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CAMPANIA

Nuceria Alfaterna and the south, terminating at Regium. From Capua itself a road ran north to Vicus Dianae, Caiatia and Telesia, while to the south the so-called Via Campana (there is no ancient warrant for the name) led to Puteoli, with a branch to Cumae, Baiae and Misenum; there was also connexion between Cumae, Puteoli and Neapolis (see below), and another road to Atella and Neapolis. Neapolis could also be reached by a branch from the Via Popillia at Suessula, which passed through Acerrae. From Suessula, too, there was a short cut to the Via Appia before it actually entered the mountains. Domitian further improved the communications of this district with Rome, by the construction of the Via Domitiana, which diverged from the Via Appia at Sinuessa, and followed the low sandy coast; it crossed the river Volturnus at Volturnum, near its mouth, by a bridge, which must have been a considerable undertaking, and then ran, still along the shore, past Liternum to Cumae and thence to Puteoli. Here it fell into the existing roads to Neapolis, the older Via Antiniana over the hills, at the back, and the newer, dating from the time of Agrippa, through the tunnel of Pausilypon and along the coast. The mileage in both cases was reckoned from Puteoli. Beyond Naples a road led along the coast through Herculaneum to Pompeii, where there was a branch for Stabiae and Surrentum, and thence to Nuceria, where it joined the Via Popillia. From Nuceria, which was an important road centre, a direct road ran to Stabiae, while from Salernum, 11 m. farther south-east but outside the limits of Campania proper, a road ran due north to Abellinum and thence to Aeclanum or Beneventum. Teanum was another important centre: it lay at the point where the Via Latina was crossed at right angles by a road leaving the Via Appia at Minturnae, and passing through Suessa Aurunca, while east of Teanum it ran on to Allifae, and there fell into the road from Venafrum to Telesia. Five miles north of Teanum a road branched off to Venafrum from the straight course of the Via Latina, and rejoined it near Ad Flexum (San Pietro in Fine). It is, indeed, probable that the original road made the détour by Venafrum, in order to give a direct communication between Rome and the interior of Samnium (inasmuch as roads ran from Venafrum to Aesernia and to Telesia by way of Allifae), and Th. Mommsen (Corp. Inscrip. Lat. x., Berlin, 1883, p. 699) denies the antiquity of the short cut through Rufrae (San Felice a Ruvo), though it is shown in Kiepert’s map at the end of the volume, with a milestone numbered 93 upon it. This is no doubt an error both in placing and in numbering, and refers to one numbered 96 found on the road to Venafrum; but it is still difficult to believe that the short cut was not used in ancient times. The 4th and 3rd century coins of Telesia, Allifae and Aesernia are all of the Campanian type.

Of the harbours of Campania, Puteoli was by far the most important from the commercial point of view. Its period of greatest comparative importance was the 2nd–1st century B.C. The harbours constructed by Augustus by connecting the Lacus Avernus and Lacus Lucrinus with the sea, and that at Misenum (the latter the station of one of the chief divisions of the Roman navy, the other fleet being stationed at Ravenna), were mainly naval. Naples also had a considerable trade, but was less important than Puteoli.

The fertility of the Campanian plain was famous in ancient as in modern times;[1] the best portion was the Campi Laborini or Leborini (called Phlegraei by the Greeks and Terra di Lavoro in modern times, though the name has now extended to the whole province of Caserta) between the roads from Capua to Puteoli and Cumae (Pliny, Hist. Nat. xviii. III). The loose black volcanic earth (terra pulla) was easier to work than the stiffer Roman soil, and gave three or four crops a year. The spelt, wheat and millet are especially mentioned, as also fruit and vegetables; and the roses supplied the perfume factories of Capua. The wines of the Mons Massicus and of the Ager Falernus (the flat ground to the east and south-east of it) were the most sought after, though other districts also produced good wine; but the olive was better suited to the slopes than to the plain, though that of Venafrum was good.

The Oscan language remained in use in the south of Campania (Pompeii, Nola, Nuceria) at all events until the Social War, but at some date soon after that Latin became general, except in Neapolis, where Greek was the official language during the whole of the imperial period.

See J. Beloch, Campanien (2nd ed., Breslau, 1890); Conway, Italic Dialects, pp. 51-57; Ch. Hulsen in Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyklopädie, iii. (Stuttgart, 1899), 1434.

II. Campania in the modern sense includes a considerably larger area than the ancient name, inasmuch as to the compartimento of Campania belong the five provinces of Caserta, Benevento, Naples, Avellino and Salerno.

It is bounded on the north by the provinces of Rome, Aquila (Abruzzi) and Campobasso (Molise), on the north-east by that of Foggia (Apulia), on the east by that of Potenza (Basilicata) and on the south and west by the Tyrrhenian Sea. The area is 6289 sq. m. It thus includes the whole of the ancient Campania, a considerable portion of Samnium (with a part of the main chain of the Apennines) and of Lucania, and some of Latium adjectum, consisting thus of a mountainous district, the greater part of which lies on the Mediterranean side of the watershed, with the extraordinarily fertile and populous Campanian plain (Terra di Lavoro, with 473 inhabitants to the square mile) between the mountains and the sea. The principal rivers are the Garigliano or Liri (anc. Liris), which rises in the Abruzzi (105 m. in length); the Volturno (94 m. in length), with its tributary the Calore; the Sarno, which rises near Sarno and waters the fertile plain south-east of Vesuvius; and the Sele, whose main tributary is the Tanagro, which is in turn largely fed by another Calore. The headwaters of the Sele have been tapped for the great aqueduct for the Apulian provinces.

The coast-line begins a little east of Terracina at the lake of Fondi with a low-lying, marshy district (the ancient Ager Caecubus), renowned for its wine (see Fondi). The mountains (of the ancient Aurunci) then come down to the sea, and on the east side of the extreme promontory to the south-east is the port of Gaeta, a strongly fortified naval station. The east side of the Gulf of Gaeta is occupied by the marshes at the mouth of the Liri, and the low sandy coast, with its unhealthy lagoons, continues (interrupted only by the Monte Massico, which reaches the sea at Mondragone) past the mouth of the Volturno, as far as the volcanic district (no longer active) with its several extinct craters (now small lakes, the Lacus Avernus, &c.) to the west of Naples, which forms the north-west extremity of the Bay of Naples. Here the scenery completely changes: the Bay of Naples, indeed, is one of the most beautiful in the world. The island of Procida lies 2½ m. south-west of the Capo Miseno, and 3 m. south-west of Procida is that of Ischia. In consequence of the volcanic character of the district there are several important mineral springs which are used medicinally, especially at Pozzuoli, Castellammare di Stabia, and on the island of Ischia.

Pozzuoli (anc. Puteoli), the most important harbour of Italy in the 1st century B.C., is now mainly noticeable for the large armour-plate and gun works of Messrs Armstrong, and for the volcanic earth (pozzolana) which forms so important an element in concrete and cement, and is largely quarried near Rome also. Naples, on the other hand, is one of the most important harbours of modern Italy. Beyond it, Torre del Greco and Torre Annunziata at the foot of Vesuvius, are active trading ports for smaller vessels, especially in connexion with macaroni, which is manufactured extensively by all the towns along the bay. Castellammare di Stabia, on the west coast of the gulf, has a large naval shipbuilding yard and an important harbour. Beyond Castellammare the promontory of Sorrento, ending in the Punta della Campanella (from which Capri is 3 m. south-west) forms the south-west extremity of the gulf. The highest point of this mountain ridge, which is connected with the main Apennine chain, is the Monte S. Angelo (4735 ft.). It extends as far east as Salerno, where the coast plain of the Sele begins. As in the low marshy ground at the mouths of the Liri and Volturno, malaria is very prevalent. The south-east extremity of the Gulf of Salerno is formed by another mountain group, culminating

  1. The name Osci—earlier Opsci, Opusci (Gr. Όπικοί)—presumably meant “tillers of the soil.”