Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sutri (ancient Sutrium), a town and episcopal see of Italy, in the province of Rome, is picturesquely situated on a narrow hill, surrounded by ravines, a narrow neck on the west alone connecting it with the surrounding country. There are some remains of the ancient city walls of rectangular blocks of tufa on the southern side of the town, and some rock-cut sewers in the cliffs below them. The cathedral is modern, but the crypt, with twenty columns, is old, and the campanile dates from the 13th century. In the cliffs opposite the town on the south is the rock-cut church of the Madonna del Parto , developed, no doubt, out of an Etruscan tomb , of which there are many here; and close by is a rock-hewn amphitheatre of the Roman period, with axes of fifty-five and forty-four yards, now most picturesque.
The position of Sutri was important, commanding as it did the road into Etruria, the later Via Cassia ; and it is spoken of by Livy as one of the keys of Etruria, Nepet being the other. It came into the hands of Rome after the fall of Veii, and a Latin colony was founded there; it was lost again in 386, but was recovered and recolonized in 383?. It was besieged by the Etruscan in 311‑310 BC, but not taken. With Nepet and ten other Latin colonies it refused further help in the Second Punic War in 209 BC. Its importance as a fortress explains, according to Festus, the proverb Sutrium ire, of one who goes on important business, as it occurs in Plautus. It is mentioned in. the war of 41 BC, and received a colony of veterans under the triumviri (Colonia coniuncta lulia Sutrina). Inscriptions show that it was a place of some importance under the empire, and it is mentioned as occupied by the Lombards.
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