Key to Umbria
 

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Reinforcement at Cosa  (199-7 BC)

As noted above, Cosa honoured its military obligations during the Second Punic War (218 - 201 BC).  It might well have lost a number of colonists by so-doing: Livy recorded that it requested the enrolment of new colonists in 199 BC.  However, while the Romans immediately agreed to a similar request from Narnia (which, ironically, had refused to supply soldiers in 209 BC), Cosa had to wait.  Thus, according to Livy:

  1. “[In 199 BC], what had been granted to the people of Narnia, to wit, the increasing of the number of colonists, the people of Cosa requested but did not obtain”, (‘History of Rome’, 32: 2: 6-7)

  2. “[In 197 BC], the people of Cosa ... [again] requested that the number of their colonists be increased: 1,000 were ordered to be enrolled, with the proviso that no one should be included in the number who had been engaged in hostilities against the state [during the Second Punic War]”, (‘History of Rome’, 33: 24: 8).

It seems that there was a shortage of potential new colonists at this time:

  1. for whatever reason, the needs of Narnia took precedence in 199 BC; and

  2. when Cosa’s request was granted in 197 BC, it was facilitated by the freedom to include Italians among the new colonists, provided that they had remained loyal to Rome during the war.

Citizen Colonies at Saturnia and Graviscae (183-1 BC)

Two colonies that were subsequently founded in southern Etruria belong to a group of seven citizen colonies that were founded in 184-77 BC (discussed where ?). 

Saturnia

According to Livy:

  1. “[In 183 BC], ... a colony of Roman citizens was established at Saturnia in the ager Caletranus [to the northwest of Vulci].  The board of three that founded it consisted of: Quintus Fabius Labeo; Gaius Afranius Stellio; and Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus. 10 iugera were given to each colonist”, (‘History of Rome’, 39: 55: 9). 

Pliny the Elder included among the people of the Augustan Seventh Region:

  1. “... the Saturnini, formerly called [by their Etruscan name:] the Aurinini”, (‘Natural History’, 3: 8)

Elizabeth Fentress and François Jacques (referenced below, at p. 124) observed that:

  1. “The foundation of the Roman colony in 183 BC [took place] in a territory that [according to the archeological evidence] was devoid of an urban centre and organised in an almost completely obscure way.  This gives credibility to the hypothesis that the primary function of the colony was the repopulation of the area” (my translation).

In other words, we might reasonably assume that Etruscan Aurina had been abandoned by 183 BC, when the citizen colony of Saturnia was founded.  Edward Salmon (referenced below, at p. 105) suggested that it had probably initially received 2,000 colonists, noting that:

  1. “... its still traceable town walls would be suitable for a community of this size.”

The location of Saturnia and its tribal assignation (discussed below) suggest that it was founded on land that had been confiscated from Vulci, presumably in 279 BC.

Graviscae

According to Livy:

  1. “[In 181 BC], a colony was settled ... at Graviscae in Etruria, on territory that had formerly been taken from the Tarquinii.  5 iugera were given to each [colonist].  The supervisors of the settlement were: C. Calpurnius Piso; P. Claudius Pulcher; and C Terentius Istra”, (‘History of Rome’, 40: 29: 1).

Although Livy does not specifically characterise this as a citizen colony, the relatively small size of the individual allotments makes this almost certain:

  1. allotments in other the broadly contemporary citizen colonies were 5-10 iugera; while

  2. those in the broadly contemporary Latin colonies were 15-50 iugera.   

Edward Salmon (referenced below, at p. 105) noted that that:

  1. “About [the number of initial colonists at] Graviscae, only a priori conjecture is possible, but it seems unlikely that it would have differed in size from the other citizen colonies founded at this time ... .”

Robert Sallares observed that the evidence from our surviving sources suggests that:

  1. “... malaria was already endemic at Graviscae [in the Gracchan period.] ... It is [therefore] unsurprising that neither the colony of 181 BC nor the colony or individual allotment made by Augustus [there] prospered.”

Saturnia and Graviscae: Conclusions

As noted above, Saturnia and Graviscae belong to a group of seven citizen colonies that were founded in 184-77 BC:

  1. Three of these  (Parma, Mutina and Luna) were founded on recently conquered territory  and their function would have been to nucleate the Roman settlement of this new ager publicus

  2. However, the other four (Pisaurum, Potentia, Saturnia and Graviscae) were founded on land that had been confiscated almost a century earlier.  Saskia Roselaar (referenced below, 2010, at pp. 70-1) noted that there is no record of any protest from people who had been dispossessed in the process.  She then offered a possible explanation: the decades  after the Second Punic War constituted:

  3. “... a period in which the population [of Italy] was low, while the amount of ager publicus was very large.  It may be that the population of the areas in which [these four colonies] were founded had declined during the war, so that there were few people who could protest against the use of the land by the state.”

If this is correct, then the primary function of the new citizen colonies at Saturnia and Graviscae might well have been to nucleate the repopulation of land that had been effectively abandoned: in this context, it is interesting to note that Saturnia was constituted as a prefecture (as discussed below).  Certainly, as Edward Salmon (referenced below, at p. 186, note 181) pointed out:

  1. “The military need for the colonies at Saturnia and Graviscae was not very evident.” 

Citizen Colony at Heba (2nd century BC) ?

Heba, which is barely mentioned in the surviving sources, became famous in 1947, when the so-called Tabula Hebana (which records the funerary honours decreed for Germanicus in 20 BC) was found  here.  Edward Salmon (referenced below, at p. 114) made a case for the foundation of a citizen colony here in the 2nd century BC.  Thus, Saskia Roselaar (referenced below, 2010, at p. 316, entry 26) had Heba:

  1. “Possibly founded as a colony in the 2nd century BC.”

