|Founded||ca. 1200 B.C.|
|Abandoned||ca. 600 B.C.|
Alba Longa (occasionally written Albalonga in Italian sources) was an ancient Latin city in Central Italy, 19 kilometres (12 mi) southeast of Rome, in the vicinity of Lake Albano in the Alban Hills. Founder and head of the Latin League, it was destroyed by the Roman Kingdom around the middle of the 7th century BC, and its inhabitants were forced to settle in Rome. In legend, Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome, had come from the royal dynasty of Alba Longa, which in Virgil's Aeneid had been the bloodline of Aeneas, a son of Venus.
According to Livy, Roman patrician families such as the Julii, Servilii, Quinctii, Geganii, Curiatii and Cloelii originated in Alba Longa.
Livy said of Alba Longa that it was founded by Ascanius to relieve crowding at Lavinium. He placed it at the foot of the Alban Mount and said that it took its name from being extended along a ridge. : alba means "white" and Latin : longa means "long", he translated the name into the Greek language as "long white town". Dionysius placed the town between the Alban Mount and the Alban Lake, thus beginning a long controversy about its location.Dionysius of Halicarnassus repeated the story, but added that Ascanius, following an oracle given to his father, collected other Latin populations as well. Noting that Latin
Since the 16th century, the site has been at various times identified as that of the Convent of St. Paul at Palazzola near Albano, Coste Caselle near Marino, and Castel Gandolfo. The last named of these places in fact occupies the site of the Villa of Domitian which, according to Juvenal, was situated on the arx of Alba.
Archaeological data show the existence of a string of villages in the Iron Age, each with its own necropolis, along the south-western shore of Lake Albano.[ citation needed ] At the time it was destroyed by Rome, these villages must have still been in a pre-urban phase, beginning to group around a centre which may well have been Castel Gandolfo, whose significantly larger necropolis suggests a larger town.
In the later republican period the territory of Alba (the Ager Albanus) was settled once again with many residential villas, which are mentioned in ancient literature and of which remains are extant.
|O: Two jugate heads of Di Penates, D · P · P||R: Soldiers with spears pointing at lying sow, C·SV(LP)ICI·C·F|
|Reverse depicts scene from Aeneid. According prophecy white sow which casts 30 piglets predicts foundation of (Lavinium) and a new city called after white sow built by Ascanius 30 years later (Alba Longa).|
According to Roman mythology,after the fall of Troy in 1184 BC, Aeneas led a group of surviving Trojans through the Mediterranean Sea to Sicily, Carthage, and eventually the Italian Peninsula. On landing in Italy he was welcomed by Latinus, king of the early Latins. Soon, Aeneas married king Latinus' daughter, Lavinia, and founded the city of Lavinium in her name. Latinus later fell in war, making Aeneas king of the Latins and his son Ascanius (also called Iulus) his successor.
A few years later Aeneas was killed in battle, like Latinus, and Ascanius became king of the Latins. Ascanius reportedly built Alba Longa as his capital on the slope of Mount Alba, resettling six hundred families there as a colony of Laviniumin 1151 BC, only thirty years after Lavinium itself was founded. His descendants ruled the Latins for another five hundred years.
Alba Longa was the leading city of the roughly thirty citiesthat made up the Latin League. The league's conferences were held by the Ferentine spring, in the scenic part of the valley between Albano and Marino. The sacrifices of the league were offered on the Alban mountain from which all the country of Latium might be seen.
The colonies of Alba Longa were distinct from the Alban townships which must have consisted of Albani plebs, as the genuine Albans were the populus. Among the Alban colonies some become part of the plebs: others become Latin cities. The others were ceded to the Latins to maintain a consistent thirty townships, thirty being of great importance among the Latin kingdoms as twelve was to the Ionians (or 4 divided into 3 parts each).Accordingly, the Latin kingdom of Latinus, and the Rutulian kingdom of Turnus must have had thirty cities each with Laurentum as the Latin capital prior to the arrival of Aeneas.
