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Article

Ateste  

D. W. R. Ridgway

Ateste (mod. Este) has given its name to one of the principal iron age cultures of northern Italy, lasting from the 9th cent. bce until its peaceful annexation by Rome in 184 bce. Until ce 589 it stood on the Adige, now some miles south, and throughout its history thus combined natural advantages for sea-trade, presumably coming through *Atria, with easy access to the land routes round the gulf. Already by the late 7th–early 6th cents. its products were not only reaching *Felsina and the head of the Adriatic, but were also crossing the Alps to Carniola and the Tyrol. Noted for its production of sheet-bronze, particularly of situlae, Ateste was for 800 years the most important commercial and artistic centre of Venetia (see veneti (2)): its commercial position led to the incorporation of foreign (e.g. oriental) elements, via Greek and Etruscan intermediaries, into a distinctive indigenous art-style.

Article

Carrara  

T. W. Potter

White *marble*quarries in NW Italy. Perhaps first exploited on a small scale by the *Etruscans, they were further developed after the foundation of the colony of *Luna in 177 bce, which acted as a port. Large-scale quarrying began in the 1st cent. bce. *Mamurra, *Caesar's praefectus fabrum (see fabri), was the first to veneer the walls of his house with Carrara (Plin. HN 36. 7. 48), and may have opened up the quarries for Caesar's building programme, replacing the use of Attic white marbles (see pentelicon). The reconstruction of the *Regia (37 bce) is often regarded as the earliest example of large-scale use of Carrara, and the industry (for buildings, sculpture, and *sarcophagi) reached its peak under Trajan, before giving way to the employment of marbles from the east Mediterranean. It was however partly revived in the 4th cent. ce.

Article

Kim Bowes

Roman landscapes exhibited enormous diversity, from the rolling hills of the Mediterranean heartland, to Nile marshlands, Apennine mountain pastures, and African pre-deserts. New work on this diversity has demonstrated the intensive methods with which they were managed for agriculture and artisanal output, as well as their highly periodized histories. While much debate in the study of these landscapes has revolved around ancient climate change, more apparent is robust human intervention, which often reached a peak during the Roman period. Romans thought deeply about landscapes, and their literature and religious rituals used landscape to frame moral, religious, and political values.

Unlike the landscapes of the Greek city states, those encompassed by the Roman empire at its height were diverse in the extreme. Among the empire’s territories were the pre-desert regions of Tripolitania and the Syrian frontier, the mountain pastures of the Apennines, and the marshes of the Egyptian oases, not to mention the rolling limestone landscapes of the Mediterranean heartland. Even within smaller slices of these territories (and even within tiny micro-regions), new work has revealed the remarkable diversity of vegetation, sunlight, rainfall, and topography. It is the plurality of these landscapes that gave Romans material for a rich tradition of literary and religious expression as well as a vast and intensive apparatus for economic exploitation.

Article

M. Stephen Spurr

Latifundia (large estates) ‘have ruined Italy and are now ruining the provinces’. *Pliny (1) the Elder (HN 18. 35) put latifundia at the centre of debate about the development of the Roman rural economy. But what were latifundia? Divergent modern definitions abound and confuse: large pastoral ranches beginning in the 3rd cent. bce; slave-staffed oil- and wine-producing villas (either single properties or the scattered estates of one owner) first described by M. *Porcius Cato(1)c. 160 bce (see villa; slavery); any property above 500 iugera (125 ha.: 309 acres) of whatever period: all of which ‘ruined’ Italy by forcing *peasants from the land. Others dismiss Pliny's remark as generalized nostalgia and refer to archaeological surveys that not only emphasize the diversity of rural settlement but also show that villas and peasant farms often existed side by side. Yet if Pliny is allowed credence, the term latifundia applies strictly to extensive unitary estates, resulting from an aggregation of properties, too large to farm according to the labour-intensive methods of cultivation of the slave-staffed villas recommended by the *agricultural writers (HN 18.

