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An Umbrian town on the Adriatic just N of the mouth of the Metaurus at the point where the Via Flaminia reaches the Adriatic after crossing the Apennines. Nothing is known of its early history or the reason for its name; it is first mentioned as occupied by Caesar after the crossing of the Rubicon (BCiv. 1.11.4). It received a veteran colony of Augustus, the colonia Iulia Fanestris, and was inscribed in the Tribus Pollia. An inscription (CIL XI, 1.6218-19) records that Augustus gave the city its walls, and since the Via Flaminia became one of the main axes of a regular street grid, it seems likely that he gave it its city plan as well. By the end of the 4th c. it was called colonia Flavia Fanestris.

Its most conspicuous remains are its fortifications in a rectangle with blunted corners on the landward front; a substantial stretch of the NW sector can be examined inside and out. The curtain is of concrete faced with thin, brick-like slabs of yellow sandstone. There are round towers, their facing in bond with the curtains, except on the sea front. These are placed to protect gates, angles, and dangerous approaches, but have the appearance of occurring at roughly regular intervals. A secondary gate is built in large blocks of the sandstone, used elsewhere for dressing; but the main gate, the Arco di Augusto, is of sandstone faced with fine limestone. It is very elegant, a large central arch trimmed with moldings at imposts and extrados, flanked by small plain arches for foot traffic. Above the central arch runs a pseudo-epistyle carrying the inscription commemorating Augustus' gift of A.D. 9-10. Above this, in a second story, a graceful loggia of seven windows, tall and arched, was framed within an engaged Corinthian order, architecture reminiscent of the tabularium in Rome. Towers projecting boldly to either side and rounded in front complete the harmony.

Vestiges of Roman life and construction have come to light at many places within and without the fortifications, and a wealth of inscriptions and statuary has been collected, but there are no other important ruins, and no certain trace of the basilica that Vitruvius tells us he built here (5.1.6-10) has ever been located though it has been repeatedly sought. BIBLIOGRAPHY. E. Brizio, NSc (1899) 251-59; Atti del XI Congresso di Storia dell'Architettura (Centro di Studi per la Storia dell'Architettura, Rome 1965) 48-51, 67-68 (G. Annibaldi); 95-99 (F. Pellati); 101-4 (G. A. Mansuelli).


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