Online Encyclopedia

ARDEA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V02, Page 449 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: del.icio.us del.icio.us it!
ARDEA, a town of the Rutuli in Latium, 3 M. from the S.W. coast, where its harbour (Castrum Inui) lay, at the mouth of the stream now known as Fosso dell' Incastro, and 23 M. S. of Rome by the Via Ardeatina. It was founded, according to legend, either by a son of Odysseus and Circe, or by Danae, the mother of Perseus. It was one of the oldest of the coast cities of Latium, and a place of considerable importance; according to tradition the Ardeatines and Zacynthians joined in the foundation of Saguntum in Spain. It was the capital of Turnus, the opponent of Aeneas. It was conquered by Tarquinius Superbus, and appears as a Roman possession in the treaty with Carthage of 509 B.C., though it was later one of the thirty cities of the Latin league. In 445 B.C. an unfair decision by the Romans in a frontier dispute with Aricia led, according to the Roman historians, to a rising; the town became a Latin colony 442 B.c., and shortly afterwards it appears as the place of exile of Camillus. It had the charge of the common shrine of Venus in Lavinium. It was devastated by the Samnites, was one of. the 12 Latin colonies that refused in 209 B.C. to provide more soldiers, and was in 186 used as a state prison, like Alba and Setia. In imperial times the unhealthiness of the place led to its rapid decline, though it remained a colony. In the forests of the neighbourhood the imperial elephants were kept. A road, the Via Ardeatina, led to Ardea direct from Rome; the gate by which it left the Servian wall was the Porta Naevia; a large tomb behind the baths of Caracalla lay on its course. The gate by which it left the Aurelian wall has been obliterated by the bastion of Antonio da Sangallo (Ch. Hiilsen in Romische Mitteilungen, 1894, 320). The site of the primitive city, which later became the citadel, is occupied by the modern town; it is situated at the end of a long plateau between two valleys, and protected by perpendicular tufa cliffs some 6o ft. high on all sides except the north-east, where it joins the plateau. Here it is defended by a fine wall of opus quadratum of tufa, in alternate courses of headers and stretchers. Within its area are scanty remains of the podium of a temple and of buildings of the imperial period. The road entering it from the south-west is deeply cut in the rock. The area of the place was apparently twice extended, a further portion of the narrow plateau, which now bears the name of Civita Vecchia, being each time taken in and defended by a mound and ditch; the nearer and better-preserved is about i m. from the city and measures some 2000 ft. long, 133 ft. wide and 66 ft. high, the ditch being some 8o ft. wide. The second, a m. farther north-east, is smaller. In the cliffs below the plateau to the north are early rock habitations, and upon the plateau primitive Latin pottery has been found. In 1900 a group of tombs cut in the rock was examined; they are outside the farther mound and ditch, and belong, therefore, to the period after the second extension of the city. See O. Richter, in Annali dell' Istituto (1884), 90; J. H. Parker in Archaeologra, xlix. 169 (1885); A. Pasqui, in Notizie degli scavi, (19o0) 53• (T. As.)
End of Article: ARDEA
[back]
ARDASHIR
[next]
ARDEBIL, or ARDABIL