In the seventh century BC, the Roman king Tullus Hostilius succeeded Numa Pompilius. During his reign, Rome's attitude toward its neighbors reflected Tullus's own predilection for war. When a dispute erupted between a group of Romans and Albans, he seized upon the mutual accusations of robbery as a pretext for conflict. Both sides sent emissaries to demand redress. When the Alban delegation arrived in Rome, Tullus purposefully gave them such a warm greeting that they delayed making their demand. The Roman delegates, however, immediately addressed the Albans and were refused. By virtue of the Alban first refusal, Tullus was justified in declaring war.
Livy describes the war as being akin to a civil war, because the Romans were said to be descended from the Albans.
The king of the Albans, Cluilius, marched with his army into Roman territory, established camp, and dug a huge trench around Rome, which became known as the Cluilian trench. However, Cluilius died in the camp of unspecified causes, whereupon the Albans appointed Mettius Fufetius as dictator to lead the army in his place.
Tullus emerged from Rome with his army, passed the Alban camp at night and marched into Alban territory. Mettius followed, camped near the Roman army, and then sent a representative to invite Tullus to confer before any engagement. Tullus accepted the invitation. However, both sides were drawn up for battle while the leaders met between the two forces.
At the conference, Mettius proposed that the dispute be resolved by some means other than mass bloodshed, citing the concern that the nearby Etruscans would fall upon the two Latin states if these were weakened by war and unable to defend themselves. It was agreed that a set of triplets from each side, three brothers Horatii and three Curiatii, would battle for the victory of the two states. Livy refers to conflict amongst his own sources as to which set of brothers represented which state, but prefers the view that the Horatii were the Romans, and the Curiatii Albans.
Vows were entered into in a most solemn form by each of the Romans and the Albans as to this agreement by which the future of each state would be bound by the outcome of the fight. Marcus Valerius was appointed Fetial, and Spurius Fusius Pater Patratus, for the purposes of binding Rome by the treaty.
The combat commenced. Two of the Romans were the first to fall. Then the remaining Roman, Publius Horatius, slew the three Albans, and thus won victory for Rome.Afterwards, Tullus ordered Mettius to return with his army to Alba, but to be prepared in the event of war with Veii. The Albans became, in substance, a vassal state of Rome.
Not long afterwards, war did indeed break out with Veii and also with the Fidenates. Mettius and the Albans were ordered to march to battle with Tullus and the Romans, and they met the Etruscans on the far side of the Anio, on the banks of the Tiber. However, when the battle commenced, Mettius led his troops away from the battle, leaving the Romans to fight the Etruscans alone.
Rome was victorious against the Etruscans. After the battle Tullus executed Mettius for his perfidy. Then, on Tullus' orders, the Roman soldiers demolished the 400-year-old city of Alba Longa, leaving only the temples standing, and the entire population of Alba Longa was transported to Rome, thereby doubling the number of Roman citizens. Tullus enlisted the leading families of Alba amongst the patricians, namely the Julii, Servilii, Quinctii, Geganii, Curiatii and Cloelii. Tullus built a new senate-house, the Curia Hostilia, to house the enlarged Roman senate. He also recruited ten new turmae of equites from amongst the Albans, and new legions.The Alban immigrants lived on the Caelian Hill in Rome.
The temple of Vesta which stood at the foot of the Palatine hill outside Rome presumably predated the city,which at the time of its founding only occupied the top of the hill: the hearth of Vesta would not ordinarily be built outside a city's walls.
Worship of Vesta in Italy began in Lavinium, the mother-city of Alba Longa. From Lavinium worship of Vesta was transferred to Alba Longa. Upon entering higher office, Roman magistrates would go to Lavinium to offer sacrifice to Vesta and the household gods the Romans called Penates . Roman mythology claims that the Penates were Trojan gods first introduced to Italy by Aeneas. Among these household gods must have been Vesta who has been referred to as Vesta Iliaca (Vesta of Troy),with her sacred hearth being named Iliaci foci (Trojan hearth).
The priestesses of Vesta, known as Vestal Virgins, administered her temple and watched the eternal fire. Their existence in Alba Longa is connected with the early Roman traditions, for Silvia the mother of Romulus was a priestess.They were finally established in Rome during the reign of Numa, where they would remain until the institution was disestablished with the rise of Christianity during the late Roman Empire.
