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NEAPOLIS Sardinia, Italy.

An ancient city on the W coast of Sardinia below Cape Frasca, near the present church of S. Maria di Nabui. It is mentioned by Ptolemy (3.3.2) and by the Itineraries (It. Ant. 84; Rav. Cosm. 5.26), which place it on the Via Karalibus-Othocam. A milestone (CIL X, 8008) attests that Neapolis was linked with the colony of Uselis. Cited by the agronomist Palladius for the richness of its fields (De Agr. 3.16), the city must have been in an area of large landed estates mainly engaged in the cultivation of cereals, to judge from the numerous ruins of villas. Scholars of the last century describe the solidarity and size of the private buildings; the encircling walls; the well-paved roads; and the aqueduct, whose ruins are still visible, which carried water to the city from Landa de Giaxi, eight Roman miles away. Its territory must have bordered Cagliari's, as is shown by the mention of “water from Neapolis” (Ptol. 3.3.7) in the territory of Sardara. The city declined during the invasions of the Vandals and the Saracens.

Excavation undertaken in 1951 near S. Maria di Nabui brought to light a small bath building of brick, with a caldarium to the S, an apodyterium to the N, and a frigidarium. To the E are several modest houses and a Late Roman necropolis with tufa sarcophagi and masonry tombs. At S' Anžrarža, near the sea, another bath building of considerable size has an anterior gallery from which one enters a large hall with a polychrome mosaic pavement.


G. Spano, Bull. Arch. Sardo 5 (1859) 20PI; E. Pais, Storia della Sardegna e della Corsica, I (1923) 366ff; G. Lilliu, Annali Fac. Lettere di Cagliari 21.1 (1953) 3 n. 1; G. Pesce, EAA (1963) 388.


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