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 The whole [of Latium] is fertile, and abounding in every production, with the exception of a few districts along the coast, which are marshy and unhealthy; such as the country of Ardea, the lands between Antium and Lanuvium as far as Pometia, and certain of the districts of Setia,1 Terracina, and Circæum. Some parts may also be too moun- tainous and rocky; but even these are not absolutely idle and useless, since they furnish abundant pasturage, wood, and the peculiar productions of the marsh and rock; while Cæcubum, which is entirely marshy, nourishes a vine, the dendritis,2 which produces the most excellent wine. Of the maritime cities of Latium, one is Ostia. This city has no port, owing to the accumulation of the alluvial deposit Brought down by the Tiber, which is swelled by numerous rivers; vessels therefore bring to anchor further out, but not without danger; however, gain overcomes every thing, for there is an abundance of lighters in readiness to freight and unfreight the larger ships, before they approach the mouth of the river, and thus enable them to perform their voyage speedily. Being lightened of a part of their cargo, they enter the river and sail up to Rome, a distance of about 190 stadia. Such is the city of Ostia, founded by Ancus Martius. Next in order comes Antium, which city is likewise destitute of any port; it is situated on rocks, and about 260 stadia distant from Ostia. At the present day it is devoted to the leisure and recreation of statesmen from their political duties, whenever they can find time, and is in consequence covered with sumptuous mansions suited to such rusticating. The inhabitants of Antium had formerly a marine, and even after they were under subjection to the Romans, took part with the Tyrrhenian pirates. Of this, first, Alexander sent to complain; after him Demetrius, having taken many of these pirates, sent them to the Romans, saying that he would surrender them their persons on account of their affinity to the Greeks, and remarking at the same time, that it seemed to him a great impropriety, that those who held sway over the whole of Italy should send out pirates, and that they who had consecrated in their forum a temple to the honour of the Dioscuri,3 whom all denominated the Saviours, should likewise send to commit acts of piracy on Greece, which was the father-land of those divinities. Hereupon the Romans put a stop to this occupation [piracy]. Between these two cities is Lavinium, which contains a temple of Venus common to all the Latini, the care of which is intrusted to the priests of Ardea. After this is Laurentum;4 and above these lies Ardea, a colony of the Rutuli, 70 stadia from the sea; near to it is another temple of Venus, where all the Latini hold a public festival. These regions have been ravaged by the Samnitæ, and only the traces of the cities left; but even these are reverenced on account of the arrival of Æneas here, and of the religious rites which they say were bequeathed from those times.
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