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Vectis  

Martin Millett

(also Victis or Ictis), the classical name of the Isle of Wight. The separate identification of Ictis with St Michael's Mount is not favoured, given the confusion surrounding its mention in relation to the mythical *Cassiterides. The Isle of Wight was well settled and an important navigation point.

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Veii  

John Bryan Ward-Perkins and D. W. R. Ridgway

Veii (mod. Isola Farnese), 16 km. (10 mi.) north of Rome, was the most southerly of the great Etruscan cities. Habitation and burial are attested from the culturally proto-*Villanovan final bronze age onwards, and document growing exchanges with the outside world; the vast Villanovan cemeteries have yielded a particularly instructive range of imported Greek and locally made Geometric pottery. Later, the inexorable expansion of Rome led to rivalry; after a long siege the city was destroyed in 396 bce (Livy, 5. 1–22; Plut.Cam.2–6) and its territory annexed. A small urban nucleus survived and shortly before 2 bce became the modest municipium Augustum Veiens (Prop. 4. 10. 27 ff.). The *Etruscan city, of which little is known, was provided with imposing defences in the late 5th cent. It was famous for its statuary: *Pliny(1) (HN 35. 157) records the name of Vulca, commissioned to furnish statues for *Jupiter's temple on the Roman *Capitol.

Article

Velabrum  

Ian Archibald Richmond and John Patterson

Velabrum, according to *Varro (Ling. 5. 43), the landing-place of an ancient ferry connecting the Aventine with the Palatine in Rome; more generally, an area of low ground between the Capitol and Palatine. Originally open to seasonal floods of the Tiber, it was drained by the *Cloaca Maxima, and eventually became one of the busiest commercial centres of the city; the vicus Tuscus and vicus Iugarius, which carried traffic between the *forum Romanum and the Tiber, passed through.

Article

Velia  

Ian Archibald Richmond and John Patterson

Velia, a hill located between the *Palatine and Oppian hills of Rome, overlooking the *forum Romanum; traditionally King Tullus *Hostilius lived here, and P. *Valerius Poplicola (consul 509 bce). The Temple of the *Penates was also located on the hill. The appearance of the area under the republic is now difficult to reconstruct due to the effect of major imperial building projects (the vestibule of *Nero's*Domus Aurea, *Hadrian's temple of Venus and Rome, and the *basilica of *Maxentius) and the destruction caused by the building of the via dell'Impero (now via dei Fori Imperiali) in 1932–3.

Article

Velitrae  

Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

Volscian town (see volsci) on the southern rim of the Alban hills (see albanus mons) in *Latium. It frequently fought early Rome, until annexed by the latter (338 bce). It still spoke Volscian then, but was soon completely Latinized. *Augustus originated from Velitrae. *Claudius made it a colonia (see colonization, roman).

Article

Venafrum  

H. Kathryn Lomas

Venafrum (mod. Venafro), a Samnite (Pentrian; see samnium) city on the borders of *Latium and *Campania. It came under Roman control c.290 bce. In the *Social War (3), it was captured and the Roman garrison slaughtered. A colony was founded there, possibly Augustan (CIL 10.

Article

Veneti (2), region at the head of the Adriatic  

Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

Inhabited fertile country about the head of the Adriatic. Chief cities: *Ateste in prehistoric times, *Patavium in historic (see antenor (1)). They may be of Illyrian extraction (cf. Hdt. 1. 196), although their surviving inscriptions (5th–1st cent. bce) are not in an *Illyrian language. Archaeological evidence reveals that they immigrated into north Italy c.950; here they preceded and later successfully resisted *Etruscans and Gauls. They were highly civilized, preferred horse-breeding and commerce to war, and early organized the Baltic *amber trade. They particularly worshipped a goddess of healing, Rehtia (or Reitia: see religion, italic). Always friendly to the Romans, the Veneti aided them against Gauls (390 bce) and *Hannibal (see punic wars). Later from allies they became subjects, though retaining local autonomy. Presumably they obtained Latin rights (see ius latii) in 89, full citizenship in 49 bce (see citizenship, roman).

Article

Venta Silurum  

Sheppard S. Frere and Martin Millett

Venta Silurum, a town of Roman *Britain in South Wales (mod. Caerwent) the civitas-capital of the *Silures. A dedication to Ti. Claudius Paulinus, former commander of Legio II Augusta (RIB311; see legion), forms important evidence for the character of local government in Britain. Although it was founded in the late 1st cent. ce, there is little evidence for development until into the 2nd cent. Recent excavations in the *forum-*basilica suggest mid-2nd-cent. construction. The town was defended by earthworks in the late 2nd cent. and a town wall was added after ce 330; this was supplemented with external towers dated to after ce 348–9. These defences enclosed only 18 hectares, which were extensively explored between 1899 and 1913. More recent work has examined a temple, the forum-basilica, and private housing.