Article

Ostia  

Nicholas Purcell

Ostia, city at the mouth of the *Tiber, colonia at least by the late 4th cent. bce, heavily involved with Rome's naval history, commerce, and communications, and one of the best-known Roman cities archaeologically. Abandoned in the 5th cent. ce, Ostia was covered with drifting sand from coastal dunes, and the area was sparsely populated until this century because of malaria. With the coast southwards, and the remains of *Portus, this therefore makes an archaeological site of the highest importance.Tradition ascribed the foundation to King Ancus *Marcius, and claimed that the trade in salt from the adjacent lagoons (which was certainly significant in historical times) dated back to that epoch (cf. the *via Salaria). The Latin civilization is well represented in the immediate hinterland by the important discoveries at Castel di Decima on the via Laurentina and Ficana, overlooking the confluence of the Tiber and the Fossa Galeria, an important route leading inland towards *Veii, and dominating the coastal plain just inland from Ostia.

Article

Vladimir F. Stolba

Panskoye I is one of the most prominent and best-studied settlements in the rural territory of Chersonesus on the Tarkhankut Peninsula (north-western Crimea). Founded in the late 5th century bce as a fortified outpost (tetrapyrgia) protecting the south-eastern frontiers of Olbian territory, around 360 bce it was subjugated to Tauric Chersonesus, a close relationship which it maintained until the settlement’s catastrophic destruction around 270 bce. In 1969–1994, a significant part of the settlement and associated necropolis were investigated by the Tarkhankut Archaeological Expedition of the Leningrad Institute of Archaeology, Academy of Sciences of the USSR (since 1991, Institute for the History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg). The settlement’s stratigraphy and size, as well as its unique structure and layout, representing an agglomeration of compactly placed free-standing farmsteads, adjoining house blocks, and monumental buildings accommodating more than one household, distinguish it from other rural settlements in the area. Its rich and original material culture shows a remarkable intermingling of various cultural components, both Greek and non-Greek.

Article

Robin Osborne

Mountain east of Athens, known in antiquity as Brilessus. From the 6th cent. bce onwards the high-quality *marble was exploited by quarrying on both western and northern slopes. All the major building projects in Athens in the late 5th cent. employ Pentelic marble, and the ancient *quarries and quarry roads remain visible today. Traces of both a fort and a sanctuary have been found at the summit.

Article

John Ellis Jones

Thoricus, coastal *deme of SE *Attica, now a bare twin-peaked hill (Velatouri) north of modern Laurion. In legend, one of King *Cecrops' twelve Attic townships, home of the hunter king *Cephalus, and landing-place of *Demeter, travelling from *Crete to *Eleusis. An important centre of the Classical silver-mine industry, it became a ghost-town by the 1st cent. ce (partly reoccupied in 5th/6th cent. ce). Excavated remains include, on the higher slopes, five Helladic tombs, Geometric graves and houses, and, lower down, extensive remains of the Archaic–Classical town: a theatre of unusual plan (see theatres (greek and roman), structure; theatre staging, greek), adjacent temple-foundations, tombs, houses, ore-washeries (one restored) and a large mine-gallery (with early bronze to later Roman sherds), and an ‘industrial quarter’ of streets, houses and washeries, an outlying tower, and a silted-over temple, perhaps Demeter's. A remarkable inscription (Ant.

Article

Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

Via Salaria, an old-established route which facilitated the salt trade from the *Tiber mouth. It ran north-east from Rome to *Reate in the Sabine country. Later extensions,

(1) through Amiternum and

(2) through *Asculum Picenum, carried it to the *Adriatic.

Article

Giusto Traina

The most common words to designate a marsh, a swamp, or a bog are helos in ancient Greek and palus in Latin; beside these terms, less common words were also employed. Literary and epigraphic texts give evidence for marshlands in the countryside, in the coastal areas, and also close to urban agglomerations. The sources often give evidence for drainage activity, but cases of extensive drainage are rare. In fact, they were possible only at public expense, by employing free or slave labor. On the other hand, several territories were characterized by a sort of marsh economy. Although rarely portrayed in literature, and despite the risk of malaria, marshy areas presented some economic potential: fishing, hunting, salt extraction, and farming. In many respects, the negative image of wetlands is a modern invention. The contrast between the rational order of the Roman countryside and the “barbaric” medieval landscape was introduced by the Enlightenment, and must be treated with caution.