On the top of the Monte Cavo (Mons Albanus) was a very ancient shrine consecrated to Jupiter Latiaris. Florus (2nd century) states that the site was selected by Ascanius, who, having founded Alba, invited all the Latins to celebrate sacrifices there to Jupiter, a custom which eventually led to the annual celebration there of the Feriae Latinae, at which all the cities that belonged to the Latin Confederation would gather under the aegis of Alba, sacrificing a white bull, the flesh of which was distributed among all the participants.
After Alba Longa was destroyed and her leadership role was assumed by Rome, tradition records the building of a full-scale temple to Jupiter Latiaris on the Alban Mount in the reign of Tarquinius Superbus; of which only a few courses of perimeter wall remain today, now removed off site. There are, however, substantial remains of the paved road that connected it to the Via Appia near Aricia.
Much of the science fiction story "To Bring the Light" takes place in Alba Longa at the crucial time of Rome's founding. Alba Longa is described as seen by Flavia Herosilla, a well-educated woman who lived in Imperial Rome and was hurled a thousand years back in time, and who is concerned to ensure that Rome will be founded on schedule - for which purpose she successfully instigates a bloody regime change in Alba Longa.
The tale of the founding of Rome is recounted in traditional stories handed down by the ancient Romans themselves as the earliest history of their city in terms of legend and myth. The most familiar of these myths, and perhaps the most famous of all Roman myths, is the story of Romulus and Remus, twins who were suckled by a she-wolf as infants. Another account, set earlier in time, claims that the Roman people are descended from Trojan War hero Aeneas, who escaped to Italy after the war, and whose son, Iulus, was the ancestor of the family of Julius Caesar. The archaeological evidence of human occupation of the area of modern-day Rome dates from about 14,000 years ago.
Latinus was a figure in both Greek and Roman mythology. He is often associated with the heroes of the Trojan War, namely Odysseus and Aeneas. Although his appearance in the Aeneid is irreconcilable with his appearance in Greek mythology, the two pictures are not so different that he cannot be seen as one character.
Ascanius was a legendary king of Alba Longa and is the son of the Trojan hero Aeneas and Creusa, daughter of Priam. He is a character in Roman mythology, and has a divine lineage, being the son of Aeneas, who is the son of the goddess Venus and the hero Anchises, a relative of the king Priam; thus Ascanius has divine ascendents by both parents, being descendants of god Jupiter and Dardanus. He is also an ancestor of Romulus, Remus and the Gens Julia. Together with his father, he is a major character in Virgil's Aeneid, and he is depicted as one of the founders of the Roman race.
Tiberinus was the ninth king of Alba Longa, according to the traditional history of Rome handed down by Titus Livius. He was the successor of Capetus, the eighth king of Alba Longa. The Alban kings claimed descent from Aeneas, a Trojan prince who brought a remnant of the Trojan populace to Italy following the sack of Troy, and settled in Latium. Alba was built by Ascanius, the son of Aeneas and Lavinia, and founder of the Alban royal line. The Alban kings, including Tiberinus, bore the cognomenSilvius, after the son of Ascanius, who was said to have been born in the woods.
In Roman mythology, Lavinia is the daughter of Latinus and Amata, and the last wife of Aeneas.
Tullus Hostilius was the legendary third king of Rome. He succeeded Numa Pompilius and was succeeded by Ancus Marcius. Unlike his predecessor, Tullus was known as a warlike king who according to the Roman Historian Livy, believed the more peaceful nature of his predecessor had weakened Rome. It has been attested that he sought out war and was even more warlike than the first king of Rome, Romulus. Accounts of the death of Tullus Hostillus vary. In the mythological version of events Livy describes, he had angered Jupiter who then killed him with a bolt of lightning. Non mythological sources on the other hand describe that he died of plague after a rule of 32 years.
Lavinium was a port city of Latium, 6 km (3.7 mi) to the south of Rome, midway between the Tiber river at Ostia and Antium. The coastline then, as now, was a long strip of beach. Lavinium was on a hill at the southernmost edge of the Silva Laurentina, a dense laurel forest, and the northernmost edge of the Pontine Marshes, a vast malarial tract of wetlands. The basis for the port, the only one between Ostia and Antium, was evidently the mouth of the Numicus river.
In the ancient Roman legend of the kingdom era, the Horatii were triplet warriors who lived during the reign of Tullus Hostilius. The accounts of their epic clash with the Curiatii and the murder of their sister by Publius, the sole survivor of the battle, appear in the writings of Livy.
