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ORICUM, ORICUS (Ὠρικός, Hecat. Fr. 75 ap. Steph. B. sub voce Hdt. 9.92; Scyl. p. 10; Plb. 7.19; Scymn. 440; Eust. ad Dion. 321; Ὤρικον, Ptol. 3.14.2; Pomp. Mela, 2.3.12; Plin. Nat. 3.26), a town and harbour of Illyricum, not far from Apollonia and the mouth of the Aous. Legend ascribes its foundation to the Euboeans on their return from Troy (Scymn. l.c.); and Apollonius (Apollon. 4.1216) speaks of the arrival of a party of Colchians at this port; and thus Pliny (l.c.) calls it a Colchian colony. Oricum is known in history as a haven frequented by the Romans in their communications with Greece, from its being very conveniently situated for the passage from Brundusium and Hydruntum. B.C. 214, the town was taken by Philip V. of Macedonia; but it afterwards fell into the hands of the Romans and M. Valerius Laevinus, who commanded at Brundusium, with a single legion and a small fleet. (Liv. 24.40.) After the campaign of B.C. 167, Aemilius Paulus embarked his victorious troops from Oricum for Italy. (Plut. Aem. 29.) Caesar, after he had disembarked his troops at PALAESTE (Lucan 4.460; comp. Caes. B.C. 3.6, where the reading Pharsalus or Pharsalia, is a mistake or corruption of the MSS.), or the sheltered beach of Palása, surrounded by the dangerous promontories of the Ceraunian mountains, within one day of his landing marched to Oricum, where a squadron of the Pompeian fleet was stationed. (Caes. B.C. 3.11; Appian, App. BC 2.54.) The Oricii declared their unwillingness to resist the Roman consul; and Torquatus, the governor, delivered up the keys of the fortress to Caesar. The small fleet in which he had brought his forces over was laid up at Oricum, where the harbour was blocked up by sinking a vessel at its mouth. Cnaeus, the son of Pompeius, made a spirited attack on this strong. hold, and, cutting out four of the vessels, burnt the rest. (Caes. B.C. 3.40.) It continued as an important haven on the Adriatic. (Hor. Carm. 3.7.5; Propert. Eleg. 1.8, 20; Lucan 3.187.) The [p. 2.493]name of its harbour was PANORMUS (Πάνορμος, Strab. vii. p.316), now Porto Raguséo; while the CELYDNUS (Κέλυδνος, Ptol. 3.13. § § 2, 5) is identified with the river of Dlukádhes. It would seem from Virgil (Aen. 10.136) that Oricum was famous for its turpentine, while Nicander (Ther. 516) alludes to its boxwood. The town was restored by the munificence of Herodes Atticus. (Philostr. Her. Att. 5.) To the f. of the mouth of the river of Dukhádes is a succession of lagoons, in the midst of which lies Oricum, on the desert site now called Erikhó, occupied (in 1818) only by two or three huts among the vestiges of an aqueduct. (Smytb, Mediterranean, p. 46.) The present name (Ἰεριχῶ, Anna Comn. xiii. p. 389) is accented on the last syllable, as in the ancient word, and E substituted for O by a common dialectic change. (Pouqueville, Voyage, vol. i. p. 2,64; Leake, North. Greece, vol. i. pp. 36, 90.) A coin of Oricus has for type a head of Apollo. (Eckhel, vol. ii. p. 167.)


hide References (10 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (10):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 9.92
    • Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 4.1216
    • Appian, Civil Wars, 2.8.54
    • Lucan, Civil War, 4.460
    • Lucan, Civil War, 3.187
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.26
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 24, 40
    • Plutarch, Aemilius Paullus, 29
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 3.13
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 3.14
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