Suburbicarian Cardinal-Bishops in Latium
The Suburbicarian Bishoprics are a group of Sees set in and around the ancient province of Latium, in close proximity to Rome and the Papacy. From early times these ecclesiastics were closely involved in managing church affairs as assistants to the Bishop of Rome, and thus became the core of the College of Cardinals. Traditionally there have been seven Cardinal-Bishops drawn from this group, although in actual fact the number has varied somewhat over the centuries - in addition to the seven now present there have been other Bishoprics in Latium mentioned as Suburbicarian Sees, most notably Tivoli, Gabii (united later with Palestrina), Lavicum (united with Tusculum), and Nepi. These Sees may also re-emerge back from being attached to others - Velletri, below, was united with Ostia for more than 750 years. As these Sees evolved into titular seats for Cardinals who were busy administering the church as a whole, their pastoral functions were assumed by suffragan Bishops, but the Cardinal-Bishops have always been the holders-of-record for these establishments.

This file contains Albano, Caere, Frascati (Tusculum), Ostia, Palestrina, Porto, Sabina, Santa Rufina, and Velletri

ALBANO A district some 15 miles (24 km.) southeast of Rome, adjacent to Lake Albano, a crater lake in the Alban Hills. A resort area since Classical times, the district is best-known nowadays as the site of a Papal Villa on the lake, used as a retreat and summer residence for the Popes.

CAERE (Agylla, mod. Cerveteri) An ancient town about 20 miles (32 km.) northwest of Rome. Dating from Etruscan times, the place provides the root for the word "ceremony", reflecting a Latin recognition of the position of divination and magical ritual within Etruscan society.

FRASCATI A town about 12 miles (19 km.) southeast of Rome, immediately adjacent to the remains of the Mediaeval fortress of Tusculum. A resort town for centuries, the place was the headquarters for the Geman army in Italy during World War II.

OSTIA (and Velletri 1150-1914) In Classical times a settlement at the mouth of the Tiber about 14 miles (22 km.) southwest of Rome. It was the chief port of the City, a naval base, and a major storage area for grain. It lost importance in later Imperial times owing to the silting up of the harbour. During the Dark Ages the site was effectively abandoned, and many of the ruins there were quarried for newer construction. In modern times, the district is directly adjacent to the Leonardo Da Vinci Airport, Rome's primary airway port - so the place still provides a kind of international front door to the City. Ostia is the senior appointment among the suburbicarian Bishoprics and as such enjoys special authority and privileges - from 1150 these Bishops have been Deans of the College of Cardinals and, as such, have the right to consecrate the new Pope at his incoronation.

PALESTRINA A town some 23 miles (37 km.) east of Rome, in Ancient times the commune of Praeneste. It was the site of an important temple and Oracle complex dedicated to Fortuna Primagenia.

PORTO (with Caere from 1029, and Santa Rufina from 1453) Now a small village on the right bank of the Tiber, opposite the site of Ostia and just to one side of the Leonardo Da Vinci international airport about 12½ miles (20 km.) southwest of Rome. In Imperial times this was the primary harbour, and the community that emerged here became independent of Ostia at an early date. Like Ostia, however, the district suffered much in the early Dark Ages and, with the silting of the harbour, shrank to it's present size.

SABINA (and Poggio Mirteto) Sabina is the ancient homeland of the Sabine tribe, the district around the Sabine Hills on the left bank of the Tiber north of Rome, Poggio Mirteto is a small town within the district, 27 miles (43 km.) north-northeast of Rome.

SANTA RUFINA (Silva Candide) A town no longer in existence, which grew up around a basilica to Santa Rufina on the Via Aurelia some 14 miles (22 km.) east of Rome. The community was razed by Saracen raiders in the 840's, and abandoned thereafter.

VELLETRI (and Segni) Velletri is a town located 20 miles (32 km.) southeast of Rome, 7 miles (11 km.) southeast of Albano. It is the site of a victory of Garibaldi over Neapolitan forces in early 1849. Segni is an ancient community 13 miles (21 km.) east of Velletri, across the Lepini Ridge, often used as a Papal resort and site for various church councils.