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BA´NTIA (Βαντία: Eth. Bantinus), a small town about 13 miles SE. of Venusia. Pliny reckons the Bantini among the Lucanians; but Livy speaks of it as in Apulia, and Acron, in his notes on Horace, also calls it expressly “civitas Apuliae.” Horace himself alludes to it as one of the places, in the neighbourhood of Venusia, familiar to his boyhood; and his expressions indicate the wooded character of its territory. (Saltus Bantinos, Hor. Carm. 3.4, 15; Plin. Nat. 3.11. s. 16; Liv. 27.25; Acron, ad loc.) An ancient abbey, named Sta. Maria di Banzi, still marks its site, and Holstenius (Not. in Cluver, p. 202) tells as that in his time some remains of the ancient town were visible in its immediate neighbourhood. The district is still covered with a thick forest, now called Bosco dell' Abadia. (Romanelli, vol. ii. p. 241.) It was among the wooded hills between Bantia and Venusia that the Roman consuls M. Marcellus and T. Quinctius Crispinus encamped in B.C. 208, and where the skirmish took place in which Marcellus was killed, and his colleague mortally wounded. (Liv. 27.25-27.) We learn from inscriptions that Bantia enjoyed the rights of a Municipium under the Roman Empire; and one of the most interesting monuments of its class is a bronze tablet, commonly known as the Tabula Bantina, which was discovered in the year 1790, at Oppido, 8 miles from Banzi. This contains a Roman law, or plebis-scitum, relative to the municipal affairs of Bantia, and derives its chief interest from the circumstance that it is written both in Latin and Oscan, of which last language it is one of the most important relics. (Mommsen, Unter Italischen Dialekte, p. 145--168; Bullett. dell Inst. Arch. 1847, p. 157.)


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