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FALERII NOVI (Santa Maria di Falleri) Italy.

The site to which the people of Falerii Veteres were moved after their surrender to Rome in 241 B.C. (Zonar. 18.8). It lies on the left bank of the Rio Purgatorio ca. 5 km W of the old city. A trapezium in plan, its longest side the S above the low cliffs of the river, it had walls of tufa blocks furnished with 50 towers and 9 gates. The circuit approaches 2.4 km in length, with the towers regularly spaced except on the S, where the river gorge gives added protection. The W gate, flanked by towers, the Porta di Giove, is the best preserved. The entrance is a single arch of 19 long, narrow voussoirs, the extrados finished with a heavy molding, a youthful head carved on the keystone. With the possible exception of the walls of Paestum, this is the finest Hellenistic fortification in Italy.

There is little else. The theater, excavated in 1829, is a mere ghost now. A statue of Livia as Concord and statues of Gaius and Lucius Caesar were found in it; presumably it was of Augustan date. An amphitheater N of the city walls has faded like the theater. The city plan was examined in 1903; apparently it was a rectangular grid with the main streets crossing at the center.

Many imperial inscriptions have been found here. It was a municipium under the Early Empire and given the status of a colonia, “Iunonia quae appellatur Faliscos” (Lib. Colon. 217.5-6), in the 3d c. (The name Junonia indicates that Juno was still the chief goddess here as she had been at Falerii Veteres.) Three inscriptions refer to a “pontifex sacrarius Iunonis Curritis,” another has to do with the restoration of a sacred way “from the chalcidicum to the grove of Juno Curritis.” It must have been along this that Ovid watched the procession in honor of the goddess (Ovid Am. 3.13).

Down to the Early Empire, the citizen of Falerii Novi still buried his dead in a chamber tomb with a rock-cut facade preceded by an arched portico. Dennis describes a number of these and remarks that only here has he seen a cornice of masonry atop a rock-cut tomb facade; a tomb excavated in 1903 had architectural elements that had been carved separately and applied to the facade in the same way. The tombs' inscriptions are in Latin, but in one case, as Dennis points out, the man's mother's name is given as well as his father's, an Etruscan tradition. Later tombs are built in the Roman manner along the roads leading from the city. The most important of these is the Via Amerina, which becomes the axial N-S street inside the city.


L. Canina, l'Antica Etruria Marittima (1846-51) pls. 5-16MPI; G. Dennis, Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria (3d ed., 1883) I, 97-114MI; M. Frederiksen & J. B. Ward-Perkins, BSR 25 (1957) 155-62; L. Banti, The Etruscan Cities and their Culture (1973) 63f.


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