Article

Venusia  

H. Kathryn Lomas

Venusia (mod. Venosa), in south Italy, a Peucetian city (see messapii) on the *via Appia, 82 km. (51 mi.) north of Potenza (see potentia). There was a pre-Roman settlement, but there is little evidence for it. It came into contact with Rome in 317 bce, and it may by this date have been Oscanized (see oscans). A large Latin colony was founded there in 291 (Dion. Hal.Ant. Rom.17–18), after which it became increasingly important. It remained loyal to Rome until 90 bce, when it revolted, and was not recaptured until 88. It became a *municipium but regained colonial status (see colonization, roman) in the 1st cent. ce; continuing to be noted as one of the most important cities of *Apulia, it was the birthplace of *Horace (Sat. 2. 1. 34). Recent surveys of its territory have revealed clusters of farms and smallholdings, probably pertaining to various colonial settlements.

Article

Verona  

Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

Verona, a town of the *Veneti(2) on the river Adige, perhaps also occupied by the *Cenomani (Plin. HN 3. 130; Livy, 5. 35). Little is known of this period in its history, but the oldest inscription is a milestone from the *via Postumia of 148 bce. *Catullus (1) was born here, and *Martial (14. 195. 1) and *Strabo (5. 1. 6) call Roman Verona a large and important city. By ce 69 it was a colonia (Tac.Hist. 3. 8; see colonization, roman). There are many monuments including the magnificent 1st-cent. amphitheatre; a theatre; and walls of *Gallienus. The *gens Gavia were generous patrons. It retained its importance in late antiquity, and was occupied by *Constantine I (312), *Theoderic(1) (499), and the *Lombards (568). Excavation suggests that occupation continued unbroken into the Middle Ages, although in an impoverished way.

Article

Verulamium  

Sheppard S. Frere and Martin Millett

Verulamium, a town in *Britain near modern St Albans (Herts.). The town was built on part of the iron age *oppidum (Verlami (n)), capital of *Tasciovanus, which developed into a town after the Roman conquest. The settlement was probably accorded the status of *municipium by *Claudius (Tac.Ann. 14. 33). The earliest shops were half-timbered multiple buildings used for commercial purposes. After the sack by *Boudicca (ce 60/61) rebuilding was delayed, but by ce 79 a new masonry forum of Gallic design was dedicated, under Cn. *Iulius Agricola, as the dedication inscription shows (RIB 3123). The earliest defensive earthwork (perhaps pre-Flavian) enclosed 48 ha.; it became obsolete early in the 2nd cent. and the town expanded over it. Stone public buildings of the late 1st and early 2nd cents. include two temples of non-classical type and a market hall; but domestic building was still in half-timber. About ce 155 much of the town, including the forum, was burnt down; in the restoration a theatre and palatial town houses in masonry were built.

Article

Vesontio  

A. L. F. Rivet and John Frederick Drinkwater

Vesontio (mod. Besançon), capital of the Sequani, an advanced central Gallic people (cf. *Aedui, *Allobroges, *Arverni). Strategically important for its command of the Belfort gap, it was occupied by *Caesar in 58 bce and in ce 68 saw the conflict between C. *Iulius Vindex and *Verginius Rufus. Included in Gallia Belgica (see gaul (transalpine)) by *Augustus, the Sequani were transferred under the Flavians to *Germania Superior, and in the late empire Vesontio became the provincial capital of Maxima Sequanorum. The Roman city directly succeeded the Celtic *oppidum sited, as Caesar accurately described, in a bend of the river Dubis (now Doubs). The most important surviving monument is the Porte Noire, but the forum and amphitheatre are also known.

Article

Vesuvius  

Edward Togo Salmon and Nicholas Purcell

Vesuvius, the famous volcano on the bay of Naples, rises isolated out of the surrounding plain of *Campania. Its base is some 48 km. (30 mi.) in circumference, its central cone over 1,216 m. (4,000 ft.) high, and its general appearance picturesque since the mountain-sides have been largely blown away. Vesuvius is mentioned only twice during the Roman republic: in the Latin War of 340, where the allusion (Livy, 8. 8. 19) seems erroneous, and in the revolt of *Spartacus, who used its crater as a stronghold in 73. It appeared extinct (Diod. 4. 21. 5), and its fertile slopes were extensively cultivated, with vineyards mostly (Strabo 5. 4. 8, 247). On 5 February ce 63 a damaging earthquake presaged the first recorded eruption, the severe one of 24 August 79 that buried *Pompeii in sand, stones, and mud, *Herculaneum in liquid tufa, and *Stabiae in ashes, asphyxiated *Pliny(1) the Elder, and is described by *Pliny(2) the Younger, an eyewitness, in letters to *Tacitus(1) (Ep.

