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AU´XIMUM (Αὔξουμον, Strab. Αὔξιμον, Procop.; Eth. Auximas,--ātis; Osimo), a city of Picenum, situated on a lofty hill about 12 miles SW. of Ancona. It is first mentioned in B.C. 174, when the Roman censors caused walls to be erected around it, and its forum to be surrounded with a range of shops. (Liv. 41.27.) From hence it would appear that it had then already received the Roman franchise; but it did not become a Roman colony till B.C. 157. (Vell. 1.15.) The great strength of its position seems to have soon rendered it a place of importance. During the wars between Sulla and Carbo, it was here that Pompey first made head against the officers of the latter (Plut. Pomp. 6); and on the outbreak of the Civil War in B.C. 49, it was occupied by thee partisans of Pompey as one of the chief strongholds of Picenum,. but the inhabitants declared in favour of Caesar, and opened the gates to him. (Caes. B.C. 1.12; Lucan 2.466.) Under the Roman Empire it continued to be a city of importance, and retained its colonial rank, as we learn from numerous inscriptions, though Pliny does not notice it as a colony. (Gruter, Inscr. p. 372. 4, 445. 9, 446.1,465. 4, &c.; Orell. Inscr. 3168,3899; Plin. Nat. 3.13. s. 18; Strab. v. p.241; Itin. Ant. p. 312.) At a later period it rose to a still more distinguished position, and is distinctly called by Procopius the chief city of Picenum, and the capital of the province. Hence it played an important part in the wars of Belisarius against the Goths, and was not reduced by him till after a long siege, in which he himself very nearly lost his life. (Procop. B. G. 2.10, 11, 16, 23--27, 3.11, &c.) It remained afterwards for a long period subject to the Byzantine Empire, and was one of the five cities which constituted what was termed the Pentapolis under the Exarchate of Ravenna. The modern city of Osimo retains the same elevated site as the ancient one; it continued to be a considerable place throughout the middle ages, and still has a population of above 5000 inhabitants. Numerous inscriptions, statues, and other ancient relics, have been found there.


hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (4):
    • Lucan, Civil War, 2.466
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.13
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 41, 27
    • Plutarch, Pompey, 6
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