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LUKERIA (Lucera) Apulia, Italy.

A city of the Daunii ca. 19 km N-NW of Foggia. According to legend, like Arpi and Canosa, it dates to Diomedes, who carried the Palladion to the site (Strab. 6.264; Plin. 3.102). There is no historical mention of the city prior to 326 B.C. when during the second Samnite war it appears as an ally of the Romans, to whom the city gave aid following the disaster of the Caudine Forks (Livy 9.2). After falling twice into the hands of the Samnites, the city was retaken by the Romans in 314 B.C. (Livy 9.26; Diod. 19.72). The earliest coinage of the city goes back to this date. During the second Punic war the Romans established winter quarters here (Livy 22.9). In the last years of the Republic it was considered one of the most important cities of Apulia (Cic. Clu. 69) and played a role in the civil war between Caesar and Pompey (Caes. BCiv. 1.24). Lukeria was ascribed to the tribus Claudia (CIL, p. 74). The rather uncertain notice of the sources (Plin. 3.104), according to which Augustus established a colony there, appears definitely to be confirmed by the discovery of an inscription in the amphitheater of Lukeria, dedicated to the living Emperor by M. Vecilius Campus.

The recently restored amphitheater (131.4 x 99.2 m) is the best-preserved monument in the city. Some ruins of the ancient city wall remain near the Swabo-Angevin fort, but the remains of a circus and of the theater have been lost. An inscription documents a Temple of Apollo (CIL IX, 823). In the Museo Civico are preserved fragments of inscriptions and of statues from the Hellenistic-Roman period, mosaics from a bath building, and from San Salvatore a rich votive deposit which indicates the probable existence of a sanctuary to the chthonian deities.


W. Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, II (1857) 210 (E. H. Bunbury); RE XIII.1 (1927) 156Sf (Philipp); EAA 4 (1961) 706-7 (G. Cressedi).


hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.11
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 22, 9
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 9, 2
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 9, 26
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 19.72
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