Skip to comments.Virgil's Demi-God City 'Found'
Posted on 04/07/2006 11:09:48 AM PDT by blam
Virgil's demi-god city 'found'
Castor and Pollux fought Aeneas at Amyclae
(ANSA) - Rome, April 6 - Italian archaeologists believe they have found an ancient city where the demi-gods Castor and Pollux fought Aeneas, the Trojan hero whose descendants founded Rome .
Lorenzo and Stefania Quilici of Bologna and Naples universities claim the large, massive-walled settlement dating from the VI to III Century BCE was the city of Amyclae, believed by Renaissance scholars to be somewhere near Lake Fondi between Rome and Naples .
"The road there is a perfectly preserved stretch of the ancient Via Appia," said Lorenzo Quilici .
"After a tough climb we found the remains of the old city, which appears to have been destroyed by an earthquake, given the way the rocks have tumbled onto one another" .
"The size of the settlement - 33 hectares - made us think of a city that left its mark on the area," Stefania Quilici said .
That is when they began to think of Amyclae, a city founded by the twin sons of Zeus Castor and Pollux whose Spartan followers clashed with Aeneas .
In the Aeneid, the epic poem recounting Aeneas's voyage from Troy to Italy, Virgil does not say exactly where the city was .
But many scholars think it is buried under a town of the same name in Greece. The ancient settlement discovered by the Quilicis sits atop a heavily wooded hill in the Aurunci National Park .
Rome archaeological director Anna Maria Reggiani said: "It's safe for the moment from incursions because it's in such an impervious zone" .
"But we'll have to wait for funding in order to start a dig"
Ahhhh, in searh of the Golden Fleece...........
And VI to III cent BC would be too late for Aeneas' settlement...?
In the Aeneid, the epic poem recounting Aeneas's voyage from Troy to Italy, Virgil does not say exactly where the city was. But many scholars think it is buried under a town of the same name in Greece.Interesting.
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Magna cum murmurae montis!
Just so. Rome was probably founded about 753 BC.
And according to The Aeneid, Virgil landed at the mouth of the Tiber 333 years before the founding. Three years to the building of his son's little city, 33 years to Alba Longa, and 333 years to Rome.
Which means that this city should date back considerably earlier. Maybe there are older ruins underneath, as at Troy?
Could be. I still don't see any good reason given in the article, though, to believe this is the spot.
"But many scholars think it is buried under a town of the same name in Greece."
Uh-oh - here come the EU family squabbles.
This may not be what they hope it to be, but something interesting may lay beneath. This could be their way to angle for funding.
Amyclae (Amyklai) was one of the five villages which together formed ancient Sparta (Lacedaemon), located about 3 miles south of the other four. There was another Amyklai on the south coast of Crete.
Will be interesting to hear of what the dig produces.
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.
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After a tough climb we found the remains of the old city, which appears to have been destroyed by an earthquake, given the way the rocks have tumbled onto one another".
[snip] The first direct documentary record of Itri dates to 914, but settlements in the neighbourhood existed from prehistoric times, as proved by findings from the Neolithic and the Bronze Ages.
According to legend, Itri’s origins appear to coincide with the destruction of Amyclae, a maritime city founded by the twin sons of Zeus, Castor and Pollux, whose Spartan followers clashed with Aeneas. It certainly originated from a Greek colony, which likely came from the coast at about 20 km north of Fondi. Amyclae was founded between Lake Fondi and the Terracina coast, on the limits of murky waters of the swamps present at the time. The quiet Amyclaeans were struck by the cursed and numerous forces of the swamp, unstoppable beings such as the monstrous serpent with nine heads, the Lernaean Hydra, which attacked from the swamps with poisonous venom, and whose heads would re-grow as quickly as Hercules could slice them off with his sword. The city of Amyclae was soon annihilated. The few survivors abandoned the city and relocated a few kilometers south to the area now known as Itri. These first inhabitants of Itri adopted the emblems of the “Signum Salutis”, a serpent, as their symbol of power, and “Amycleus”, the dog’s head, as their symbol of fidelity. Itri in fact was most likely a town of the Aurunci, later conquered and assimilated by the Romans.
The name Itri derives from the Latin word iter, meaning “route” or “way”, appropriate since the city lies where the old Roman Via Appia, built in 312 BC, crosses the Monti Aurunci by way of a narrow pass, the Gola di Sant’Andrea, called by Charles Dickens a “noble mountain pass”. An alternative hypothesis on the origin of the town’s name suggest it derived from the cult of the Eastern God Mithra, as there is a large subterranean temple dedicated to him a few hundred meters south of the town. Still another suggestion is that it derives from the Greek for snake “hydra”, pronounced in some dialects as “itra”. [/snip]
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