However, she observed (at note  87) that there is no hard evidence that Heba was ever a colony in the Republican period.  I have omitted it from the discussion below.

Colonies and Land Confiscation in Etruria: Conclusions

In summary:

  1. The Latin colony at Cosa was founded in 273 BC, probably primarily for military reasons associated with the growing naval threat from the Carthaginians.   There is no evidence that it had any particular effect on the level of citizen settlement in the vicinity.

  2. The four coloniae maritimae (Castrum Novum; Pyrgi, Alsium; and Fregenae) would also have served a military purpose during the First Punic War (264 - 41 BC).  However, the fact that they were citizen colonies would have enhanced the citizen presence in the ager publicus west of Caere.  The fact that Caere itself was constituted at some point as a prefecture might well have been related to this development, as discussed below.

  3. The two larger citizen colonies:

  4. Saturnia, which was founded in 183 BC on land confiscated from Vulci; and

  5. Graviscae, which was founded in 181BC on land confiscated from Tarquinii;

  6. had no obvious military function.  They might well have nucleated citizen settlement in what seem to have been sparsely populated (perhaps recently depopulated) areas of the ager publicus.  The fact that Saturnia was also constituted at some point a prefecture adds weight to this hypothesis, as discussed below.


Land Confiscated from Falerii in 241 BC





Prefecture of Caere (3rd century BC ?)

The Etruscan city of Caere appeared in Festus’ list of prefectures and also in his list of municipia (in a category that also included Aricia and Anagnia). 

Mario Torelli (referenced below, at p. 265) incorporated the suggestions of both Beloch and Sherwin-White into the traditional account of Caere’s early incorporation and postulated a simultaneous introduction of the prefecture:

  1. “In 273 BC, Caere was the last south Etruscan city to be conquered [by Rome] .... Its [putative ancient] status as civitas sine suffragio was confirmed, but in a new, negative  way ... The Romans confiscated half of the Caeretan land ... As a municipium, Caere lost its customary magistrates and was governed by a Roman prefect, who was responsible for justice in the city and throughout the former Caeretan territory.  [This territory ?] was occupied by Roman viritane colonists and turned into a praefectura ...”

In fact, there the surviving record of the revolt of 273 BC provides no evidence that, after the revolt, Caere:

  1. was municipalised;

  2. lost its customary magistrates; and/or

  3. was constituted as a prefecture.

These assumptions are based only on information from Festus, who recorded only that Caere was constituted as both a municipium and a prefecture at some time prior to the early Augustan period.



Was Caere Incorporated before the Social War ?

According to Fabio Colivicchi (referenced below, at p. 195), recent excavations at Caere have unearthed evidence that:

  1. “... its story ... after 273 BC is no less important than [in its former] splendour.  The ancient sanctuaries of the Etruscan city ... were quite active and probably underwent significant renovations after the momentous date of 273 BC, possibly along with a large-scale urban renovation.  This was a visible statement of prosperity and continuity of the community (albeit in politically renewed form) rather than of disruption.  That the population of Caere was still clearly Etruscan in culture is confirmed by the continuity of funerary customs, ... and by the use of Etruscan as the standard language until the Social War, when the concession of full citizen rights, and therefore the requirement to enrol in a voting tribe, prompted the general adoption of Latin.”

Thus, there is apparently no archeological evidence for the Romanisation of Caere before the Social War.  It is true that the ‘renewed’ political form of Caere mentioned by Colivicchi probably included the constitution of a prefecture, as indicated by Festus and suggested by other evidence (discussed below).   However, as noted above, we cannot assume that it included the constitution of a municipium: as noted above, Festus is our only source for this information, and his source might well have relied on Strabo, whose testimony differs from that of Livy.

The next mention of Caere in the surviving sources relates to the events of in 205 BC, when Scipio Africanus assembled a fleet at his base at Sicily for an assault on Carthage: according to Livy:

  1. “Scipio, though he could not obtain leave [from the Senate] to levy troops ... obtained leave to take with him such as volunteered their services; and also ... to receive what was furnished by the socii (allies) for building fresh ships.  First, the states of Etruria engaged to assist the consuls to the utmost of their respective abilities.  The people of Caere furnished corn and provisions of every description for the crews; the people of Populoni ... Tarquinii... Volaterrae ... Arretium ... Perusia, Clusium, and Rusella [also furnished supplies]”, (‘History of Rome, 28: 45: 13-8).

Opinions vary as to the precise significance here of the term socii: for example, William Harris (referenced below, at p. 90), who assumed that Caere was a civitas sine suffragio at this time, did not see any problem with its inclusion in Livy’s list of Etruscan socii.  However, it seems to me that this passage implies that Caere, like the other Etruscan city-states, still enjoyed nominal independence under Roman hegemony.

Edward Bispham (referenced below, at p. 462) included Caere in his list of centres that were municipalised in the Republican period, and cited Festus (at p. 466, note 22) in this context.  However, he reasonably commented that:

  1. “The history of the incorporation of Caere is opaque.”

It seems to me that this history was probably  equally opaque to Festus’ source, who might have relied on Strabo (or another similar source), overlooking the contrary testimony of Livy.  In other words, the surviving  documentary evidence does not, in my view, allow us to conclude beyond doubt that Caere was a civitas sine suffragio prior to the Social War.

Prefecture at Caere

Robert Knapp (referenced below, at p. 32, note 68), who assumed that Caere was a civitas sine suffragio before the Social War, observed that:

  1. “.... [this]status is not attested for [the following centres in Festus’ list of prefectures]; Venafrum; Allifae; Privernum; Frusino; Reate; and Nursia.  As troublesome as this is, it appears reasonable to suppose these towns to be [civitates sine suffragio] on the basis of the attestation of that status for other towns in Festus' list.”

