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Coordinates: 42°49′42″N 11°09′33″E / 42.828364°N 11.159210°E / 42.828364; 11.159210

Rusellae was an ancient town of Etruria (now Tuscany), which survived until the Middle Ages before being abandoned. The ruins lie in the modern località of Roselle in the comune of Grosseto.



The ruins are about 10 miles southeast of Vetulonia and 5 miles northeast of Grosseto. They are situated on a hill with two summits, the higher of which is 194 m (636 ft) above sea level. One summit is occupied by a Roman amphitheatre, the other by a tower of uncertain date. The local travertine was extensively used as a building material, as it naturally splits into roughly rectangular blocks.


Rusellae was associated with, but not actually one of, the twelve cities of the Etruscan Confederation.[1] The Romans captured it in 294 BC. In 205 BC, it contributed grain and timber for the fleet of Scipio Africanus. A colony was founded here either by the Triumviri or by Augustus.

The place was deserted in 1138, although still occasionally used. The episcopal see was transferred to Grosseto, which is now the provincial capital.


The area is now under cultivation, and the ruins themselves are now thickly overgrown, although the walls are in places well preserved. They are embanking walls, nearly 2 miles in circumference, with a low breastwork in places. The walls consist of somewhat irregular, unworked blocks of travertine often measuring as much as 2.75x1.2 m (9x4 ft). Smaller pieces are inserted in the gaps between blocks. A Roman cistern is visible. Roman remains have also been found 3 km to the south, at hot springs used for public bathing to this day.

Notes and references

  1. See Etruscan cities for sources
  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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