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ORTO´NA (Ὄρτων).


An ancient city of Latium, situated on the confines of the Aequian territory. It is twice mentioned during the wars of the Romans with the latter people: first, in B.C. 481, when we are distinctly told that it was a Latin city, which was, besieged and taken by the Aequians (Liv. 2.43; Dionys. A. R. 8.91); and again in 13. 100.457, when the Aequians, by a sudden attack, took. Corbio, and, after putting to the sword the Rouman garrison there, made themselves masters of Ortona also; but the consul Horatius engaged and defeated them on Mount Algidus, and after driving them from that position, recovered possession both of Corbio and Ortona. (Liv. 3.30; Dionys. A. R. 10.26.) From these accounts it seems clear that Ortona was situated somewhere in the neighbourhood of Corbio and Mount Algidus; but we have no more precise. clue to its position. No mention of it is found in later times, and it probably ceased to exist. Tlhe name is much corrupted in both the passages of Dionysius; in the first of which it is written Ὀρούς, but the Vatican MS. has Ὀρῶνα for Ὀρτῶνα: in the second it is written Βιρτῶνα. It is very probable that the Hortenses, a people mentioned by Pliny (3.5. s. 9) among the “populi Albenses,” are the inhabitants of Ortona; and it is possible, as suggested by Niebuhr, that the Φορτινεῖοι (a name otherwise wholly unknown), who are found in Dionysius's list of the thirty cities of the Latin League, may be also the same people. (Diornys. 5.61; Niebuhr, vol. ii. p. 18, note.) The sites which have been assigned to Ortona are wholly conjectural.


Ortona a Mare), a considerable town of the Frentani, situated on the coast of the Adriatic, about midway between the mouth. of the Aternus (Pescara) and that of the Sagrus (Sangro). , Strabo tells us that it was the principal port of the Frentani (v. p. 242). He erroneously places it S. of the Sagrus; but the passage is evidently corrupt, as is one in which he speaks of Ortona or Histonium (for the reading is uncertain) as a resort of pirates. (Strab. l.c., and Kramer ad loc.) Ptolemy correctly places it between the Sagrus and the Aternus; though he erroneously assigns it to the Peligni. Pliny mentions it among the municipal towns of the Frentani; and there seems no doubt that it was one of the principal places possessed by that people. (Plin. Nat. 3.12. s. 17; Ptol. 3.1.19.) Some inscriptions have been published in. which it bears the title of a colony, but these ale of dubious authenticity (see Zumpt, de Colon. p. 358. note): it is not mentioned as such in the Liber Coloniarum The Itineraries place it on the road from the mouth, of the Aternus to Anxanum (Lanciano). The name is still-retained by the modern town of Ortona; and antiquities found on the spot leave no doubt that it occupies the same site with the ancient one. (Itin. Ant. p. 313; Tab. Peut.; Romanelli, vol. iii. p. 67.) [E.H.B]

hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.12
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.5
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 3, 30
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 2, 43
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 3.1
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