7.759.), where the name of the [p. 2.213]
goddess is written in some MSS. “Angitia,” in others “Anguitia;” but the authority of numerous inscriptions is decisive in favour of the first form. (Orell. Inscr.
115, 116, 1845.)