Sutrium (Sutri)


Sutrium: town in southern Etruria, modern Sutri.

Amphitheater of Sutrium
Amphitheater of Sutrium

Sutrium, in Etruscan Suthri, is one of those old Iron Age towns of Central Italy. It already had some importance in the tenth century BCE. Later, it appears to have belonged to the powerful city state of Veii, because it was captured by the Romans almost immediately after they had overcome their perennial rival in 396 VC. According to Livy, the city was captured by the Romans, led by Marcus Furius Camillus, in 389 VC, and again, by the same general, in 386 VC. The story probably belongs to the latter year, because in 387, the Veientine territory was organized in four districts.

Later, Sutrium was recognized as a Latin colonia; its citizens belonged to the Tribus Papiria. The city, which commanded the Via Cassia, played a role of some importance during one of the civil wars, the Perugine War of 41 BCE. Under the Empire, it was known as the Colonia Coniuncta Julia Sutrina. It is interesting to know that an ancient mithraeum was later reused as a church, the Madonna del Parto.

Today, the amphitheater is the most spectacular monument; its arena measures about 50x40 meters. There's a necropolis next to it. The remains of the ancient walls can be visited; the modern Piazza del Comune is on the site of the ancient forum, and a small bathhouse has been identified.

This page was created in 2008; last modified on 18 August 2020.