, Ptol.; but in earlier Greek writers always ἡ Λιγυστλκή
: the people were called by the Greeks Λίγυες
but by later writers Λιγυστῖνοτ
:: by the Romans Ligures; but the adjective form is Ligustinus), one of the provinces or regions of Northern Italy, extending along the N. coast of the Tyrrhenian sea, from the frontiers of Gaul to those of Etruria.
In the more precise and definite sense in which the name was employed from the time of Augustus, and in which it is used by the geographers (Strabo, Pliny, Ptolemy, &c.), Liguria was bounded by the river Varus on the W., and by the Macra on the E., while towards the N. it extended across the chain of the Maritime Alps and Apennines as far as the river Padus. The Trebia, one of the confluents of the Padus on its right bank, appears to have formed the limit which separated Liguria from Gallia Cispadana.
In this sense, Liguria constituted the ninth region of Italy, according to the division of Augustus, and its boundaries were fixed by that monarch. (Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 7
; Strab. v. p.218
; Mel. 2.4.9; Ptol. 3.1.3
But Liguria, in its original sense, as “the land of the Ligurians,” comprised a much more extensive tract. All the earliest authors are agreed in representing the tribes that occupied the western slopes of the Maritime Alps and the region which extends from thence to the sea at Massilia, and. as far as the mouths of the Rhone, as of Ligurían and not Gaulish origin. Thus Aeschylus represents Hercules as contending with the Ligurians
on the stony plains near the mouths of the Rhone, Herodotus speaks of Ligurians inhabiting the country above Massilia, and Hecataeus distinctly calls Massilia silia itself a city of Liguria, while he terms Narbo a city of Gaul. Seylax also assigns to the Ligurians the coast of the Mediterranean sea as far as the mouths of the Rhone; while from that river to Emporium in Spain, he tells us that the Ligurians and Iberians were intermingled. The Helisyci, who, according to Avienus, were the earliest inhabitants of the country around Narbo, were, according to Hecataeus, a Ligurian tribe. (Aesehyl. ap. Strab. iv. p.183
; Hecat. Fr.
19, 20, 22, ed. Klausen; Hdt. 5.9
; Scyl. p. 2. § § 3, 4; Avien. Or. Marit.
584; Strab. iv. p.203
.) Thucydides also speaks of the Ligurians having expelled the Sicanians, an Iberian tribe from the banks of the river Sicanus, in [p. 2.184]Iberia,
thus pointing to a still wider extension of their power. (Thuc. 6.2
But while the Ligurian settlements to the W. of the Rhone are more obscure and uncertain, the tribes that extended from that river to the Maritime Alps and the confines of Italy--the Salyes, Oxybii, and Deciates--are assigned on good authority to the Ligurian race. (Strab. iv. pp. 202, 203; Pol. 33.7, 8.) On their eastern frontier, also, the Ligurians were at one time more widely spread than the limits above described. Polybius tells us that in his time they occupied the sea-coast as far as Pisae, which was the first city of Etruria: and in the interior they held the mountain districts as far as the confines of the Arretines. (Pol. 2.16.)
In the narrative of their wars with Rome in the 2nd century B.C., as given in Livy, we find them extending to the same limits: and Lycophron represents them at a much earlier period as stretching far down the coast of Etruria, before the arrival of the Tyrrhenians, who wrested from them by force of arms the site of Pisae and other cities. (Lycophr. Alex.
The population of Corsica also is ascribed by Seneca, and probably with good reason, to a Ligurian stock. [CORSICA
] On the N. of the Apennines, in like manner, it is probable that the Ligurians were far more widely spread, before the settlement of the Gauls, who occupied the fertile plains and drove them back into the mountains. Thus the Laevi and Libici, who occupied the banks of the Ticinus, appear to have been of Ligurian race (Plin. Nat. 3.17. s. 21
; Liv. 5.35
): the Taurini, who certainly dwelt on both banks of the Padus, were unquestionably a Ligurian tribe; and there seems much reason to assign the same origin to the Salassi also.
