Latin League

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Latin League


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.


Nemirovskii, 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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
He considers the situation of the early Romans and the Latin League carefully as he describes the ancient evidence and the evolution of Roman historical memory, the elements of time and change in the origins of Roman identity, the role of the Latins, institutional evolution in the fifth century BCE, the emergence of Rome from the Latin context, the realization of Roman political identity and the evolution of the Roman assemblies.
Meanwhile, far to the west, Rome, though damaged by the Gallic invasion, recovered faster than the towns around it and slowly asserted its power over them, assuming leadership of the Latin League.
In Italy, the only power that rivaled Rome in the center of the peninsula were the Samnite tribes to the east of the Latin League. They were a formidable foe, and all the time that Alexander was fighting in Persia, the Romans were fighting the Samnites in central Italy.