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HY´RIA, HY´RIUM, or U´RIA, is the name of several ancient towns in Italy, which is very variously written, and often corrupted, in our extant MSS.; but all these forms appear to be originally the same.


Ὑρίη, Herod.; Ὑρία, App.; Οὐπία, Strab.: Eth. Uritanus: Oria,) an inland city of Calabria, situated nearly in the heart of that country, on the Appian Way, about midway between Brundusium and Tarentum. (Tab. Peut.) Strabo correctly describes it as situated in the midst of the isthmus, as he terms it, between the two seas. (Strab. vi. p.282.) He tells us that a palace of one of the ancient native kings was still shown there: and Herodotus represents it as the metropolis of the Messapians, founded by a colony of Cretans on their return from Sicily. According to this statement, it was the most ancient of the Messapian cities, from whence all the others were founded. (Hdt. 7.170.) But though it thus appears to have been in early times a place of importance, we hear very little of it afterwards, though its name again appears in Appian during the civil war between Octavian and Antony, while the latter was besieging Brundusium. (Appian, App. BC 5.58.) The people of Hyria must also be understood by the “Urites” of Livy, whom he enumerates among the allied cities that furnished ships to the praetor C. Lucretius in B.C. 171 (Liv. 42.48), if the reading be correct: but it is difficult to understand how an inland town like Hyria could be one of those bound to furnish a naval. contingent. The “Uritanus ager” is mentioned in the Liber Coloniarum (p. 262) among the “Civitates Provinciae Calabriae,” and it therefore appears to have held the rank of an ordinary provincial town under the Roman Empire: and there is little doubt that in Pliny (3.11. s. 16.100) we should read Uria for Varia. In Ptolemy also (3.1.77) we should probably substitute Οὔριον for Οὔρητον, as Veretum (Οὐέρητον) had been already mentioned just before.

It still retains the name of Oria, a considerable town situated on a hill of moderate elevation, but commanding an extensive view over all. the country round. There are no ancient remains, but inscriptions have been found there in the Messapian dialect, and numerous coins, bearing the name of Orra, which, though written in Roman characters, was probably the native name of the city. (Millingen, Numism. de l'Anc. Italie, p. 281.)


(Uria, Plin.; Οὔρειον, Strab.; Οὔριον, Ptol.; Ὕριον, Dionys. P.: Eth. Ὑριατῖνος, Urias or Urianus: Rodi), a city of Apulia, situated on the coast of the Adriatic N. of the promontory of Garganus. It gave to the extensive bay formed by that projecting headland with the coast of Apulia on the N., the name of URIAS SINUS (Mel. 2.4.7.) Its name is [p. 1.1107]mentioned both by Pliny and Ptolemy among the cities of the Daunian or Northern Apulians: the former, indeed, appears to place it S. of the promontory of Garganus, but this is probably only an apparent inaccuracy arising from the order of enumeration. But he afterwards notices the Hyrini (by which it is impossible that he can mean the Hyria in Calabria) in his general list of towns in the interior of the Second Region. There is no mode of explaining this, except by supposing it to be a simple mistake. (Plin. Nat. 3.11. s. 16; Ptol. 3.1.17.) Dionysius Periegetes also mentions Hyrium as a maritime city at the entrance of the Adriatic Sea (which he probably regarded as commencing at the promontory of Garganus), and the limit of Iapygia towards the N. (Dionys. Per. 380): hence, it is clearly of the Apulian city that he. is speaking. No mention of it is found in history: and the best clue to its position is derived from Strabo, who tells us it was the first city which occurred on the N. side of Mt. Garganus, after doubling the promontory of that name. Hence, we may place it, approximately at least, on the site of Rodi, a small town on a projecting point or headland, about 20 miles W. of Viesti, and near the entrance of a saltwater lake, or lagoon, called Lago di Varano, a name which is very probably only a corruption of Lacus Urianus. (Romanelli, vol. ii. p. 283.)

To this city may probably be ascribed the coins with the legend ΥΡΙΑΤΙΝΩΝ, which were assigned by Millingen (Num. de l'Italie, p. 119) to Veretum in Calabria.


(Eth. Ὑριναῖος). The existence of a third city of the name in Campania, though resting only on numismatic evidence, may be considered as well established. The coins in question, which are of silver and very numerous, have not only types peculiar to Campania, but are always found in that country, and frequently together with coins of Nola, which they so closely resemble that some numismatists are of opinion that Hyrium or Hyrina was a native name of that city. It is more probable that it was situated in its immediate neighbourhood; perhaps standing in the same relation to it that Palaeopolis did to Neapolis: but, in either case, the absence of all notice of the name in any ancient writer is very remarkable. (Millingen, Num. de l'Anc. Ital. p. 138; Cavedoni, Num. Ital. Vet. p. 31; Friedländer, Oskische Münzen, pp. 37, 38.) The legend ΥΡΙΝΑ is abbreviated from ΥΡΙΝΑΙΟΣ or ΥΡΙΝΑΙΩΝ others, however, have (though much more rarely) ΥΡΙΑΝΟΣ and ΥΡΙΕΤΗΣ [E.H.B]


hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 7.170
    • Appian, Civil Wars, 5.6.58
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.11
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 42, 48
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 3.1
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