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Location of the cities of Rome and Veji

Veji ( Etruscan Veia , Latin Veii , Greek  Οὐηίοι , today Veio near the Roman district of Isola Farnese ) was an important ancient Etruscan city; it was located on the Cremera , a tributary of the Tiber , 18 kilometers north-northwest of Rome and arose from settlements of the Villanova culture . In the heyday of the Etruscan culture, Veji had several thousand inhabitants.

As a powerful member of the League of Twelve Cities , it waged permanent war with the Roman Republic . Rome was in danger of disappearing into the shadow of Veji. Ostia , the delivery point for salt , and the Tiber as an important transport and trade route were economically vital for both cities, so conflicts were inevitable. On the side of the Romans, Marcus Furius Camillus stood out in particular towards the end of this war . As can be read in the case of Livy, he persuaded the Romans to penetrate Veii through the water tunnels leading into the city in order to avoid the siege (Liv 5, 19, 10). So in 396 BC they were able to End the ten year war. The city was destroyed, the inhabitants enslaved, the land declared ager publicus . At the time of Emperor Augustus , Veii was re-established as a municipium , but the city was finally abandoned in the 5th century.

It is noticeable that the description of the siege of Veii by Livius is very similar to the story of the siege of Troy as described by Homer .

The city remained known through the records of Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Titus Livius , but its importance and power were forgotten. The city itself, some of the ruins of which date back to the 6th century BC. It is located on a plateau surrounded by a partially well-preserved wall made of tuff from the 5th century BC. Is surrounded. A technical masterpiece is the water tunnel cut into the rock (Ponte Sodo), which also dates back to the 6th century BC. BC.

Pillars from Veii, which Pope Gregory XVI. to the Piazza Colonna in Rome ( Palazzo Wedekind ).

In the southeast there is a fortified hill, outside the city in the northeast the Minerva sanctuary of Portonaccio, with a temple within an enclosure, from whose roof the famous terracotta sculptures of the Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia in Rome come. For this type of sculpture, especially the large-scale sculpture from around 500 BC BC, Veji was famous, it is considered the main contribution of the city to art. These testimonies include the statue of Apollon von Veji (also in Villa Giulia), the head of a Hermes and a goddess with a boy. It is believed that the name of the sculptor Vulca is associated with these sculptures .

The statue of Emperor Tiberius , which is now in the Vatican, dates from the second time of Veji .

Outside the remains of the city, tumuli were found, large necropolises , painted Etruscan tombs cut into the rock, the most famous of which are the Tomba delle Anatre (Tomb of the Ducks) and the Tomba Campana , discovered in 1843, a tomb containing the oldest known Etruscan Frescoes from the period between 650 and 600 BC Chr.


  • 8th century BC BC - first Etruscan settlement (town-like)
  • 650 BC BC - Construction of the first temple complex
  • 474 BC BC - First war between Rome and Veji
  • 438 to 425 BC BC - Second war of Rome against Veji
  • 428 BC - death of Lars Tolumnius (King of Veji)
  • 406 BC BC - beginning of the Roman sieges
  • 396 BC BC - Destruction of Veji
  • 1st century BC BC - re-establishment under Augustus
  • 5th century AD - final abandonment of the city

Web links

Commons : Veji  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 42 ° 1 '  N , 12 ° 24'  E