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in antiquity a federation of cities in Latium (present-day Lazio, Italy) that originated at the beginning of the first millennium B.C. and consisted, according to ancient tradition, of 30 communities.
Initially Alba Longa headed the Latin League, but beginning in the sixth century B.C., Rome became the leader of the league (after it had destroyed Alba Longa in the seventh century, according to legend). The members of the Latin League held common religious holidays, and the league’s assembly resolved common problems and disputes between league members. The complexity of the political situation in Rome (in the late sixth and early fifth centuries B.C.) when the republic was being formed allowed certain of the Latin communities to free themselves temporarily from Roman domination. The league, with Rome at its head, was restored in 493 B.C. on the basis of mutual aid during wars, participation in command, and a sharing of loot. During the invasion by the Gauls (390 or 387) the Latin League disintegrated, but in 358 it was revived on conditions more advantageous for Rome, and it lasted until the Second Latin War (340–338), as a result of which it was abolished.
REFERENCESNemirovskii, A. I. Istoriia rannego Rima i Italii. Voronezh, 1962.
Nechai, F. M. Rim i italiki. Minsk, 1963.
Rosenberg, A. Der Staat der alten Italiker. Berlin, 1913.
A. I. NEMIROVSKII