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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



11065
Varro, On The Latin Language, 5.148-5.152


nanIn the Forum is the Lacus Curtius 'Pool of Curtius'; it is quite certain that it is named from Curtius, but the story about it has three versions: for Procilius does not tell the same story as Piso, nor did Cornelius follow the story given by Procilius. Procilius states that in this place the earth yawned open, and the matter was by decree of the senate referred to the haruspices; they gave the answer that the God of the Dead demanded the fulfilment of a forgotten vow, namely that the bravest citizen be sent down to him. Then a certain Curtius, a brave man, put on his war-gear, mounted his horse, and turning away from the Temple of Concord, plunged into the gap, horse and all; upon which the place closed up and gave his body a burial divinely approved, and left to his clan a lasting memorial.


nanPiso in his Annals writes that in the Sabine War between Romulus and Tatius, a Sabine hero named Mettius Curtius, when Romulus with his men had charged down from higher ground and driven in the Sabines, got away into a swampy spot which at that time was in the Forum, before the sewers had been made, and escaped from there to his own men on the Capitoline ; and from this the pool found its name.


nanCornelius and Lutatius write that this place was struck by lightning, and by decree of the senate was fenced in: because this was done by the consul Curtius, who had M. Genucius as his colleague, it was called the Lacus Curtius.


nanThe arx 'Citadel,' from arcere 'to keep off,' because this is the most strongly fortified place in the City, from which the enemy can most easily be kept away. The carcer 'prison,' from coercere 'to confine,' because those who are in it are prevented from going out. In this prison, the part which is under the ground is called the Tullianum, because it was added by King Tullius. Because at Syracuse the place where men are kept under guard on account of transgressions is called the Latomiae 'quarries,' from that the word was taken over as lautumia, because here also in this place there were formerly stone quarries.


nanOn the Aventine is the Lauretum 'Laurel Grove,' called from the fact that King Tatius was buried there, who was killed by the Laurentes 'Laurentines,' or else from the laurea 'laurel' wood, because there was one there which was cut down and a street run through with houses on both sides: just as between the Sacred Way and the higher part of the Macellum are the Corneta 'Cornel-Cherry Groves,' from corni 'cornel-cherry trees,' which though cut away left their name to the place; just as the Aesculetum 'Oak-Grove' is named from aesculus 'oak-tree,' and the Fagutal 'Beech-tree Shrine' from fagus 'beech-tree,' whence also Jupiter Fagutalis 'of the Beech-tree,' because his shrine is there.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

9 results
1. Cicero, De Oratore, 3.43 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3.43. Athenis iam diu doctrina ipsorum Atheniensium interiit, domicilium tantum in illa urbe remanet studiorum, quibus vacant cives, peregrini fruuntur capti quodam modo nomine urbis et auctoritate; tamen eruditissimos homines Asiaticos quivis Atheniensis indoctus non verbis, sed sono vocis nec tam bene quam suaviter loquendo facile superabit. Nostri minus student litteris quam Latini; tamen ex istis, quos nostis, urbanis, in quibus minimum est litterarum, nemo est quin litteratissimum togatorum omnium, Q. Valerium Soranum, lenitate vocis atque ipso oris pressu et sono facile vincat.
2. Cicero, Republic, 2.11 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2.11. Urbis autem ipsius nativa praesidia quis est tam neglegens qui non habeat animo notata ac plane cognita? cuius is est tractus ductusque muri cum Romuli, tum etiam reliquorum regum sapientia definitus ex omni parte arduis praeruptisque montibus, ut unus aditus, qui esset inter Esquilinum Quirinalemque montem, maximo aggere obiecto fossa cingeretur vastissima, atque ut ita munita arx circumiectu arduo et quasi circumciso saxo niteretur, ut etiam in illa tempestate horribili Gallici adventus incolumis atque intacta permanserit. Locumque delegit et fontibus abundantem et in regione pestilenti salubrem; colles enim sunt, qui cum perflantur ipsi, tum adferunt umbram vallibus.
3. Varro, On The Latin Language, 5.41-5.43, 5.46-5.47, 5.54, 5.143-5.144, 5.149-5.152, 5.157-5.159, 5.163-5.165, 6.23 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

