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URIA or Hyria (Oria) Apulia, Italy.

An ancient city about midway between Taranto and Brindisi on the Via Appia. Strabo (6.282) places it on the isthmus between the two seas and mentions that the palace of a native king was there. Herodotos (7.170) considers it the most ancient Messapic city, founded by colonists from Crete on their return from Sicily. In the civil war between Octavian and Mark Antony, Servilius was besieged there (App. BCiv. 5.58). In the Liber Coloniarum (p. 262), among the Civitates Provinciae Calabriae, the “Uritanus ager” is undoubtedly associated with this center (Plin. HN 3.100).

Recent excavations in the districts of Ciriaco and Maddalena have brought to light numerous tombs of the 6th and 4th-3d c. B.C. The archaic burial chambers, with the bodies usually contracted, have grave gifts among which Greek ceramic ware is found beside the typically local products. Yet in the tombs of the Hellenistic period, it is not unusual to find some interesting Messapic inscriptions or a few bronze coins incised with the city name ORRA. A rich archaeological collection belonging to Martini Carissimo is preserved in the Castello di Oria. Other finds, particularly epigraphic ones, are on exhibition in the local Biblioteca Civica.


W. Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, I (1856) 1106 (E. H. Bunbury); K. Miller, Itineraria Romana (1916) 343; RE 9.1 (1961) 1001; F. G. Lo Porto, “L'attività archeologica in Puglia,” Atti VIII Convegno Studi Magna Grecia (1968) 195.


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