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TIFERNUS (Φίτερνος, Ptol.: Biferno), one of the most considerable rivers of Samnium, which has its sources in the heart of that country, near Bovianum (Bojano), in a lofty group of mountains, now known by the same name as the river (Monte Biferno). This is evidently the same which is called by Livy the TIFEBNUS MONS, which the Samnite [p. 2.1208]army had occupied as a stronghold in B.C. 295; but notwithstanding the strength of the position, they were attacked and defeated there by the Roman consul L. Volumnius Flamma (Liv. 10.30, 31). Upon two other occasions during the Samnite wars Livy speaks of Tifernus or Tifernum in a manner that would leave it uncertain whether this mountain fastness is meant, or a town of the same name (Liv. 9.44, 10.14); but as we have no other mention of a town of Tifernum in Samnium, it is perhaps more probable that in all these cases the mountain of that name is meant. The group thus named is a part of that known collectively as the Monte Matese,--one of the most conspicuous mountain masses in Samnium. [SAMNIUM] The river Tifernus has a course of above 60 miles from its source to the Adriatic, in a general direction from SW. to NE. In the lower part of its course, after leaving the confines of Samnium, it constituted in ancient times the boundary between Apulia and the Frentani. (Mel. 2.4.6; Plin. Nat. 3.11. s. 16, 12. s. 17; Ptol. 3.1.18, where the MSS. have Φίτερνος; but this is probably a mistake for Τίφερνος.)


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