previous next


SCA´PTIA (Eth. Σκαπτήνιος, Eth. Scaptiensis: Passerano), an ancient city of Latium, which appears to have ceased to exist at a very early period. Its name is found in Dionysius among the thirty cities of the Latin League (Dionys. A. R. 5.61); and it therefore seems probable that it was at that time a considerable, or at all events an independent, town. No mention of it is subsequently found in history, but after the great Latin War it was included in one of the new Roman tribes created on that occasion (B.C. 332), to which it gave the name of Scaptian. (Fest. s. v. Scaptia, p. 343; Liv. 8.17.) No subsequent mention is found of the town, and it is only noticed by Pliny among the “clara oppida” of Latium, which in his time had utterly disappeared (Plin. iii 5. s. 9). Silius Italicus also alludes to the “Scaptia pubes,” but in a passage from which no inference can be derived (8.395). The Scaptienses noticed by Suetonius (Suet. Aug. 40) and elsewhere were the members of the Scaptian tribe. There is no real clue to its position; that derived from the passage of Festus, from which it has been commonly inferred that it was in the neighbourhood of Pedum, being of no value. The words “quam Pedani incolebant,” found in all the ordinary editions of that author, are in fact merely a supplement of Ursinus, founded on an inference from Livy (8.14, 17), which is by no means conclusive. (See Uüller's note.) But supposing that we are justified in placing Scaptia in this neighbourhood, the site suggested by Nibby, on the hill now occupied by a farm or casale called Passerano, is at least probable enough; the position is a strong one, on the point of one of those narrow ridges with precipitous sides between two ravines, which abound in this part of the Campagna. It is about 3 miles NW. of Gallicano, the presumed site of Pedum; and the existence of an ancient town on the spot is attested by the fragments of ancient walls, the large, roughlyhewn masses of which are found worked up into more recent buildings. Its situation closely resembles that of Gallicano itself, as well as that of Zagarolo, about 3 miles further S. (where there are also indications of ancient habitation); and the identification of any of the three can be little more than conjectural. (Nibby, Dintorni, vol. iii. pp. 70, 71.)


hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (4):
    • Suetonius, Divus Augustus, 40
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 2.5
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 8, 17
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 8, 14
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: