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FIRMUM PICENUM (Fermo) Marche, Italy.

A Picene town 6 km inland from the Adriatic, S of the river Tinna; its port was called Castellum Firmanum (or Firmanorum). Site of a settlement from the Early Iron Age, Firmum became Roman in the conquest of Picenum and had a Latin colony as early as the beginning of the first Punic war. It remained faithful to Rome in Hannibal's war and was a stronghold of Rome against the Italians in the social war. In the civil war of 48 it sided with Caesar, and in 44 with the Republicans against Antony, for which it had to accept a colony of veterans. It belonged to the tribus Velina. It declined under the Empire, and fell to Alaric in 408.

Remains of fortifications in large rectangular blocks, once thought Etruscan, are now assigned to the Latin colony. The most interesting antiquity is the piscina epuratoria, built between A.D. 41 and 68, a chain of cisterns of which 24 have been explored and 6 put to use as a reservoir. There are also ruins of a theater and interesting Early Christian remains above a pagan temple in the cathedral. A small museum of antiquities, including material from the Early Iron Age necropolis is kept in the Palazzo degli Studi.


H. Nissen, Italische Landeskunde (1902) 2.423-25; EAA 3 (1960) 624-25 (G. Annibaldi)P.


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