In other words, in his view, since six of the twelve prefectures in Festus’ list of non-Campanian prefectures are recorded as civitates sine suffragio, the other six must have shared this status.  However, as Knapp recognised himself, this is ‘troublesome’.  Indeed, given the doubts about the status of Caere, only five of Festus’ twelve non-Campanian prefectures are securely recorded as civitates sine suffragio before the Social War.   Thus, it is at least possible that some of the other seven of these prefectures, including Caere, were constituted for a period as prefectures but not as municipia.

As noted above, Mario Torelli (referenced below, at p. 265) suggested that Caere was constituted as a prefecture in 273 BC.  He found evidence to support this hypothesis in the form of the following graffiti, which was scratched on the wall of an underground complex at Caere:

C(aios Genucio(s) Clousino(s), prai(? fectos)

He identified the subject as Caius Genucius Clepsina, the consul of 276 and 270 BC, and suggested (given these dates) that Genucius had also been Caere’s first Roman prefect in 273 BC.  However, Christer Bruun (referenced below, at p. 275) was more circumspect:

  1. “There is an on-going debate about what the official function of this Roman senator was at Caere [since the completion ‘praifectos’ is not completely secure].  He appears to be the C. Genucius Clepsina who was consul in 276 and 270 BC [although this again is not certain].”

Corey Brennan (referenced below, at p. 654) also had reservations:

  1. “It is possible that C. Genusius, if really the consul [of the 270s BC], was sent to [Caere] as praetor in an earlier period of unrest. ... Alternatively, our C. Genusius [could be] a descendant of the consul of the 270s, to be placed later in (most likely) the 3rd century BC. ... In purely statistical terms, it is overwhelmingly probable that Genucius, whatever his exact date and identity, was a praefectus and not a praetor.”

In other words, the Genucius of the graffiti was probably a prefect, presumably at Caere, but he cannot be identified beyond doubt as the consul of 276 and 270 BC: thus the graffiti most probably supports Festus’ view that Caere was a prefecture, but it does not securely indicate that this prefecture was constituted in 273 BC.

There is other circumstantial evidence that suggests that the prefecture was constituted here in the 3rd century BC: according to Graham Mason (referenced below, at pp. 82-3), the four maritime colonies founded on the Etruscan coast (mentioned above and marked on the map above) were established on land that had been ceded by Caere in ca. 273 BC.  Velleius Paterculus gave the foundation dates of three of these colonies:

  1. “At the outbreak of the First Punic War [in 264  BC], Firmum [in Picenum] and Castrum [Novum] were occupied by colonies,  ... Alsium seventeen years later [i.e. in 247 BC], and Fregenae two years later still”, (‘History of Rome’, 1: 14: 8).

It is usually assumed that Pyrgi, like Castrum Novum, was founded in ca. 264 BC.  We might reasonably assume that viritane citizen settlement also took place in this period on land that had been confiscated from Caere, and that this might have given rise to the constitution of a prefecture. 

We might usefully explore this possibility by exploring the known tribal assignations in this area.  The tribe of Caere is usually deduced from a funerary inscription (known in two versions, CIL XI 3615 and 3257), which can be dated to the period 40-70 AD and which commemorates Titus Egnatius Rufus: the inscriptions were documented at Sutri in the 16th century, but Egnatius’ cursus included the post of dictator, an office that he almost certainly held at Caere.  Early readings of the inscription had Egnatius assigned to the Voturia tribe.  However, there are two other inscriptions from Caere that suggest that this should be read as the Voltinia (one of the original 17 rural tribes):

  1. an inscription from the Necropoli della Banditaccia commemorates Lucius Campatius of the Voltinia; and

  2. an inscription discovered in 1970 and published by Lidio Gasperini (referenced below, 2003, at pp. 511-5) commemorates a now-anonymous ‘L(ucius)’, who was assigned to the Voltinia. 

Thus, we can reasonably assume that Egnatius was also assigned to the Voltinia, and that this was the tribal assignation of Caere from the time of its enfranchisement.  There is also epigraphic evidence that suggests the assignations of three nearby centres to the Voltinia: 

  1. An inscription (CIL VI 0951, dated to 97 AD) from Rome records Lucius Sertorius Evanthus of the Voltinia, an aedile of a colony ‘C(---) N(---)’, usually completed as Castrum Novum and attributed to the Etruscan maritime colony of this name.

  2. Annarosa Gallo (referenced below, at p. 351 and note 36) referred to a recently-discovered fragmentary inscription from Alsium, another nearby maritime colony, that records a now-anonymous member of the Voltinia.

  3. The tribe of the prefecture of Forum Clodii (below) can be deduced from two inscriptions commemorating Quintus Cascellius Labeo:

  4. an inscription (CIL XI 3303) from Forum Clodii, which is dated to 18 AD, reproduces a decree of the decurions in which it is noted that Cascellius had undertaken to finance in perpetuity a banquet on the birthday of the Emperor Tiberius; and

  5. his epitaph (CIL VI 3510) from Rome gives his tribe as the Voltinia.


I think that the ‘alternative hypothesis’ is more likely to be correct: the Voltinia was probably the tribe assigned (for whatever reason) to viritane settlers from Rome on land confiscated from Caere in 273 BC.  On this model:

  1. a prefecture would have been established at Caere as the seat of a prefect who administered the legal affairs of viritane and perhaps colonial citizen settlers, as soon as their numbers were sufficient to require this arrangement;

  2. Caere itself would have been assigned to the Voltinia at the unknown date of its enfranchisement, which might well have post-dated the Social War.

