Fragment 490299




Original French:  Præneste

Modern French:  Praeneste


Præneste occupied a cool, lofty spur of the Apennines 37 km ESE of Rome. It first appears in history in the 5th cent. BC as a powerful Latin city, whose strategic site facing the Alban Hills was inevitably attacked by the neighbouring Aequi. In the 4th cent. it often fought Rome and, after participating in the Latin War, was deprived of territory and became a civits foederta. After 90 Præneste became a Roman municipium devoted to Marius’ cause, which Sulla sacked (82), transferred to lower ground, and colonized with veterans. It remained a colony in imperial times, famed chiefly as a fashionable villa resort and seat of an ancient oracle, which Roman emperors, foreign potentates, and others consulted in the huge temple of Fortuna Primigenia, perhaps the largest in Italy. Its impressive remains probably belong to the second half of the 2nd cent. BC. Praeneste is known also for its spectacular Nile mosaic, and Verrius Flaccus’ calenda

Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World
Oxford Reference Online


Prænestine: Of or pertaining to the ancient city of Præneste or its inhabitants.

1880 tr. Woltmann & Woermann’s History of Painting I. iv. 88 The engraved metal caskets of the kind commonly known as Prænestine cistæ, because they have been found for the most part at Præneste, the modern Palestrina.

1885 Encyclopædia Britannica XIX. 654/2 Præneste was chiefly famed for its great temple of Fortune and for its oracle, in connexion with the temple, known as the `Prænestine lots’ (sortes Prænestinæ).

1939 L. H. Gray Foundations of Language 332 The oldest record of Italic is a Prænestine fibula of the seventh century B.C., Manios med fhefhaked Numasioi `Manius me fecit Numerio’.

1970 Oxford Classical Dictionary. (ed. 2) 873/1 Præneste has yielded the earliest specimen of Latin, whose peculiarities confirm Festus’ statement that Praenestine Latin was abnormal.

A native or inhabitant of Præneste.

1902 Encyclopædia Britannica XXXIII. 897/2 The Romans were inclined to sneer at the pronunciation and idiom of the Prænestines.

1949 Oxf. Classical Dict. 726/1 Prænestines loyally resisted Pyrrhus and Hannibal, and actually preferred their own status to that of Roman citizens.



Posted 15 January 2013. Modified 25 November 2014.

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