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Pyrgi was an ancient Etruscan port in Latium, central Italy, to the north-west of Caere. Its location is now occupied by the burgh of Santa Severa.

Remains of its defensive walls exist in polygonal blocks of limestone and sandstone, neatly jointed. They enclosed a rectangular area some 200 m in width and at least 220 m in length. The south-west extremity has probably been destroyed by the sea. It contained a rich temple of Leucothea, the foundation of which was ascribed to the Pelasgi. It was plundered by Dionysius in 384 BC. Later it became dependent on Caere, though it is not probable that it was originally merely the harbour of Caere; Alsium was c. 8 km to the south.

Detail of clay group with mythological scene from the Theban cycle, from the area of temple A at Pyrgi, mid-fifth century BC.

The Romans established a colony here, which is first mentioned in 191 BC. Later still it supplied fish to Rome, and became a favorite summer resort, as did also Punicum (Santa Marinella), 8 km to the north-west, where are many remains of villas. Both were stations on the coast road (Via Aurelia).

In 1957 excavations found the remains of a large temple with three cells. The Pyrgi Tablets, containing texts in Phoenician and Etruscan languages, were found here in 1964.

References

Wikisource-logo.svg "Pyrgi". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.   This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

External links

Coordinates: 42°00′54.81″N 11°57′48.29″E / 42.015225°N 11.9634139°E / 42.015225; 11.9634139

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PYRGI (mod. S. Severa), an ancient town of Etruria, Italy, on the south-west coast, 9 m. W.N.W. of Caere. The name is Greek (lrup'yoL, towers), and the place of considerable antiquity. Remains of its defensive walls exist in polygonal blocks of limestone and sandstone, neatly jointed. They enclosed a rectangular area some 200 yds. in width and at least 220 yds. in length. The south-west extremity has probably been destroyed by the sea. It contained a rich temple of Leucothea, the foundation of which was ascribed to the Pelasgi. It was plundered by Dionysius in 384 B.C. Later it became dependent on Caere, though it is not probable that it was originally merely the harbour of Caere; Alsium is a good deal nearer (5 m. south). The Romans planted a colony here, which is first mentioned in 191 B.C. Later still it supplied fish to the capital, and became a favourite summer resort, as did also Punicum (S. Marinella) 5 m. to the north-west, where are many remains of villas. Both were stations on the coast road (Via Aurelia) .

See H. Dennis, Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria, i. 289. (London, 1883). (T. As.)


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