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LATIUM ( Latin
Latin
: Lătĭŭm ) is the region of central western Italy in which the city of Rome
Rome
was founded and grew to be the capital city of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
. Latium
Latium
was originally a small triangle of fertile, volcanic soil on which resided the tribe of the Latins or Latians. It was located on the left bank (east and south) of the River Tiber
Tiber
, extending northward to the River Anio (a left-bank tributary of the Tiber) and southeastward to the Pomptina Palus ( Pontine Marshes , now the Pontine Fields) as far south as the Circeian promontory . The right bank of the Tiber
Tiber
was occupied by the Etruscan city of Veii , and the other borders were occupied by Italic tribes. Subsequently, Rome
Rome
defeated Veii and then its Italic neighbours, expanding Latium
Latium
to the Apennine Mountains in the northeast and to the opposite end of the marsh in the southeast. The modern descendant, the Italian Regione
Regione
of Lazio
Lazio
, also called Latium in Latin
Latin
, and occasionally in modern English , is somewhat larger still, but not as much as double the original Latium.

The ancient language of the Latins, the tribesmen who occupied Latium, was to become the immediate predecessor of the Old Latin language, ancestor of Latin
Latin
and the Romance languages
Romance languages
. Latium
Latium
has played an important role in history owing to its status as the host of the capital city of Rome
Rome
, at one time the cultural and political centre of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
. Consequently, Latium
Latium
is home to celebrated works of art and architecture .

CONTENTS

* 1 Geography

* 2 History

* 2.1 Latin
Latin
League * 2.2 Roman hegemony * 2.3 Roman Republic and after

* 3 Modern region of Latium
Latium
* 4 See also * 5 References * 6 Bibliography * 7 External links

GEOGRAPHY

Earliest known Latium
Latium
was the country of the Latini , a tribe whose recognised centre was a large, extinct volcano, Mons Albanus ("the Alban Mount", today's Colli Albani ), 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the southeast of Rome, 64 kilometres (40 mi) in circumference. In its center is a crater lake, Lacus Albanus ( Lago Albano ), oval in shape, a few km long and wide. At the top of the second-highest peak (Monte Cavo ) was a temple to Jupiter
Jupiter
Latiaris, where the Latini held state functions before their subjection to Rome, and the Romans subsequently held religious and state ceremonies. The last pagan temple to be built stood until the Middle Ages when its stone and location were reused for various monasteries and finally a hotel. During World War II
World War II
, the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
turned it into a radio station, which was captured after an infantry battle by American troops in 1944, and it currently is a controversial telecommunications station surrounded by antennae considered unsightly by the population within view.

The selection of Jupiter
Jupiter
as a state god and the descent of the name Latini to the name of the Latin language
Latin language
are sufficient to identify the Latins as a tribe of Indo-European descent. Virgil , a major poet of the early Roman Empire
Roman Empire
, under Augustus
Augustus
, derived Latium
Latium
from the word for "hidden" (English latent) because in a myth Saturn , ruler of the golden age in Latium, hid (latuisset) from Jupiter
Jupiter
there. A major modern etymology is that Lazio
Lazio
comes from the Latin
Latin
word "latus", meaning "wide", expressing the idea of "flat land" meaning the Roman Campagna .

HISTORY

Main articles: Old Latium and New Latium

The region that would become Latium
Latium
had been home to settled agricultural populations since the early Bronze Age
Bronze Age
and was known to the Ancient Greeks and even earlier to the Mycenaean Greeks . The name is most likely derived from the Latin
Latin
word "latus", meaning "wide", expressing the idea of "flat land" (in contrast to the local Sabine
Sabine
high country) but the name may originate from an earlier, non-Indo-European one. The Etruscans , from their home region of Etruria
Etruria
(modern day Tuscany
Tuscany
) exerted a strong cultural and political influence on Latium
Latium
from about the 8th century BC onward. However, they were unable to assert political hegemony over the region, which was controlled by small, autonomous city-states in a manner roughly analogous to the state of affairs that prevailed in Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
. Indeed, the region's cultural and geographic proximity to the cities of Magna Graecia had a strong impact upon its early history.

