The ruined Norba citadel Italy is on the western edge of Monte Lepine, a mile northwest of its modern counterpart, Norma. It stands on a precipitous cliff overlooking the Pontine Marshes that were once waterlogged agricultural land stretching to the sea. The Ancient Romans built their Appian Way across them, making Norba militarily significant. Nowadays we could travel from Rome to Norba in just more than an hour by hire car.
View of Modern Norma from Ancient Norba Citadel Italy
Although semi-independent, the city aligned itself with the Latin League, an ancient confederation of villages and tribes surrounding Rome. As the power of its Empire grew, the City assimilated them as colonies. In 492 BC it was their turn. The citizens decided to stand and fight in a herculean struggle. After all, their city was their home and heritage. They had nowhere else to go and their walls were high.
The Only Way into Norba
The overthrow of Norba proved a challenge even to the mighty Roman war machine. Countless times they attacked. Countless times the mighty stone walls held, and protected the townspeople huddled within them. Finally, running desperately low on food and weapons, the Norban residents torched their city. They either took their lives or succumbed to mounting flames. There was literally nothing left for the Roman soldiers to plunder except these memories.
Spring 2012 Excavations at the Ancient City
The Romans decided the city was not worth rebuilding. They left the stone walls as they were before the fire. Thanks to this, we have an almost perfectly preserved example of town planning from 3,000 years ago. Its walls of huge limestone blocks are still intact. Some say a nation of giants called the Cyclopes lifted them up, but I will leave that to you to decide.