(Arpino) Campania, Italy.
Volscian and later (4th c. B.C.) Samnite hill town in the
Liris river basin. Captured by Rome and granted civitas
sine suffragio in 305-303 B.C., it gained full citizenship
in 188 B.C. and became a municipium after the social
war, ca. 90 B.C., after which it seldom appears in the
sources. The modern town is roughly congruous with the
Most noteworthy of the ancient remains are the megalithic polygonal circuit walls, still well-preserved, standing as much as 3.35 m high in places and 2 m wide at the top. The pre-Roman Porta dell'Arco leads through
the wall to the acropolis. Its great stones, inclining
gradually toward one another with a corbeled effect to
an acutely angled point 4.5 m high, is really a false arch,
requiring a vertical pier of squared-stone blocks as a
support. The pier also bisects the gateway forming twin
passages. There is a Roman gate as well.
The acropolis, now called Civitavecchia, contained
the Temple of Mercury Lanarius, which is perhaps represented by the ancient remains under the Church of
S. Maria. Traces exist of some sewers of the Republican
period, the restoration of which is recorded in an inscription (CIL
The town was the birthplace of Cicero and Marius.
The site of Cicero's villa, later owned by Silius Italicus,
is marked by the 12th c. Church of S. Domenico 1.2 km
N of the town of Isola del Liri below Arpino (Ep. ad
O. E. Schmidt, A., eine topographischhistorische Skizze
(1900); L. Venturini, Notizie in A. e dintorni
(1907); G. Pierleoni, Il patrimonio archeologico di A
. (1907); id., Scoperte di antichità nel territorio di A
. (1911); L. Ippoliti, Il luogo di nascita di M. T.
(1936), with bibliography; I Negrisoli, Atti di
Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in Bergamo
D. C. SCAVONE