By the 10th century BC, archaeology records a slow development in agriculture from the entire area of Latium
Latium
with the establishment of numerous villages. The Latins cultivated grains (spelt and barley), grapes ( Vitis vinifera ), olives, apples, and fig trees. The various Latini populi (lit. " Latin
Latin
peoples") lived in a society led by influential clans (gentes). These clans were a sign of their tribal origin, which continued in Rome
Rome
as the thirty curiae which organized Roman society. However, as a social unit the gens was replaced by the family which was headed by the paterfamilias - the oldest male who held supreme authority over the family.

A fixed local center seemed necessary as the center of the region cannot have been one of the villages, but must have been a place of common assembly, containing the seat of justice and the common sanctuary of the district, where members of the clans met for purposes of administration and amusement, and where they obtained a safer shelter for themselves in case of war: in ordinary circumstances such a place was not at all or but scantily inhabited. Such a place was called in Italy
Italy
"height" (capitolium, the mountain-top), or "stronghold" (arx, from arcere); it was not a town at first, but it became the nucleus of one, as houses naturally gathered around the stronghold and were afterwards surrounded with the "ring" (urbs, connected with urvus and curvus).

The isolated Alban range, that natural stronghold of Latium, which offered to settlers a secure position, would doubtless be first occupied by the newcomers. Here, along the narrow plateau above Palazzuola between the Alban lake (Lagiod di Castello) and the Alban mount (Monte Cavo), extended the town of Alba Longa , which was regarded as the primitive seat of the Latin
Latin
stock, and the mother city of Rome
Rome
as well as of all the other Old Latin communities; here on the slopes lay the very ancient Latin
Latin
districts of Lanuvium, Aricia, and Tusculum. Here are found some primitive works of masonry, which usually mark the beginnings of civilization.

The district-strongholds there later gave rise to the considerable towns of Tibur and Praeneste . Labici too, Gabii
Gabii
, Nomentum in the plain between the Alban and Sabine
Sabine
hills and the Tiber, Rome
Rome
on the Tiber, Laurentum and Lavinium on the coast, were all more or less ancient centers of Latin
Latin
colonization, not to speak of many other less famous and in some cases almost forgotten.

LATIN LEAGUE

Main article: Latin
Latin
League

All these villages were politically sovereign, and each of them were self-governing. The closeness of descent and their common language not only pervaded in all of them, but manifested itself in an important religious and political institution - the Latin
Latin
League . The Latins were tied together by religious associations, including worship of Venus , Jupiter
Jupiter
Latiaris , and of Diana at the Lake of Ariccia. So, by virtue of her proximity to the sanctuary of Jupiter, the village of Alba Longa held a position of religious primacy among the Latin villages. The villages originally entitled to participate in the league were thirty in total and they are called the thirty Alban colonies, but their names are not all recorded. The ritual of this league was the " Latin
Latin
festival" (feriae Latinae), at which, on the Mount of Alba, upon a day annually appointed by the chief magistrate for the purpose, an ox was sacrificed by the assembled Latin
Latin
stock to the " Latin
Latin
god" ( Jupiter
Jupiter
Latiaris). Each community taking part in the ceremony had to contribute to the sacrificial feast. However; the sacred grove of Aricia, the Nemus Dianae, on the Lake of Aricia , was always among the most popular place of pilgrimage for the Latins.

Although Alba Longa enjoyed a position of religious primacy, the Alban presidency never held any significant political power over Latium, e.g. it was never the capital of a Latin
Latin
state. It is probable that the extent of the Latin
Latin
Leagues' jurisdiction were somewhat unsettled and thus fluctuated; yet it remained for its existence not an accidental aggregate of various communities, but the positive expression of the relationship of the Latin
Latin
stock. The Latin League may not have at all times included all Latin
Latin
communities, but it never granted the privilege of membership to any that were not Latin.

