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SUE´SSULA (Σουέσσουλα: Eth. Suessulanus: Sessola,) a city of Campania, situated in the interior of that country, near the frontiers of Samnium, betwen Capua and Nola, and about 4 miles NE. of Acerrae. It is repeatedly mentioned dining the wars of the Romans with the Samnites, as well as in their campaigns against Hannibal. Thus in the First Samnite War (B.C. 343) it was the scene of a decisive victory by Valerius Corvus over the Samnites, who had gathered together the remains of their army which had been previously defeated at Mount Gaurus (Liv. 7.37). In the great Campanian War shortly after, the Suessulani followed the fortunes of the citizens of Capua, and shared the same fate, so that at the close of the contest they must have obtained the Roman civitas, but without the right of suffrage (Id. 8.14). In the Second Punic War the city bears a considerable part, though apparently more from its position than its own importance. The line of hills which rises from the level plain of Campania immediately above Suessula, and forms a kind of prolongation of the ridge of Mount Tifata, was a station almost as convenient as that mountain itself, and in B.C. 216, it was occupied by Marcellus with the view of protecting Nola, and watching the operations of Hannibal against that city (Liv. 23.14, 17). From this time the Romans seem to have kept up a permanent camp there for some years, which was known as the Castra Claudiana, from the name of Marcellus who had first established it, and which is continually alluded to during the operations of the subsequent campaigns (Liv. xxiil. 31, 24.46, 47, 25.7, 22, 26.9). But from this period the name of Suessula disappears from history. It continued to be a municipal town of Campania, though apparently one of a secondary class; and inscriptions attest its municipal rank under the Empire. It had received a body of veterans as colonists under Sulla, but did not attain the colonial rank (Strab. v. p.249; Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 9; Orell. Inscr. 129, 130, 2333; Lib. Col. p. 237). The Tabula places it on a line of road from Capua to Nola, at the distance of 9 miles from each of those cities (Tab. Peut). It was an episcopal see in the first ages of Christianity, and its destruction is ascribed to the Saracens in the 9th century. Its ruins are still visible in a spot now occupied by a marshy forest about 4 miles S. of Maddaloni, and an adjacent castle is still called Torre di Sessola. Inscriptions, as well as capitals of columns and other architectural fragments, have been found there (Pratilli Via Appia, 3.3. p. 347; Romanelli, vol. iii. p. 590).


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