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the Romans had conquered Latium. The distances
in the Itinerary of Antoninus are marked as follows:
The Via Lavicana, so called from its passing close to the ancient city of Lavicum, communicated with the Via Latina. Its stations are thus described in the Itinerary of Antoninus.
Here it met the Via Latina.
The Via Prænestina, like the Via Lavicana, issued from the Porta Esquilina, and fell into the Via La
Here it joined the Via Latina.
The road leading to Tibur has been already no
ticed as forming part of the Via Valeria.
This number should be VII.
History and revolutions of this province under the Oscans, Tuscans, Greeks, and Campanians-Its soil, climate, and boundaries-Description of the coast and the adjacent islands-Of the interior-Public roads.
It will have been observed that the whole of Italy to which our inquiry has hitherto extended itself appears to have been subject, from the remotest ages, to great vicissitudes in regard to its population. We shall not therefore be surprised at finding this to have been the case, in a still greater degree, in the fairest and most fertile of its provinces. All ancient writers who have treated of Italy bear witness to the frequent change of inhabitants which Campania more particularly has undergone in the course of its history. Attracted by the fertility of its soil, the beauty of its climate, and the commodiousness of its havens, successive invaders poured in and dispossessed each other, until the superior ascendency of Rome left her the undisputed mistress of this garden of Italy. From these repeated contentions arose, as Strabo asserts, the fiction of the battle between the gods and giants in the Phlegræan plains. (V. 243. Polyb. II. 17.)
It is universally agreed that the first settlers in Campania with whom history makes us acquainted are the Oscans. (Antioch. Syrac. ap. Strab. V. 234.
Polyb. ap. eund. Plin. III. 5.) Of this most ancient Italian tribe I have already spoken in the introductory account of Italy, as well as in other parts of this work. It will be seen from thence how widely diffused was the Oscan name, so much so, that the term Opicim was at one time synonymous with that of Itali in the minds of the Greeks. (Thuc. VI. 4. Plat. ad Dion. Ep. 8. Aristot. ap. Dion. Hal. I. 72.) It has also been observed, that the dissemination of this vast Italian family was commensurate with that of its language, of which we yet possess some few remains", and which is known to have been a dialect still in use in the best days of Roman literature: even when the Oscan name had disappeared from the rest of Italy, this language was retained by the inhabitants of Campania, though mingled with the dialects of the various tribes which successively obtained possession of that much prized country.
Of these the next to be mentioned are the Tuscans, who are stated to have extended their dominion at an early period both to the north and south of that portion of Italy which is considered as more properly belonging to them. to them. When they had effected the conquest of Campania, that province became the seat of a particular empire, and received the federal form of government, centred in twelve principal cities, which has been already noticed as a striking political feature in the history of this nation. (Strab. V. 242. Liv. IV. 37. Polyb. II. 17. Plin. III. 5.) Wealth and luxury, however, soon produced their usual effects on the conquerors of
m The genuine form of this name seems to have been Obsci, from which the Greeks formed
that of Opici, and the Latins that of Osci. (Fest. v. Oscum.) n Lanzi, vol. iii. p. 607.
Campania, and they in their turn fell an easy prey to the attacks of the Samnites, and were compelled to admit these hardy warriors to share with them the possession and enjoyment of these sunny plains. This observation, however, applies more particularly to Capua and its district, which was surprised by a Samnite force, A. U. C. 331. (Liv. IV. 44.) It is from this period that we must date the origin of the Campanian nation, which appears to have been thus composed of Oscans, Tuscans, Samnites, and Greeks, the latter having formed, as we shall presently see, numerous colonies on these shores. About eighty years after, the Romans gladly seized the opportunity of adding so valuable a portion of Italy to their dominions, under the pretence of defending the Campanians against their former enemies the Samnites. From this time Campania may be regarded as subject to Rome, if we except that short interval in which the brilliant successes of Hannibal withdrew its inhabitants from their allegiance, an offence which they were made to expiate by a punishment, the severity of which has few examples in the history, not of Rome only, but of nations. (Liv. XXVI. 14. et seq.)
The natural advantages of Campania, its genial climate and fertile soil, so rich in various productions, are a favourite theme with Latin writers, and elicit from them many an eloquent and animated tribute of admiration. Thus Cicero calls it "fun"dum pulcherrimum populi Romana, caput pecu
niæ, pacis ornamentum, subsidium belli, funda"mentum vectigalium, horreum legionum, solatium "annonæ.' Its inhabitants he describes as
66 semper superbi bonitate agrorum, et fructuum mag
“nitudine, aeris salubritate, et regionis pulchritu"dine." (Orat. II. de Leg. Agr.) Florus does not scruple to say, "Omnium non modo Italia, sed toto orbe “terrarum pulcherrima Campaniæ plaga est: nihil "mollius cœlo, ubi bis floribus vernat; nihil uberius "solo, ideo Liberi, Cererisque certamen dicitur; ni"hil hospitalius mari." (I. 16.) Finally, Pliny styles it, "felix illa Campania-certamen humanæ volup"tatis."
Before Latium had been extended beyond the Liris, that river formed the natural boundary of Campania to the north; but after this change in the limits of the two provinces, the Massic hills were considered as the boundary by which they were separated. To the east Campania was divided from Samnium by a branch of the Apennines, called Mons Tifata. To the south, the river Silarus, now Sele, if we include Ager Picentinus within the confines of Campania, will serve as the limit common to that province and Lucania.
Resuming the description of the coast from Sinuessa, the last maritime town of Latium, we must cross the little river Savo, now Savone; (Plin. III. 5.)
Vulturnus also the Vulturnus, now Volturno, a much more considerable stream, and often mentioned in the clas