The modern Benevento. A city of Samnium, about ten miles beyond Candium, on the Via Appia.
Its name is said to have been originally Maleventum, and to have been changed because of the
evil omen contained in it. (See
Beneventum in Samnium.
.) The more auspicious name was given it
in B.C. 271 (Livy, ix. 27
). It remained in the possession of the
Romans during the whole of the Second Punic War, and obtained the thanks of the Senate for its
firm attachment to the Republic at that critical period (Livy, xxvii.
). We subsequently hear of its being a second time colonized by the veteran soldiers
of Augustus, and also a third time under Nero. Beneventum was situated near the junction of
the Sabatus and Calor, now Sabbato and Calore. Its position was a very important one, since
here the main roads intersected each other from Latium into southern Italy, and from Samnium
into Campania. Under the Lombards, Beneventum became the capital of a powerful dukedom. It
abounds in remains of ancient sculpture above any other town in Italy. The most beautiful
relic of former days at this place is the Arch of Trajan, which forms one of the entrances
into the city. Near Beneventum, Pyrrhus was defeated by Dentatus, B.C. 274.