4. Livy, History, 7.6.1-7.6.3 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5. Strabo, Geography, 5.3.7-5.3.8 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5.3.7. In the interior, the first city above Ostia is Rome; it is the only city built on the Tiber. It has been remarked above, that its position was fixed, not by choice, but necessity; to this must be added, that those who afterwards enlarged it, were not at liberty to select a better site, being prevented by what was already built. The first [kings] fortified the Capitol, the Palatium, and the Collis Quirinalis, which was so easy of access, that when Titus Tatius came to avenge the rape of the [Sabine] virgins, he took it on the first assault. Ancus Marcius, who added Mount Caelius and the Aventine Mount with the intermediate plain, separated as these places were both from each other and from what had been formerly fortified, was compelled to do this of necessity; since he did not consider it proper to leave outside his walls, heights so well protected by nature, to whomsoever might have a mind to fortify themselves upon them, while at the same time he was not capable of enclosing the whole as far as Mount Quirinus. Servius perceived this defect, and added the Esquiline and Viminal hills. As these were both of easy access from without, a deep trench was dug outside them and the earth thrown up on the inside, thus forming a terrace of 6 stadia in length along the inner side of the trench. This terrace he surmounted with a wall flanked with towers, and extending from the Colline to the Esquiline gate. Midway along the terrace is a third gate, named after the Viminal hill. Such is the Roman rampart, which seems to stand in need of other ramparts itself. But it seems to me that the first [founders] were of opinion, both in regard to themselves and their successors, that Romans had to depend not on fortifications, but on arms and their individual valour, both for safety and for wealth, and that walls were not a defence to men, but men were a defence to walls. At the period of its commencement, when the large and fertile districts surrounding the city belonged to others, and while it lay easily open to assault, there was nothing in its position which could be looked upon as favourable; but when by valour and labour these districts became its own, there succeeded a tide of prosperity surpassing the advantages of every other place. Thus, notwithstanding the prodigious increase of the city, there has been plenty of food, and also of wood and stone for ceaseless building, rendered necessary by the falling down of houses, and on account of conflagrations, and of the sales, which seem never to cease. These sales are a kind of voluntary falling down of houses, each owner knocking down and rebuilding one part or another, according to his individual taste. For these purposes the numerous quarries, the forests, and the rivers which convey the materials, offer wonderful facilities. of these rivers, the first is the Teverone, which flows from Alba, a city of the Latins near to the country of the Marsi, and from thence through the plain below this [city], till it unites with the Tiber. After this come the Nera (Nar) and the Timia, which passing through Ombrica fall into the Tiber, and the Chiana, which flows through Tyrrhenia and the territory of Clusiumn. Augustus Caesar endeavoured to avert from the city damages of the kind alluded to, and instituted a company of freedmen, who should be ready to lend their assistance in cases of conflagration; whilst, as a preventive against the falling of houses, he decreed that all new buildings should not be carried so high as formerly, and that those erected along the public ways should not exceed seventy feet in height. But these improvements must have ceased only for the facilities afforded by the quarries, the forests, and the ease of transport. 5.3.8. These advantages accrued to the city from the nature of the country; but the foresight of the Romans added others besides. The Grecian cities are thought to have flourished mainly on account of the felicitous choice made by their founders, in regard to the beauty and strength of their sites, their proximity to some port, and the fineness of the country. But the Roman prudence was more particularly employed on matters which had received but little attention from the Greeks, such as paving their roads, constructing aqueducts, and sewers, to convey the sewage of the city into the Tiber. In fact, they have paved the roads, cut through hills, and filled up valleys, so that the merchandise may be conveyed by carriage from the ports. The sewers, arched over with hewn stones, are large enough in some parts for waggons loaded with hay to pass through; while so plentiful is the supply of water from the aqueducts, that rivers may be said to flow through the city and the sewers, and almost every house is furnished with water-pipes and copious fountains. To effect which Marcus Agrippa directed his special attention; he likewise bestowed upon the city numerous ornaments. We may remark, that the ancients, occupied with greater and more necessary concerns, paid but little attention to the beautifying of Rome. But their successors, and especially those of our own day, without neglecting these things, have at the same time embellished the city with numerous and splendid objects. Pompey, divus Caesar, and Augustus, with his children, friends, wife, and sister, have surpassed all others in their zeal and munificence in these decorations. The greater number of these may be seen in the Campus Martius, which to the beauties of nature adds those of art. The size of the plain is marvellous, permitting chariot-races and other feats of horsemanship without impediment, and multitudes to exercise themselves at ball, in the circus and the palaestra. The structures which surround it, the turf covered with herbage all the year round, the summits of the hills beyond the Tiber, extending from its banks with panoramic effect, present a spectacle which the eye abandons with regret. Near to this plain is another surrounded with columns, sacred groves, three theatres, an amphitheatre, and superb temples in close contiguity to each other; and so magnificent, that it would seem idle to describe the rest of the city after it. For this cause the Romans, esteeming it as the most sacred place, have there erected funeral monuments to the most illustrious persons of either sex. The most remarkable of these is that designated as the Mausoleum, which consists of a mound of earth raised upon a high foundation of white marble, situated near the river, and covered to the top with ever-green shrubs. Upon the summit is a bronze statue of Augustus Caesar, and beneath the mound are the ashes of himself, his relatives, and friends. Behind is a large grove containing charming promenades. In the centre of the plain, is the spot where this prince was reduced to ashes; it is surrounded with a double enclosure, one of marble, the other of iron, and planted within with poplars. If from hence you proceed to visit the ancient forum, which is equally filled with basilicas, porticos, and temples, you will there behold the Capitol, the Palatium, with the noble works which adorn them, and the promenade of Livia, each successive place causing you speedily to forget what you have before seen. Such is Rome.
6. Pliny The Elder, Natural History, 15.78 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

