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IGUVIUM (Gubbio) Umbria, Italy.

A hill town on the upper Tiber system, it originally commanded an important highway through the mountains and minted its own coins. Under the Romans it served in 167 B.C. as a place of detention for the Illyrian king Gentius; after the social war it was inscribed in the tribus Clustumina. But the running of the Via Flaminia in 223 B.C. several miles E of Iguvium had sealed its fate, and its decline through Imperial times was steady.

The theater, SW of the city, was always known; systematic excavations and drawings of it were made as early as 1789, and it is maintained as a monument. Its date is disputed, but the size, the sophisticated plan, and the rustication of the exterior suggest that it is not earlier than Claudius. Nearby is the core of a large tomb, a cylindrical base surmounted by an hourglass-shaped story, perhaps representing a giant mill.

More famous are the Tabulae Iguvinae, seven bronze tablets of three sizes found in 1444 near the theater. The two largest and part of one smaller one are inscribed in the Roman alphabet, the remainder in an Umbrian alphabet akin to Etruscan. They contain instructions for ceremonies of the Atiedan Brothers, a college of priests, with a wealth of information about topography and cults. They and other antiquities are kept in Palazzo dei Consoli.


Dioniso 7 (1939) 3-16 (P. Moschella) PI; J. W. Poultney, The Bronze Tables of Iguvium, American Philological Association (1959)I; EAA 3 (1960) 1067-68 (U. Ciotti).


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