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SORA (Σῶρα: Eth. Soranus: Sora), a city of Latium, situated in the valley of the Liris, on the right bank of that river, about 6 miles to the N. of Arpinum. Though included in Latium in the more extended sense of that term, as it was understood under the Roman Empire, Sora was originally a Volscian city (Liv. 10.1), and apparently the most. northerly possessed by that people. It was wrested from them by the Romans in B.C. 345, being surprised by a sudden attack by the consuls Fabius Dorso and Ser. Sulpicius. (Liv. 7.28.) It was subsequently occupied by the Romans with a colony: the establishment of this is not mentioned by Livy, but in B.C. 315 he tells us the inhabitants had revolted and joined the Samnites, putting to death the Roman colonists. (Id. 9.23; Diod. 19.72.) The city was in consequence besieged by the dictator C. Fabius, and, notwithstanding the great defeat of the Romans at Lautulae, the siege was continued into the following year, when the city was at length taken by the consuls C. Sulpicius and M. Poetelius; the citadel, which was in a very strong and inaccessible position, being betrayed into their hands by a deserter. The leaders of the defection were sent to Rome and doomed to execution; the other inhabitants were spared. (Liv. 9.23, 24.) Sora was now occupied by a Roman garrison; but notwithstanding this it again fell into the hands of the Samnites in B.C. 306, and it was not recovered by the Romans till the following year. (Id. 9.43, 44; Diod. 20.80, 90.) After the close of the Second Samnite War it was one of the points which the Romans determined to secure with a colony, and a body of 4000 colonists was sent thither in B.C. 303. (Id. 10.1.) From this time Sora became one of the ordinary “coloniae Latinae” and is mentioned in the Second Punic War among the refractory colonies, which in B.C. 209 refused any further contributions. (Liv. 27.9, 29.15. The text of Livy gives Cora in the first passage, and Sora in the second, but the same place is necessarily meant in both passages, and it is probable that Sora is the true reading.) From this time we hear little more of Sora, which lapsed into the condition of an ordinary municipal town. (Cic. pro Plane. 9). Its rank of a Colonia Latina was merged in that of a municipium by the Lex Julia; but it received a fresh colony under Augustus, consisting, as we learn from an inscription, of a body of veterans from the 4th legion. (Lib. Colon. p. 237; Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 9; Orell. Inser. 3681.) Juvenal speaks of it as a quiet country town, where houses were cheap (Juv. 3.223); and it is mentioned by all the geographers among the towns of this part of Italy. (Strab. v. p.238; Ptol. 3.1.63; Sil. Ital. 8.394; Orell. Inscr. 3972.) Nothing more is heard of it under the Roman Empire, but it survived the fall of the Western Empire, and continued throughout the middle ages to be a place of consideration. Sora is still an episcopal see, and much the most important place in this part of Italy, with about 10,000 inhabitants. The modern town undoubtedly occupies the same site with the ancient one, in the plain or broad valley of the Liris, resting upon a bold and steep hill, crowned by the ruins of a mediaeval castle. The ancient citadel, described by Livy, stood on a hill at the back of this, called the Rocca di S. Angelo, where some remains of the ancient walls, constructed of massive polygonal blocks, are still visible. No remains of Roman times are preserved, except a few inscriptions, and some foundations, supposed to be those of a temple. (Romanelli, vol. iii. pp. 362--366; Hoare's Classical Tour, vol. i. pp. 299--302.)


hide References (11 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (11):
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 9, 24
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.5
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 7, 28
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 10, 1
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 27, 9
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 29, 15
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 9, 23
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 19.72
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 20.80
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 20.90
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 3.1
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