1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Soracte

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SORACTE, a mountain in the province of Rome, Italy. It is a narrow, isolated limestone ridge, some 5 m. S.E. of Civita Castellana, and 3½ m. in length. The highest summit is 2267 ft. above sea-level; just below it is a monastery removed there from the summit in 1835; it was originally founded about 748 by Carloman, son of Charles Martel (the altar has, indeed, fragments of sculptures of this period), and until modern times was occupied by Trinitarian monks. On the actual summit is a church. Owing to the isolated position of the mountain the view is magnificent, and Soracte is a conspicuous object in the landscape, being visible from Rome itself. It is thus mentioned by Horace ("vides ut alta stet nive candidum Soracte?" Carm. i. 9), and Virgil, who mentions Apollo as its guardian deity, though no traces of his temple exist; and in reality it was sacred to Dis Pater and the gods of the lower world. At the bottom of the mountain on the east is a disused limestone quarry. The village of S. Oreste at the south-east end of the ridge owes its name to a corruption of the ancient name. In the communal palace is a fine processional cross of the 11th century in the Byzantine style (see Römische Quartalschrist, 1905, 209—Archaologie) .