In regard to the national affinities or origin of the Ligurians themselves, we are almost wholly in the dark. We know only that they were not
either Iberians or Gauls. Strabo tells us distinctly that they were of a different race from the Gauls or Celts who inhabited the rest of the Alps, though they resembled them in their mode of life. (Strab. ii. p.128
.) And the same thing is implied in the marked distinction uniformly observed by Livy and other Roman writers between the Gaulish and Ligurian tribes, notwithstanding their close geographical proximity, and their frequent alliance in war. Dionysius says that the origin and descent of the Ligurians was wholly unknown, and Cato appears to have acquiesed in a similar conclusion. (Dionys. A. R. 1.10
; Cato, ap. Serv. ad Aen.
But all ancient authors appear to have agreed in regarding them as one of the most ancient nations of Italy; and on this account Philistus represented the Siculi as a Ligurian tribe, while other authors assigned the same origin to the Aborigines of Latium. (Dionys. A. R. 1.10
.) Several modern writers have maintained the Celtic origin or affinity of the Ligurians. (Cluver. Ital.
pp. 49--51; Grotefend, Alt.-Italien,
vol. ii pp. 5--7.)
But the authority of Strabo seems decisive against any close
connection between the two races: and it is impossible, in the absence of all remains of their language, to form even a reasonable conjecture as to their more remote affinities.
A fact mentioned by Plutarch (Plut. Mar. 19
), according to whom the Ligurians in the army of Marius called themselves in their own language Ambrones, though curious, is much too isolated and uncertain to be received as reasonable proof of a common origin with the Gauls of that name.
The name of the Ligurians appears to have been obscurely known to the Greeks from a very early period, for even Hesiod noticed them, in conjunction with the Scythians and Aethiopians,--evidently as one of the most distant nations of the then known world. (Hesiod. ap. Strab. vii. p.300
But from the time of the foundation of the flourishing Greek colony of Massilia, which speedily extended not only its commerce but its colonies along the shores of Liguria, as well as those of Iberia, the name of the Ligurians must have become familiar to the Greeks, and was, as we have seen, well known to Hecataeus and Aeschylus. The Ligurians seem also from an early period to have been ready to engage as mercenary troops in the service of more civilised nations; and we find Ligurian auxiliaries already mentioned in the great army of the Carthaginian general Hamilcar, in B.C. 480. (Hdt. 7.165
; Diod. 11.1
.) The Greek despots in Sicily continued to recruit their mercenary forces from the same quarter as late as the time of Agathocles. (Diod. 21.3
.) The Greeks of Massilia founded colonies along the coast of Liguria as far as Nicaea and the Portus Herculis Monoeci, but evidently never established their power far inland, and the mountain tribes of the Ligurians were left in the enjoyment of undisturbed independence.
It was not till the year 237 B.C. that the Ligurians, for the first time, came into contact with the arms of Rome; and P. Lentulus Caudinus, one of the consuls of the following year, was the first who celebrated a triumph over them. (Eutrop. 3.2
; Liv. Epit. xx.
: Fast. Capit.
) But the successes of the Romans at this period were evidently very partial and incomplete, and though we find one of the consuls for several years in succession sent against the Ligurians, and the name of that people appears three times in the triumphal Fasti (B.C. 233-223), it is evident that nothing more was accomplished than to prevent them from keeping the field and compel them to take refuge in the mountains (Zonar. 8.18
). The Ligurian tribes with whom the Romans were at this time engaged in hostilities were exclusively those on the N. of the Apennines, who made common cause with the neighbouring Gaulish tribes of the Boians and Insubrians.
