), a very ancient city of Central Italy, which, according to Varro (ap. Dionys. 1.14), was the metropolis of the Aborigines, when that people still dwelt in the mountain valleys around Reate.
It was surprised by the Sabines by a night attack from Amiternum; and the inhabitants took refuge in Reate, from whence they made several fruitless attempts to recover possession of their city; but failing in this, they declared it, with the surrounding territory, sacred to the gods, and imprecated curses on all who should occupy it.
This circumstance probably accounts for the absence of all other mention of it; though it would seem that its ruins still remained in the time of Varro, or at least that its site was clearly known.
This has been in modern times a subject of much dispute.
According to the present text of Dionysius, it was situated 24 stadia from Tiora, the ruins of which are probably those at Castore
near Sta. Anatolia,
in the upper valley of the Salto,
36 miles from Rieti.
Bunsen accordingly places it at Sta. Anatolic
itself, where there are some remains of an ancient city. But Holstenius long ago pointed out a site about 3 miles from Reate itself, on the road from thence to Civita Ducale,
still ealled Monte di Lesta,
where there still exist, according to a local antiquarian, Martelli, and Sir W. Gell, the remains of an ancient city, with walls of polygonal construction, and a site of considerable strength.
The situation of these ruins would certainly be a more probable position for the capital of the Aborigines than one so far removed as Sta. Anatolia
from their other settlements, and would accord better with the natural line of advance of the Sabines from Amiternum, which must have been by the pass of Antrodoco
and the valley of the Velino.
In this case we must understand the distance of 24 stadia (3 miles), as stated by Dionysius (or rather by Varro, whom he cites), as having reference to Reate itself, not to Tiora. (Bunsen, Antichi Stabilimenti Italici,
in Ann. d. Inst. Arch.
vol. vi. p. 137; Gell's Topography of Rome,
p. 472; Holsten, Not. in Cluver.