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NUMI´CIUS (Νομίκιος: Rio Torto), a small river of Latium, flowing into the sea between Lavinium and Ardea. It is mentioned almost exclusively in reference to the legendary history of Aeneas, who, according to the poetical tradition, adopted also by the Roman historians, was buried on its banks, where he was worshipped under the name of Jupiter Indiges, and had a sacred grove and Heroum. (Liv. 1.2; Dionys. A. R. 1.64; Vict. Orig. Gent. Rom. 14: Ovid. Met. 14.598--608; Tib. 2.5.39-44.) Immediately adjoining the grove of Jupiter Indiges was one of Anna Perenna, originally a Roman divinity, and probably the tutelary nymph of the river, but who was brought also into connection with Aeneas by the legends of later times, which represented her as the sister of Dido, queen of Carthage. The fables connected with her are related at full by Ovid (Ov. Fast. 3.545--564), and by Silius Italicus (8.28-201). Both of these poets speak of the Numicius as a small stream, with stagnant waters and reedy banks: but they afford no clue to its situation, beyond the general intimation that it was in the Laurentine territory, an appellation which is some-times used, by the poets especially, with very vague latitude. But Pliny, in enumerating the places along the coast of Latium, mentions the river Numicius between Laurentum and Ardea; and from the narrative of Dionysius it would seem that he certainly conceived the battle in which Aeneas was slain to have been fought between Lavinium and Ardea, but nearer the former city. Hence the Rio Torto, a small river with a sluggish and winding stream, which forms a considerable marsh near its outlet, may fairly be regarded as the ancient Numicius. It would seem from Pliny that the Lucus Jovis Indigetis was situated on its right bank. (Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 9; Dionys. A. R. 1.64; Nibby, Dintorni, vol. ii. p. 418.)


hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.5
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 1, 2
    • Ovid, Fasti, 3
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