Additional information and Comments

Castrum Inui According to the legend Castrum Inui was builded by Latino Silvio, son of Ascanio and grandchild of Enea, 1300 years before Christ. The settlement was under the protection of Inuo, son of Venus and Jupiter, patron of the fertility of the fields. A Fortress of Inuo is also mentioned in the sixth canto of Eneide. In other ancient sources Castrum Inui is mentioned as an harbour town, then left in the imperial period for a some unhealthiness of the place, and where rose an important international sanctuary known like Aphrodisium, dedicated to Venus Afrodite, goddess of love and fertility, born from the sea and mother of Inuo, the little god also known as Priapo. Mister Nibby, in the past century, mentioned the "villa Priapi", that could to be "the place called Priapo in Ardea", known to pontifical biographers, to be the place of birth of Pope Lion V. The ancient Castrum Inui is supposed to be in the outpouring of the river Incastro, emissary of the lake of Nemi, and also the sacred place where landed Danae, princess of Argo and founder of Ardea. Inuo Inuo, from the word ineo regarding penetration, the fertilization, is the equivalent of Priapo, often assimilated to Pan, Lyceo, Lupercus, Dionisio and Fauno. Priapo was born from Venus seated from Jupiter. Giunone (the wife of Jupiter), jealous, touches the pregnant belly of Venus and curses the soon to be born baby causing him his famous sexual deformity. Loved by the women as an helper of fertility, he was exiled from Lampsasco, his birth town, according to the willing of the jealous husbands. The gods worked over and a serious illness hit the sex of all of men, and to heal them all, Priapo is recalled in homeland and venerated like the god of the gardens, charged to keep distant the thieves and the evil eye, and to help the fertility of the garden. The religion of Priapo is spread in Italy around the III century b.C.. The shepherds liked Priapo, because in the big phallus of the little God they saw good auspices for the fertility of the fields. The ass was the animal consecrated to Priapo. Pan is a goat with a human face, harasses the nymphs to possess them, is the god of the fertility, of the forests, patron of the fields, of the olives and of the wine. He is pictured with a musical tool proceeded from the water pipes in which Syringe, one of the nymphs he tried to rape, was changed. Pan had the power to provoke the “panic” (large fear), presided over the sleep that the shepherds granted themselves in the noon, and was able, with the dreams, to reveal the future or to create terrible nightmares. Fauno is identified with Inuo as patron of the harvests and of the flock, he has faculty of oracle (the cavern of Fauno is near to Pomezia). Subsequently Fauno became the same with the god Pan and with the Luperco of the Roman. Priapo, Pan and Dionisio, are gods venerated and represented across the phallus. Inuo-Priapo showed his aid every year, around 10th of August, with a rain of his fecundating seed from the sky, to guarantee a rich harvest for the upcoming year. Every year the raining stars are known today as the "tears of San Lorenzo". Curiously the places join with the archaic religion of Inuo, Priapo, Pan or Fauno, present also a proximity with the places named “Lorenzo” and with an ancient church dedicated to Saint Lorenzo. Perhaps the association is archaic, in fact Larenta, the etruscan deity, then acquired from the Roman, was once a Land Mother goddess, and then we find her as a sacred prostitute patron of the plebeian and of the fertility of the fields. This ancient goddess was assimilated to Fauno and Luperco, almost to be their feminine opposing party. Tor San Lorenzo makes no difference, with the ancient church of the X century (adjacent the Tower). The archeological location The excavations to the outpouring of the river Incastro begun in 1998 and they are still in course. The structures recovered are really impressing for extension, complexity and scientific interest. The findings attest the presence of an urban huge installation, that used large cisterns for the water reserve, were provided of thermal installations, elaborate mechanisms for controlling the flow of the waters, of buildings with more plans with refined mural decorations and numerous mosaics. The site today offers some spectacular sights: a maze of rooms, halls, conducts of discharging, verandas, cisterns, and every type of construction. You can see different styles of the floors, from the mosaic to large cards to that with very small cards, from the spigato to the cocciopesto. The place certainly had inhabited from the IV-III century b C. until the III century a C. The most ancient parts are characterized by imposing structures realized with very large blocks of tufa. These buildings were absorbed in the successive constructions, that superimposed and intersected between them. After some centuries the reorganizations became less refined and realized mainly re-using the existing materials. Shell navies have been found on the floors, crusts of cirripedi (little shellfish) have been found on the plasters of the walls, and the ceilings collapsed leaving unbroken floors. The hypothesis that is born from this fact is that there came a day in which the entire location was plausibly submerged by the sea until the first floor of the buildings. It is in this phase that, probably, the roofs collapsed. The absence of bodies and every day objects let us suppose that the event (geological, seismic or climatic) was probably long-awaited, progressive or gradual. It is not still clear if, when the waters withdrew themselves, there was a successive settling, or if the site ended in the oblivion, buried progressively by the sand and used only as a chance hospitalization by the fishermen. At the beginning of 1900, according to what it is told in the environments of the old fishermen and of the graverobbers, the area was entirely shelved, but from the river was possible to dock with the boats on the ancient builings and to enter in the "tunnels", to get statues, coloured pieces of mosaic, amphoras, pots and other treasuries. The Castrum Inui of Ardea is one of the most important archeological locations of the coast south of Rome.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.