Veii

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Coordinates: 42°01′26″N 12°24′5″E / 42.02389°N 12.40139°E / 42.02389; 12.40139

Veii (also Veius, Italian: Veio) was, in ancient times, an important Etrurian city 16 km (9.9 mi) NNW of Rome, Italy; its site lies in Isola Farnese, a village of Municipio XX, an administrative subdivision of the comune of Rome in the Province of Rome. Many sites associated with Veii, which were in the city-state of Veii, are also located in Formello, another comune of the Province of Rome, immediately to the north. Formello is named after the drainage channels first created by the Veians.

Veii was the richest city of the Etruscan League, on the southern border of Etruria. It was alternately at war and under alliance with Rome for over 300 years. It eventually fell to the Roman general Camillus's army in 396 BC. Veii continued to be occupied after its capture by the Romans; Livia had an estate there, according to Suetonius. The city under Roman control, which soon assimilated to Rome, is termed "Roman Veii" as opposed to "Etruscan Veii" by scholarly literature. Under the empire the Romans called the city the Municipium Augustum Veiens. Veii is famous for its statuary including a statue of Tiberius (now in the Vatican), and the Apollo of Veii (now in the National Etruscan Museum). The city never recovered its wealth or its population after the Roman conquest. It was abandoned after ancient times, and everything of value or utility was removed by anyone with access to the site. Finally it was filled and smoothed for ploughland and was forgotten until its rediscovery in the 17th century by the antiquarian Raffaello Fabretti.

In the "Parco di Veio" adjacent to Isola Farnese, there are remnants of an apparent temple. Also tumuli and tombs have been found cut into the rock. Tombs were cut into tuff but tumuli were not. The most famous is the Grotta Campana, uncovered in 1843, a chamber tomb with the oldest known Etruscan frescoes. There are additionally long tunnels leading into the mound of the city, which may corroborate Livy's account of the Roman victory in the Battle of Veii.

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