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An article from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, now in the public domain.
Any color photos are mine, © William P. Thayer.

p172 Fanum Fortunae

Fanum Fortunae (mod. Fano), an ancient town of Umbria,a Italy, at the point where the Via Flaminia reaches the NE coast of Italy. Its name shows that it was of Roman origin, but of its foundation we know nothing. It is first mentioned, with Pisaurum and Ancona, as held by Julius Caesar in 49 B.C. Augustus planted a colony there, and round it constructed a wall (of which some remains exist), as is recorded in the inscription on the triple arch erected in his honour at the entrance to the town (A.D. 9‑10), which is still standing. Vitruvius tells usb that there was, during Augustus's lifetime, a temple in his honour and a temple of Jupiter, and describes a basilica of which he himself was the architect. The arch of Augustus bears a subsequent inscription in honour of Constantine, added after his death by L. Turcius Secundus, corrector Flaminiae et Piceni, who also constructed a colonnade above the arch. Several Roman statues and heads, attributable to members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, were found in the convent of S. Filippo in 1899. These and other objects are now in the municipal museum (E. Brizio in Notizie degli Scavi, 1899, 249 seq.). Of the temple of Fortune from which the town took its name no traces have been discovered.

[T. As.]


Thayer's Notes:

a In Antiquity, Umbria meant a rather different part of Italy than it does today, excluding (a) the area around Norcia, which was part of the Sabine country; (b) the upper valley of the Tiber, Perugia, and below that the W bank of the Tiber, which were all part of Etruria; but extending past the confines of modern Umbria northeastwards thru the northern Marche to the Adriatic coast, and thus including Fano.

b De architectura, V.1.6.


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Page updated: 16 Mar 13