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Virgil's Periplus of Latium

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2009


It is not perhaps generally recognized that the description of the coast of Latium in the seventh book of the Aeneid, in the passage which is often called ‘The Gathering of the Clans’, is in the form of a periplus—literally, ‘a sailing round’. The places and natural features are named in order from the mouth of the Tiber as far as Tarracina (modern Terracina) as if they were seen from the sea by one coasting along the shore. Accounts of this kind are frequent in ancient geographers. Virgil followed a familiar pattern in the six Unes in which this stretch of coast is described:

‘Those who plough thy glades, Tiberinus, and the sacred shore of the Numicus, and work the Rutulian hills with the ploughshare, and Circe's ridge, the fields over which Jupiter Anxurus holds sway, and Feronia rejoicing in her green grove; where lies Satura's unhealthy marsh, and cool through sunken valleys Ufens seeks his way, and is lost in the sea.’

Research Article
Copyright © The Classical Association 1959

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page 194 note 1 Aen. vii. 647817.Google Scholar

page 194 note 2 Ibid. 797–802.

page 194 note 3 See Tilly, B., Vergil's Latium (Oxford, 1947), xiii f.Google Scholar, for an account of shepherd life on the Roman Campagna.

page 195 note 1 Ibid. 66 f.

page 195 note 2 Aen. vii. 797 f.Google Scholar

page 195 note 3 The site has not yet been found: see Tilly, B., Vergil's Latium, 83 f.Google Scholar

page 195 note 4 For references see Ibid. 78 f.

page 195 note 5 Aen. xii. 950–2.Google Scholar

page 195 note 6 For an account of Ardea, see Tilly, B., Antiquity, xix (1945), 129–32Google Scholar, and Vergil's Latium, 31 f.Google Scholar

page 196 note 1 Hor. Sat. i. 5. 40 f.

page 196 note 2 De la Blanchère, M.-R., ‘Terracine’, Mélanges de l'école française de Rome (1885), 81 f.Google Scholar

page 197 note 1 Strabo mentions an anchorage here, v. 3. 6.

page 197 note 2 For a study of this villa see Jacono, L., Neapolis (Naples, 1913), i. 363–5.Google Scholar

page 198 note 1 Att. xii. 14. 3.

page 198 note 2 Ibid. 15.

page 198 note 3 Ibid. 19. 1.

page 198 note 4 Plut. Cic. 47. 1.

page 198 note 5 Aen. vii. 801.Google Scholar

page 198 note 6 Strabo v. 3. 5.

page 199 note 1 Barnabei, F. and Mengarelli, R., Notizie degli Scavi, N.S., 1896, 190200Google Scholar; von Duhn, F., Italische Gräberkunde (Heidelberg, 1924), i. 412 and 530 f.Google Scholar, reports the grave finds. The objects from Satricum are displayed in the Museo di Villa Giulia in Rome.

page 199 note 2 Andren, A., Architectural Terracottas from Etrusco-Italic Temples (Lund and Leipzig, 1940), 455 f.Google Scholar

page 199 note 3 H.N. iii. 68.Google Scholar

page 199 note 4 v. 61.

page 199 note 5 vi. 32 f.

page 200 note 1 Notizie degli Scavi, N.S., 1896, 195.Google Scholar

page 200 note 2 Aen. vii. 799.Google Scholar

page 200 note 3 This account is based on Ashby, T., Mélanges de l'école française de Rome (1905), 149 f.Google Scholar, and Lugli, G., Forma Italiae (Rome, 1926), Regio I.Google Scholar

page 200 note 4 Aen. vii. 1020.Google Scholar

page 200 note 5 Od. x. 135 ff.Google Scholar

page 200 note 6 Hist. Plant, v. 83.Google Scholar

page 201 note 1 Bollettino di paletnologia italiana, N.s. iii (1938), 202.Google Scholar

page 201 note 2 Less correctly ‘Circeii’; cf. Diod. Sic. xiv. 102. 4.

page 201 note 3 Strabo v. 3. 6.

page 201 note 4 C.I.L. x. 6422 and p. 635.Google Scholar

page 201 note 5 The following account of Tarracina is largely based on Lugli, G., Forma Italiae (Rome, 1926), Regio I. 1: Anxur—Tarracina.Google Scholar

page 201 note 6 This was cut through in the time of Trajan; the new piece of road was named the Via Appia Nova.

page 202 note 1 Aen. vii. 799 f.Google Scholar

page 202 note 2 Sat. i. 5. 25 f.Google Scholar

page 203 note 1 This temple has a place among the great headland temples of the Mediterranean; cf. Sernple, E. C., Geography of the Mediterranean Region (New York, 1931), 613 f.Google Scholar

page 203 note 2 Sat. i. 5. 25 f.Google Scholar

page 203 note 3 This article represents one section of a project of research assisted by the Central Research Fund of the University of London, to which the writer expresses her indebtedness.