Alba Longa

Alba Longa
Albano Laziale - Le antiche terme romane di Cellomaio.jpg
Alba Longa is located in Italy
Alba Longa
Map of Italy showing approximate location of Alba Longa
RegionAlban Hills
Coordinates41°44′49″N 12°39′01″E / 41°44′49″N 12°39′01″E / 41.74691; 12.65026
Part ofItaly
Foundedca. 1151 B.C.
Abandonedmid-seventh century B.C.
PeriodsClassical antiquity

Alba Longa (occasionally written Albalonga in Italian sources) was an ancient Latin city[1] in Central Italy, 19 kilometres (12 mi) southeast of Rome,[2] in the Alban Hills. Founder and head of the Latin League, it was destroyed by the Romans around the middle of the 7th century BC, and its inhabitants were forced to settle in Rome. In legend, Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome, had come from the royal dynasty of Alba Longa, which in Virgil's Aeneid had been the bloodline of Aeneas, a son of Venus.

Rome's patrician families such as Julii, Servilii, Quinctii, Geganii, Curiatii and Cloelii originated in Alba Longa. [3]


Castel Gandolfo on a long, sunlit ridge overlooking Lake Albano, the most likely site of ancient Alba Longa.

Livy said of Alba Longa that it was founded by Ascanius to relieve crowding at Lavinium. He placed it at the foot of the Alban Mount and said that it took its name from being extended along a ridge.[4] Dionysius of Halicarnassus repeated the story, but added that Ascanius, following an oracle given to his father, collected other Latin populations as well. Noting that Latin: alba means "white" and Latin: longa means "long", he translated the name into the Greek language as "long white town". Dionysius placed the town between the Alban Mount and the Alban Lake,[5] thus beginning a long controversy about its location.

Since the 16th century, the site has been at various times identified as that of the Convent of St. Paul at Palazzola near Albano, Coste Caselle near Marino, and Castel Gandolfo. The last named of these places in fact occupies the site of the Villa of Domitian which, according to Juvenal, was situated on the arx of Alba.[6]

Archaeological data show the existence of a string of villages in the Iron Age, each with its own necropolis, along the south-western shore of Lake Albano.[citation needed] At the time of being destroyed by Rome, these villages must have still been in a pre-urban phase, beginning to group around a centre which may well have been Castel Gandolfo, whose significantly larger necropolis suggests a larger town.

In the later republican period the territory of Alba (the Ager Albanus) was settled once again with many residential villas, which are mentioned in ancient literature and of which remains are extant.

Other Languages
العربية: ألبا لونغا
български: Алба Лонга
brezhoneg: Alba Longa
català: Alba Longa
čeština: Alba Longa
Deutsch: Alba Longa
español: Alba Longa
euskara: Alba Longa
français: Albe la Longue
galego: Alba Longa
한국어: 알바 롱가
հայերեն: Ալբա Լոնգա
italiano: Alba Longa
ქართული: ალბა-ლონგა
Latina: Alba Longa
magyar: Alba Longa
Nederlands: Alba Longa
norsk: Alba Longa
occitan: Alba Longa
Plattdüütsch: Alba Longa
polski: Alba Longa
português: Alba Longa
română: Alba Longa
русский: Альба-Лонга
shqip: Alba Longa
српски / srpski: Алба Лонга
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Alba Longa
suomi: Alba Longa
svenska: Alba Longa
Türkçe: Alba Longa
українська: Альба-Лонга