(Ugento) Lecce, Apulia, Italy.
An ancient city in the territory of the Salentini, situated
8 km from the Ionian coast and 25 km from the Iapygean promontory (Capo di Leuca). The name of this
Messapic, and later Roman, center is found in the literary sources in various forms: Ouxenton, whence Uxentum, in Ptolemy (3.1.76); Uzentini in Pliny (3.105
) and Livy (22.61.12
); Uzintum in the Peutinger Table
the road which led from Tarentum to the end of the
peninsula. Coins with the Messapic inscription OZAN are
from the 1st c. B.C.
The circuit walls ca. 4700 m long are certainly Messapic but perhaps rebuilt in the Roman period. Inside and
outside the walls, numerous tombs have been discovered
dating from the end of the 7th c. B.C. to the Roman period. One tomb with two successive burials, recently discovered inside the modern town, contained rich bronze furnishings (ca. 510-490 B.C.) which came from the
Peloponnesos, nearly contemporary with the bronze statuette of Poseidon in the museum at Taranto. Rich grave gifts of pottery, coins, and Messapic inscriptions of the 4th-2d c. B.C. have come to light at various times. Other
tombs with Latin inscriptions belong to Roman Uxentum.
In the Palazzo Colosso at Ugento, an interesting collection of materials from the area is preserved.
W. Smith, Dictionary of Greek and
, II (1857) 1332 (E. H. Bunbury); K.
Miller, Itineraria Romana
(1916) 362; RE
1325-29; O. Parlangeli, Studi Messapici
(1960) 215; G.
Susini, Fonti per la storia greca e romana del Salento
(1962) 77; N. Degrassi, “Ii Poseidon di Ugento,” La
Parola del Passato
(1965) 93; F. G. Lo Porto, “Tomba
messapica di Ugento,” Atti e memorie della Società
F. G. LO PORTO