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The Roman City of Mevania


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One of a world of sea creatures in the mosaic at the Roman baths.

In Roman times, this was a much more important place than the modern Bevagna in our own: a municipium and the capital of a midsized administrative area of Umbria (which included for example Montefalco, now a separate comune), it is mentioned by Lucan (1.473), Statius (Silv. 1.4.128), Columella (de Re Rust. 3.8), and Propertius (4.1.123) — all for its superb, gentle cattle — but also in Suetonius (Calig. 43) in connection with a visit of Caligula to the source of the Clitumnus, in Campello, now also a separate comune; Tacitus (3.55, 59) in connection with the civil wars in 69 A.D.; Pliny the Elder (35.xlix.173) in connection with its walls; and of course, by the geographers: Strabo (V.2.8) and Ptolemy (III.1).

In addition to those walls, which still exist today although much rebuilt during the Middle Ages, Mevania had a number of important secular and religious buildings, of which the following survive to some extent today as well: a theatre, an amphitheatre, two temples, baths. Eventually this site will cover all of them.

For now, the following pages (in addition to a brief summary article from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, with an added photo of one of those temples):


[image ALT: A medieval stone gate: it is the Porta Flaminia in Bevagna, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 1 page, 4 photos ]

The mosaic in the Roman baths is a playful example of interior decoration: what should we expect to find in a swimming pool if not sea monsters?


[image ALT: A medieval stone gate: it is the Porta Flaminia in Bevagna, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 1 page, 3 photos ]

Remnants of buildings along the via Flaminia just outside the medieval gate now called the Porta Flaminia. They are of interest in part because they typify a flaw of opus reticulatum of which the Romans themselves were well aware.


[image ALT: A patch of woods. It is supposedly the Roman amphitheatre of Bevagna, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 1 page, 2 photos ]

Yes, Mevania apparently had an amphitheatre. Apparently? well, it's rather complicated, but here's the scoop.


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Site updated: 16 Dec 08