Siege of Norba, 82 BC

The siege of Norba (82 BC) was a minor incident during Sulla's Second Civil War, and saw the town hold out against Sulla's forces for some time after the anti-Sullan forces had been destroyed at the battle of the Colline Gate.

Norba was a Latin community located on the western end of Monti Lepini, just under twenty miles to the south of Praeneste, where the consul Marius the Younger had been besieged for most of the campaign of 82 BC. We don't know when the siege of Norba actually began. At the start of the campaign of 82 BC Sulla had had to capture nearby Setia (Sezze), further south along the edge of Monti Lepini,

Norba managed to hold out for longer than Praeneste, which surrendered soon after the death of the Samnite and remaining Marian leaders after the battle of the Colline Gates (1 November 82 BC).

Norba only fell after Aemilius Lepidus was let into the town by the treachery of some of the defenders. However he was clearly not able to take possession of the town, as Appian reports that the defenders closed the gates, set fire to the town and then killed themselves, falling on each others swords or strangling themselves. The fire was then fanned by a strong wind, and did so much damage that no plunder could be gathered. Norba never seems to have recovered from this disaster, and Pliny the Elder recorded it as an extinct city in his Natural History, written in the late first century AD.

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 November 2017), Siege of Norba, 82 BC , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/siege_norba.html

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