Prefecture at Statonia 


Bomarzo: Selva di Malano and the hill of Piammiano (the likely site of Statonia)

The information that Statonia was once constituted as a prefecture comes from Vitruvius:

  1. “There are many quarries on the borders of the Tarquinienses, called the Anician quarries, [the source of so-called Anician stone] ... They are worked in most abundance in the neighbourhood of the Volscinian lake [Lake Bolsena] and in the prefecture of Statonia”, (‘Ten Books of Architecture, 2: 7).

Massimiliano Munzi (referenced below, 1995, at p. 286) re-published a funerary inscription (first published in 1981) that had been found marking a tomb at Selva di Malano, west of Bomarzo, in territory that once belonged to Tarquinii: it commemorated Caius Anicius, who was designated as a quattuorvir of Statonia.  Edward Bispham (referenced below, at p. 281), who illustrated it and provided a translation into English (at p. 480, entry Q24), suggested that this magistracy was held at some time in the period 70-40 BC.  This inscription is important for three reasons:

  1. It indicates that, at some time before the date of the inscription, Statonia had become a municipium administered by quattuorviri;

  2. It established the broad location of Statonia, which had previously been placed in the territory of Vulci.  Edward Bispham (referenced below, at p. 282), who considered the respective arguments, concluded that:

  3. “... the case [for this relocation] should be accepted provisionally: [in any case,] reversion to the previous orthodoxy has little to recommend it.”

  4. It gives Anicius’ tribe as the  [St]e(llatina), a completion proposed by Munzi (at p. 293) and accepted by Bispham (at pp. 280-1 and note 218).  An alternative reading of this tribe as the Arnensis is possible, and both tribes are attested in the area.  However, given the preponderance of the Stellatina in the vicinity, this tribal assignation is the more likely for Statonia.

Myles McCallum (referenced below, at p. 81) observed that:

  1. “It is quite likely that [the quarries mentioned by Vitruvius] were called Anician because they were located on land that once belonged to a particular Roman family, the gens Anicia, according to local practice.”

Thus, it is possible that Caius Anicius belonged to a Roman family that had important commercial and property interests in the area.  However, since his tribe was the Stellatina and since he was buried so close to Statonia, it seems more likely that he came from the local area.  I wonder if a branch of the gens Anicia had settled here in ca. 280 BC, in which case the discovery of Anician stone on its property would have been the basis of its business of supplying this commodity to Rome in association with the Roman branch of the family. 

In relation to the precise location of Statonia, Massimiliano Munzi (referenced below, 1995, at pp. 290-1) suggested that:

  1. “The hill of Piammiano (or Pianmiano), located about 2.5 km north of Bomazo, seems preferable [to Bomarzo or other nearby centres] for a small Roman city [with Etruscan roots]” (my translation).

He outlined the archeological evidence for this proposition, which includes two necropoles on Piammiano that were in use in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC.  An Etruscan urn from one of them carried an Etruscan inscription (CIE 5634) commemorating Laris Luvcatrus, who had been a zilath (magistrate) for six consecutive years before his death at age 32.  Massimo Morandi Tarabella (who assumed that Luvcatrus had held the office at Volsinii) dated the inscription to the second half of the 3rd century BC.  Massimiliano Munzi (referenced below, 1995, at p. 291) observed that Luvcatrus could have held this office at:

  1. “... Tarquinii, Volsinii or, more probably, Piammiano [i.e. Statonia]” (my translation).

Thus, we can reasonably assume that the necropoles at Piammiano were the suburban necropoles of pre-Roman Statonia, and that this community remained nominally autonomous at least until the late 3rd century BC.  In regard to the location of the urban centre of Statonia, Vincent Jolivet and Claire Joncheray (referenced below. at para. 8), recently published the results of the archeological investigation carried out at Piammiano in 2012:

  1. “Of the 7 hectares surveyed, only a small part (about 1 hectare) has revealed the presence of buried structures.  Further archaeological investigation is needed to correctly interpret this l[lack of evidence for an urban centre], and to establish whether:

  2. agricultural work has led to the complete destruction of the remains of the ancient city; or

  3. it should rather be sought in the area of the plateau to the south (which has not been explored this year), where the remains of a large Roman cistern are still visible.

  4. But, we cannot exclude ... [the possibility] that it is necessary to look for Statonia in another place in this region of the Tiber” (my translation).

Summarising the information discussed above:

  1. The territory around Statonia was probably confiscated from Tarquinii in ca. 280 BC and settled by Roman citizens who were re-assigned to the Stellatina.

  2. However, pre-Roman Statonia itself remained nominally autonomous until at least the second half of the 3rd century BC, as evidenced by CIE 5634, which commemorated an Etruscan zilath (magistrate). 

  3. The later evidence from Vitruvius (below) suggests that, from an unknown date before the Social War, it was also the seat of a Roman prefect who administered the legal affairs of the citizen settlers in the surrounding area.  As Edward Bispham (referenced below, at p. 283) observed:

  4. “The zilath buried at Piammiano, if he served the Etruscan predecessor of Statonia, is not ... incompatible with the imposition of a Roman prefecture centred on that community.”

  5. Thus, it could have been constituted as a prefecture at any time in the period 280 - 9o BC.

  6. The epitaph of Caius Anicius, a quattuorvir of Statonia who held office at some time in the period 70-40 BC, indicates that, by this time, Statonia was a municipium assigned to the Stellatina.  Edward Bispham (referenced below, at p. 283) suggested that municipalisation had probably occurred soon after the Social War.

  7. Vitruvius, who was writing in the Augustan period, referred to quarries that were located in the prefecture of Statonia.  According to Edward Bispham (referenced below, at p. 283)

  8. “...; what the evidence of Vitruvius shows is that the prefecture, for a time, survived.”

