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FORUM NOVUM

FORUM NOVUM


1.

(Eth. Foronovanus: Vescovio), a town in the territory of the Sabines, mentioned among the municipal towns of that region by Pliny, and in the Liber Coloniarum. (Plin. Nat. 3.12. s. 17; Lib. Colon. p. 255.) From its name we may infer that it was of Roman foundation, and not an ancient Sabine town. Its position is clearly fixed at a place called Vescovio (no longer inhabited, but retaining an ancient church), about 3 miles W. of Aspra (Casperia) and 12 NW. of Correse (Cures). Here there are considerable ruins, which were mistaken by Cluver for those of Cures, but are clearly identified as the remains of Forum Novum by inscriptions found among them with the name of the Foronovani. From these we learn that it was a municipal town in the reign of Gordian: it subsequently became the see of a bishop, and, after the decay of Cures, appears to have claimed to be the metropolitan see of the Sabines, whence it came to be commonly known as Il Vescovio di Sabina. The ancient church that marks the site still bears the title of “Ecclesia Cathedralis Sabinorum.” (Cluver, Ital. p. 675; Holsten. Not. p. 107; Chaupy, Maison d'Horace, vol. iii. p. 127.)

The name of Forum Novum was probably given to it for the purpose of distinguishing it from Forum Decii, which is also placed by Pliny in the Sabine territory, but is otherwise wholly unknown, and there is no clue to its situation.


2.

A town of Gallia Cispadana, known only from an inscription in which we find it mentioned as a municipal town ( “Municipium Foronovanorum,” Gruter, Inscr. p. 492. 5); but as this inscription was found at Parma, there can be no doubt that the Forum Novum there meant is the place still called Fornovo, in the valley of the Taro, 15 miles SW. of Parma. It is evidently the same place called by P. Diaconus “Foronianum,” and mentioned by him among the “castra Aemiliae.” (P. Diac. Hist. Lang. 6.49.)


3.

A town of Samnium, mentioned only in the Itineraries, which place it 10 miles from Beneventum on the road to Equus Tuticus; this distance fixes it at Buonalbergo, a spot where numerous coins and other antiquities have been found. (Tab. Peut.; Itin. Hier. p. 610; Mommsen, in Bullett. d. Inst. 1848, p. 7.) [E.H.B]

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    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.12
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