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URBS VETUS

URBS VETUS (Orvieto), a city of Etruria mentioned by Paulus Diaconus (Hist. Lang. 4.33) together with Balneum Regis (Bagnaréa) in the same neighbourhood. No mention of either name occurs in any writer before the fall of the Roman Empire, but it is probable that the Urbiventum (Οὐρβίβεντον) of Procopius, which figures in the Gothic Wars as a fortress of some importance, is the same place as the Urbs Vetus of P. Diaconus. (Procop. B. G. 2.20.) There is no doubt that the modern name of Orvieto is derived from Urbs Vetus; but the latter is evidently an appellation given in late times, and it is doubtful what was the original name of the city thus designated. Niebuhr supposes it to be Salpinum, noticed by Livy in B.C. 389 (Liv. 5.31; Niebuhr, vol. ii. p. 493) [SALPINUM], while Italian antiquaries in general identify it with Herbanum. [HERBANUM] But both suggestions are mere conjectures.

[E.H.B]

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