Aeneas Silvius is the son of Silvius, in some versions grandson of Ascanius and great-grandson, grandson or son of Aeneas. He is the third in the list of the mythical kings of Alba Longa in Latium, and the Silvii regarded him as the founder of their house. Dionysius of Halicarnassus ascribes to him a reign of 31 years. Ovid does not mention him among the Alban kings. According to Livy and Dionysius, the heir of Aeneas Silvius was named Latinus Silvius.
The Albans were Latins from the ancient city of Alba Longa, southeast of Rome. Some of Rome's prominent patrician families such as the Julii, Servilii, Quinctii, Geganii, Curiatii and Cloelii were of Alban descent.
Gaius Cluilius was the king of Alba Longa during the reign of the Roman king Tullus Hostilius in the mid seventh century BC. Alba Longa was an ancient city of Latium in central Italy southeast of Rome.
Mettius Fufetius was a dictator of Alba Longa, an ancient town in central Italy near Rome. He was appointed to his position after the death of Alban king Gaius Cluilius. When a full-blown war threatened to erupt between the Albans and the Romans, Fufetius proposed to the third legendary King of Rome, Tullus Hostilius, that a smaller 3 vs. 3 battle should decide the fate of their cities. Having lost this duel, the Albans submitted themselves to Roman rule.
The kings of Alba Longa, or Alban kings, were a series of legendary kings of Latium, who ruled from the ancient city of Alba Longa. In the mythic tradition of ancient Rome, they fill the 400-year gap between the settlement of Aeneas in Italy and the founding of the city of Rome by Romulus. It was this line of descent to which the Julii claimed kinship. The traditional line of the Alban kings ends with Numitor, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus. One later king, Gaius Cluilius, is mentioned by Roman historians, although his relation to the original line, if any, is unknown; and after his death, a few generations after the time of Romulus, the city was destroyed by Tullus Hostilius, the third King of Rome, and its population transferred to Alba's daughter city.
Monte Cavo, or less occasionally, "Monte Albano," is the second highest mountain of the complex of the Alban Hills, near Rome, Italy. An old volcano extinguished around 10,000 years ago, it lies about 20 km (12 mi) from the sea, in the territory of the comune of Rocca di Papa. It is the dominant peak of the Alban Hills. The current name comes from Cabum, an Italic settlement existing on this mountain.
In Roman mythology, Silvius or Silvius Postumus, was either the son of Aeneas and Lavinia or the son of Ascanius. He succeeded Ascanius as King of Alba Longa and reigned 1139–1110 BC.
The Roman–Etruscan Wars were a series of wars fought between ancient Rome and the Etruscans. Information about many of the wars is limited, particularly those in the early parts of Rome's history, and in large part is known from ancient texts alone. The conquest of Etruria was completed in 265–264 BC.
The gens Cloelia, originally Cluilia, and occasionally written Clouilia or Cloulia, was a patrician family at ancient Rome. The gens was prominent throughout the period of the Republic. The first of the Cloelii to hold the consulship was Quintus Cloelius Siculus, in 498 BC.
The gens Curiatia was a distinguished family at Rome, with both patrician and plebeian branches. Members of this gens are mentioned in connection with the reign of Tullus Hostilius, the third King of Rome, during the seventh century BC. The first of the Curiatii to attain any significant office was Publius Curiatius Fistus, surnamed Trigeminus, who held the consulship in 453 BC. The gens continued to exist throughout the Republic, and perhaps into imperial times, but seldom did its members achieve any prominence.
The Latins, sometimes known as the Latians, were an Italic tribe which included the early inhabitants of the city of Rome. From about 1000 BC, the Latins inhabited the small region known to the Romans as Old Latium, that is, the area between the river Tiber and the promontory of Mount Circeo 100 km (62 mi) southeast of Rome. Following the Roman expansion, the Latins spread into the Latium adiectum, inhabited by Osco-Umbrian peoples.
Mettius is a Latin praenomen, or personal name, which was used in pre-Roman times and perhaps during the early centuries of the Roman Republic, but which was obsolete by the 1st century BC. The feminine form is Mettia. The patronymic gens Mettia was derived from this praenomen. The name was rare in historical times, and not regularly abbreviated.