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ARRETIUM (Arezzo) Tuscany, Italy.

An Etruscan town, perhaps called Peithesa, on the height of Castelsecco (Poggio di San Cornelio), a height well fortified by ashlar stone walls, 3 km SE of Arezzo. The Arretines, according to Dion. Hal. (AntRom. 3.51), joined other Etruscans in offering aid to the Latins against Tarquinius Priscus (fl. 616-579 B.C.) and must have been included in the Etruscan decapolis, living there in probable political dependence upon Clusium. The date and circumstances of the migration to Arretium are unknown, but the new citadel was a low eminence now occupied by the Cathedral, public gardens, and Fortezza Medicea above the Castro, a small tributary of the Chiana and Arno. The city wall composed partly of stone, partly of lightly fired brick, and partly of rock escarpment, has been found at points in the E section of the upper modern town, the cemetery, and N outskirts. The cardo of this Arretium was the modern Via Pelliceria and Via San Lorenzo. Whether the brick represents repairs or the stone represents constructional reinforcement at selected points is debated; Vitruvius (2.8, 9), and Pliny (HN 13.13 and 35.19), considered Arretium's “vetustus murus” as essentially constructed “e latere.” The date of the wall is assigned to ca. 300 B.C., the approximate period of a 30-year treaty (321 B.C.) and a treaty of peace and alliance with Rome in 294, the year in which a Roman relieving army was beaten at Arretium by the besieging Senones. Tombs near Poggio del Sole, outside the Etruscan town but just inside the Medicean wall, and the famous 5th c. bronze Chimera, the red-figure krater by Euphronios, the 4th c. bronze Minerva, and fictile revetments of various temples show that Arezzo had acquired and perhaps actually produced considerable evidence of prosperity and culture long before the imminence of Roman expansion.

Arretium's advanced industrialization in the 3d c. B.C. permitted the furnishing of large quantities of bronze (and iron?) weapons and agricultural implements, as well as 120,000 modii of wheat, to Scipio's African expedition in 205 B.C., at which time there must also have been a lively production of Etrusco-Campanian black-surfaced ceramics.

Arretium supported Marius and was punished in territory, civil status, the imposition of a veterans' colony (Arretini fidentiores, contrasted with the native Arretini veteres; Julius Caesar later settled the Arretini Iulienses as well), and, on the evidence of plentiful black pottery but no red Arretine, the dismantling of the city wall and various finely decorated public buildings within it, and perhaps the blocking of the cisterns of the citadel. Later, Arretium (sc. Sulla's veterans) espoused Catiline's conspiracy. Arretium's inhabited and industrial area must always have exceeded the fortified perimeter, but with the colonizations and under the Empire the expansion and reorientation must have been considerable; the new cardo was apparently the Corso Vittorio Emanuele and the forum has been conjectured as near Fonte Pozzolo N of the citadel. Nine roads radiated from the hilltop, and there are traces of a 1st-2d c. aqueduct entering the city at Fonte Veneziana on the F.

Etruscan and Roman graves, mosaics, inscriptions, and minor objects are common in Arretium, but its importance in mediaeval and Renaissance Italy has militated against the preservation and excavation of conspicuous architectural monuments except for those already noted and a large late cistern 23.5 m square in the Giardino Pubblico, a theater and several baths of which remains are scanty, and the 1st-2d c. amphitheater of ca. 7500 sq. m, well-preserved because of its conversion into the Orti and Convento di S. Bernardo, part of which is now the Museo Archeologico.

Already in Augustan times Arretium was famous for its plain and molded red-surfaced pottery of the late Republic and early Empire, superposing manufacturing techniques and artistic themes, imported from the Hellenistic East by a great influx of Greek-named workmen, upon vase shapes of Etrusco-Campanian ancestry. Within the present town numerous factories have been found and their operators identified, most notably the factory of M. Perennius and his successors at the church of S. Maria in Gradi, but also at Carciarelle and Orciolaia, 1 km from town, and as far away as Cincelli and Ponte a Buriano 7 km distant on the Arno. To what extent Maecenas, a native Arretine, was responsible for this artistic and industrial upsurge is not known. Excavations of the 1880s and 1890s produced vast amounts of Arretine ware, now partly in the Museo Archeologico, partly in private hands, partly dispersed to foreign museums; the vases of Ateius found in 1954-57 are at Florence, as is much else from the site. Further, Arretine ware was exported to military and civilian consumers throughout the Roman world and beyond (Britain, India), enriching many local museums of Western and Central Europe and North Africa. Arretium's primacy was Augustan and Tiberian, but even under Augustus an emigration of potters was under way, and by Flavian times Arretium had lost its significance to imitators elsewhere in Italy and in the provinces.


G. Maetzke, Rei Cretariae Romanae Fautorum Acta, II, 25-27 (1959) (Ateius ware in Via Nardi).

Articles by various authors on individual finds, Studi Etruschi, 21, 22, 23, 32; F. Carpanelli, Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità (1950) 227-40PI (amphitheater); F. Rittatore & F. Carpanelli, Edizione Archeologica della Carta d'Italia al 100,000 (Foglio 114 [Arezzo]) (1951)MP (exhaustive text and topographical bibliography to 1950); C. Hülsen, PW II, cols. 1227-28 (chiefly historical); CIL XI, 1820-1902; ThLL II, s.v. Arretium.

Arretine ware: H. Comfort et al., Terra Sigillata, La Ceramica a Rilievo Ellenistica e Romana (1968) 49-71PI (with principal bibliography of Arretine ware to 1958); A. Oxé & H. Comfort, Corpus Vasorum Arretinorum (1968) (names stamped on Arretine ware); A. Stenico, La Ceramica Arretina II, Punzoni, modelli, calchi, ecc. (1966)I, and La Ceramica Arretina I, Rasinius I (1960).


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    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 13.13
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