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A´LBIUM INTEMELIUM or ALBINTEME´LIUM (Ἄλβιον Ἰντεμέλιον, Strab.; Ἀλβιντεμήλιον, Ptol.: Vintimiglia), a city on the coast of Liguria, situated at the foot of the Maritime Alps, at the mouth of the river Rutuba. It was the capital of the tribe of the Intemelii, and was distant 16 Roman miles from the Portus Monoeci (Monaco, Itin. Marit. p. 502). Strabo mentions it as a city of considerable size (p. 202), and we learn from Tacitus that it was of municipal rank. It was plundered by the troops of the emperor Otho, while resisting those of Vitellius, on which occasion the mother of Agricola lost her life. (Tac. Hist. 2.13, Agr. 7.) According to Strabo (l.c.), the name of Albium applied to this city, as well as the capital of the Ingauni, was derived from their Alpine situation, and is connected with the Celtic word Alb or Alp. There is no doubt that in this case also the full form is the older, but the contracted name Albintemelium is already found in Tacitus, as well as in the Itineraries; in one of which, however, it is corrupted into Vintimilium, from whence comes the modern name of Vintimiglia. It is still a considerable town, with about 5000 inhabitants, and an episcopal see: but contains no antiquities, except a few Roman inscriptions.

It is situated at the mouth of the river Roja, the RUTUBA of Pliny and Lucan, a torrent of a formidable character, appropriately termed by the latter author “cavus,” from the deep bed between precipitous banks which it has hollowed out for itself near its mouth. (Plin. l.c.; Lucan 2.422.)


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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Tacitus, Historiae, 2.13
    • Lucan, Civil War, 2.422
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