ARICIA (mod. Ariccia), an ancient city in Latium, on the Via Appia, 16m. S.E. of Rome. The nucleus of the old town, now the modern, lay high (1,35oft. above sea-level) above the circular Valle Aricciana, probably an extinct volcanic crater; re mains of its walls are traceable. The lower town was situated on the north edge of the valley, close to the Via Appia, which descended into the valley from the modern Albano and re ascended partly upon very fine substructions of opus quadratum, some 2 5oyds. in length, to the modern Genzano. There are re mains of the walls of the lower town, of the cella of a temple of the 2nd century B.C. and also of later buildings connected with the post-station and baths. Aricia, one of the oldest cities of Latium, appears as a serious opponent of Rome at the transi tion from kings to republic. In 338 B.c. it was conquered by C. Maenius, but was soon given full civic rights. Its vegetables and wine were famous, and the district is still fertile.
See G. Florescu in Ephemeris Dacico-Eomana, iii. (Rome, 1925). ARICINI, the ancient inhabitants of Aricia (q.v.), the form of the name ranking them with the Sidicini, Marrucini (q.v.), etc., as one of the communities belonging probably to the earlier or Volscian stratum of population on the west side of Italy, who were absorbed by the Sabine or Latin immigrants. Special inter est attaches to this trace of their earlier origin because of the famous cult of Diana Nemorensis, whose temple in the forest close by Aricia, beside the lacks Nemorensis, was served by "the priest who slew the slayer, and shall himself be slain" ; that is to say, the priest, who was called rex Nemorensis, held office only so long as he could defend himself from any stronger rival. This cult, which is unique in Italy, is picturesquely described in the opening chapter of Sir James Frazer's Golden Bough (3rd ed.) where full references will be found. The old-world custom was dying out in the 1st century A.D. It is a reasonable conjecture that this extraordinary relic of barbarism was characteristic of the earlier stratum of the population, who presumably called them selves Arici.
See also J. G. Frazer, Studies in the Early History of Kingship (1907).