: Rocca Priore
), an ancient city of Latium, situated on the NE. side of the Alban Hills, which plays a considerable part in the wars between the Romans and the Aequians in the early ages of the Republic.
It appears probable that it was at one period one of the cities of the Latin League, as the name of the Κορβίντες,
which is found in the best MSS. of Dionysius in the catalogue of the thirty cities, must certainly mean the citizens of Corbio. (Dionys. A. R. 5.61
; Niebuhr, vol. ii. p 17., note 21.) Yet Dionysius represents it as a fortress in the hands of the Romans, and wrested from them by the Latins at the outbreak of, the war (6.3).
There can at least be no doubt that it was originally a Latin city, but fell into the power of the Aequians, as they gradually extended their conquests over the neighbouring towns of Latium; and in accordance with this view we find it included among the conquests attributed to Coriolanus. (Liv. 2.39
; Dionys. A. R. 8.19
At a somewhat later period it appears as an Aequian city, which, according to the received history, fell into the hands of the dictator Cincinnatus in consequence of his great victory on Mount Algidus, B.C. 458.
It was again taken by the Aequians the following year, but recovered by the Roman consul Horatius Pulvillus, who is said to have utterly destroyed it. (Liv. 3.28
; Dionys. A. R. 10.24
The name, indeed, appears again some years later B.C. 446, when a fresh victory was obtained over the Volscians and Aequians by Quintius Capitolinus “ad Corbionem” (Liv. 3.66
); but this does not prove that the city itself was re-established; and from this time it altogether disappears; nor is the name found in any of the geographers. All the accounts of the military operations in which Corbio appears point to it as being in close proximity to Mount Algidus, and a place of great natural strength. Hence there is little doubt that Holstenius was correct in fixing it on the site of Rocca Priore,
a mediaeval fortress, occupying the summit of a lofty hill, about 3 miles from Tusculum, and one of the range which sweeps round from thence to join the heights of Mt. Algidus, and constitutes the NE. side of the great encircling barrier of the Alban Mountains. Some slight remains of antiquity are still visible at Rocca Priore,
and the position was one well adapted for an ancient fortress, and must always have been of importance in connection with military operations on Mt. Algidus.
The site appears to have been occupied in imperial times by a Roman villa. (Holsten. Not. ad Cluv.
p. 162; Nibby, Dintorni di Roma,
vol. iii. pp. 21--24; Abeken, Mittel-Italien,