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NUCE´RIA

NUCE´RIA (Νουκερία: Eth.Νουκερῖνος or Eth. Νουκρῖνος: Nucerinus).


1.

Surnamed ALFATERNA (Nocera dei Pagani), a considerable city of Campania, situated 16 miles SE. from Nola, on the banks of the river Sarnus, about 9 miles from its mouth. (Strab. v. p.247; Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 9; ltin. Ant. p. 109.) The origin of its distinctive appellation is unknown; the analogous cases of Teanum Sidicinum and others would lead us to suppose that the Alfaterni were a tribe or people of which Nuceria was the chief town; but no mention is found of them as such, Pliny, however, notices the Alfaterni among the “populi” of Campania, apart from Nuceria (Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 9); and we learn from their coins that the inhabitants themselves, who were of Oscan race, used the; designation of Nucerini Alfaterni ( “Nufkrinum Alafaternum” ), which we find applied to them both by Greek and Roman writers (Νουκερία Ἀλφατέρνη καλουμένη, Diod. 19.65; Nuceria Alfaterna, Liv. 9.41; Friedländer, Oskische Münzen, p. 21). The first mention of Nuceria in history occurs in B.C. 315, during the Second Samnite War, when its citizens, who were at this time on friendly terms with the Romans, were induced to abandon their alliance, and make common cause with the Samnites (Diod. 19.65). In B.C. 308 they were punished for their defection by the consul Fabius, who invaded their territory, and laid siege to their city, till he compelled them to an unqualified submission. (Liv. 9.41.) No subsequent notice of it occurs till the Second Punic War, when,in B.C. 216, Hannibal, having been foiled in his attempt upon Nola, turned his arms against Nuceria, and with much better success; for though the citizens at first offered a vigorous resistance, they were soon compelled by famine to surrender: the city was given up to plunder and totally destroyed, while the surviving inhabitants took refuge in the other cities of Campania. (Liv. 23.15; Appian, App. Pun. 63.) After Hannibal had been compelled to abandon his hold on Campania, the fugitive Nucerians were restored (B.C. 210); but, instead of being again established in their native city, they were, at their own request, settled at Atella, the inhabitants of that city being transferred to Calatia. (Liv. 27.3; Appian, Annib. 49.) How Nuceria itself was repeopled we are not informed, but it is certain that it again became a flourishing municipal town, with a territory extending down to the sea-coast (Pol. 3.91), and is mentioned by Cicero as in his day one of the important towns of Campania. (Cic. de Leg. Agr. 2.3. 1) Its territory was ravaged by C.Papius in the Social War, B.C. 90 (Appian, App. BC 1.42); and if we may trust the statement of Florus, the city itself was taken and plundered in the same war. (Flor. 3.18.11.) It again suffered a similar calamity in B.C. 73, at the hands of Spartacus (Id. 3.20.5); and, according to Appian, it was one of the towns which the Triumvirs assigned to their veterans for their occupation (Appian, App. BC 4.3): but from the Liber Coloniarum it would appear that the actual colony was not settled there until after the establishment of the Empire under Augustus. (Lib. Colon. p. 235.) It is there termed Nuceria Constantia, an epithet found also in the Itinerary. (Itin. Ant. p. 129.) Ptolemy also attests its colonial rank (Ptol. 3.1.69); and we learn from Tacitus [p. 2.452]that it received a fresh accession of veteran soldiers as colonists under Nero. (Tac. Ann. 13.31.) It was not long after this new settlement that a violent quarrel broke out between the colonists of Pompeii and Nuceria, which ended in a serious tumult, not without bloodshed (Id. 14.17). This is the last mention of Nuceria that we find in his-tory under the Roman Empire; but its name appears in the Itineraries, and is incidentally mentioned by Procopius. The decisive battle between Narses and Teïas, which put an end to the Gothic monarchy in Italy, A. D). 533, was fought in its neighbourhood, on the banks of the Sarnus, called by Procopius the Draco. (Procop. B. G. 4.35.) We learn also that it was an episcopal see in the early ages of Christianity, a dignity that it has retained without interruption down to the present day. Its modern appellation of Nocera dei Pagani is derived from the circumstance, that in the 13th century a body of Saracens were established there by the emperor Frederic II. There are no remains of antiquity at Nocera, except a very old church, which is supposed to have been originally an ancient temple. (Romanelli, vol. iii. p. 602.)

