1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aeclanum

AECLANUM, an ancient town of Samnium, Italy, 15 m. E. S. E. of Beneventum, on the Via Appia (near the modern Mirabella). It became the chief town of the Hirpini after Beneventum had become a Roman colony. Sulla captured it in 89 B.C. by setting on fire the wooden breastwork by which it was defended, and new fortifications were erected. Hadrian, who repaired the Via Appia from Beneventum to this point, made it a colony; it has ruins of the city walls, of an aqueduct, baths and an amphitheatre; nearly 400 inscriptions have also been discovered. Two different routes to Apulia diverged at this point, one (Via Aurelia Aeclanensis) leading through the modern Ariano to Herdoniae, the other (the Via Appia of the Empire) passing the Lacus Ampsanctus and going on to Aquilonia and Venusia; while the road from Aeclanum to Abellinum (mod. Avellini) may also follow an ancient line. H. Nissen (Italische Landeskunde, Berlin, 1902, ii. 819) speaks of another road, which he believes to have been that followed by Horace, from Aeclanum to Trevicum and thence to Ausculum; but Th. Mommsen (Corpus Inscrip. Lat., Berlin, 1883, ix. 602) is more likely to be right in supposing that the road taken by Horace ran directly from Beneventum to Trevicum and thence to Aquilonia (though the course of this road is not yet determined in detail), and that the easier, though somewhat longer, road by Aeclanum was of later date.