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MARRU´VIUM or MARRU´BIUM (Μαρούϊον, Strab.: Eth. Marruvius: S. Benedetto), the chief city of the Marsi, situated on the eastern shore of the lake Fucinus, and distant 13 miles from Alba Fucensis. Ancient writers agree in representing it as the capital of the Marsi: indeed, this is sufficiently attested by its name alone; Marruvii or Marrubii being evidently only another form of the name of the Marsi, and being thus used by Virgil as and ethnic appellation (Marruvia de gente, Aen. 7.750). In accordance with this, also, Silius Italicus represents Marruvium as deriving its name from a certain Marrus, who is evidently only an eponymous hero of the Marsi. (Sil. Ital. 8.505.) We have no account of Marruvium, however, previous to the Roman conquest of the Marsic territory; but under the Roman Empire it was a flourishing municipal town; it is noticed as such both by Strabo and Pliny, and in inscriptions we find it called “splendidissima civitas Marsorum Marruvium.” (Strab. v. p.241; Plin. Nat. 3.12. s. 17; Mommsen, Inscr. R. N. 5491, 5499; Orell. Inscr. 3149.) It seems, indeed, to have been not unfrequently called “Civitas Marsorum,” and in the middle ages “Civitas Marsicana:” hence, even in the Liber Coliniarm, we find it called “Marsus municipium.” (Lib. Colon. pp. 229, 256.) It is noticed in the Tabula, which places it 13 M. P. from Alba; but it was not situated on the Via Valeria, and must have communicated with that high-road by a branch from Cerfennia. (Tab. Peut.) Marruvium continued through the middle ages to be the see of the bishop of the Marsi; and it was not till 1580 that the see was removed to the neighbouring town of Pescina. The site is now known by the name of S. Benedetto, from a convent erected on the spot. Considerable ruins of the ancient city still remain, including portions of its walls; the remains of an amphitheatre, &c., and numerous inscriptions, as well as statues, have been discovered on the site. These ruins are situated close to the margin of the lake, about two miles below Pescina. (Holsten. ad Cluver. p. 151; Romanelli, vol. iii. p. 180--186; Kramer, Fuciner See, p. 55; Hoare's Class. Tour, [p. 2.280]vol. i. pp. 357--361. The inscriptions are collected by Mommsen, I. R. N. pp. 290--294.) The little river Giovenco, which flows into the lake close to the site of the ancient city, is probably the stream called by the ancients PITONIUS, concerning which they related many marvels. [FUCINUS LACUS.]

Dionysius mentions (1.14) a town called Maruvium (Μαρούϊον) among the ancient settlements of the Aborigines in the neighbourhood of Reate, which is certainly distinct from the above, but is otherwise wholly unknown. [ABORIGINES]


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    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.12
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