These petty hostilities were for a time interrupted by the more important contest of the Second Punic War. During that struggle the Ligurians openly sided with the Carthaginians: they sent support to Hannibal, and furnished an important contingent to the army with which Hasdrubal fought at the Metaurus. Again, before the close of the war, when Mago landed in their territory, and made it the base of his operations against Cisalpine Gaul, the Ligurians espoused his cause with zeal, and prepared to support him with their whole forces (Liv. 22.33
After the untimely fate of Mago, and the close of the war, the Romans were in no haste to punish the Ligurians and Gauls for their defection, but those nations were the first to take up arms, and, at the instigation of the Carthaginian Hamilcar, broke out into open hostilities, (B.C. 200), and attacked the Roman colonies of Placentia and Cremona. (Liv. 31.10
From this time commenced the long series of wars between the Romans and Ligurians, which continued with little intermission for above eighty years.
It would be impossible to give here any detailed account of these long protracted, but desultory hostilities ; indeed we possess, in reality, very little information concerning them. So long as the books of Livy are preserved [p. 2.185]
to us, we find perpetually recurring notices of campaigns against the Ligurians; and while the Roman arms were overthrowing the powerful empires of Macedonia and Syria in the East, one, and sometimes both, of the consuls were engaged in petty and inglorious hostilities with the hardy mountaineers of Liguria.
But the annual records of these campaigns for the most part throw little light on the true state of the case or the progress of the Roman arms.
It is evident, indeed, that, notwithstanding the often repeated tales of victories, frequently celebrated at Rome by triumphs, and often said to have been followed by the submission of the whole Ligurian nation, the struggle was really an arduous one, and it was long before the Romans made any real progress in the reduction of their territory.
One of the most formidable and powerful of the Ligurian tribes was that of the APUANI
who inhabited the lofty group of mountains bordering on Etruria, and appear to have occupied the valleys of the Macra and Ausar (Magra
), while they extended eastwards along the chain of the Apennines to the frontiers of the Arretines and the territory of Mutina and Bononia. To oppose their inroads, the Romans generally made Pisae the head-quarters of one of their armies, and from thence carried their arms into the heart of the mountains: but their successes seldom effected more than to compel the enemy to disperse and take refuge in their villages and castles, of which the latter were mountain fastnesses in which they were generally able to defy the Roman arms.
It was not till B.C. 180 that the first effectual step was taken for their reduction, by the consuls Cornelius and Baebius, who, after having compelled them to a nominal submission, adopted the expedient of transporting the whole nation (to the number of 40,000, including women and children) to a distance from their own country, and settled them in the heart of Samnium, where they continued to exist, under the name of “Ligures Corneliani et Baebiani,” for centuries afterwards. (Liv. 40.38
The establishment of Roman colonies at Pisae and Luca a few years afterwards tended to consolidate the conquest thus obtained, and established the Roman dominion permanently as far as the Macra and the port of Luna. (Id. 40.43, 41.13.) The FRINIATES, a tribe on the N. of the Apennines, near the sources of the Scultenna (Panaro
), had been reduced to subjection by C. Flaminius in B.C. 187, and the obscure tribes of the Bri<*>iates, Garuli, Hercates, and Lapicini appear to have been finally subdued in B.C. 175. (Id. 39.2, 41.19.) The INGAUNI
one of the most powerful tribes on the coast to the W. of Genua, had been reduced to nominal submission as early as B.C. 181. but appear to have been still very imperfectly subdued; and they, as well as their neighbours the Intemelii, continued to harass the territory of the Romans, as well as of their allies the Massilians, by piratical expeditions. (Liv. 40.18
--28, 41.) In B.C. 173 the STATIELLI
were reduced to subjection (Id. 42.8, 9); and the name of this people) which here appears for the first time, shows that the Romans were gradually, though slowly, making good their advance towards the W. From the year 167 B.C., when we lose the guidance of Livy, we are unable to trace the Ligurian wars in any detail, but we find triumphs over them still repeatedly recorded, and it is evident that they were still unsubdued. In B.C. 154 the Romans for the first time attacked the Ligurian tribes of the Oxybii and Deciates, who dwelt W. of the Varus, and were therefore not included in Italy, according to its later limits. (Liv. Epit.
xlvii.; Plb. 33.7
It was not till more than thirty years afterwards (B.C. 123--122) that two successive triumphs celebrated the reduction of the more powerful tribes of the Vocontii and Salluvii, both of them in the same neighbourhood.
