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ARPINUM (Arpino) Campania, Italy.

A Volscian and later (4th c. B.C.) Samnite hill town in the Liris river basin. Captured by Rome and granted civitas sine suffragio in 305-303 B.C., it gained full citizenship in 188 B.C. and became a municipium after the social war, ca. 90 B.C., after which it seldom appears in the sources. The modern town is roughly congruous with the ancient site.

Most noteworthy of the ancient remains are the megalithic polygonal circuit walls, still well-preserved, standing as much as 3.35 m high in places and 2 m wide at the top. The pre-Roman Porta dell'Arco leads through the wall to the acropolis. Its great stones, inclining gradually toward one another with a corbeled effect to an acutely angled point 4.5 m high, is really a false arch, requiring a vertical pier of squared-stone blocks as a support. The pier also bisects the gateway forming twin passages. There is a Roman gate as well.

The acropolis, now called Civitavecchia, contained the Temple of Mercury Lanarius, which is perhaps represented by the ancient remains under the Church of S. Maria. Traces exist of some sewers of the Republican period, the restoration of which is recorded in an inscription (CIL X, 5679).

The town was the birthplace of Cicero and Marius. The site of Cicero's villa, later owned by Silius Italicus, is marked by the 12th c. Church of S. Domenico 1.2 km N of the town of Isola del Liri below Arpino (Ep. ad Quint. fr. 3.1).


O. E. Schmidt, A., eine topographischhistorische Skizze (1900); L. Venturini, Notizie in A. e dintorni (1907); G. Pierleoni, Il patrimonio archeologico di A. (1907); id., Scoperte di antichità nel territorio di A. (1911); L. Ippoliti, Il luogo di nascita di M. T. Cicerone (1936), with bibliography; I Negrisoli, Atti di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in Bergamo 28 (1953-54).


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