Very early in its existence, Rome
Rome
acquired the presidency of the league, and Alba Longa appeared as a rival for which it was destroyed in the mid-7th century BC; the league as it was had been dissolved and the foremost families were compelled to move to Rome: Alba Longa, the mother city, was dissolved into Rome, the daughter. According to Livy , Alba Longa was razed to the ground - spare the temples - by King Tullus of Rome. The Latin
Latin
festival would still be held on the Alban mount, but by Roman magistrates.

ROMAN HEGEMONY

Main article: Roman monarchy

Having destroyed Alba Longa, Rome
Rome
was in command of the Latin festival and thus held presidency over the Latin
Latin
peoples. By the mid-7th century BC, Rome
Rome
had secured itself as a maritime power and secured its salt supply; the Via Salaria (lit. "salt road") was paved from Rome
Rome
down to Ostia on the northern bank of the river Tiber
Tiber
- the closest salt-field in Western Italy. At the same time archaeologists detect an urban transformation of Rome: Roman huts were being replaced by houses and there was a social space, or forum , that was built by c. 620 BC. The influence of the Etruscans played an important role, and migrants came from Etruscan towns. Soon (according to tradition) it was followed by the rule of Etruscan kings, the Tarquins (traditionally, 616-509 BC).

While Rome
Rome
may have acquired considerable territory (some 350 sq. miles) in Latium, her kings never exercised absolute power over Latium. The Latin
Latin
cities did, however, look to Rome
Rome
for protection; for Rome
Rome
had more manpower than any other city in Latium. This was due to a generous policy of asylum: Roman kindness was unique in its readiness to grant citizenship to outsiders; in fact, citizenship was even granted to former slaves. The children of freedmen provided an important source for Roman armies and would have given them a definite edge in manpower over other cities of the time.

ROMAN REPUBLIC AND AFTER

The emperor Augustus
Augustus
officially united all of present-day Italy
Italy
into a single geo-political entity, Italia , dividing it into eleven regions. Latium
Latium
– together with the present region of Campagna immediately to the southeast of Latium
Latium
and the seat of Naples
Naples
– became Region I. Augustus
Augustus
Bevilacqua Glyptothek Munich 317

After the Gothic War (535–554)
Gothic War (535–554)
A.D. and the Roman conquest, this region regained its freedom, because the "Roman Duchy" became the property of the Eastern Emperor. However the long wars against the barbarian Longobards weakened the region, which was seized by the Roman Bishop who already had several properties in those territories.

The strengthening of the religious and ecclesiastical aristocracy led to continuous power struggles between lords and the Roman bishop until the middle of the 16th century. Innocent III tried to strengthen his own territorial power, wishing to assert his authority in the provincial administrations of Tuscia, Campagna
Campagna
and Marittima through the Church's representatives, in order to reduce the power of the Colonna family . Other popes tried to do the same.

During the period when the papacy resided in Avignon, France (1309–1377), the feudal lords' power increased due to the absence of the Pope from Rome. Small communes, and Rome
Rome
above all, opposed the lords' increasing power, and with Cola di Rienzo , they tried to present themselves as antagonists of the ecclesiastical power. However, between 1353 and 1367, the papacy regained control of Latium and the rest of the Papal States
Papal States
.

From the middle of the 16th century, the papacy politically unified Latium
Latium
with the Papal States
Papal States
, so that these territories became provincial administrations of St. Peter's estate; governors in Viterbo , in Marittima and Campagna
Campagna
, and in Frosinone
Frosinone
administered them for the papacy.

After the short-lived Roman Republic (18th century) , the region's annexation to France by Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte
in February 1798, Latium became again part of the Papal States
Papal States
in October, 1799.