Article

Vetera  

John Frederick Drinkwater

Vetera, near Birten, a major Augustan military base on the Rhine, and then a permanent station for two legions. After its destruction by C. *Iulius Civilis in 70, a one-legion fortress was erected on a new site. This appears to have been occupied to the late 3rd/early 4th cent., and may have been refortified by Julian. A walled colony (Colonia Ulpia Traiana) was founded (between 98 and 107) nearby at Xanten; see colonization, roman.

Article

Vetulonia  

D. W. R. Ridgway

Vetulonia (Etr. Vetluna), in the hills to the west of the bay that is now the Grosseto plain, was one of the twelve cities of Etruria (see etruscans). Excavation has been mainly confined to the extensive cemeteries. The earliest material is Protovillanovan (see villanovan culture); the most notable comes from a series of wealthy orientalizing ‘circle tombs’, consisting of trenches surrounded by stones and covered by a tumulus. The Circolo dei Lebeti contained bronze cauldrons with siren heads and griffin protomes that have Greek and oriental parallels respectively. The Pietrera tumulus contained a single chamber in which a central pillar supports a corbelled dome: here as elsewhere in northern Etruria, the suggestion of affinities with Sardinian building techniques gains credit from the presence of nuragic imports in a number of other graves (see sardinia). According to *Silius Italicus (8. 484–8) the Romans assumed the Etruscan royal insignia of fasces, sella curulis, etc.

Article

via Aemilia  

Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

Via Aemilia, named after its builder, M. *Aemilius Lepidus(1), consul 187 bce (Livy, 39. 2), and subsequently repaired by *Augustus and *Trajan, ran from *Ariminum 281 km. (176 mi.) north-west to *Placentia (with later extensions to *Augusta Praetoria (Aosta), to Segusio, to *Aquileia, all somewhat inaccurately called via Aemilia).

Article

via Aemilia Scauri  

Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

Via Aemilia Scauri, highway built by M. *Aemilius Scaurus(1), *censor109 bce, linking the *via Aurelia and *via Postumia. It ran from Vada Volaterrana through *Pisae, *Genua, and Vada Sabatia and thence inland to Dertona. From Vada Sabatia the via Iulia Augusta (built by *Augustus) continued along the coast to beyond Albintimilium (mod.

Article

via Annia  

Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

Highway built in northern Italy, perhaps by T. Annius Luscus, consul 153 bce. It probably linked *Bononia with *Aquileia via *Patavium, *Altinum, and Concordia. (2) The extension of the via Appia, which ran from *Capua through *Nola, *Nuceria (1), *Consentia, and Vibo (see hipponium) to *Rhegium, may also have been a via Annia (not via Popillia, as usually stated), built perhaps by T.

Article

via Appia  

Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

Via Appia, the Romans' principal route to south Italy and beyond (Strabo, 6. 283). Ap. *Claudius Caecus, *censor312 bce, built and named the 211-km. (132-mi.) section from Rome to *Capua (Livy, 9. 29). It had probably been extended by 244 through *Beneventum, *Venusia, and *Tarentum to *Brundisium (374 km., 234 mi.). Paving of the Appia commenced in 295 and apparently was complete by *Gracchan times (Livy, 10. 23; Plut.Gracch.7; reject Diod. Sic. 20. 36). In imperial times a praetorian curator (see cura(tio), curator; praetor, Caesar and imperial period) kept the road in order. Its exact line can be traced most of the way to Beneventum, but less securely beyond, since the shorter route to Brundisium via *Canusium and *Barium, which the via Traiana later used, led to neglect of the Appia. Between Rome and Beneventum, however, one can still see roadside tombs (e.g. the Scipios', Caecilia Metella's), the ancient pavement, a rock-cutting (at *Tarracina), embankments (e.

Article

via Aurelia  

Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

Via Aurelia, an important highway up the western coast of Italy. Possibly first laid out as far as Cosa by C. Aurelius Cotta, *censor in 241 bce, it was later rebuilt on a different line, and extended by M. *Aemilius Scaurus(1) in 109 bce to Dertona and thence to *Arelate, in the newly acquired Gallia Narbonensis (see narbo; gaul (transalpine)).