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Battle of Fucine Lake

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Title: Battle of Fucine Lake  
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Subject: Fucine Lake, 80s BC, Campaign history of the Roman military
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Battle of Fucine Lake

Battle of Fucine Lake
Part of Social War
Date 89 BC
Location Fucine Lake
Result Rebel victory
Italian rebels Roman Republic
Commanders and leaders
Lucius Porcius Cato

The Battle of Fucine Lake was fought in 89 BC between a Roman army and a rebel force during the Social War. Lucius Porcius Cato was the leader of the Roman army at this battle. The consul Porcius Cato was defeated and killed while storming a Marsic camp in winter or early spring.

There is an unusual archaeological footnote to this battle in a novel inscribed slingshot (Campanelli p154). A lead cone with a small iron ring at the top is interpreted as having had an attached string to make a combined sling (weapon) and bullet, used in this battle. The inscription, in the Venetian alphabet and language that mentions a Floro Decio, attests the presence of Venetian troops at this battle. (Note: the name of Venice is derived from the name of this tribe and has the same adjectival name.) This object is sufficiently unusual, in both its nature and its long inscription, as to suggest that it served some special purpose, e.g. might it have carried a flame over the camp ramparts to set the camp alight? Any speculation must take account of the survival of this object. The current assumption is that this weapon fell in the lake and was only recovered in the 19th century when the Fucine lake was drained.


  • A. Campanelli (ed.) 2001 Il Tesoro del lago, L'archeologia del Fucino e la collezione Torlonia

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