ⓘ Aurunca

                                     

ⓘ Aurunca

The ancient city of Aurunca was the capital or metropolis of the little mountain tribe of the Aurunci), was situated on one of the summits of the volcanic group of mountains, which rise above the plains of Campania, near Suessa and Teanum.

The name Aurunca is found only in Festus, who wrote that it was founded by Auson, son of Ulysses and CIRCE, but Livy clearly alludes to its existence, though without mentioning the name. He tells us that in 337 BC, the Aurunci, being hard pressed by their neighbours the Sidicini, abandoned their city and took refuge at Suessa, which they fortified, and that their ancient city was destroyed by the Sidicini.

Aurunca was never rebuilt, and hence no subsequent notice of it, but some parts of it were discovered on top of a narrow ridge, now called La Serra, or La Cortinella, about 5 miles 8.0 km North of Suessa, where there are some fragments of ancient walls, and massive substructions, probably those of the temple. The hill on which it stood forms part of the outer edge, or encircling ridge of an ancient volcanic crater, the highest point of which, called the Monte di Santa Croce, attains a height of 3.200 feet 980 meters above sea level, and on the site of the ancient city must be like that of Alba Longa, a long and narrow plateau on top of a hill. From this elevated position that Virgil alludes de collibus Altis Aurunci misere patres. For a description of the remains and the site of the ancient city, see Abeken 1839 Suessa often characterized by the epithet Auranca, and therefore, the conditions of Juvenal Gaius Lucilius, who was a native of this city, a graduate of Auruncae.