But while the Ligurian tribes W. of the Maritime Alps were thus brought gradually under the Roman yoke, it appears that the subjection of those in Italy was still incomplete; and in B.C. 117, Q. Marcius for the last time earned a triumph “de Liguribus.” (Fast. Capit.
) Even after this, M. Aemilius Scaurus is said to have distinguished himself by fresh successes over them ; and the construction by him (a. 100.109) of the Via Aemilia, which extended along the coast from Luna to Vada Sabbata, and from thence inland across the Apennines to Dertona, may be considered as marking the period of the final subjugation of Liguria. (Strab. v. p.217
; Aur. Vict. de Vir. Illustr. 72.
) But a remarkable expression of Strabo, who says that, after eighty years of warfare, the Romans only succeeded in securing a space of 12 stadia in breadth for the free passage of public officers, shows that even at this time the subjection of the mountain tribes was but imperfect. (Strab. iv. p.203
Those which inhabited the Maritime Alps, indeed, were not finally reduced to obedience till the reign of Augustus, B.C. 14. (D. C. 54.24
This had, however, been completely effected at the time that Strabo wrote, and Liguria had been brought under the same system of administration with the rest of Italy. (Strab. l.c.
) The period at which the Ligurians obtained the Roman franchise is unknown: it is perhaps probable that the towns obtained this privilege at the same time with those of Cisalpine Gaul (B.C. 89); but the mountain tribes, even in the days of Pliny, only enjoyed the Latin franchise. (Plin. Nat. 3.20. s. 24
In the division of Italy under Augustus, Liguria (in the more limited sense, as already defined) constituted the ninth region (Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 7
), and its boundaries on the E. and NW. appear to have continned unchanged throughout the period of the Roman Empire: but the Cottian Alps, which in the time of Augustus still constituted a separate district under their own native chieftain, though dependent upon Rome, and, from the reign of Nero to that of stantine, still formed a separate province, were incorporated by Constantine with Liguria; and from this period the whole of the region thus constituted came to be known as the ALPES COTTIAE, while the name of Liguria was transferred (on what account we know not) to the eleventh region, or Gallia Transpadana [ITALIA
p. 93]. Hence we find late writers uniformly speaking of Mediolanum and Ticinum as cities of Liguria,
while the real land of the Ligurians had altogether lost that appellation, and was known only as “the province of the Cottian Alps.” (Lib. Provinc.
; P. Diac. Hist. Lang.
2.15, 16; Jornand. Get.
30, 42; Procop. B. G.
1.14; Böcking, ad not. Dign.
ii. pp. 442, 443.)
It is evident that long before this change took place the Ligurians must have lost all traces of their distinct nationality, and become blended into one common mass with the other Italian subjects of Rome.
Liguria is throughout the greater part of its extent a mountainous country. The Maritime Alps, which formed the western boundary, descend completely to the sea in the neighbourhood of Nice
and [p. 2.186]Monaco,
while the main chain of the same mountains, turning off from the general direction of the central chain of the Alps near the sources of the Var
(Varus), is prolonged in a lofty and rugged range till it reaches the sea between Noli
The lateral ranges and offshoots which descend from these mountains to the sea occupy the whole line of coast from Monaco to Savona.
Hence this line has always been one where there has been much difficulty in making and maintaining a practicable road.
It was not till the reign of Augustus that the Romans carried a highway from Vada Sabbata to Antipolis; and in the middle ages, when the Roman roads had fallen into decay, the whole of this line of coast became proverbial for the difficulty of its communications. (Dante, Purg.
3.49.) From the neighbourhood of Vada Sabbata, or Savona,
where the Alps may be considered to end and the Apennines to begin, the latter chain of mountains runs nearly parallel with the coast of Liguria throughout its whole extent as far as the river Macra; and though the range of the Apennines is far inferior in elevation to that of the Maritime Alps, they nevertheless constitute a mountain mass of a rugged and difficult character, which leaves scarcely any level space between the foot of the mountains and the sea.
