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COLLA´TIA (Κολλαρία: Eth. Κολλατῖνος, Eth. Collatinus: Castel dell' Osa), an ancient city of Latium, situated about 10 miles E. of Rome, between Gabii and the Anio. Virgil notices it as one of the colonies of Alba Longa (Aen. 6.774); a clear proof that he considered it as a Latin town; and Dionysius also distinctly attributes it to that people: it is strange, therefore, that Livy speaks of it as if it had been a Sabine city previous to its conquest by the Romans. The first occasion on which its name appears in history is during the reign of Tarquinius Priscus, by whom it was reduced to a state of subjection to Rome. (Liv. 1.38; Dionys. A. R. 3.50.) Livy has preserved to us the formula of “deditio” on this occasion, and there can be no doubt that the fact is historically true, as the city never appears again as an independent state. Tarquin is said to have established a garrison there, whence he is erroneously represented by some late grammarians as the founder of the city (Serv. ad Aen. 6.744): he at the same time appointed his nephew Egerius as governor, who in consequence obtained the surname of Collatinus, which he transmitted to his descendants; and Lucius Tarquinius, the husband of Lucretia, is represented as residing at Collatia at the time of the siege of Ardea. (Liv. 1.57-59; Dionys. A. R. 4.64.) Silius Italicus also represents it as the birthplace of the elder Brutus (8.363); but there is no other authority for this. No subsequent mention of Collatia occurs in history; but it appears to have gradually declined. Cicero incidentally notices it as one of the municipal towns of Latium which was in his time in a very decayed condition. Strabo tells us it was reduced to a mere village, and Pliny enumerates it among the “populi” of ancient Latium which were then no longer in existence. (Cic. de Leg. Agr. 2.3. 5; Strab. v. p.230; Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 9.) This is the last mention of the name that we meet with; but the memory of its existence was preserved by the Via Collatia or Collatina, which is noticed more than once by Frontinus (de Aquaeduct. 5, 10), from whom we learn that it lay to the left of the Via Praenestina, from which it was separated by a short interval. This is the only clue to the position of Collatia, the site of which has in consequence been generally fixed at a place called Castellaccio or Castel dell' Osa, a ruined castle of the middle ages, on the N. bank of a little stream called the Osa, little more than 2 miles from its confluence with the Anio, and about the same distance from the site of Gabii. There remain on this spot some very inconsiderable fragments of walls on the side towards the stream, where it presents a steep and abrupt face of tufo rock, but on the other side it is wholly without defences, and Gell is of opinion that the site was little adapted for that of an ancient city. Hence he inclines (as well as Westphal) to place Collatia at Lunghezza, another mediaeval fortress on a bold and nearly isolated hill just above the confluence of the Osa with the Anio. The position of Lunghezza is certainly one better adapted by nature for the site of an ancient city than that of Castel dell Osa, and would accord much better with Virgil's expressions ( “Collatinas imponent montibus arces,” Aen l.c.) but no ruins have been discovered there. (Gell, Top. of Rome, pp. 171--175; Nibby, Dintorni, vol. i. pp. 478--482; Westphal, Röm. Kampagne, pp. 100, 101; Abeken, Mittel Ital. p. 78.)


hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Cicero, On the Agrarian Law, 2.3.5
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.5
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 1, 57
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 1, 59
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 1, 38
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