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HISPELLUM (Spello) Umbria, Italy.

A hill town on the Via Flaminia, made colonia Julia (CIL XI, 5278) probably under the triumvirate; it belonged to the tribus Lemonia. Augustus was fond of it and gave it the baths of the Clitumnus (Plin. Ep. 8.8.6). It throve under the Empire and probably received a further draft of colonists under Constantine, when it became colonia Flavia Constans with the privileges of a temple to the Gens Flavia and regional festivals (CIL XI, 5265).

Spello's glory is its walls, probably of a single build and early Augustan, despite differences in style and technique; they may be compared with the walls of Fanum Fortunae and Mevania. The core is concrete faced with small blocks of the local limestone with gates in larger ashlar. Three gates are well preserved, Porta Consolare and Porta Venere (triple archways, the latter flanked by dodecagonal towers) and Porta S. Ventura, a decorative single arch, simplified and set flush in the wall. The poorly preserved Arco di Augusto seems also to have been of this type.

Within the city are traces of the ancient terracing of the site, and in the plain below are remains of a large amphitheater (108 x 82 m). Antiquities from the site are kept in the Palazzo Comunale.


A. L. Frothingham, Roman Cities in Northern Italy and Dalmatia (1910) 188-96; JRS 23 (1933) 163-64 (I. A. Richmond)I; JdI 57 (1942) 100-101 (H. Kähler)P; EAA 7 (1966) 438-39 (U. Ciotti); AA 85 (1970) 326 (H. Blanck).


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