Aquinum was one of many towns founded in the second half of the 4th
century BCE by the Volsci, a tribe that migrated south from central Italy in
the 6th century BCE. It sits in Latium, some 80 miles southeast of Rome, on the
Via Latina, at the foot of the Apennines. The Volsci, a threat to Rome,
particularly in the 5th century BCE under the leadership of Coriolanus, became
subject to Rome by 304 BCE and were swiftly Romanized.
In Cicero's time Aquinum was a flourishing Roman municipium, wealthy and famous for its purple dye; it became a colony of Mark Antony's veterans during the Second Triumvirate (see building remains; artifact exhibits).
This statement by Umbricius is the main evidence scholars have for placing Juvenal's birthplace in Aquinum. A second rare biographical source on Juvenal's life is an engraved marble stone that was probably part of an altar, now lost; fortunately, its inscription (CIL 10. 5382) was copied by several credible witnesses and has been edited as follows: