A Samnite town
between Telese and San Salvatore Telesino 38 km from
Beneventum on the right bank of the Calor near its junction with the Volturnus. It was always an important road
center and figured repeatedly in the second Punic war.
Under Rome it became a municipium that at least occasionally minted coins inscribed TELIS. It received a colony in the 1st c. B.C. which took the name Colonia Herculea Telesina, being inscribed in the tribus Falerna and
governed by duoviri praetores as chief magistrates.
The well-preserved fortifications are 2.5 km in circuit,
faced with opus pseudo-reticulatum. There are three major gates and 35 towers, both round and polygonal. The
curtains are bowed inward to give the towers maximum
effectiveness, and the whole wall system is highly sophisticated. Outside the walls are remains of an early amphitheater. Inside, the street grid of long narrow blocks, two baths, and a theater have been traced. Systematic excavations have never been carried out, but the area has
proved extremely rich in inscriptions, and tombs have
come to light on numerous occasions. A recent tomb
group of the 3d-2d c. B.C. is interesting for the relationship of pottery of local manufacture to Centuripe vases. Some material from the site is in the Museo del Sannio at Benevento.
A. Rocco, NSc
(1941-42) 77-84; L.
Quilici, Studi di urbanistica antica
di Topografia Antica dell'Università di Roma
L. RICHARDSON, JR.