or ARGYRIPPA (Arpi) Apulia,
A city whose name (Strab. 5.1.9
Ptol. 3.1.72; Plin. HN
3.104), gave rise to the legend of
its foundation by the Argive King Diomede. One of the
most important cities of the Daunii, who were Illyrian in
origin, it is in the heart of the Tavoliere, ca. 20 km E of
Luceria and 30 km from Sipontum, its outlet to the sea.
During the period of the city's greatest expansion, Sipontum was included in its territory (Livy 34.45
; Dio. 20.3).
The city played an important role in the struggle between
Greeks and Italici and between Oscans and Latins for
supremacy in Italy. In order to save its territory from
the Sabelli during the second Samnite war, it concluded
a treaty of alliance with Rome in 326 B.C. (Livy 9.13
This contributed to a flourishing period in the city's
history, largely datable to the 3d c. B.C. and documented
by an immense coinage in silver and bronze. The coins
bore a legend in Greek and images of Greek deities,
including Zeus, Athena, Persephone, and Ares. During
the Pyrrhic war the city was still allied to Rome, but
in the second Punic war it surrendered to Hannibal, who
wintered there at the end of 215 B.C. Two years later
Fabius Maximus occupied its territory, reducing its importance as a result of the loss of its outlet to the sea,
where in 194 B.C. the Romans built the colony of Sipontum (Polyb. 3.118; Livy 22.61
; App., Hann. 31). It had
lost all importance by the Imperial age.
Two inscriptions from nearby Vaccarella belong perhaps to Luceria (CIL
IX, 934, 935). The site of the ancient city is easily recognizable a few km N of Foggia.
Extensive excavation during the last few years has
brought to light the remains of numerous buildings of
the Hellenistic-Roman age, pit tombs from the 6th-5th c.
B.C. and grotto tombs from the 4th-3d c. B.C. The material found is preserved in the museums at Foggia and
W. Smith, Dictionary of Greek and
, (1856) 220 (E. H. Bunbury); RE
II.1 (1895) 1217-18 (Hülsen); E. De Ruggiero, Dizionario
epigrafico di antichità romane
, I (1895) 678.
F. G. LO PORTO