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RUDIAE Apulia, Italy.

A Messapic city ca. 2 km SW of Lupiae (Lecce), in a low-lying area called La Cupa. Although it is frequently mentioned by ancient writers, who call it the birthplace of the poet Ennius, nothing precise is known of its origins (Cic. Arch. 9.22; Sil.It. 12.397). Strabo (6.281) thought it was founded by the Rhodians, who, together with colonists from Crete, appear to have colonized the Salentine peninsula, according to a tradition handed down by Herodotos (2.222). The archaeological excavations have brought to light towered circuit walls and a ditch about 4 km long. A second, inner circuit wall surrounded a zone where the acropolis is thought to have been. The floruit of the city between the 5th c. and the 3d c. B.C. is corroborated by the rich tomb appointments, often painted and with Messapic inscriptions, which have been discovered in the vast necropolis surrounding the inhabited area. The city was a municipium (CIL IX, 23) in the Roman period and was perhaps enrolled in the tribus Fabia (CIL IX, p. 5). A series of large public buildings, perfectly paved streets, an amphitheater, and Latin inscriptions are among the numerous traces from that period which are visible in the zone of recent excavations and in the Museo Castromediano at Lecce. Numerous objects from the necropolis are also preserved there.


RE 1.1 (1914) 1175-78; E. Ciaceri, Storia della Magna Grecia, I (1928) 108; M. Bernardini, La Rudiae Salentina (1955); O. Parlangeli, Studi Messapici (1960) 153.


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