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p502 Sucusa

Article on p502 of

Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.


SUC(C)USA: * a conjectural emendation for Subura (q.v.) in Festus (348),a where Antistius Labeo is quoted as the authority for a list of montes in the Septimontium (q.v.), eight instead of seven. This emendation is based on the existence of a pagus Succusanus, a district which was of course outside the limits of the city in its early stages. This pagus is mentioned in two of our sources — Varro, LL V.48: sed [ego a] pago potius Succusano dictam (i.e. Suburam) puto. Succusanus nunc scribitur tertia littera C non B. Pagus Succusanus quod succurrit Carinis; Fest. 309: Suburam Verrius1 a pago Succusano dictam ait . . . ita appellatam et regionem urbis et tribum a stativo praesidio quod solitum sit succurrere Esquiliis infestantibus eam partem urbis Gabinis. Those who accept this emendation locate the Sucusa on the Caelian, south-east of the Ceroniae, just inside the porta Caelimontana of the Servian wall (HF I.), and the pagus Succusanus still further east, the district extending north-east from the Lateran. This position of the pagus accords with the statement of Festus but hardly with that of Varro. The whole question of the relation of Subura, Succusa and pagus Succusanus, and the location of the latter is very obscure and has given rise to much discussion.2 See especially Wissowa, Septimontium und Subura, Satura Viadrina, 1‑19;3 CP 1906, 69‑80; AJA 1908, 172‑183; RE I. A. 1018‑1019, and the other literature cited in these articles, and under Septimontium.


The Authors' Notes:

1 alio libro' (i.e. in the corrupt passage Fest. 302).

2 Hülsen remarks that the name Suburana, which belongs to one of the four city tribes, is regularly abbreviated SUC in inscriptions (CIL VI.2993 is a forgery, cf. ib. 3613*) and that this shows Sucusana to have been the original form. See also Mommsen, Staatsrecht, III.1.163. The substitution of Suburana for Sucusana occurred when Sucusa had been forgotten, and the better known Subura took its place; there is no question of any phonetic change.

3 Reprinted in Ges. Abh. 230‑252.


Thayer's Note:

a The usually careful authors omit a key, and earlier, passage in support of it. Quintilian, in speaking of old spellings of various words (Inst. Or. I.VII.29) says: et Subura, cum tribus litteris notatur, c tertiam ostendit. This appears to show that in Quintilian's mind, at least (late 1c A.D.), the old name of the Subura must have been Suc. . .; he includes it among words whose spelling is at variance with their pronunciation (quae scribuntur aliter quam enuntiantur).


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