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CORFINIUM (Corfinio) Abruzzi, Italy.

A town of the Marsic Paelignians in the Aeternus river valley. It does not appear in the sources until the social war, 90 B.C., when Diodorus Siculus (37.2.4f) wrote that the city had recently been completed and contained a spacious forum and senate chamber. Newly named Italia, the city was to be capital of a new Italian federation intended to supplant Rome, but so remained for only a short time. In 49 B.C., under L. Domitius Ahenobarbus, the city succumbed to the siege of Caesar after a week (Caes. BCiv. 1.15-23: App. BCiv. 2.38). Seldom mentioned, the city was still important in the early Empire, as evidenced by its location at the crossroads of the Via Valeria and the Via Claudia Nova built by emperor Claudius (CIL IX, p. 586), by the numerous inscriptions found on the site (esp. CIL IX, 3152, 3166-67, 3170); and by the existence of two aqueducts, largely subterranean (remains of one visible near the Church of the Madonna of Grace). The modern town (formerly Pentima) is located N of the ancient one, which in the 10th c. became the cathedral city of Valva. The curved line of houses to the NE marks the site of an ancient theater.

Among the sparse Roman ruins, chiefly on the Via Valeria toward the cathedral, excavations have uncovered several tombs with inscriptions, a bath and other buildings, and the large siege mound of Caesar. Local material is housed in the antiquarium of S. Alessandro attached to S. Pelino.


G. Veith, “Corfinium,” Klio, 13 (1913) 5ff; D. Ludovico, Dove Italia nacque (1961).


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