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FERENTUM

FERENTUM or FORENTUM (Φερέντη, Diod.: Eth. Forentanus), a town of Apulia, about 10 miles S. of Venusia. The name is written Ferentum in most editions of Horace, though Orelli has substituted Forentum, which is the form found in Livy and Pliny; but the first form is supported by Diodorus. It is still called Forenzea; but from the expressions of Horace ( “arvum pingue humilis Ferenti,” Carm. 3.4, 16), to whom it was familiar from its proximity to Venusia, the ancient town appears to have been situated in a valley, while the modern one stands on the summit of a hill; and according to local writers, some remains of the ancient Ferentum may be found in a small plain 2 miles nearer Venosa. (Romanelli, vol. ii. p. 236.) Livy terms it a strong town, so that it was one of the few places in Apulia which offered any considerable resistance to the Roman arms, and was one of the last subdued. (Liv. 9.16, 20, but in the former of these passages it is probable that the true reading is “Frentani,” not “Forentani;” Diod. 19.65.) The Forentani are mentioned by Pliny (3.11. s. 16) among the municipal towns of Apulia; but we meet with no subsequent mention of it in any ancient author.

[E.H.B]

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