7. Plutarch, Theseus, 27.4-27.5 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

8. Macrobius, Saturnalia, 3.9.3 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

9. Macrobius, Saturnalia, 3.9.3 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aeneas Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
angerona Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
antiope Welch, Tarpeia: Workings of a Roman Myth (2015) 279
artemisia i of caria Oksanish, Vitruvian Man: Rome Under Construction (2019) 78
campania Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
caria Oksanish, Vitruvian Man: Rome Under Construction (2019) 78
carya Oksanish, Vitruvian Man: Rome Under Construction (2019) 78
caryatids, function in de architectura Oksanish, Vitruvian Man: Rome Under Construction (2019) 78
caryatids, traditional association with erechtheum korai Oksanish, Vitruvian Man: Rome Under Construction (2019) 78
caryatids, vitruvian etymology Oksanish, Vitruvian Man: Rome Under Construction (2019) 78
caryatids Oksanish, Vitruvian Man: Rome Under Construction (2019) 78
causal over-determination Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 93
cora Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
dardanus Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
deuotio (devotio) of p. decius mus Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 93
etymology Oksanish, Vitruvian Man: Rome Under Construction (2019) 78
expiation Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 93
fatum, inevitable Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 93
gods, intervention Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 93
gods, negotiation with Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 93
historia, anceps and triceps Oksanish, Vitruvian Man: Rome Under Construction (2019) 78
italy (italia) Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
landscape and topography Welch, Tarpeia: Workings of a Roman Myth (2015) 279
latium Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
monumentality/monuments Welch, Tarpeia: Workings of a Roman Myth (2015) 279
nature, and the gods Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 93
pax deorum Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 93
persian portico Oksanish, Vitruvian Man: Rome Under Construction (2019) 78
piso frugi (l. calpurnius) Welch, Tarpeia: Workings of a Roman Myth (2015) 279
plutarch Welch, Tarpeia: Workings of a Roman Myth (2015) 279
rape Welch, Tarpeia: Workings of a Roman Myth (2015) 279
rome (city), secret names of Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
rome (city) Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
rome (monuments and features in city), arch of titus Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
rome (monuments and features in city), shrine of volupia Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
rome (monuments and features in city), velabrum Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
rome ara pacis, forum Welch, Tarpeia: Workings of a Roman Myth (2015) 279
romulus Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
romulus and camillus, and roman places Welch, Tarpeia: Workings of a Roman Myth (2015) 279
sacrifice, of self Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 93
samnites Welch, Tarpeia: Workings of a Roman Myth (2015) 279
solstices Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
tact' Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 93
tarpeia as amazon, worship of Welch, Tarpeia: Workings of a Roman Myth (2015) 279
titus (emperor) Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
valerius soranus, q. Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
varro marcus terentius varro Oksanish, Vitruvian Man: Rome Under Construction (2019) 78
vespasian (emperor) Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147