TUSCULUM , an
See also:ancient city of
See also:Latium, situated in a commanding position on the
See also:north edge of the
See also:ring of the
See also:volcano, 12 m . N.E. of the
See also:Frascati . The highest point is 2198 ft. above
See also:sea-level . It has a very extensive view of the Campagna, with Rome lying 15 M. distant to the north-west . Rome was approached by the Via
See also:Latina (from which a branch road ascended to Tusculum, while the
See also:main road passed through the valley to the south of it), or by the Via Tusculana (though the antiquity of the latter road is doubtful) . According to tradition, the city was founded by Telegonus; the son of Ulysses and
See also:Circe . When Tarquinius Superbus was expelled from Rome his cause was espoused by the chief of Tusculum, Octavius Mamilius, who took a leading
See also:part in the formation of the Latin
See also:League, composed of the
See also:principal cities of Latium, banded together against Rome . Mamilius commanded the Latin army at the
See also:battle of Lake
See also:Regillus (497 B.C.), but was killed, and the predominance of Rome among the Latin cities was practically established . According to some accounts Tusculum became from that
See also:time an ally of Rome, and on that account frequently incurred the hostility of the other Latin cities . In 381 B.e., after an expression of
See also:complete submission to Rome, the
See also:people of Tusculum received the
See also:Roman franchise, but without the
See also:vote, and thenceforth the city continued to hold the
See also:rank of a municipium . Other accounts, however, speak of Tusculum as often allied with Rome's enemies —last of all with the
See also:Samnites in 323 B.C . Several of the chief I Roman families were of Tusculan origin, e.g. the gentes Mamilia, Fulvia, Fonteia, Juventia and Porcia; to the last-named the I celebrated Catos belonged .
See also:town council kept the name of
See also:senate, but the title of dictator gave place to that of
See also:aedile . Notwithstanding this, and the fact that a
See also:college of Roman equites was formed to take
See also:charge of the cults of the gods at Tusculum, and especially of the Dioscuri, the citizens
See also:resident there were neither numerous nor men of distinction . The villas of the neighbourhood had indeed acquired greater importance than the not easily accessible town itself, and by the end of the Republic, and still more during the imperial
See also:period, the territory of Tusculum was one of the favourite places of residence of the wealthy Romans . The number and extent of the remains almost defy description, and can only be made clear by a map . Even in the time of
See also:Cicero we hear of eighteen owners of villas there . Much of the territory (including Cicero's
See also:villa), but not the town itself, which lies far too high, was supplied with
See also:water by the Aqua Crabra . On the
See also:hill of Tusculum itself are remains of a small theatre (excavated in 1839), with a
See also:reservoir behind it, and an amphitheatre . Both belong probably to the imperial period, and so does a very large villa (the sub-structures of which are preserved), by some attributed, but wrongly, to Cicero, by others to Tiberius, near the latter . Between the amphitheatre and the theatre is the site of the Forum, of which nothing is now visible, and to the south on a projecting
See also:spur were tombs of the Roman period . There are also many remains of houses and villas . The citadel—which stood on the highest point an abrupt rock—was approached only on one side, that towards the city, and even here by a steep ascent of 150 ft . Upon it remains of the
See also:castle, which stood here until 1191, alone are visible .
The city walls, of which some remains still exist below the theatre, are built of blocks of the native " lapis Albanus " or
See also:peperino . They probably belong to the republican period . Below them is a well-
See also:house, with a roof formed of a pointed arch—generally held to go back to a somewhat remote antiquity, but hardly with sufficient reason . The most interesting associations of the city are those connected with Cicero, whose favourite residence and retreat for study and
See also:work was at, or rather near, Tusculum . It. was here that he composed his celebrated Tusculan Disputations and other philosophical
See also:works . Much has been written on the position of his villa, but its true site still remains doubtful . The theory, which places it at or near Grotta Ferrata, some distance farther to the west, has most evidence to support it . Although Cicero (
See also:Pro Sestio, 43) speaks of his own house as being insignificant in
See also:size compared to that of his neighbour
See also:Gabinius, yet we gather from other notices in various parts of his works that it was a considerable
See also:building . It comprised two gymnasia (Div. i . 5), with covered porticus for exercise and philosophical discussion (Tusc . Disp. ii . 3) .
One of these, which stood on higher ground, was called " the
See also:Lyceum," and contained a library (Div. ii . 3); the other, on a
See also:lower site, shaded by rows of trees, was called " the Academy." The main building contained a covered porticus, or cloister, with apsidal recesses (exedrae) containing seats (see Ad Fam. vii . 23) . It also had bathrooms (Ad Fam. xiv . 20), and contained a number of works of
See also:art, both pictures and statues in
See also:bronze and marble (Ep. ad Att. i . 1, 8, 9, ro) . The central
See also:atrium appears to have been small, as Cicero speaks of it as an atriolum (Ad Quint . Fr. iii . 1) . The cost of this and the other house which he built at
See also:Pompeii led to his being burdened with
See also:debt (Ep. ad Att. ii . 1) . Nothing now exists which can be asserted to be part of Cicero's villa with any degree of certainty .
During the imperial period little is recorded about Tusculum; but soon after the transference of the seat of
See also:empire to Constantinople it became a very important stronghold, and for some centuries its
See also:counts occupied a leading position in Rome and were specially influential in the selection of the popes . During the 12th century there were
See also:constant struggles between Rome and Tusculum, and towards the close of the century (r 191) the Romans, supported by the German emperor, gained the upper
See also:hand, and the walls of Tusculum, together with the whole city, were destroyed . See L .
See also:Canina, Descr. dell' antico Tusculo (Rome, 1841) ; A . Nibby, Dintorni di
See also:Roma, iii . 293 (2nd ed., Rome, 1841); H .
See also:Dessau in Corp. inscript.
See also:lat. pp . 252 sqq . (Berlin, 1887); F . Grossi-Gondi, Il Tuscolano nell' eta, classica (Rome, 1907) ; T .
See also:Ashby in Papers of the
See also:British School at Rome, iv . 5 (
See also:London, 1907, 1909) .
There are no comments yet for this article.
Do not copy, download, transfer, or otherwise replicate the site content in whole or in part.
Links to articles and home page are encouraged.