The VOLSCI were an Italic tribe , well known in the history of the
first century of the
Roman Republic . At the time they inhabited the
partly hilly, partly marshy district of the south of
Latium , bounded
Samnites on the south, the
Hernici on the east, and
stretching roughly from
Norba and Cora in the north to
Nettuno ) in the south. Rivals of Rome for several hundred
years, their territories were taken over by and assimilated into the
growing republic by 300 BC.
* 1 Description by the ancient geographers
* 2 Language
* 3 Conflict with ancient Rome
* 4 Notable Volscians
* 5 References
DESCRIPTION BY THE ANCIENT GEOGRAPHERS
Strabo says that the
Volsci formed a sovereign state near the site of
Rome. It was placed in the Pomentine plain, between the Latins and
Pontine marshes , which took their name from the plain.
Volsci spoke Volscian , a
Italic language , which was
closely related to Oscan and Umbrian , and more distantly to
In the Volscian territory lay the little town of Velitrae (modern
Velletri ), home of the ancestors of Caesar
Augustus . From this town
comes an inscription dating probably from early in the 3rd century BC;
it is cut upon a small bronze plate (now in the Naples Museum), which
must have once been fixed to some votive object, and dedicated to the
god Declunus (or the goddess Decluna ).
CONFLICT WITH ANCIENT ROME
Volsci were among the most dangerous enemies of ancient Rome ,
and frequently allied with the
Aequi , whereas their neighbors the
Hernici from 486 BC onwards were the allies of Rome.
According to Rome's early semi-legendary history, Rome's seventh and
Lucius Tarquinius Superbus
Lucius Tarquinius Superbus was the first to go to war
against the Volsci, commencing two centuries of a relationship of
conflict between the two states.
Also, the legendary Roman warrior
Gaius Marcius Coriolanus
Gaius Marcius Coriolanus earned his
cognomen after taking the Volscian town of
Corioli in 493 BC. The
supposed rise and fall of this hero is chronicled in Shakespeare's
Livy 's account of the war between Rome and Clusium is
accurate, it can be seen that the relationship between Rome and the
Volsci was not always hostile.
Livy writes that, at the approach of
the Clusian army in 508 BC, with the prospect of a siege, the Roman
senate arranged for the purchase of grain from the
Volsci to feed the
lower classes of Rome.
This list is incomplete ; you can help by expanding it .
Attius Tullus Aufidius .
Cicero , orator and writer, was a native of
Arpinum in former
* Camilla featured as one of the fighters in
Aeneid , a
Volscian Warrior Maiden (like the legendary Amazons).
Virgil says that
she can outrun the wind and run over crops so lightly she never even
bent them. She could run over the waves of the sea without getting her
feet wet. She fights on the side of the Latins and kills many of the
Trojan refugees before being killed herself by the Etruscan hero
Gaius Marius , reforming consul and general, was a native of
Arpinum in former Volscian territory.
Augustus Caesar spent his early life in Velitrae, where he may
have been born.
* ^ Paola Brandizzi Vittucci, Antium:
Nettuno in epoca
romana, Roma, Bardi, 2000 ISBN 88-85699-83-9
* ^ A B C Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Volsci". Encyclopædia
Britannica . 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 197–198.
Strabo . "Book 5 Chapter 3". Geography. Tufts University,
Perseus Digital LIbrary.
* ^ James Clackson; Geoffrey Horrocks (23 May 2011). The Blackwell
History of the
Latin Language. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 59–. ISBN
* ^ Nathan Rosenstein; Robert Morstein-Marx (7 September 2011). A
Companion to the Roman Republic. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 279–. ISBN
Livy Ab urbe condita 1.53
* ^ William Shakespeare (1969). Coriolanus. CUP Archive. ISBN
Livy Ab urbe condita 2.10
* ^ Suetonius Life of
Volsci additional terms
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