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POLITO´RIUM (Πολιτώριον: Eth. Πολιτωρῖνος, Steph. B. sub voce an ancient city of Latium, destroyed at a very early period of the Roman history. The account of its capture and destruction by Ancus Marcius comprises indeed all we know concerning it; for the statement cited from Cato (Serv. ad Aen. 5.564), which ascribed its foundation to Polites, the son of Priam, is evidently a mere etymological fiction. According to Livy and Dionysius, it was a city of the Prisci Latini, and was the first which was attacked by the Roman king, who made himself master of it with little difficulty, and transported the inhabitants to Rome, where he settled them upon the Aventine. But the Latins having soon after recolonised the deserted city, Ancus attacked it again, and having taken it a second time, entirely destroyed it, that it might not for the future afford a shelter to his enemies. (Liv. 1.33 ; Dionys. A. R. 3.37, 38, 43.) The destruction appears to have been complete, for the name of Politorium never again occurs, except in Pliny's list of the cities of Latium that were utterly extinct. (Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 9.) Its site is consequently involved in the greatest obscurity; the only clue we have is the circumstance that it appears in the above narrative associated with Tellenae, which is equally uncertain, and with Ficana, the position of which at Dragoncello, on the Via Ostiensis, may be considered as well established. [FICANA] Nibby would place Politorium at a spot called La Torretta near Decimo, on the Via Laurentina; while Gell considers the remains of an ancient city that have been discovered at a place called La Giostra, on the right of the Via Appia, about a mile and a half from Fiorano. and 10 miles from Rome, as those of Politorium, There can be no doubt that the ruins at La Giostra--consisting of considerable fragments of walls, built in a very massive and ancient style, and enclosing a long and [p. 2.645] narrow space, bordered by precipitous banks--are those of an ancient Latin city; but whether they mark the site of Politorium, as supposed by Gell, or of Tellenae, as suggested by Nibby and adopted by Abeken, we are wholly without the means of determining. (Gell, Top. of Rome, p. 280; Nibby, Dintorni, vol. ii. p. 571, vol. iii. p. 146--152; Abeken, Mittel Italien, p. 69.) The ruins at La Giostra are more fully noticed under the article TELLENAE


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