A city on the
Via Latina. While older settlements are attested in the
area on the basis of archaeological data, the city and its
present site seem to date to the late 7th c. B.C., i.e.,
to the period of Etruscan hegemony which would coincide
with what we already know from the necropolis. It remained the city of the Ausones until the siege by the
Romans in 334 B.C. Following this it was reduced to a
Latin colony, the first in Campania. During the Late
Republican period, when it reappeared as a municipium,
the city was the seat of the quaestor of Campania. In
the Late Empire, it was practically destroyed by the
Vandals under Genseric, and in the Longobard period
a fortress was built on the site.
The city occupied a long, narrow plain, nearly surrounded by streams that cut deep into the tufa. At its
highest point, to the N, there was a citadel. In the center
of the settlement, crossed by the Via Latina, was the
forum and some of the major public buildings. From the
forum, the two sections of the major street, intersected
by cross-streets, ran N-S, according to a plan well-attested elsewhere in Etruscan-Italic environs. The fortifications, built over some of the structures preserved from
the 4th c. B.C. or even earlier, underwent important restorations in the age of Sulla. This is particularly true
in the vicinity of the gates, to some of which access is
gained over steep, narrow slopes in the tufa bank. Among
the most notable buildings recognizable today are: the
theater, in the area of the forum, of Late Hellenistic date
and enlarged in the age of Sulla; the central baths and
a terraced sanctuary of the Sullan period; a temple dating from the beginning of the Imperial period, not far
from which were discovered votive offerings and some
terracotta facings belonging to a sanctuary of the archaic
period. North of the settlement are the Late Republican
amphitheater (rebuilt 2d c. A.D.), and a monumental
bath building of the first half of the 2d c. of the Empire.
On the outskirts, in the S section, an important votive
dumping area of the Hellenistic period has been partially
In the W suburb, adjacent to the Via Latina, are
remains of a palaestra partially incorporated into a
basilica of the 5th c., as well as sure evidence of pottery shops of the Hellenistic period. Along the streets
in the same area, the Hellenistic and Roman necropoleis
extended, their sepulchral monuments in part dating
to the 3d c. B.C. In a more N direction, there have been
discovered archaic tombs, among which a sumptuous
one dates to the late 7th c. with many grave gifts imported from Etruria.
Molded and decorated pottery with the potter's seal
(called caleni) is attributed with certainty to Cales. The
discovery of quite a number of molds has increased that
certainty, and the pottery is dated between the last ten
years of the 4th c. B.C. when the technique was introduced by Attic artisans, and the late 3d c. B.C. During
the latter period, black glaze pottery of the commonest
type began to be produced up until the first ten years
of the 1st c. B.C. when gradually a high quality praesigillata was substituted.
The division of land in the territory evidently dates
back to the city's reduction to colonial status in 334.
Many country villas, in the plain as well as on the hillside, date to the Republican era.
Th. Mommsen in CIL
x, p. 451f; Hülsen in RE
III 1 col. 1351f; W. Johannowsky in BdA
(1961) 258f; see also M. Ruggiero Scavi di antichità
nelle provincie di Terraferma
(1888) 267f and in NSc
1883, 1895, 1929. On the ceramics see R. Pagenstecher,
Die Calenische Reliefkeramik
(1919). On centuriation,
see F. Castagnoli in BullComm
75 (1953-54) Suppl. pp.
34f. On the villas in the area see P. v. Blanckenhagen et
33 (1965) pp. 55f.