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An article from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, now in the public domain.
Any color photos are © Carole Roach, by kind permission.


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Columns — reërected, no doubt — on the north side of the Macellum, the market square of the Roman city of Minturnae. We're facing north.

Minturnae, an ancient city of the Aurunci, in Italy, situated on the N. W. bank of the Liris with a suburb on the opposite bank 1½ m. from its mouth, at the point where the Via Appia crossed it by the Pons Tiretius. It was one of the three towns of the Aurunci which made war against Rome in 314 B.C., the other two being Ausona (see Sessa Aurunca) and Vescia; and the Via Appia was made two years later. It became a colony in 295 B.C. In 88 B.C. Marius in his flight from Sulla hid himself in the marshes of Minturnae.​a The ruins consist of an amphitheatre (now almost entirely demolished, but better preserved in the 18th century), a theatre, and a very fine aqueduct in opus reticulatum, the quoins of which are of various colours arranged in patterns to produce a decorative effect. Close to the mouth of the river was the sacred grove of the Italic goddess Marica. It is still mentioned in the 6th century, but was probably destroyed by the Saracens, and its low site, which had become unhealthy, was abandoned in favour of that of the modern town of Minturno (known as Traetto until the 19th century), 459 ft. above sea‑level.​b A tower at the mouth of the river, erected between 961 and 981, commemorates a victory gained by Pope John X and his allies over the Saracens in 915. It is built of Roman materials from Minturnae, including several inscriptions and sculptures.

See T. Ashby in Mélanges de l'École française de Rome (1903), 413; R. Laurent-Vibert and A. Piganol, ibid. (1907), p495; G. Q. Giglioli, Notizie degli Scavi (1908) p396.

[T. As.]

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A partial view of the Roman theatre of Minturnae: too large to take in a single shot from any normal vantage point.

Thayer's Notes:

a The story of Marius' escape from Minturnae, in which the grove of Marica plays a rôle, is interestingly told by Plutarch: Life of Marius, 37‑40.

b The population of the modern comune of Minturno in 2015 was 19,825.

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Page updated: 26 Oct 18