It was at Nuceria that the great line of high-road, which, quitting the Appian Way at Capua, proceeded directly S. to Rhegium, began to ascend the range of hills that separate the Bay of Naples from that of Salerno, or the Posidonian gulf, as it was called by the ancients. Strabo reckons the distance from Pompeli, through Nuceria to Marcina, on the latter bay, at 120 stadia (15 Roman miles) (Strab. v. p.251), which is less than the truth; Nuceria being, in fact, 7 geographical miles, or 70 stadia, from Pompeii, and the same distance from the sea near Salerno. The inscription at Polla (Forum Popillii) gives the distance from thence to Nuceria at 51 M. P.; while it reckons only 33 from thence to Capua. The Itinerary gives 16 from Nuceria to Nola, and 21 from Nola to Capua. (Orell. Inscr. 3308; Mommsen, Inscr. R. N. 6276; Itin. Ant. p. 109).

COIN OF NUCERIA IN CAMPANIA.


2.

Nocera), a town of Umbria, situated on the Flaminian Way, between Forum Flaminii and the actual pass of the Apennines. It is mentioned by Strabo as a town of considerable population, owing to its situation on so frequented a line of road, as well as to a manufacture of wooden vessels for household utensils. Pliny designates the inhabitants as “Nucerini cognomine F<*>vonienses et Camellani,” but the origin of both appellations is quite unknown. Ptolemy terms it a Colonia. but it is not mentioned as such by any other writer. If this is not a mistake, it must have been one of those settled by Trajan or Hadrian. (Zumpt, de Colon. p. 401.) The modern city of Nocera, a small place, though an episcopal see of great antiquity, undoubtedly retains the ancient site. It was situated 12 miles from Forum Flaminii and 15 from Fulginium (Foligno). (Strab. v. p.227; Plin. Nat. 3.14. s. 19; Ptol. 3.1.53; Itin. Ant. p. 311; Itin. Hier. p. 614.)


3.

A town of Cispadane Gaul, mentioned only by Ptolemy (3.1.46), from whom we learn that it was situated in the neighbourhood of Regium Lepidum and Mutina; but was not on the line of the Via Aemilia. It is probably represented by the village of Luzzara, near Guastalla, on the right bank of the Po. (Cluver. Ital. p. 281.)


4.

A city of Bruttium, in the neighbourhood of Terina, not mentioned by any ancient author, but the existence of which is clearly established by its coins, which have the Greek inscription ΝΟΥΚΡΙΝΩΝ (those of Nuceria Alfaterna having uniformly Oscan legends), and indicate a close connection with Terina and Rhegium. Its site is marked by the modern town of Nocera, situated on a hill about 4 miles from the Tyrrhenian sea and the mouth of the river Savuto. Considerable remains of an ancient city are still visible there, which have been regarded by many writers as those of Terina (Millingen, Ancient Coins, p. 25, Numismatique de l'Anc. Italie, p. 58). It is not improbable that the Νουκρία cited by Stephanus of Byzantium from Philistus is the city in question, though he terms it a city of Tyrrhenia, which must in any case be erroneous.

COIN OF NUCERIA IN BRUTTIUM.

[E.H.B]

hide References (12 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (12):
    • Appian, Punic Wars, 9.63
    • Appian, Civil Wars, 1.5.42
    • Appian, Civil Wars, 4.1.3
    • Cicero, On the Agrarian Law, 2.3.1
    • Tacitus, Annales, 13.31
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.14
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.5
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 23, 15
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 27, 3
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 9, 41
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 19.65
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 3.1
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