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CALA´TIA (Καλατία: Eth. Calatinus), was the name of two cities on the confines of Samnium and Campania, which, from their proximity, have often been confounded with one another. Indeed, it is not always possible to tell to which of the two some passages of ancient writers refer.


A city of Samniun, in the valley of the Vulturnus, the site of which is retained by the modern Caiazzo, a small town on a hill, about a mile N. of that river, and 10 miles NE. of Capua. This is certainly the town meant by Livy, when he speaks of Hannibal as descending from Samnium into Campania “per Allifanum Calatinumque et Calenum agrum” (22.13), and again in another passage (23.14) he describes Marcellus as marching from Casilinum to Calatia, and thence crossing the Vulturnus, and proceeding by Saticula and Suessula to Nola. Here also the Samnite Calatia, north of the Vulturnus, must be the one intended. At an earlier period we find it repeatedly noticed during the wars of the Ronmans with the Samnites, and always in connection with places in or near the valley of the Vulturnus. Thus, in B.C. 305, Calatia and Sora were taken by the latter (Liv. 9.43); seven years before we arem told that Atina and Calatia were taken by the consul C. Junius Bubulcus (Id. 9.28): and there can be little doubt that the Calatia, where the Roman legions were encamped previous to the disaster of the Caudine Forks (Id. 9.2), was also the Samnite and not the Campanian city. [CAUDIUM] But after the Second Punic War we find no notice in history, which appears to refer to it, and it probably declined, like most of the Samnnite towns, after the time of Sulla. Inscriptions, however, still preserved at Caiazzo, attest its existence as a considerable municipal town under the Roman Empire: and a portion of the ancient walls, of a very massive style of construction, is still visible. (Romanelli, vol. ii. p. 430--434; Maffei, Mus. Veron. p. 354; Orell. Inscr. 140.) In one of these inscriptions we find the name written “Mun. Caiat:” and the same form occurs on coins which have the legend CAIATINO. [p. 1.477]


A city of Campania, situated on the Appiaii Way, between Capua and Beneventum. (Strab. v. p.249, vi. p. 203.) Strabo's precise testimony on this point is confirmed by the Tab. Peut., which places it six miles from Capua, as well as by Appian (App. BC 3.40), who speaks of Calatia and Casilinum as two towns on the opposite sides of Capua. There is, therefore, no doubt of the existence of a Campanian town of the name, quite distinct from that N. of the Vulturnus, and this is confirmed by the existence of ruins at a place still called le Galazze, about half way between Caserta and Maddaloni. (Holsten. Not. ad Cluver. p. 268; Pellegrini, Discorsi della Campania, vol. i. p. 372; Romanelli, vol. iii. p. 588.)

The following historical notices evidently relate to this city. In B.C. 216, the Atellani and Calatini are mentioned as revolting to Hannibal after the battle of Cannae (Liv. 22.61): but in B.C. 211, both cities were again reduced to submission, and severely punished by the Romans for their defection. Shortly afterwards the inhabitants of Atella were compelled to remove to Calatia. (Liv. 26.16, 34, 27.3.) The latter appears, again, to have taken an active part in the Social War, and was punished for this by Sulla, who incorporated it with the territory of Capua, as a dependency of that city. But it was restored to independence by Caesar, and a colony of veterans established there, who after his death were among the first to espouse the cause of Octavian. (Lib. Colon. p. 232; Appian, B. C 3.40; Cic. Att. 16.8; Vell. 2.61; Zumpt, de Colon. pp. 252, 296.) Strabo speaks of it as a town still flourishing in his time, and its continued municipal existence is attested by inscriptions, as well as by Pliny (Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 9; Gruter. Inscr. p. 59. 6); but it must have subsequently fallen into decay, as notwithstanding its position on the Via Appia, the name is omitted by two out of the three Itineraries. It was probably, therefore, at this time a mere village: the period of its final extinction is unknown; but a church of S. Maria ad Calatiam is mentioned in ecclesiastical records as late as the 12th century. (Pellegrini, l.c. p. 374.) [E.H.B]

hide References (8 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (8):
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 16.8
    • Appian, Civil Wars, 3.6.40
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.5
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 26, 16
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 27, 3
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 22, 61
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 9, 43
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 26, 34
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