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NORA (Νῶρα: Eth. Νωρανός, Steph. B. sub voce Norensis: Capo di Pula), a city of Sardinia, situated on the S. coast of the island, on a promontory now called the Capo di Pula, about 20 miles S. of Cagliari. According to Pausanias (10.17.5) it was the most ancient city in the island, having been founded by an Iberian colony under a leader named Norax, who was a grandson of Geryones. Without attaching much value to this statement, it seems clear that Nora was, according to the traditions of the natives, a very ancient city, as well as one of the most considerable in later times. Pliny notices the Norenses among the most important towns of the island; and their name occurs repeatedly in the fragments of Cicero's oration in defence of M. Aemilius Scaurus. (Cic. pro Scaur. 1,2, ed. Orell.; Plin. Nat. 3.7. s. 13; Ptol. 3.3.3.) The position of Nora is correctly given by Ptolemy, though his authority had been discarded, without any reason, by several modern writers; but the site has been clearly established by the recent researches of the Comte de la Marmora: its ruins are still extant on a small peninsular promontory near the village of Pula, marked by an ancient church of St. Effisio, which, as we learn from ecclesiastical records, was erected on the ruins of Nora. The remains of a theatre, an aqueduct, and the ancient quays on the port, are still visible, and confirm the notion that it was a place of importance under the Roman government. Several Latin inscriptions with the name of the city and people have also been found; and others in the Phoenician or Punic character, which must belong to the period of the Carthaginian occupation of Sardinia. (De la Marmora, Voyage en Sardaigne, vol. ii. p. 355.)

The Antonine Itinerary (pp. 84, 84), in which the name is written Nura, gives the distance from Caralis as 32 M. P., for which we should certainly read 22 : in like manner the distance from Sulci should be 59 (instead of 69) miles, which agrees with the true distance, if we allow for the windings of the coast. (De la Marmora, ib. p. 441.)

[E. H. B.]

hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10.17.5
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.7
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 3.3
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