  9. In other words (if I have understood this correctly), the prefecture at Statonia  continued to exist for a period after its enfranchisement and municipalisation:

  10. municipal magistrates would have attended to legal matters within the new municipium; while

  11. a Roman prefect continued for a period to serve this function for the existing citizens in the surrounding rural area (which was the location of the quarries mentioned by Vitruvius).

Prefecture at Saturnia (Etruscan Aurina)

As noted above, Festus identified Saturnia as a prefecture.

Pliny the Elder (‘Natural History’, 3: 8) included among the people of the Augustan Seventh Region:

  1. “... the Saturnini, formerly called [by their Etruscan name:] the Aurinini”

Dionysius of Halicarnassus believed that these people had pre-Etruscan roots:

  1. “... the Pelasgians, in common with the Aborigines, settled many cities ... ; among these are: Caere (then called Agylla); Pisae, Saturnia, Alsium and some others, of which they were in the course of time dispossessed by the [Etruscans]”, (‘Roman Antiquities’, 1: 20: 5).

Despite its apparently ancient origins, Aurina/ Saturnia first appears in our surviving Roman sources only in 183 BC, when a colony was founded on the site of the ancient Etruscan city.

Foundation of the Colony

According to Livy, in 183 BC:

  1. “... a colony of Roman citizens was established at Saturnia in the ager Caletranus [to the northwest of Vulci].  The triumvirs who founded [the colony] consisted of:

  2. Quintus Fabius Labeo [one of the serving consuls];

  3. Gaius Afranius Stellio; and

  4. Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus. 

  5. Ten iugera were given to each colonist”, (‘History of Rome’, 39: 55: 9).

We might reasonably assume that the change of name from Etruscan Aurinia to Latin Saturnia occurred at colonisation. 

Saturnia was not the only colony founded in Etruria at this time: Livy recorded that, in 181 BC:

  1. “A colony was settled ... at Graviscae in Etruria, on territory that had formerly been taken from the Tarquinii [in ca. 280 BC].  Five iugera were given to each man; the supervisors of the settlement were:

  2. C. Calpurnius Piso;

  3. P. Claudius Pulcher; and

  4. C. Terentius Istra”, (‘History of Rome’, 40: 29: 1).

Since:

  1. Livy says that  Graviscae was founded on land that had been confiscated from Tarquinii (presumably in ca. 280 BC);

  2. Graviscae was assigned to the Stellatina, as was Tarqunii after its enfranchisement; and

  3. Saturnia was assigned to the Sabatina, as was Vulci after its enfranchisement; and

we might reasonably  assume that the colony of Saturnia was established on land that had been confiscated from Vulci in ca. 280 BC. 


According to Saskia Roselaar (referenced below, 2010, at p. 62), Saturnia and Graviscae belonged to a new breed of citizen colony that appeared from 184 BC onwards.  She listed (at p. 63, Table 2:1): 

  1. 19 citizen colonies founded between 338 BC and the Second Punic War, all of which were on coastal sites and received 300 colonists , each of whom received 2 iugera of land; and

  2. 10 citizen colonies founded after the Second Punic War, many of which were inland, and which seem to have  received 2,000 colonists each (albeit that this number is recorded in surviving literary sources only for Mutina and Parma, both of which, like Saturnia, were founded in 183 BC).  The colonists now received 5-10 iugera (5 iugera at Graviscae; and 10 iugera at Saturnia).

Individual allotments were were still smaller than in Latin colonies, but the colonists had the advantage of retaining citizenship. 

Saskia Roselaar (referenced below, 2010, at pp. 70-1), addressed  the fact that the colonies at Saturnia and Graviscae, as well as two on the Adriatic coast, Potentia and Pisaurum, were established on land that had been confiscated almost a century earlier, and offered a possible explanation: the period after the Second Punic War was:

  1. “... a period in which the population [of Italy] was low while the amount of ager publicus was very large.  It may be that the population of the areas in which the colonies of Saturnia [and] Graviscae ... were founded had declined during the war, so that there were few people who could protest against the use of the land by the state.”

This impression is reinforced in the case of Saturnia and Graviscae by the fact that, according to Livy, in 197 BC the people of the nearby the Latin colony of Cosa had:

  1. “... requested that the number of their colonists might be increased; 1,000 were ordered to be enrolled, with a provision, that no persons should be admitted into that number who, at any time since [218 BC], had been partisans of the enemy [i.e. Hannibal]”, (‘History of Rome’, 33: 24: 8-9).

Elizabeth Fentress and François Jacques (referenced below, at p. 124) observed that:

  1. “The foundation of the Roman colony in 183 BC [took place] in a territory that [according to the archeological evidence, discussed below] was devoid of an urban centre and organised in an almost completely obscure way.  This gives credibility to the hypothesis that the primary function of the colony was the repopulation of the area” (my translation).

Andoni Llamazares Martín (referenced below, at pp. 31-2) was of this opinion, and suggested that this is the principle reason why the site received a colony, despite the fact that it was sited some distance from the coast and served by only a secondary road (Via Clodia).  It might also account for the fact that Saturnia was one of the new breed of citizen colonies, and that the amount of land allotted to each colonist was relatively large.

However, there seems to have been another reason for the new breed of colonies:they served the political and economic needs of the men who sponsored them.  As Andoni Llamazares Martín (referenced below, at pp. 31-2) observed:

  1. “As far as the founders [of citizen colonies] are concerned, ... [this] was an occasion to establish a new client base, since they immediately became patrons of the new city, to which must be added the possibility of obtaining land and wealth ...” (my translation).

