(Fermo) Marche, Italy.
A Picene town 6 km inland from the Adriatic, S of the
river Tinna; its port was called Castellum Firmanum (or
Firmanorum). Site of a settlement from the Early Iron
Age, Firmum became Roman in the conquest of Picenum
and had a Latin colony as early as the beginning of the
first Punic war. It remained faithful to Rome in Hannibal's war and was a stronghold of Rome against the
Italians in the social war. In the civil war of 48 it sided
with Caesar, and in 44 with the Republicans against
Antony, for which it had to accept a colony of veterans.
It belonged to the tribus Velina. It declined under the
Empire, and fell to Alaric in 408.
Remains of fortifications in large rectangular blocks,
once thought Etruscan, are now assigned to the Latin
colony. The most interesting antiquity is the piscina
epuratoria, built between A.D. 41 and 68, a chain of cisterns of which 24 have been explored and 6 put to use
as a reservoir. There are also ruins of a theater and interesting Early Christian remains above a pagan temple
in the cathedral. A small museum of antiquities, including material from the Early Iron Age necropolis is kept
in the Palazzo degli Studi.
H. Nissen, Italische Landeskunde
3 (1960) 624-25 (G. Annibaldi)P
L. RICHARDSON, JR.