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Eth. CORI´OLI (Κοριλ́λα, Dionys.; Κοριόλλα, Steph. B. sub voce: Eth. Κοριολάνος, Eth. Coriolanus), an ancient city of Latium, celebrated from its connection with the legend of C. Marcius Coriolanus. There can be no doubt that it was originally a Latin city. Pliny enumerates it among those which shared in the sacrifices on the Alban Mount (3.5. s. 9.) Dionysius represents Turnus Herdonius, who endeavoured to excite the Latins to insurrection against Tarquinius Superbus, as a citizen of Corioli, though Livy, with more probability, calls him a native of Aricia. (Dionys. A. R. 4.451; Liv. 1.50). But when Corioli first appears in Roman history it had fallen into the hands of the Volscians, from whom it was wrested by the Roman consul Postumus Cominius at the same time with Longuia and Pollusca, B.C. 493. It is probable that all three were small towns, and it is merely one of the fictions of the poetic legend when Dionysius and Plutarch represent it as the capital or chief city of the Volscians. (Liv. 2.33; Dionys. A. R. 6.92-94; Plut. Cor. 8; V. Max. 4.3.4). Its name again appears, associated with those of Satricum, Longula and Pollusca, among the towns which, according to the legendary history, Coriolanus reduced at the head of the Volscian armies. (Liv. 2.39; Dionys. A. R. 8.19.) It is not improbable that the fact of its conquest by the Volscians at this period is historically true: we have no mention of its subsequent fate: but in B.C. 443, it is alluded to as if it were no longer in existence, the district disputed between Ardea and Aricia being claimed by the Romans as having formed part of the territory of Corioli. (Liv. 3.71.) Its name never again appears in history, and it is noticed by Pliny (l.c.) among the cities of Latium of which no trace remained in his day.

The site of Corioli, like that of most of the cities of Latium mentioned only in the early Roman history, is very uncertain. We can only infer from the notices of it, that it was not very far distant from Antium, and that its territory adjoined those of Ardea and Aricia. Nibby is disposed to fix it on a hill called Monte Giove, about 19 miles from Rome, on the left of the modern road to Porto d'Anzo (Antium), near a spot called Fonte di Papa. This hill, which is the farthest extremity towards the plain of a ridge that descends from the Alban Hills, retains no traces of ancient buildings: but the site is one well adapted for that of an ancient city. Gell also speaks of Monte Giove as “the most eligible position that could be assigned to Corioli, if there were any ruins to confirm it.” The identification is, however, purely conjectural: a hill near the Osteria di Civita, 4 miles nearer Antium, supposed by Nibby to be the site of Pollusca [POLLUSCA], would be at least as plausible a position for Corioli. (Gell, Top. of Rome, pp. 180--184; Nibby, Dintorni, vol. i. p. 513; Abeken, Mittel-Italien, p. 66.)


1 The name is written in this passage Κοίλλα, which must, without doubt, be a mere false reading for Κοριόλα or Κοριόλλα, though the corruption is of very early date, as it is cited by Stephanus of Byzantium under this form (s. v. Κορίλλα.).

hide References (6 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (6):
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 3, 71
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 2, 39
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 1, 50
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 2, 33
    • Plutarch, Caius Marcius Coriolanus, 8
    • Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, 4.3.4
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