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 After the cities of the Ombrici, which are comprised between Ariminum1 and Ancona, comes Picenum. The Picentini proceeded originally from the land of the Sabini. A woodpecker led the way for their chieftains, and from this bird they have taken their name, it being called in their language Picus, and is regarded as sacred to Mars. They inhabit the plains extending from the mountains to the sea; the length of their country considerably exceeds its breadth; the soil is every where good, but better fitted for the cultivation of fruits than grain. Its breadth, from the mountains to the sea varies in different parts. But its length; from the river Æsis2 to Castrum,3 sailing round the coast, is 800 stadia. Of its cities, Ancona is of Grecian origin, having been founded by the Syracusans who fled from the tyranny of Dionysius. It is situated upon a cape, which bending round towards the north forms a harbour; and it abounds in wine and wheat. Near to it is the city of Auxumon,4 at a little distance from the sea. After it are Septempeda,5 Pneuentia,6 Potentia,7 and Firmum Picenum,8 with its port of Castellum.9 Beyond, is the temple of Cupra,10 built and dedicated by the Tyrrheni to Juno, who is named by them Cupra; and after it the river Tronto,11 with a city of the same name.12 Beyond this is Castrum Novum,13 and the river Piomba,14 flowing from the city of Adria,15 and having [at its mouth] the naval station of Adria, which bears the same name as itself. In the interior is [the city of Adria] itself and Asculum Picenum,16 a very strong position, upon which is built a wall: the mountains which surround it are not accessible to armies.17 Above Picenum are the Vestini,18 the Marsi,19 the Peligni,20 the Marucini,21 and the Frentani,22 a Samnitic nation possessing the hill-country, and extending almost to the sea. All these nations are small, but extremely brave, and have frequently given the Romans proofs of their valour, first as enemies, afterwards as allies; and finally, having demanded the liberty and rights of citizens, and being denied, they revolted and kindled the Marsian war.23 They decreed that Corfinium,24 the metropolis of the Peligni, should be the capital for all the Italians instead of Rome: made it their place d'armes, and new-named it Italica. Then, having convoked deputies from all the people friendly to their design, they created consuls25 and pretors, and maintained the war for two26 years, until they had obtained the rights for which they struggled. The war was named the Marsian27 war, be- cause that nation commenced the insurrection, and particularly on account of Pompædius.28 These nations live generally in villages, nevertheless they are possessed of certain cities, some of which are at some little distance from the sea, as Corfinium, Sulmo,29 Maruvium,30 and Teatea31 the metropolis of the Marrucini. Others are on the coast, as Aternum32 on the Picentine boundary, so named from the river [Aternus], which separates the Vestini from the Marrucini. This river flows from the territory of Amiternum and through the Vestini, leaving on its right the Marrucini, who lie above the Peligni, [at the place where the river] is crossed by a bridge. The city, which bears the same name, (viz. Aternum,) belongs to the Vestini, but its port is used in common both by the Peligni and the Marrucini. The bridge I have mentioned is about 24 stadia from Corfinium. After Aternum is Orton,33 a naval arsenal of the Frentani, and Buca,34 which belongs to the same people, and is conterminous with the Apulian Teanum.35 † Ortonium36 is situated in the territory of the Frentani. It is rocky, and inhabited by banditti, who construct their dwellings of the wrecks of ships, and lead other- wise a savage life. † Between Orton and Aternum is the river Sagrus,37 which separates the Frentani from the Peligni. From Picenum to the Apuli, named by the Greeks the Daunii,38 sailing round the coast, is a distance of about 49039 stadia.
2 The Fiumesino.
3 Giulia Nova.
5 S. Severino.
6 Probably for Pollentia, on the Chiento, opposite Urbisaglia.
7 Ruins, on the river Potenza, near to Porto di Recanati.
9 Porto di Fermo.
10 Near to the river Monecchia, not far from Marano.
12 The position of this city is still disputed, it has been identified with Porto d'Ascoli, Torre di Seguro, and other places.
13 Giulia Nova.
17 The text is here defective.
18 The Vestini appear to have occupied the region where at present Aquila, Ofena, Civita Aquana, Civita di Penna, Civita di St. Angelo, and Pescara are situated.
19 They inhabited the canton in which are built Tagliacozzo, Scurcola, Albi, Celano, Pescina, and the environs of Lake Celano.
20 Inhabited the territories of Sulmona, Pentima, and Popolo.
21 Occupied the district of Tieti or Chieti.
22 Inhabited the right bank of the Sangro, the territory of Guasto, the banks of the Trigno and Biferno, the district of Larino, the left bank of the Fortore, and extended north-west towards Pescara.
23 91 B. C.
24 Pentima near Popoli.
25 The first consuls were Q. Pompædius Silo, and C. Aponius Mutilus; the prætors were Herius Asinius for the Marucini, C. Veltius Cato for the Marsi, M. Lamponius and T. Cleptius for the Leucani, Marius Egnatius Trebatius and Pontius Telesinus for the Samnites, C. Judacilius for the Apuli or Picentini, and A. Cluentius for the Peligni. Many other officers besides these distinguished themselves in the several campaigns of the Marsian war.
26 A note in the French translation would make the duration of the Marsian war twelve years.
27 Diodorus Siculus agrees with Strabo, in asserting that this war was called Marsian, because it had been commenced by the Marsi, ᾿ωνομᾶσθα δέ φησι μαοͅσικὸν [i. e. πόλεμον] ἐκ τῶν ἁοͅξάντων τῆς ἀποστάσεως. however, Velleius Paterculus asserts that the people of Asculum commenced the war, which was continued by the Marsi; and Livy (Epit. lib. lxxii.) makes the Picentini the first to raise the standard of revolt.
28 Quintus Pompædius Silo.
29 Now Sulmona, about seven miles south-east of Corfinium. It was the birth-place of Ovid. Sulmo mihi patria est gelidis uberrimus undis. Ovid. Trist. iv. El. 9.
Marruvium, veteris celebratum nomine Marri,
Urbibus est illis caput.
31 Now Chieti, on the right bank of the Pescara. The family of Asinius Pollio came originally from this place.
34 Romanelli, (tom. iii. p. 40,) founding his opinion on ancient ecclesiastical records and the reports of local antiquaries, informs us that the ruins of Buca exist at the present Penna.
35 According to Holstenius and Romanelli, Civitate; according to others, Ponte Rotto.
36 Kramer is of opinion that this passage, from ‘Ortonium’ to ‘life,’ is an interpolation posterior to the age of Strabo.
37 Romanelli affirms that the mountain from which the river Alaro flows is called Sagra, and Cramer considers that river to be the ancient Sagrus.
38 The Daunii formed only a portion of the Apuli.
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