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HADRIA (Atri) Teramo, Abruzzo, Italy.

A city of the S Piceno region, ca. 20 km from the Adriatic coast, between the Vomano river to the N and the Matrino to the S. The first evidence of the name is from coins datable to the 3d c. B.C.

The inscriptions (CIL III, 14214.10; VII, 101; IX, 5016-5157) and the authors (Spartianus, Vita Hadriani 1.1; 19.1) refer constantly to Hadria, ethnically “hadrianus” as in Polybius (3.88.3) and Livy (22.9.5-27; 10.7-34; 45.8-1.c. p. 227). According to Livy (Per. 11), Hadria was a Latin colony in 290 B.C. In 209 B.C. Hadria was among the cities which offered aid to the Romans against Hannibal (Livy 27.10.7). It was perhaps about that time that the ancestors of the Emperor Hadrian moved to Spain from the Picenian city to which the Emperor traced his origin (Spartianus 1.C.I.1). Following the granting of Roman citizenship, presumably directly after the social wars, Hadria was ascribed to the tribus Malcia. It is supposed that another colony, but of “Roman right” was founded there by Sulla or by Augustus, which on that occasion received the title of Veneria.

As was usual in the colonies, Hadria had duoviri. A quinquennalis has been noted, and the office was also offered to Hadrian in recognition of his origins. The presence of a prefect is not certain and the presence of quaestors is hypothetical. The senate and its components are documented (CIL ix, 5013, 5016, 5017), as is the body of the Augustali (CIL ix, 5020, 5016). There is evidence of a Curator Muneris Publici (CIL ix, 5016).

Hadria issued fused coins (aes grave), probably soon after the founding of the colony, between 289 and 270 B.C. The complete series, from the asse to the Semuncia, has been noted.

In the area surrounding Atri, at the foot of Mt. Pretara and the hill of the Giustizia, were discovered two necropoleis. The funerary material found in them is similar to that found in the mid Adriatic necropoleis of Campovalano and in the analogous phase of the necropoleis of Alfedena. It is impossible, however, to date the material earlier than the second half of the 6th c. B.C.

Not many remains of the Roman city have been noted. By far the most important is the hypogeum under the cathedral. Thought to be a piscina limaria (25 x 28 m), it has walls in isodomic work datable to the Republican epoch. Perhaps in the 2d or 3d c. A.D. the area was divided into five naves by means of a series of pillars sustaining cross-vaults. The basin may be connected with a large bath building to which may be attributed the remains of a mosaic pavement brought to light during restoration of the cathedral. Another hypogeum, also thought to be for hydraulic use, is under the municipal building.

Recently the remains of a building, perhaps a private house, with mosaic pavements have been identified near the cathedral.


CIL IX, p. 480-85; L. Sorricchio, Hadria Atri, I (1911); E. J. Haeberlin, Aes Grave (1910) 203-11; F. V. Duhn, Italische Graberkunde (1924) p. 586; EAA 1 (1958) 885-86.


hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 22, 9
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 27, 10.7
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