Amanda Coles (referenced below, at pp, 303-4) discussed the political advantage that could be obtained:

  1. “... . Fabius Labeo, the founder of colonies at Potentia and Pisaurum in 184 BC  and at Saturnia in 183 BC, seems to have turned to colonial commissions to maintain his public visibility and gain support after unsuccessful elections.  Labeo, who served as praetor in charge of the fleet in 199 BC, made at least two unsuccessful bids for the consulship leading up to 184 BC.  His choice to found Roman citizen colonies in 184 and 183 BC meant that there were a large number of grateful, soon-to-be colonists in Rome for his successful bid for the consulship of 183.  These were probably the colonists from Saturnia, founded in 183 and thus in planning during the 184 elections, rather than the colonists from Potentia and Pisaurum, which were already founded by 184 BC.  Labeo focused his energy on two time-consuming colonial commissions for the new, large citizen colonies just as he made back-to-back bids for the consulship in Rome.  The colonial commissions seem to be one of the tools Labeo employed to maintain public visibility, gain popular support and thus finally win his consulship.”

She also observed )pp, 306-7):

  1. “It is possible that T. Sempronius Gracchus called on his clients, the colonists of Saturnia (183 BC), as well as other allies in Italy and abroad, to help fund extremely sumptuous games when he was a curule aedile (in 182 BC).  The games were so lavish that the Senate passed a senatus consultum that year and again in 178  BC to restrict spending on entertainments so that they were not, according to Livy, a burden on Latin allies, Italy and the provinces (‘History of Rome’, 40.44.12). While Livy does not explicitly list the colonists of Saturnia, who held Roman citizenship rather than Latin, it seems clear that Gracchus tapped as many sources of support as were available to him and to such an extent that they complained to the Roman Senate.  This example suggests the possibility of an acceptable amount of economic support that a magistrate could expect from his colonial clients and that he could use to further his advancement in Rome. ... not every commissioner necessarily desired economic gains, required direct career support, or deliberately sought additional clientele, but one or a combination of these benefits certainly enhanced the attractiveness of founding colonies for the commissioners.”

Andoni Llamazares Martín (referenced below, at pp. 31-2, citing Elizabeth Fentress and François Jacques, referenced below, at p. 126)suggested  that:

  1. “The place name ‘Semproniano’, found to the north of Saturnia, could have its origin in the lands appropriated by [the triumvir Tiberius Sempronius], while the name ‘Stellata’ [found in the torrente Stellata, to the south of Saturnia] might have its origin in the lands appropriated by one of his colleagues, Gaius Afranius Stellio” (my translation).


Underline indicates known or likely tribal assignation:

Red = Sabatina; Blue = Stellatina; Green = Voltinia

The assignation of the Latin colony of Cosa after enfranchisement is unknown

As noted above, the colonists at Saturnia were assigned to the Sabatina, one of four new rural tribes that had been formed in 387 BC, after the fall of Veii.  The map above shows a concentration of centresthat shared this assignation on the land between the coast and the Lake of Bolsena:

  1. Heba (a Latin colony that was probably founded some decades after Saturnia);

  2. Vulcii, which was probably enfranchised following the Social War; and

  3. Visentium, which seems to have been enfranchised some decades after the Social War.

It seems reasonable to assume that the viritane settlers on land that had been confiscated from Vulci in 280 BC had first received this assignation, but there is no surviving evidence for this: as noted above, the area around Saturnia shows no sign of settlement in the century after the conquest.  It is thus possible that the tribe was introduced here only at the time of the foundation of Saturnia.

Constitution of the Prefecture

We have no indication of the relationship between the prefecture and the colony of Saturnia.  However, many scholars believe that the constitution of the prefecture must have pre-dated the foundation of the colony, despite the difficulties that this hypothesis faces.  For example:  

  1. Robert Knapp (referenced below, at p. 34) concluded that:

  2. “It would be possible to suppose that the headquarters for the prefecture was at [Aurina prior to colonisation], but there is no sign of settlement [here during the 400 years before the foundation of the colony of Saturnia].”

  3. Since Knapp seems to have discounted the possibility that the prefecture and the colony could have co-existed, he concluded that:

  4. “The prefecture at Saturnia must remain something of a mystery.”

  5. Elizabeth Fentress (referenced below, at p. 123) pointed out that (pace Knapp) archeological evidence suggested that the later site of Saturnia had been inhabited prior to its apparent destruction in ca. 280 BC.  However, it had been abandoned at this time and remained so until at least the middle of the 2nd century BC.  She and François Jacques (referenced below, at p. 124) observed that the surrounding territory was similarly desolate during this period.  They concluded that:

  6. “The almost total absence of settlement in the territory of Saturnia in the 3rd century BC, as well as on [the site of the pre-Roman] centre, suggests that that the prefecture that was based here was a purely formal and administrative structure” (my translation).

  7. William Harris (referenced below, at pp. 149-50) observed that:

  8. “... some have thought that the colony [co-existed with] the prefecture, which is conceivable.  However, in the absence of any good example of [another substantial] colony that was at the same time a prefecture, it is better to follow Beloch in supposing that the prefecture of Saturnia [represented] an earlier stage of its development than the colony of 183 BC.  When the prefecture came into being necessarily remains unknown.”

  9. For Massimiliano Munzi (referenced below, 2001, at p. 43):

  10. “Rome founded the ... colony of Saturnia in 183 BC, but the praefectura Saturniensis, mentioned by Festus probably preceded this event.  The area was thus placed under the jurisdiction of a prefect who had his seat in [Aurina], now renamed Saturnia” (my translation).