The northern declivity of the Apennines is less abrupt, and the mountains gradually subside into ranges of steep wooded hills as they approach the plains of the Po
: but for this very reason the space occupied by the mountainous and hilly tract is more extensive, and constitutes a broad belt or band varying from 15 to 30 miles in width.
The narrowest portion of the range, as well as one of the lowest, is immediately at the back of Genoa,
and for that reason the pass from that city to Dertona was in ancient as well as modern times one of the principal lines of communication with the interior. Another natural pass is marked out by a depression in the ridge between the Maritime Alps and Apennines, which is crossed by the road from Savona
This line of road communicates with the plain at the N. foot of the Maritime Alps, extending from the neighbourhood of Coni
to that of Turin,
which is one of the most extensive tracts of fertile and level country comprised within the limits of the ancient Liguria. E. of this, the hills of the Astigiana
extend from the foot of the Apennines (of the northern slopes of which they are, in fact, a mere continuation) quite to the bank of the Po
; but are of moderate elevation and constitute a fertile country. Beyond these, again, another tract of plain occurs, but of less extent; for though it runs far up into the mountains near Novi,
it is soon hemmed in again by the hills which descend to Tortona
(Iria), and Casteggio
(Clastidium), so as to leave but a narrow strip of plain between them and the banks of the Po.
The physical features of Liguria naturally exercised a marked influence on the character and habits of its inhabitants.
It was with the tribes who occupied the lofty and rugged ranges of the Apennines E. of the Macra (where these mountains rise to a much greater elevation, and assume a much more Alpine character, than in any part of Liguria proper) that the Romans waged their longest and most obstinate contests; but all the tribes who inhabited the upper valleys of the central chain, and the steep and rugged declivities of the Apennines towards the sea, partook of the same hardy and warlike character. On the other hand, the Statielli, Vagienni, and other tribes who occupied the more fertile hills and valleys on the N. declivity of the Apennines, were evidently reduced with comparatively little difficulty.
It is to the former portion of the Ligurian people that the character and description of them which we find in ancient writers may be considered almost exclusively to apply. Strabo says that they dwelt in scattered villages, tilling the soil with difficulty, on account of its rugged and barren character, so that they had almost to quarry
rather than dig
But their chief subsistence was derived from their herds, which supplied them with flesh, cheese, and milk ; and they made a kind of drink from barley. Their mountains also supplied timber in great abundance and of the largest size. Genua was their principal emporium, and thither they brought, for export, timber, cattle, hides, and honey, in return for which they received wine and oil. (Strab. iv. p.202
, v. p. 218; Diod. 5.39
. ) In the days of the geographer they produced but little wine, and that of bad quality ; but Pliny speaks of the Ligurian wines with commendation. (Strab. p. 202; Plin. Nat. 14.6. s. 8
The nature of their country and the life they led inured them to hardships ( “assuetum malo Ligurem,” Verg. G. 2.168
; “Ligures montani duri et agrestes,” Cic. de Leg. Agr. 2.3. 5
) ; and they were distinguished for their agility, which admirably fitted them for the chase, as well as for the kind of predatory warfare which they so long maintained against the Romans. Cato gave them the character of being treacherous and deceitful,--an opinion which seems to have been generally adopted by the Romans (Serv. ad Aen. 11.700
), and must naturally have grown up from the nature of the wars between them ; but they appear to have served faithfully, as well as bravely, in the service of the Greeks and Carthaginians, as mercenaries, and, at a later period, as auxiliaries in those of Rome. (Diod. 5.39
; Plut. Mar. 19
; Tac. Hist. 2.14
The troops they furnished were almost exclusively infantry, and, for the most part, lightarmed: they excelled particularly as slingers (Pseudo Arist. Mirab.
