Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)


*Rome. Capital of the Roman Empire on the banks of Italy’s Tiber River. It is a walled city built on seven hills, one of which is the Capitoline or Capitol Hill. The senate house, where the tribunes meet and new consuls are sworn in is on Capitol Hill. Here, too, is Rock Tarpeian, a precipitous rock from which traitors are flung to their deaths—a fate suggested for Coriolanus. The market place, or Forum, is a meeting place for citizens where Coriolanus solicits the voices of the people in his attempt to become consul.


*Corioli. Walled city in the territory held by the Volsci, who are enemies of Rome. The Roman army is camped in trenches before Corioli’s walls as the play begins. The gates in the wall, where Coriolanus enters alone to fight Tullus Aufidius, face the encampment. The real battle of Corioli took place in 493 b.c.e., but no traces of the town remain, and its exact location is unknown.


*Antium. Volsci town on the Italian coast south of Rome where the Volsci general Tullus Aufidius flees after the battle of Corioli. Coriolanus goes to his house there after his exile from Rome.