The existence of two cities of this name, both situated in Samnium, appears to be clearly established; though they have been regarded by many writers as identical. [p. 1.172]
A city of the Hirpini, situated near the frontiers of Apulia, is mentioned by Pliny and Ptolemy, both of whom distinctly assign it to the Hirpini, and not to Samnium proper; while the Tabula places it on the Via Appia, 37 M. P. from Aeculanum and 6 from the Pons Aufidi (Ponte Sta Venere
) on the road to Venusia.
These distances coincide well with the situation of the modern city of Lacedogna,
the name of which closely resembles the Oscan form of Aquilonia, which, as we learn from coins, was “Akudunniu.” The combination of these circumstances leaves little doubt that Lacedogna,
which is certainly an ancient city, represents the Aquilonia of Pliny and Ptolemy, as well as that of the Tabula. (Plin. Nat. 3.11. s. 16
; Ptol. 3.1. s. 71
; Tab. Peut.; Holsten. Not. ad Cluv.
p. 274; Romanelli, vol. ii. p. 345.)
But it seems impossible to reconcile this position of Aquilonia with the details given by Livy (10.38
) concerning a city of the same name in Samnium, which bore an important part in the campaign of the consuls Carvilius and Papirius in B.C. 293.
The city thus mentioned by Livy appears to have been situated in the country of the Pentri or central Samnites, to which the whole operations of the campaign seem to have been confined, but it must be confessed that the geography of them is throughout very obscure.
It was little more than 20 miles from Cominium, a place of which the site is unfortunately equally uncertain [COMINIUM
], and apparently not more than a long day's march from Bovianum, as after the defeat of the Samnites by Papirius near Aquilonia, we are told that the nobility and cavalry took refuge at Bovianum, and the remains of the cohorts which had been sent to Cominium made good their retreat to the same city. Papirius, after making himself master of Aquilonia, which he burnt to the ground, proceeded to besiege Saepinum, still in the direction of Bovianum. Hence it seems certain that both Aquilonia and Cominium must be placed in the heart of Samnium, in the country of the Pentri: but the exact site of neither can be determined with any certainty: and it is probable that they were both destroyed at an early period. Romanelli, who justly regards the Aquilonia of Livy as distinct from the city of the Hirpini, is on the other hand certainly mistaken in transferring it to Agnone
in the north of Samnium. (Romanelli, vol. ii. p. 493--500.)
The coins which bear the Oscan legend AKIDVNNIV in retrograde characters, attributed by earlier numismatists to Acherontia, are now admitted to belong to Aquilonia (Friedländer, Oskischen Münzen,
p. 54), and may be assigned to the city of that name in the country of the Hirpini. [E.H.B