90); but their regular infantry carried oblong shields of brass, resembling those of the Greeks. (Diod. l.c.
; Strab. iv. p.202
.) During the period of their independence, they not only made plundering incursions by land into the neighbouring countries, but carried on piracy by sea to a considerable extent, and were distinguished for their hardiness and daring as navigators, as well as in all their other pursuits. (Diod. 5.39
; Liv. 40.18
The mountain tribes resembled the Gauls and Germans in the custom of wearing their hair long ; on which account the wilder tribes, which were the last to maintain their independence, were known as the Ligures Capillati or Comati (Λίγυες Κομηταί, D. C. 54.24
; Plin. Nat. 3.20. s. 24
; Lucan 1.442
) ; and the cropping their hair was regarded as a proof of their subjection to Rome.
Among the more peculiar natural productions of Liguria are noticed a breed of dwarf horses and mules, called by the Greeks γίννοι;
and a kind of mineral resembling amber, called γιγγούριον,
which appears to have been confounded by Theophrastus with genuine amber. (Strab. iv. p.202
; Theophr. de Lapid.
§ § 28, 29.)
The Ligurians were divided, like most nations in a similar state of society, into a number of tribes, which appear to have had little, if any, political bond of union beyond the temporary alliances which they might form for warlike objects ; and it is evident, from the account of the wars carried on by [p. 2.187]
them with the Romans, that these leagues were extremely variable and partial.
The names of many of the different tribes have been transmitted to us; but it is often difficult, or impossible, to determine with any degree of certainty the situation or limits of their respective territories.
It is probable, as pointed out by Pliny, that these limits themselves varied much at different times (Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 6
), and many of the minor tribes, whose names are mentioned by Livy in the history of the Roman conquest of Liguria, seem to have at a later period disappeared altogether.1
The only tribes concerning whom we have any tolerably definite information are:--1. the APUANI
in the valley of the Macra, and about the Portus Lunae ; but the greater part of the territory which had once belonged to this powerful tribe was not included in Roman Liguria. 2. The FRINIATES, who may be placed with much probability in the upper valley of the Scultenna, or Panaro,
on the N. slope of the Apennines towards Mutina (a district still called Frignano
); so that they also were excluded from Liguria in the later sense of the term. 3. The BRINIATES
be placed in the valley of the Vara,
the most considerable confluent of the Magra,
called by Ptolemy the Boactes. 4. The GENUATES, known to us only from an inscription [GENUA
], were obviously the inhabitants of Genua and its immediate neighbourhood. 5. The VETURH, mentioned in the same inscription, adjoined the Genuates on the W., and were. apparently separated from them by the river Porcifera, or Polcevera
The more powerful and celebrated tribe of the INGAUNI may be placed with certainty on the coast near Albenga
(Albium Ingaunum), though we cannot fix their limits with any precision. 7. The INTEMELII
occupied the coast W. of the Ingauni: their chief town was Albium Intemelium, now Vintimiglia.
8. The VEDIANTII
inhabited the country on both sides of the Varus, as their name is evidently retained by the town of Vence,
some miles W. of that river ; while Cemenelium, about 5 miles to the E. of it, also belonged to them. (Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 7
Of the tribes N. of the Apennines, or inhabiting the valleys of that range which slope towards the Padus, the most conspicuous were :--1. The VAGIENNI
whose capital was Augusta Vagiennorum, now Bene,
between the Stura
and the Tanaro,
while their confines appear to have extended as far as the Monte Viso
and the sources of the Po.
2. The STATIELLI
whose position is marked by the celebrated watering-place of Aquae Statiellae, now Acqui.
3. The TAURINI
whose capital was Augusta Taurinorum, now Turin,
and who appear to have occupied the whole country on both sides of the Padus, from the foot of the Cottian Alps to the banks of the Tanarus. 4. The EUBURIATES
; Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 7
) may be placed, according to a local antiquary, in the hills of the Astigiana.
