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Căpĭtōlĭum, ii, n., = Καπιτώλιον [ = capitulum, from caput]; in a restricted sense,
- I. the Capitol, the temple of Jupiter, at Rome, built on the summit of Mons Saturnius or Tarpeius by the Tarquinii, and afterwards splendidly adorned, Liv. 1, 55, 1 sq.; v. Class. Dict.; Verg. A. 9, 448; opp. to the Arx, and separated from it by the Intermontium.
In a more extended sense, the whole hill (hence called Mons or Clivus Capitolinus), including the temple and citadel, separated from the Palatine Hill by the Forum Romanum, now Campidoglio. Acc. to a fanciful etym., this word is derived from the discovery of a man’s head in laying the foundations of the temple, Varr. L. L. 5, § 41 Müll.; Liv. 1, 55, 6: which Serv. ad Verg. A. 8, 345, and Arn. 6, p. 194, also give as the head of a certain Tolus or Olus. The Capitolimn was regarded by the Romans as indestructible, and was adopted as a symbol of eternity, Verg. A. 9, 448; Hor. C. 3, 30, 8 sq. Orell. ad loc.
Poet., in plur., Verg. A. 8, 347; Ov. A. A. 3, 115; Prop. 4 (5), 4, 27; v. Neue, Formenl. 1, p. 397.
- 2. Căpĭtōlĭum Vĕtus, the Old Capitol, an earlier temple of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, on the Quirinal, Varr. L. L. 5, § 158; cf. Becker, Antiq. 1, 713.
- II. Transf.
- A. The citadel of any town, e. g. in Capua, Suet. Tib. 40; id. Calig. 57; in Beneventum, id. Gram. 9; cf. also Plaut, Curc. 2, 2, 19; Sil. 11, 267; Inscr. Orell. 68 (Veronae); 3314 (Faleriis); 6139 (Constantinae); 6978 sq.
- B. In eccl. Lat., any heathen temple, Prud. contr. Symm. 1, 632.