Rusellae - Encyclopedia

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RUSELLAE, an ancient town of Etruria, Italy, about 10 m.

S.E. of Vetulonia and 5 m. N.E. of Grosseto, situated on a hill with two summits, the higher 636 ft. above sea-level. It was one of the twelve cities of the Etruscan confederation, and was taken in 294 B.C. by the Romans. In 205 B.C. it contributed grain and timber for the needs of Scipio's fleet. A colony was founded here either by the Triumviri or by Augustus. The place was deserted in 1138, and the episcopal see was transferred to Grosseto. The ruins are now thickly overgrown with brushwood; but the walls, nearly 2 m. in circumference, are in places well preserved. They consist of large unworked blocks of a travertine which naturally splits into roughly rectangular blocks; these are quite irregular, and often as much as 9 ft. long by 4 ft. wide: in the interstices smaller pieces are inserted. The walls are embanking walls, with a low breastwork in places. Within the circuit which they enclose, now under cultivation, are two summits, one occupied by a Roman amphitheatre [the other by a tower (?)(?) of uncertain date]: a Roman cistern also is visible. Some 2 m. S.S.W. are modern baths, fed by hot springs, .which were in use in Roman times also, as the discovery of remains of Roman buildings shows.

See G. Dennis, Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria (London, 1883), ii. 222. (T. As.)

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