The loyalty of Alba Fucens

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In his 4th Philippic, Cicero mentions the Legio Martia, a famous Roman military unit formed by Julius Caesar which – during the civil war that began after the Ides of March – sided with Octavian and settled in Alba Fucens, preparing to fight against the future emperor’s rival, Marc Antony.

The great orator and author from Arpinum explains that the soldiers in the legion <q>Albae constiterunt, in urbe opportuna, munita, propinqua, fortissimorum virorum, fidelissimorum civium atque optimorum</q> (<q>encamped at Alba, in a city convenient, fortified, near, full of brave men and loyal and virtuous citizens</q>).

Alba Fucens was a colony, founded by the Romans in the beginning of the 4th century BC in a territory where Aequi and Marsi once lived, now in Abruzzo. It was located at almost 1,000 meters of altitude at the foot of Monte Velino, on the banks of Lake Fucino – <q>which for extent is like a sea</q>, and <q>sometimes […] fills up to the height of the mountains and then lowers once more</q>, according to Greek geographer Strabo. In the first half of the 1st century AD, emperor Claudius decided to reclaim the area by draining the lake, creating a large canal to collect its water into the Liri.

Loyal to Rome, Alba Fucens is now a wonderful archaeological site with important ancient vestiges, including polygonal walls around a wide area crossed by Via Valeria, an aqueduct, a splendid amphitheater (where shows and concerts are held to this day), a cryptoporticus, the base of a temple dedicated to Apollo (reused during the Middle Ages to build the Romanesque church of Saint Peter), the milestone indicating a distance of 58 miles from Rome, a market with its tabernae, traces of a thermal building…

Discover the beauty of history in Alba Fucens.The great orator and author from Arpinum explains that the soldiers in the legion <q>Albae constiterunt, in urbe opportuna, munita, propinqua, fortissimorum virorum, fidelissimorum civium atque optimorum</q> (<q>encamped at Alba, in a city convenient, fortified, near, full of brave men and loyal and virtuous citizens</q>).

Alba Fucens was a colony, founded by the Romans in the beginning of the 4th century BC in a territory where Aequi and Marsi once lived, now in Abruzzo. It was located at almost 1,000 meters of altitude at the foot of Monte Velino, on the banks of Lake Fucino – <q>which for extent is like a sea</q>, and <q>sometimes […] fills up to the height of the mountains and then lowers once more</q>, according to Greek geographer Strabo. In the first half of the 1st century AD, emperor Claudius decided to reclaim the area by draining the lake, creating a large canal to collect its water into the Liri.

Loyal to Rome, Alba Fucens is now a wonderful archaeological site with important ancient vestiges, including polygonal walls around a wide area crossed by Via Valeria, an aqueduct, a splendid amphitheater (where shows and concerts are held to this day), a cryptoporticus, the base of a temple dedicated to Apollo (reused during the Middle Ages to build the Romanesque church of Saint Peter), the milestone indicating a distance of 58 miles from Rome, a market with its tabernae, traces of a thermal building…

Discover the beauty of history in Alba Fucens.

November 20, 2018

The loyalty of Alba Fucens