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GABII, an old, and at one time important, city of Latium, on the Via Pmnestina, or road to Prmneste, between 12 and 13 miles E. of Rome. Long before the foundation of Rome, Gabii appears to have been one of the largest of the Latin cities ; and, according to an old tradition noticed by Dionysius and Plutarch, Romulus and Remus were educated there. During the greater part of the regal period of Rome Gabii maintained its ground, and it only fell into the hands of Tarquin the Proud through a stratagem contrived by his son Sextus, who was afterwards slain by the inhabitants, when, on the expulsion of his family from Rome, he sought refuge in the town. After this period Gabii always appears in history as the ally or dependent of its more powerful neighbour, and it gradually fell into such a state of decay as to become a proverb of desolation - G abi is desertion. The fame of its cold sulphurous waters gave new life to the place in the reign of Tiberius ; and the emperor Hadrian, one of whose favourite residences was not far distant, at Tivoli, appears to have been a very liberal patron, building a town-house (Curia yElia Augusta) and an aqueduct. After the 3d century Gabii practically disappears from history, though its " bishops " continue to be mentioned in ecclesiastical documents till the close of the 9th. The principal relic of the ancient city is a ruined temple (probably of Juno) on a bill now crowned by the ruins of the medkeval fortress of Castiglione. It is a hexastyle structure of uncertain date, uniting the characteristics of Greek and Italian architecture ; but the fragments of the pillars are not sufficient to show whether it belonged to the Ionic or the Corinthian order. Its length is about 48 English feet. Since 1792, when explorations were commenced by the Prince Borghese, a large number of minor antiquities have been discovered at Gabii, and the sites of the forum and a theatre have been ascertained. The statues and busts are especially numerous and interesting ; besides the deities Venus, Diana, Nemesis, &c., they comprise Marcus Agrippa, Tiberius, Germanicus, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Trajan and Plotina, Hadrian and Sabina, Aurelius Antoninus, L. Septimius Severus, Septimius Geta, Ourdianus Pius, &c. The inscriptions relate mainly to local and municipal matters. In the neighbourhood of Gabii were valuable and extensive quarries of an excellent building stone, known as the lapis Gabinus, which was largely-used by the Romans. It was a hard and compact variety of volcanic tufa, and closely resembled the lapis to which, however, it was superior. The name of cin•tas Gcabinus was given by the Romans to a peculiar method of girding the toga, with one end thrown over the head and the other fastened round the waist, which was employed by the founder of a new town, or by the consul when he " declared war in the name of the Roman people, or devoted himself to death for his country."
See Ciampini, Honumenta Felcra (which contains a plan and elevation of the temple); Gallatti, Gabii calico citta di Sabina seoperta, 1757 ; Fen, Lettere sop-ra in seoperta dale rovine delta cilia di Gab-lo, 1792; Visconti, 1Ifanumenti Galini della villa Pineiana, Rome, 1797, new edition, Milan, 1835; Gell, Rome and its vicinity; Nibby, Contorni di Roma; and Canino., Storia c topoyraphia di Roma aWee.a. An interesting comparison of the temple of Juno with the similar building at Alicia was contributed by Abeken to the Annali dell. instil. di core. arch., Rome, 1841.