Latium adiectum

Latium adiectum or Latium Novum, as it is termed by Pliny, comprised the territories occupied in earlier times by the Volsci and Hernici. It was for the most part a rugged and mountainous country, extending at the back of Latium proper, from the frontier of the Sabines to the seacoast between Terracina and Sinuessa. But it was not separated from the adjacent territories by any natural frontier or physical boundaries, and it is only by the enumeration of the towns in Pliny according to the division of Italy by Augustus that we can determine its limits. It included the Hernican cities of Anagnia, Ferentinum, Alatrium, and Verulae, a group of mountain strongholds on the north side of the valley of the Trerus (Sacco); together with the Volscian cities on the south of the same valley, and in that of the Liris, the whole of which, with the exception of its extreme upper end, was included in the Volscian territory. Here were situated Signia, Frusino, Fabrateria, Fregellae, Sora, Arpinum, Atina, Aquinum, Casinum, and Interamna; Anxur (Terracina) was the only seaport that properly belonged to the Volscians, the coast from there to the mouth of the Liris being included in the territory of the Aurunci, or Ausones as they were termed by Greek writers, who possessed the maritime towns of Fundi, Formiae, Caieta, and Minturnae, together with Suessa in the interior, which had replaced their more ancient capital of Aurunca. Sinuessa, on the seacoast between the Liris (Garigliano) and the Vulturnus, at the foot of the Monte Massico, was the last town in Latium according to the official use of the term and was sometimes assigned to Campania, while Suessa was more assigned to Latium. On the other hand, as Nissen points out (Italische Landeskunde, ii. 554), the Pons Campanus, by which the Via Appia crossed the Savo some 9 m. SE of Sinuessa, indicates by its name the position of the old Campanian frontier. In the interior the boundary fell between Casinum and Teanum Sidicinum, at about the 100th milestone of the Via Latina, a fact which led later to the jurisdiction of the Roman courts being extended on every side to the 100th mile from the city, and to this being the limit beyond which banishment from Rome was considered to begin.

Though the Apennines comprised within the boundaries of Latium do not rise to a height approaching that of the loftiest summits of the central range, they attain to a considerable altitude, and form steep and rugged mountain masses from 4,000 to 5,000 ft. high. They are traversed by three principal valleys: (1) that of the Anio, now called Teverone, which descends from above Subiaco to Tivoli, where it enters the plain of the Campagna; (2) that of the Trerus (Sacco), which has its source below Palestrina (Praeneste), and flows through a comparatively broad valley that separates the main mass of the Apennines from the Volscian mountains or Monti Lepini, until it joins the Liris below Ceprano; (3) that of the Uris (Garigliano), which enters the confines of New Latium about 20 m. from its source, flows past the town of Sora, and has a very tortuous course from thenre to the sea at Minturnae; its lower valley is for the most part of considerable width, and forms a fertile tract of considerable extent, bordered on both sides by hills covered with vines, olives and fruit trees, and thickly studded with towns and villages.

It may be observed that, long after the Latins had ceased to exist as a separate people we meet in Roman writers with the phrase of "nomen Latinum", used not in an ethnic but a purely political sense, to designate the inhabitants of all those cities on which the Romans had conferred Latin rights ("jus Latinum"), an inferior form of the Roman franchise, which had been granted in the first instance to certain cities of the Latins, when they became subjects of Rome, and was afterwards bestowed upon many other cities of Italy, especially the so-called Latin colonies. At a later period the same privileges were extended to places in other countries also as for instance to most of the cities in Sicily and Spain. All persons enoying these rights were termed in legal phraseology "Latini" or "Latinae conditionis".


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