On 20 September 1870, the capture of Rome
Rome
, during the reign of Pope Pius IX
Pius IX
, and France's defeat at Sedan , completed Italian unification , and Latium
Latium
was incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy
Italy
.

MODERN REGION OF LATIUM

Main article: Region of Latium
Latium

Latium, often referred to by the Italian name Lazio, is a government region, i.e. one of the first-level administrative divisions of the state. There are twenty regions in Italy. Originally meant as administrative districts of the central state, the regions acquired a significant level of autonomy following a constitutional reform in 2001. The modern region of Latium
Latium
contains the national capital Rome.

SEE ALSO

* Latium adiectum

REFERENCES

* ^ Mogens Herman Hansen (2000). A Comparative Study of Thirty City-state
City-state
Cultures: An Investigation. Kgl. Danske Videnskabernes Selskab. pp. 209–. ISBN 978-87-7876-177-4 . * ^ Cary, M.; Scullard, H. H. (1975). A History of Rome: Down to the Reign of Constantine (3rd ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 31. ISBN 0312383959 . * ^ Aeneid, VIII.323. * ^ Bevan 1875 , pp. 530–531 * ^ http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Latin&allowed_in_frame=0 * ^ A B Emilio Peruzzi, Mycenaeans in early Latium, (Incunabula Graeca 75), Edizioni dell'Ateneo & Bizzarri, Roma, 1980 * ^ A B (in French) Giovanni Colonna, Milieu, peuplement, phases naturelles, in Naissence de Rome, cataloged by the Petit Palais
Petit Palais
, 1977 * ^ Fox, p.112 * ^ Fox, pp. 112-113. * ^ A B C M. Cary, H.H. Scullard p. 32 * ^ Mommsen pp. 36-37 * ^ Mommsen pp. 37-38 * ^ Mommsen p.38 * ^ A B Mommsen p. 39 * ^ A B C Viscount James Bryce Bryce The World\'s History: The Mediterranean nations. London (1902). p.343 * ^ Mommsen p. 40 * ^ Livy , Ab urbe condita 1.29 * ^ Mommsen p.103 * ^ A B Fox, pp.111-112 * ^ A B M. Cary, H.H. Scullard pp. 54-55 * ^ Fox p. 276 * ^ Fulminante, Francesca (2014). The Urbanisation of Rome
Rome
and Latium
Latium
Vetus. pp. 35–60. * ^ A B C D Touring club italiano, ed. (1981). Lazio, non compresa Roma e dintorni (in Italian). pp. 61–83. * ^ Musto, Ronald G., Cola Di Rienzo, Oxford Biographies, 21 novembre 2012, DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195399301-0122 * ^ Susan Vandiler, Imperial City: Rome
Rome
under Napoleon, p. 20 * ^ CONSIGLIO REGIONALE DEL LAZIO (ed.). "LA NASCITA DELLE REGIONI A STATUTO ORDINARIO" (pdf). consiglio.regione.lazio.it (in Italian). .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

* Bevan, William Latham; Smith, William (1875). The student's manual of ancient geography. London: J. Murray. * Strabo
Strabo
Geographica (Strabo) book V chapter 3 – Rome
Rome
20 BC * Athanasius Kircher
Athanasius Kircher
Latium
Latium
– 1669 – Amsterdam 1671 * G. R. Volpi – Vetus Latium
Latium
Profanum et Sacrum – Rome
Rome
1742 * T. J. Cornell – The beginnings of Rome: Italy
Italy
and Rome
Rome
from the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
to the Punic Wars – London 1995 * C. H. Smith – Early Rome
Rome
and Latium. Economy and Society, c. 1000 – 500 BC, "Oxford Classical Monographs" – Oxford 1996 * Theodor Mommsen
Theodor Mommsen
, The History of Rome
Rome
Volume I. 1894. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain . * Fox, Robin Lane, The Classical World: An Epic History From Homer to Hadrian. Basic Books, 2006.

EXTERNAL LINKS

* Toponymy of Latium *

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