This Roman city was founded
near the confluence of the Tordino and Vezzola rivers
in the territory of the Praetutti. It was assigned to Regio
V (Picenum) under the Augustan territorial arrangement.
Inhumation burials found mostly to the W of the city
demonstrate that a primitive indigenous settlement must
have existed before the foundation of the Roman city.
The Romanization of the Praetutti territory goes back to
the beginning of the 3d c. B.C. In the age of Sulla the
city was already designated a colonia, and in the course
of the 1st c. B.C. its double status of municipium and
cohonia is documented (CIL
LX, 5074). A reflection of
this double administrative structure may perhaps be
traced in the characteristics of the urban plan, whose
orthogonal arrangement is complex, with two zones juxtaposed and diversely oriented. The general lines of the
urban network were partially followed in the plan of the
mediaeval streets. The urban area was almost rectangluar
(ca. 440 x 240 m). Among the public buildings the most
conspicuous today are the theater and part of the amphitheater in the W sector of the city. A zone of suburban
settlement may be recognized in the modern Largo della
Madonna delle Grazie section outside Porta Reale. Roman burials have been found near the railroad station
and near the Messato bridge. The latter is 3 km from the
inhabited center along a stretch of the road that led
to Amiternum, where there exists a row of funerary
monuments from the 1st c. A.D.
Three stelai with boustrophedonic inscriptions from
the 5th c. B.C. are attributable to the S Picene group
(also called Old Sabellic or E Italic). They were found
in the Valley of the Vomano, near Penna S. Andrea, to
the SE of Teramo.
IX, p. 485ff; F. von Duhn, Italische
, I (1924) 583ff; M. E. Blake in PAAR
(1930) 135-37; EAA
7 (1966) 712-13 (A. La Regina)
with bibliography; G. Cerulli Irelli, Edizione archeologica
della Carta d'Italia
140 (1971) with a city plan.
A. LA REGINA