The Rutuli or Rutulians were members of a legendary Italic tribe. Thought to have been descended from the Umbri and the Pelasgians, the Rutuli were located in territory whose capital was the ancient town of Ardea, located about 20 miles southeast of Rome.[1]

In Virgil's Aeneid, the Rutuli are led by Turnus, a young prince to whom Latinus, king of the Latins, had promised the hand of his daughter Lavinia in marriage. When the Trojans arrive in Italy, Latinus decides to give his daughter to Aeneas because of instructions he had received from the gods to marry his daughter to a foreigner. Turnus is outraged and leads his people as well as several other Italian tribes against the Trojans in war. Virgil's text ends when Aeneas defeats Turnus in single combat and therefore gains the right to marry Lavinia. In some other accounts of the story of Aeneas, he is later killed in a subsequent battle with them.

During the 6th century BC, Roman king Lucius Tarquinius Superbus besieged and conquered Ardea, and eventually the Rutulians, like the other Italic tribes, were subsumed within the Roman Republic.[2]


  1. Hazlit, William. The Classical Gazetteer (1851), p. 297.
  2. "The Geography of Strabo", published in Vol. II of the Loeb Classical Library Edition, 1923, Book V, Chapter 3.

ca:Rútuls de:Rutuler el:Ρούτουλοι fr:Rutulie it:Rutuli nl:Rutuli pt:Rútulos ru:Рутулы

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