12When the marshes are stagnant, and have no drainage by means of rivers or drains, as is the case with the Pontine marshes, they become putrid, and emit vapours of a heavy and pestilent nature. Thus the old city of Salapia, in Apulia, built, as some say, by Diomedes on his return from Troy, or, as others write, by Elphias the Rhodian, was so placed that the inhabitants were continually out of health. At length they applied to Marcus Hostilius, and publicly petitioned him, and obtained his consent, to be allowed to seek and select a more wholesome spot to which the city might be removed. Without delay, and with much judgment, he bought an estate on a healthy spot close to the sea, and requested the Roman senate and people to permit the removal of the city. He then set out the walls, and assigned a portion of the soil to each citizen at a moderate valuation. After which, opening a communication between the lake and the sea, he converted the former into an excellent harbour for the city. Thus the Salapians now inhabit a healthy situation, four miles from their ancient city.