Sites & cities that bear the name of Antium


Today in : Italy
First trace of activity : ca. 9th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 9th century C.E
Recorded names : Caenon, Anzio, Nettuno

Description : In ancient times, Antium was the capital of the Volsci people until it was conquered by the Romans. In some versions of Rome's foundation myth, Antium was founded by Anteias, son of Odysseus. In 493 BC the Roman consul Postumus Cominius Auruncus fought and defeated two armies from Antium and as a result captured the Volscian towns of Longula, Pollusca and Corioli (to the north of Antium). In 468 BC Antium was captured by the Roman consul Titus Quinctius Capitolinus Barbatus following a war started by the Volsci, and a Roman colony was planted there the next year. Three Roman ex-consuls were appointed as commissioners to allocate the lands (triumviri coloniae deducendae) amongst Roman colonists. They were Titus Quinctius, the consul of the previous year who had captured Antium from the Volsci; Aulus Verginius Tricostus Caeliomontanus, the consul of 469 BC; and Publius Furius Medullinus Fusus, the consul of 472 BC. In 464 BC the Antiates were suspected of allying with the Aequi against Rome. The chief men of Antium were summoned to Rome however they gave adequate explanations. Antium was asked to contribute emergency troops for the Roman war against the Aequi, however the force of 1,000 troops from Antium arrived too late to help. With the expansion of Rome it was just far enough away to be insulated from the riots and tumults of Rome. Leading Romans built magnificent seaside villas there and when Cicero returned from exile, it was at Antium that he reassembled the battered remains of his libraries, where the scrolls would be secure. Remains of Roman villas are conspicuous all along the shore, both to the east and to the northwest of the town. Gaius Maecenas also had a villa. Many ancient masterpieces of sculpture have been found there: the Fanciulla d'Anzio, the Borghese Gladiator (in the Louvre) and the Apollo Belvedere (in the Vatican) were all discovered in the ruins of villas at Antium. Of the villas, the most famous was the imperial villa, known as the Villa of Nero, which was used by each emperor in turn, up to the Severans and which extended some 800 metres (2,600 ft) along the seafront of the Capo d'Anzio. Augustus received a delegation from Rome there to acclaim him Pater patriae ("Father of his Country"). The Julian and Claudian emperors frequently visited it; both Emperor Caligula and Nero were born in Antium. Nero razed the villa on the site to rebuild it on a more massive and imperial scale including a theatre. Nero also founded a colony of veterans and built a new harbour, the projecting moles of which still exist. Of the famous temple of Fortune (Horace, Od. i. 35) no remains are known. Christian bishopric There are records of the participation of a few bishops of Antium in synods held in Rome: Gaudentius in 465, Felix in 487, Vindemius in 499 and 501. Barbarian incursions in the 6th century put an end to its existence as a residential bishopric. Accordingly, Antium is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see. Middle Ages In the Middle Ages Antium was deserted in favour of Nettuno, which maintained the legacy of the ancient city.

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