(Ascoli Satriano) Apulia, Italy.
An ancient indigenous center ca. 28 km S of Foggia near
the spot where the Romans suffered defeat at the hands
of Pyrrhos in 279 B.C. (Flor. 1.18.9; Plut., Vit. Pyrrh
Zonar. 8.5; Dionys. 20.1). The city seems to have enjoyed a certain amount of autonomy and prosperity, to
judge from its coinage, which was minted between the
4th and the 3d c. B.C. From the coins it may be deduced
that the city's true name was Ausculum or Ausclum
(in Oscan, Auhusclum). Its territories, sacked during
the social war (App. BCiv
. 1.52), were distributed first
by C. Gracchus and again later by Julius Caesar (Lib.
., pp. 210, 260). It is doubtful that Asculum
obtained the rights of a colony or attained the status
of a municipium during the Empire. In the scarce inscriptions (CIL
IX, 665, 666, 669) it is called civitas Ausculanorum or res publica with aediles iure dicundo as magistrates, and was ascribed to the tribus Papiria.
Some would like to see in Asculum the oppidulum at
which Horace stopped on his way to Brindisi (Sat
The modern city occupies approximately the same
position as the ancient one. This is attested by the frequent discoveries of remains of ancient buildings (often
with mosaics, as in the building found in Piazza Plebiscito
in 1936), epigraphical fragments, statues, columns, and
other material. Two milestones of the Via Traiana, LXII
and LXVI, were found in Largo Aulisio. A brick arch is
preserved in the locality called Valle dell'Arco and ruins
of an aqueduct in the section called Tesoro. Numerous
finds from the surrounding necropoleis are in the local
Museo Civico and in the museums at Foggia and Taranto.
W. Smith, Dictionary of Greek and
, I (1856) 231 (E. H. Bunbury); RE
II.2 (1896) 1527-28 (Hülsen); E. De Ruggiero, Dizionario epigrafico di antichità romane
, I (1895) 950; B. V.
Head, Historia Numorum
(1911) 45; K. Miller, Itinerana Romana
F. G. LO PORTO