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SENA (Σήνη, Pol.: Σήνα, Strab.: Eth. Senensis), called also for distinction's sake SENA GALLICA (Σεναγάλλικα, Ptol.: Sinigaglia), a city of Umbria, but situated in the district known as the Gallicus Ager, on the coast of the Adriatic, at the mouth of a small river of the same name; The district in which it was situated had previously belonged to the Galli Senones, and there can be no doubt that both the river and town derived their name from that of this people. (Sil. Ital. 8.453; Pol. 2.19.) It is therefore probable that there was a Gaulish town of the name before the Roman conquest, but we have no account of it until the establishment of a Roman colony there, which seems to have taken place immediately after the final subjection of the Senones in B.C. 289. (Pol. 2.19; Liv. Epit. xi.) The colony must have been a “colonia civium,” as its name is not mentioned by Livy among the Latin colonies in the Second Punic War. It was at Sena that the two consuls Livius and Nero united their forces before the battle of the Metaurus, B.C. 207 (Liv. 27.46; Appian, Annib. 52; Vict. Vir. Ill. 48), on which account that battle is described by some authors as being fought “ad Senam,” and even Cicero alludes to it as the “Senense praelium.” (Cic. Brut. 18; Eutrop. 3.18; Oros. 4.18.) Its name is not again mentioned in history till the Civil Wars between Marius and Sulla, when it was taken and plundered by Pompeius, the lieutenant of Sulla, B.C. 82. (Appian, App. BC 1.88.) It seems to have always continued to be a flourishing and considerable town, and under the Triumvirate received a fresh accession of colonists. (Lib. Col. pp. 226, 258.) Its name is mentioned by all the geographers, as well as in the Itineraries. It was situated on the line of road which led along the coast from Ancona to Fanum Fortunae, where it joined the Flaminian Way, properly so called. (Strab. v. p.227; Plin. Nat. 3.14. s. 19; Ptol. 3.1.22; Itin. Ant. pp. 100, 316; Tab. Peut.) The name was early corrupted from Sena Gallica into the contracted form Senogallia, which is already found in Pliny, and appears also in the Itineraries. The Geographer of Ravenna has Senegallia, thus approaching still more closely to the modern form of Sinigaglia. The city is mentioned as still in existence during the Gothic Wars, after the fall of the Western Empire, and again under the Lombards (Procop. B. G. 4.23; P. Diac. Hist. Lang. 2.22); it was for some time also one of the cities of the Pentapolis under the exarchs of Ravenna, but fell into decay in the middle ages, and is alluded to by Dante in the 14th century as verging rapidly to extinction. (Dante, Par. 16.75.) It, however, revived again, and is now a flourishing town, with a considerable trade, but has no ancient remains. [p. 2.963]

The river Sena, alluded to by Silius Italicus and Lucan, must be the small stream now called the Nevola or Nigola, which falls into the sea at Sinigaglia. (Sil. Ital. 8.453; Lucan 2.407.)


hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Appian, Civil Wars, 1.10.88
    • Lucan, Civil War, 2.407
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.14
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 27, 46
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 3.1
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