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OPITE´RGIUM (Ὀπιτέργιον: Eth. Opiterginus: Oderzo), a city of Venetia, situated about 24 miles from the sea, midway between the rivers Plavis (Piave) and Liquentia (Livenza), on a small stream (now called the Fratta) flowing into the latter. No mention of it is found before the Roman conquest of Venetia; but it appears to have under their rule become a considerable municipal town, and is mentioned by Strabo as a flourishing place, though not a city of the first class. (Strab. v. p.214.) In the Civil War between Caesar and Pompey a body of troops furnished by the Opitergini is mentioned as displaying the most heroic valour, and offering a memorable example of self-devotion, in a naval combat between the fleets of the two parties. (Liv. Ep. cx.; Flor. 4.2.33; Lucan 4.462-571.) Tacitus also notices it as one of the more considerable towns in this part of Italy which were occupied by the generals of Vespasian, Primus, and Varus. (Tac. Hist. 3.6.) It is mentioned by all the geographers, as well as in the Itineraries ; and though Ammianus tells us it was taken and destroyed by an irruption of the Quadi and Marcomanni in A. D. 372, it certainly recovered this blow, and was still a considerable town under the Lombards. (Plin. Nat. 3.19. s. 23; Ptol. 3.1.30; Itin. Ant. p. 280; Tab. Peut.; Amm. Marc. 29.6.1; P. Diac. 4.40.) In an inscription of the reign of Alexander Severus, Opitergium bears the title of a Colonia; as it is not termed such either by Pliny or Tacitus, it probably obtained that rank under Trajan. (Orell. Inscr. 72; Zumpt, de Colon. p. 402.): It was destroyed by the Lombard king Rotharis in A.D. 641, and again, in less than 30 years afterwards, by Grimoaldus (P. Diac. 4.47, 5.28); but seems to have risen again from its ruins in the middle ages, and is still a considerable town and an episcopal see.

Opitergium itself stood quite in the plain; but its territory, which must have been extensive, comprised a considerable range of the adjoining Alps, as Pliny speaks of the river Liquentia as rising “ex montibus Opiterginis” (Plin. Nat. 3.18. s. 22). The Itinerary gives a line of cross-road which proceeded from Opitergium by Feltria (Feltre) and the Val Sugana to Tridentum (Trent). (Itin. Ant. p. 280.)


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