(Durandi, Piemonte Cispadano,
cited by Walckenaer, Géogr. des Gaules,
vol. i. p. 161.) 5. E. of these must be placed several smaller tribes mentioned by Livy in the history of the Roman wars with Liguria, and of which we know only that they were situated on the N. side of the Apennines.
These are the Celelates, Cerdiciates, and apparently the Ilvates also. (Liv. 32.29
.) 6. The EPANTERII
are mentioned also by Livy (28.46
) as a tribe who occupied the mountains above the Ingauni; but no subsequent mention of them occurs.
In addition to these, Livy notices the Garuli, Hercates, and Lapicini, as situated on the S. side of the Apennines (41.19), but we have no further clue to their position. Pliny also enumerates (3.5. s. 7) among the Ligurian tribes on the Italian side of the Alps, the Veneni, Bimbelli, Magelli, Casmonates, and Veleiates, of which the last doubtless occupied the country around Veleia, the ruins of which still remain about eighteen miles S. of Placentia.
The others are wholly unknown, and the names themselves vary so much in the MSS. as to be of very doubtful authority.
The coast: of Liguria, as already described, is, bordered closely throughout its whole extent by the ranges of the Maritime Alps and Apennines, which for the most part rise very abruptly from the seashore, in other places leave a narrow strip of fertile territory between their foot and the sea, but nowhere is there anything like a plain.
This steep coast also affords very few natural ports, with the exception of the magnificent bay called the Portus Lunae (now the Gulf of Spezia
) near its eastern extremity, which is one of the most spacious and secure harbours in the Mediterranean.
The port of Genua also caused it to be frequented from the earliest times as a place of trade (Strab. iv. p.202
), while the Portus Herculis Monoeci (Monaco
), though small, was considered secure.
It is singular that the much more spacious and secure harbour of Villafranca,
in the same neighbourhood, is not mentioned by any ancient writer, though noticed in the Maritime Itinerary under the name of Portus Olivulae.
The same Itinerary (pp. 503, 504) notices two small ports, which it places between this last and that of Monaco,
under the names of Anao and Avisio, which may probably be placed respectively at S. Ospizio
and Eza. [NICAEA
] The PORTUS MAURICI of the same Itinerary is still called Porto Maurizio,
a small town about two miles W. of Oneglia.
The rivers of Liguria are not of much importance. From the proximity of the mountains to the S. coast, the streams which descend from them to the sea are for the most part mere mountain torrents, altogether dry in summer, though violent and destructive in winter and after heavy rains. Almost the only exceptions are the two rivers which formed the extreme limits of Liguria on the E. and W., the MACRA and the VARUS
both of which are large and perennial streams. Next in importance to these is the RUTUBA
which flowed through the country of the Intemelii.
It rises at the foot of the Col di Tenda,
in the Maritime Alps, and has a course of above 36 miles from thence to the sea at Vintimiglia.
The smaller streams on the S. coast were:--the PAULO
), which flowed by the walls of Nicaea (Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 7
; Mel. 2.4.9) ; the TAVIA (Itin. Marit.
p. 503) still called the Taggia,
between S. Remo and Porto Maurizio
; the MERULA
), which still retains its name, and falls into the sea between Oneglia
; the PORCIFERA
of Pliny (l.c.
), now called the Polcevera,
which flows a few miles to the W. of Genoa
; the FERITOR (lb.
), on the E. of the same city, now the Bisagno;
), which is probably [p. 2.188]
that falls into the sea at Chiavari;
and the BOACTES
of the same author, which can be no other than the Vara,
the most considerable tributary of the Magra.
Much more considerable than these, both in the volume of water and length of their course, are the streams which flow from the N. slopes of the Apennines towards the Padus.
But of these, the only ones whose names are found in any ancient author, are the TANARUS
one of the most important of the southern tributaries of the Padus; the STURA
which joins the Tanarus near Pollentia; and the TREBIA
which rises in the Apennines, not far from Genoa,
and falls into the Po
near Placentia, forming during a part at least of its course the boundary between Liguria and Gallia Cispadana.
