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VENAFRUM (Venafro) Molise, Italy.

A center of the Pentri Samnites in the valley of the Volturno ca. 19 km SW of Isernia. The Roman city was listed among the prefectures by Festus (262 L.), and later became an Augustan colony. It was noted for the products made by its artisans and for the fertility of its soil, particularly for the cultivation of olives, which is still a major activity of the area. On the slopes of Mt. S. Croce the city (ca. 595 x 462 m, with an area of 274,000 sq m) was subdivided into blocks (70 x 75 m) delimited by parallel roads. The network of roads largely survived as mediaeval and modern streets. The theater is toward the upper extremity of the city, built against the slope of the mountain; and the amphitheater is in the lower part of the city. Several stretches of the city walls in opus incertum (to which the inscription CIL X, 4876, must refer) remain above the inhabited center.

The outline of an aqueduct from the Volturno has been noted, along with the Augustan edict relative to it. Among numerous constructions in the environs the most important are monumental terraces in polygonal work in the vicinity of the Madonna della Libera.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

CIL x, pp. 477ff; S. Aurigemma in BdA (1922-23) 58-76; G. Radke in RE VIII A (1955) coll. 668-70; A. Pantoni in RendPontAcc 33 (1960-61) 153-71; A. La Regina in Quaderni Ist. Topogr. Ant. Univ. Roma, I (1964) 55-67; id.; EAA Suppl. (1970) 894-95.

A. LA REGINA

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