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CAMERI´NUM (Καμαρῖνον, Ptol.; Καμερία, Appian; Καμέρτη, Strab.: Eth. Camerinus or Camers,--ertis: Camerino), a city of Umbria, situated in the Apennines, near the frontiers of Picenum. It occupied a lofty position near the sources of the river Flusor (Chienti), and a few miles on the E. of the central ridge of the Apennines. No mention of the city is found before the Roman Civil Wars, when it appears as a place of some consequence, and was occupied by one of the Pompeian generals with six cohorts, who, however, abandoned it on the advance of Caesar. (Caes. B.C. 1.15; Cic. Att. 8.1. 2, B.) Again, during the outbreak of L. Antonius at Perusia, it was seized by Plancus with two legions. (Appian, App. BC 5.50.) At a later period, probably under Augustus, its territory was portioned out among military colonists; but it continued to be a municipium, and appears to have been under the empire a tolerably flourishing town. (Lib. Colon. pp. 240, 256; Ptol. 3.1.53; Orell. Inscr. 920, 2172.)

But while we find but little mention of the city the people of the CAMERTES are noticed from an early period as one of the most considerable in Umbria. As early as B.C. 308, the Roman deputies, who were employed to explore the Ciminian forest and the regions beyond it, are said to have advanced as far as to the Camertes ( “usque ad Camertes Umbros penetrasse dicuntur,” Liv. 9.36), and established friendly relations with them. These probably became the first foundation and origin of the peculiarly favourable position in which the Camertes stood towards the Roman republic. Thus in B.C. 205, we find them mentioned among the allied cities that furnished supplies for the fleet of Scipio, when they are contrasted with the other states of Etruria and Umbria as being on terms of equal alliance with the Romans ( “Camertes cum aequo foedere cum Romanis essent,” Liv. 28.45). Cicero also more than once alludes to the treaty which secured their privileges ( “Camertinum foedus sanctissimum atque aequissimum,” pro Balb. 20; V. Max. 5.2.8; Plut. Mar. 28). And at a much later period we find the “Municipes Camertes” themselves recording their gratitude to the emperor Septimius Severus for the confirmation of their ancient rights ( “jure aequo foederis sibi confirmato,” Gruter, Inscr. p. 266. 1; Orell. Inscr. 920).

A question has indeed been raised, whether the Camertes of Livy and Cicero are the same people with the inhabitants of Camerinum, who, as we learn from the above inscription and others also found at Camerino, were certainly called Camertes. The doubt has been principally founded on a passage of Strabo (v. p.227), in which, according to the old editions, that writer appeared to distinguish Camerinum and Camerte as two different towns; but it appears that Καμαρῖνον is certainly an interpolation; and the city he calls Camerte, which he expressly places “on the very frontiers of Picenum,” can certainly be no other than the Camerinum of the Romans. (See Kramer and Groskurd, ad loc.; and compare Du Theil's note at vol. ii. p. 60 of the French translation of Strabo.) Pliny also, who inserts the Camertes among the “populi” of Umbria, makes no other mention of Camerinum (3.14. s. 19). There can therefore be no doubt that at this period the Camertes and the people of Camerinum were the same; but it certainly seems probable that at an earlier epoch the name was used in a more extensive sense, and that the tribe of the Camertes was at one time more widely spread in Umbria. We know that the Etruscan city of Clusium was originally called Camers or Camars, and it is a plausible conjecture of Lepsius that this was its Urnbrian name. (Tyrrhener Pelasger, p. 33.) It is remarkable that Polybius speaks of the battle between the Romans and the Gauls in B.C. 296, as fought in the territory of the Camertes (ἐν ρῇ Καμερτίων Χώπᾳ, 2.19), while the same battle is placed by Livy at Clusium (10.26). Again, the narrative of Livy (9.36) would seem to imply that the Camertes there mentioned were not very remote from the Ciminian forest, and were the first Umbrian people to which the envoys came. Even Cicero speaks of the “ager Camer” in common with Picenum and Gaul (Gallia Togata) (pro Sull. 19) in a manner that can hardly be [p. 1.490]understood of so limited a district as the mere territory of Camerinum. Perhaps the fact of the recurrence of the name in different forms among the modern towns and villages of this part of Italy--Camero near Foligno, Camerata between Todi and Amelia, &c.,--may be a remnant of this wider extension of the Camertes.

The CAMERINI mentioned by Valerius Maximus (6.5.1) as having been conquered and reduced to captivity by P. (?) Claudius can be no other than the people of Camerinum; but it is difficult to reconcile his account with the rest that we know of their history. Probably Appius Claudius, the consul of B.C. 268, who reduced the neighbouring province of Picenum, is the person meant.


hide References (7 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (7):
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 8.1.2
    • Appian, Civil Wars, 5.6.50
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 9, 36
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 28, 45
    • Plutarch, Caius Marius, 28
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 3.1
    • Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, 5.2.8
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