The rivers marked in this part of Italy in the Tabula are so confused, and the names so currupt, that it is useless to attempt to identify them.
The native Ligurians lived for the most part in mere villages and mountain fastnesses ( “castella vicique,” Liv. 40.17
; Strab. v. p.218
), and had probably few towns. Even under the Roman government there seem to have been few places which deserved the name of towns
along the seacoast, or among the inner ranges of the Apennines; but on the northern slopes of the same mountains, where they approached or opened out into the plains, these grew up rapidly and rose to great prosperity,--so that Pliny says of this part of Liguria in his time, “omnia nobilibus oppidis nitent” (Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 7
Those which he proceeds to enumerate are:--LIBARNA
(of uncertain site), INDUSTRIA
on the right bank of the Po
), CARREA POTENTIA
(uncertain), FORUM FULVII
called VALENTINUM (Valenza
), AUGUSTA VAGIENNORUM
), ALBA POMPEIA
), ASTA Asti
), AQUAE STATIELLAE
). To these must be added AUGUSTA TAURINORUM
which was certainly a Ligurian town, though, from its position on the left bank of the Padus, it is enumerated by Pliny with the cities of the xith region, or Gallia Transpadana.
In the same district were FORUM VIBII
in the territory of the Vagienni, and OCELUM
in the valley of Fenestrelles.
) was probably a Gaulish rather than a Ligurian town.
In addition to these may be mentioned CLASTIDIUM
), which is expressly called by Livy a Ligurian town, though situated on the Gaulish frontier, and CEBA
in the upper valley of the Tanaro.
Litubium, mentioned by Livy together with Clastidium (32.29), and Carystum, noticed by the same author as a town of the Statielli (42.7), are otherwise wholly unknown.
Along the coast of Liguria, beginning from the Varus, the towns enumerated by Pliny or Ptolemy are:--NICAEA
a short distance inland), PORTUS HERCULIS MONOECI
), ALBIUM INTEMELIUM
), ALBIUM INGAUNUM
), VADA SABBATA
), GENUA, PORTUS DELPHINI (Porto Fino
), Tigullia (probably Tregoso,
), Segesta (probably Sestri
), PORTUS VENERIS
), and PORTUS ERICIS
), both of them on the Gulf of Spezia,
which was called as a whole the PORTUS LUNAE
The other names enumerated in the Itineraries most part very obscure and uncertain, and many of them, from their very form, are obviously not the names of towns or even villages, but of mere stations or “mutationes.” The few which can be determined with any certainty have their modern names annexed in the Itineraries here given.
The coast road from the Varus to the Macra is thus given in the Tabula Peutingeriana:--
Varum fl. (Var.
In Alpe Maritima (Turbia
Vada Sabata (Vado
Alba Docilia (Albissola
Ad Solaria (Solaro
Ad Monilia (Moneglia
In Alpe Pennino.
The same line of route is thus given (in the contrary direction) in the Itinerary of Antoninus (p. 293):--
Boaceas (probably Boactes fl.: the Vara
Tegulata (perhaps identical with the Tigullia of Pliny: Tregoso
Delphinis (Portus Delphini, Plin.: Porto Fino
Vada Sabata (Vado
Alpe summa (Turbia
Varum flumen (Var
(The distances given along this line of route are in both Itineraries so corrupt and confused that they are omitted above. For a fuller discussion of the routes in question see Walckenzer, Géographie des Gaules,
vol. iii. pp. 18--21; and Serra, Storia dell' antica Liguria,
vol. i. pp. 97--100.) [p. 2.189]
The most important of the routes in the interior of Liguria, was that leading from Genua inland by Libarnum to Dertona, from whence a branch communicated, through Iria and Comillomagus, with Placentia; while another branch passed by Aquae Statiellae to the coast at Vada Sabata. (The stations on both these roads have been already given in the preceding route). From Aquae Statiellae another branch led by Pollentia to Augusta Taurinorum. (Tab. Pent.