In my view, the archeological evidence for the desolation of the site of ancient Aurina and the surrounding territory throughout the period between the conquest of 280 BC and the decades following the foundation of the colony of Saturnia in 183 BC precludes the constitution of a prefecture in this period.  (Simply put, if there were no citizens in the area, there was no need for a Roman prefect.)  I suggest that there must have been a programme of viritane settlement here in parallel to the foundation of the colonies of Saturnia and Graviscae in 183-1 BC: if so, then Saturnia would have become the seat of a Roman prefect when the number of these viritane settlers (and perhaps of citizen colonists) merited his services.  As Harris and Munzi recognised, there is nothing to negate the hypothesis that the colony was sited within an area that was subsequently placed under the jurisdiction of a Roman prefect.

Prefecture at Forum Clodii


Route of Via Clodia (adapted from the map in the website ArcheoMedia.net)

Centres possibly or certainly assigned to the Voltinia underlined in green

Forum Clodii (slightly to the north of modern Bracciano) was located on Via Clodia, some 40 km northwest of Rome.   The evidence that it was constituted as a prefecture is in the form of an inscription (CIL XI 3310a) from Forum Clodii itself, which dates to the second half of the 1st century BC:

C(aio) Clodio C(ai) f(ilio) Vestali,/ proco(n)s(uli)

Claudienses ex praefectura/ Claudia urbani/ patrono

Thus, something (probably a statue) was dedicated by the ‘Claudienses’ of the prefecture ‘of ‘Claudia urbani’ to their patron, the proconsul Caius Clodius Vestalis.  Pliny the Elder listed among the people of the Augustan Seventh Region:

  1. “ ... the Claudian prefecture of Foroclodium”, (‘Natural History’, 3: 8).

As indicated on the map above, Forum Clodii seems to have been among a group of centres near Caere that (like Caere itself) were assigned to the Voltinia: the evidence of this assignation for Forum Clodii is in the form of two inscriptions that commemorate Quintus Cascellius Labeo:

  1. an inscription (CIL XI 3303) from Forum Clodii, dated to 18 AD, reproduces a decree of the decurions in which it is noted that Cascellius had undertaken to finance in perpetuity a banquet on the birthday of the Emperor Tiberius; and

  2. Cascellius’ epitaph (CIL VI 3510) from Rome gives his tribe as the Voltinia.

Thus Cascellius was a prominent citizen of Forum Clodii, which was probably also assigned to the Voltinia.

Via Clodia

The name of a Roman road often looks like a gentilicium (the name of a Roman family), although it is not always clear whether this was the case.  Fortunately, since “Clodius” was a distinctive alternative form of the name of the gens Claudia, it is extremely likely that Via Clodia was built by a prominent member of this family.  Unfortunately, this does not necessarily allow us to date the construction of the road with any precision: as William Harris (referenced below, at p. 166) observed: 

  1. “Of the consulships and censorships held by various Claudii between 312 and 136 BC, at least 18 appear to be possible occasions for the organisation of the Via Clodia”.

However, the apparent characteristics of this road might help to reduce the chronological uncertainty.  As shown on the map above, it was flanked by two major roads: the coastal Via Aurelia and the inland Via Cassia.  Unfortunately neither the date of construction nor the name of the builder of either of these roads is known.  What is obvious though is that they were long-distance roads designed for military purposes.  In stark contrast, the relatively short Via Clodia seems to have been designed simply to connect Rome with a number of relatively small centres of southern Etruria, presumably for primarily commercial purposes.  Above all, it seems to have been designed to link Rome to Saturnia, from whence a side road (or perhaps a continuation of the main road) led to the colony of Cosa on the Via Aurelia.  (It is possible that a subsequent extension was planned but , if so, it seems not to have been realised.)   William Harris (referenced below, at p. 167) asked rhetorically whether:

  1. “... the organisation of the road had anything to do with the foundation of  [the colony of] Saturnia, which was probably its destination.  This seems, at the least, very plausible, and 183 BC is thus the best date.  The conclusion is, however, obviously speculative.”

If it is correct, this would narrow the field of possible candidates for the Claudian who constructed the road to the three members of the gens Claudia who were particularly prominent at this time:

  1. Appius Claudius Pulcher, the consul of 185 BC;

  2. his brother Publius Claudius Pulcher, the consul of 184 BC; and

  3. Marcus Claudius Marcellus, the consul of 183 BC.

Some support for this dating might lie in the fact that, as noted above, an inscription (CIL XI 3310a) indicates that Caius Clodius Vestalis was the patron of Forum Clodii in the second half of the 1st century BC: as William Harris (referenced below, at p. 166) observed, it seems likely that he:

  1. “... was of the family that ... built the road.  But who was Vestalis ?”

Harris put forward two possible answers to this question:

  1. He suggested (at p. 166) that the cognomen might indicate a connection with the Claudii Pulchri: as he explained (at note 9), Claudia Pulchra, the daughter of Appius Claudius Pulcher (the consul of 143 BC), was a well-known Vestal.  In fact, the Clodius Vestalis of CIL XI 3310a might well be the moneyer of this name who minted coins (RRC 512) in Rome in 41 BC that had a figure of the Vestal Claudia Pulchra on the reverse.  In other words, Clodius Vestalis might well have belonged to the Claudii Pulchri, which would suggest that his ancestors, the consuls of 185 and 184 BC, had  probably constructed the road.

  2. Harris himself discounted this line of thought because he assigned Forum Clodii to either the Arnensis or the Quirina, and therefore looked for branches of the family that was assigned to one of these tribes.  (The Claudii Pulchri were assigned to the Palatina).  He thus alighted on M. Claudius Marcellus, the consul of 183 BC, who was assigned to the Arnensis.

In fact, as noted above, it seems likely that Forum Clodii was actually assigned to the local Voltinia tribe rather than to the tribe of its founder.  If so, we cannot discriminate between the three candidates on the basis of their tribes.  Thus we should return to the evidence of CIL XI 3310a, which arguably points us in the direction of the consuls of 185 and 184 BC.

It is interesting to note in this context that Publius Claudius Pulcher was to be one of the triumvirs who founded the nearby colony at Graviscae in 181 BC: this was recorded by Livy (above) and also in an epigraphic eulogy (CIL VI 1283a) from Rome (which has been dated to the Augustan period): according to Francisco Pina Polo (referenced below, at p. 164), this eulogy should be read as follows:

  1. “P. Claudius Pulcher assigned [additional] colonists to Cales [in Campania] while a consul [in 184 BC] with L. Porcius and [also] founded the colony of Graviscae as triumvir [in 181 BC].”

Amanda Coles (referenced below, at p. 299) observed that, by re-founding Cales during his term as consul:

  1. “P. Claudius Pulcher might ... have strengthened the client base that his gens maintained in Campania through his participation in supplementing the colony of Cales in [184 BC].  The Claudii had established an interest in the area ... with the censorship of Appius Claudius Caecus (312 BC), who constructed the Aqua Appia and the Via Appia, with its associated Forum Appii, between Rome and Capua.  ... these projects ... became a symbol of Roman control over Campania and the Tyrrhenian Coast [to the south of Rome]. ... there is no way of knowing whether the supplementation of Cales was state-sanctioned or derived completely from the founder’s initiative.  Nonetheless, P. Claudius Pulcher probably sought to strengthen his family’s clientele in Campania, because it was a valuable resource for their personal ambitions in Rome.”

It is thus at least possible that, through the putative construction of the Via Clodia and of Forum Clodii (below), the brothers similarly sought to perpetuate the family tradition and to create an additional client base in Etruria.

In my view, we might reasonably assume that Via Clodia was built by the Claudii Pulchri in as part of the putative re-population project described above in the context of the foundation of the colonies of Saturnia and Graviscae in 183-1 BC.

Constitution of Forum Clodii

Festus listed a number of meanings for the word ‘forum’, the first two of which probably applied at Forum Clodii:

  1. “First, places for transacting business, named, (like Forum Flaminii or Forum Julium) for the men who established them: they are used to buy and sell goods, [and] often exist even  in private places, and on roads and in fields.  Secondly, places where justice is rendered, where ... public assemblies are usually held”, (‘De verborum significatu quae supersunt cum Pauli epitome’, my translation).

Francisco Pina Polo (referenced below, at p. 182) pointed out that, while Roman colonies were ‘founded’ as new towns, Roman fora, like municipia and prefectures, were ‘constituted’:

  1. “That is, the creation of a forum did not actually mean the foundation or deductio of a new settlement, but a ‘founding’ act [in the legal sense]: the Roman state may have granted this status to a pre-existing centre of population.”

According to Adrian Sherwin- White (referenced below, at pp. 74-5) fora (in this sense) were places that were:

  1. “... the deliberate creations of magistrates, either when building roads or when organising newly won lands. ... We cannot imagine more than a minimum of local officers, sufficient  to keep the market place in order, to watch over the [road] on which the forum was situated, and to post up edicts [sent from Rome] ... as a form of municipality, they were rudimentary ... because  ... they lacked the broad basis of basis of a complex municipal life, a [territory].” 

Francisco Pina Polo (referenced below, at p. 182) pointed out, associations between similarly-named roads and fora are generally hypothetical, since:

  1. “... ancient sources [do not record any associations between ]; nor is there a definite chronology for the constitution of [any of the Italian] fora.”

However, given the distinctive nature of the gentilicum ‘Clodius’, we might reasonably assume that, in this case, the Via Clodia and the Forum Clodii were both sponsored by members of the gens Claudia.  Although the archeological evidence is sparse, there seems to be no doubt that Forum Clodii was sited on the road whose name it shares, and it seems reasonable to assume that both were part of a single project.  It is not possible to say whether it was constituted on pre-existing urbanised site.  However, if, as suggested above, Via Clodia had been built as part of a programme of repopulation of the area, it is likely that this was not the case.  It seems to me that its earliest inhabitants were probably predominantly Romans attracted by the commercial opportunities that would have been created by the construction of the road. 

Constitution as a Prefecture

As noted above, Pliny the Elder listed among the people of the Augustan Seventh Region:

  1. “ ... the Claudian praefecture of Foroclodium”, (‘Natural History’, 3: 8).

According to Ray Laurence, (referenced below, at p. 32), the phrase “Praefectura Claudia Foroclodii” here:

  1. “... suggests that the Praefectura Claudia was an area organised for direct administration from Rome and that at its centre, was the town called Forum Clodii.”

Edward Bispham (referenced below, at p. 90) similarly concluded that this phrase indicated that:

  1. “ ... the nucleated centre of Forum Clodii was the (or a) centre of the praefectura Claudia ...”

In other words, as late as the Augustan period, Forum Clodii was still constituted as a forum and sited within a territory constituted as a prefecture.

Edward Bispham (as above) also observed that:

  1. “The arrangements implied by [Pliny’s phraseology] seem to date back to the newly incorporated territory.”

In other words, the constitution of the prefecture and that of the forum were probably simultaneous.  The constitution of the former suggests that there was an associated programme of viritane settlement in the area around Forum Clodii.  These putative new settlers were presumably assigned to the Voltinia.  It seems likely that the prefect also looked after the legal affairs of citizens settled in Forum Clodii as well as those settled in the surrounding area.  However, there is no evidence that that this either was or was not the case.




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