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Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)


ATRIA (Ancient city) ITALY
  Adria, Atria, Hadria, or Hatria (Adria or Atria). It is impossible to establish any distinction between these forms, or to assign the one (as has been done by several authors) to one city, and another to the other. The oldest form appears to have been Hatria, which we find on coins, while Hadria is that used in all inscriptions: some Mss. of Livy have Adria and others Atria. Pliny tells us that Atria was the more ancient form, which was afterwards changed into Adria but the Greeks seem to have early used Adria for the city, as well as Adrias for the sea. A city of Cisalpine Gaul, situated between the Padus and the Athesis, not far from their mouths, and still called Adria. It is now distant more than 14 miles from the sea, but was originally a sea-port of great celebrity. Its foundation is ascribed to Diomed by Stephanus Byzantinus, and some other late writers: Justin also (xx. 1), probably following Theopompus, calls it a city of Greek origin; but these testimonies are far outweighed by those of the Roman writers, who agree in describing it as an Etruscan colony. It was probably established at the same period with their other settlements on the north side of the Apennines, and became, from its position, the principal emporium for their trade with the Adriatic; by which means it attained to so flourishing a condition, as to have given name to the gulf, or portion of the sea in its immediate neighbourhood, from whence the appellation was gradually extended to the whole of the inland sea still called the Adriatic. To this period may also be ascribed the great canals and works which facilitated its communications with the adjoining rivers, and through them with the interior of Cisalpine Gaul, at the same time that they drained the marshes which would otherwise have rendered it uninhabitable. (Liv. v. 33; Plin. iii. 16. s. 20; Strab. v. p. 214; Varro de L. L. v. 161; Festus, p. 13, ed. Muller; Plut. Camill. 16.) Notwithstanding its early celebrity, we have scarcely any information concerning its history; but the decline of its power and prosperity may reasonably be ascribed to the conquest of the neighbouring countries by the Gauls, and to the consequent neglect of the canals and streams in its neighbourhood. The increasing commerce of the Greeks with the Adriatic probably contributed to the same result. It has been supposed by some writers that it received, at different periods, Greek colonies, one from Epidamnus and the other from Syracuse; but both statements appear to rest upon misconceptions of the passages of Diodorus, from which they are derived. (Diod. ix. Exc. Vat. p. 17, xv. 13; in both of which passages the words ton Adrian certainly refer to the Adriatic sea or gulf, not to the city, the name of which is always feminine.) The abundance of vases of Greek manufacture found here, of precisely similar character with those of Nola and Vulci, sufficiently attests a great amount of Greek intercourse and influence, but cannot be admitted as any proof of a Greek colony, any more than in the parallel case of Vulci. (R. Rochette in the Annali dell Inst. Arch. vol. vi. p. 292; Welcker, Vasi di Adria in the Bullettino dell Inst. 1834, p. 134.) Under the Romans Adria appears never to have been a place of much consequence. Strabo speaks of it as a small town, communicating by a short navigation with the sea; and we learn from Tacitus (Hist. iii. 12) that it was still accessible for the light Liburnian ships of war as late as the time of Vitellius. After the fall of the Western Empire it was included in the exarchate of Ravenna, but fell rapidly into decay during the middle ages, though it never ceased to exist, and always continued an episcopal see. Since the opening of new canals it has considerably revived, and has now a population of 10,000 souls. Considerable remains of the ancient city have been discovered a little to the south of the modern town towards Ravegnano; they are all of Roman date, and comprise the ruins of a theatre, baths, mosaic pavements, and part of the ancient walls, all which have been buried to a considerable depth under the accumulations of alluvial soil., Of the numerous minor antiquities discovered there, the most interesting are the vases already alluded to. (See Muller, Etrusker, i. p. 229, and the authors there cited.) The coins ascribed to this city certainly belong to Adria in Picenum.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


PATAVION (Ancient city) PADOVA
  Patavium (Pataouion: Eth. Patavinus: Padova), one of the most ancient and important cities of Venetia, situated on the river Medoacus (Brenta), about 30 miles from its mouth. According to a tradition recorded by Virgil, and universally received in antiquity, it was founded by Antenor, who escaped thither after the fall of Troy; and Livy, himself a native of the city, confirms this tradition, though he does not mention the name of Patavium, but describes the whole nation of the Veneti as having migrated to this part of Italy under the guidance of Antenor. He identifies them with the Heneti, who were mentioned by Homer as a Paphlagonian tribe. (Liv. i. 1; Virg. Aen. i. 247; Strab. v. p. 212; Mel. ii. 4. § 2; Solin. 2. § 10.) The national affinities of the Veneti are considered elsewhere. The story of Antenor may safely be rejected as mythical; but we may infer from the general accordance of ancient writers that Patavium itself was a Venetian city, and apparently from an early period the capital or chief place of the nation. We have very little information as to its history, before it became subject to Rome, and we know only the general fact that it was at an early period an opulent and flourishing city: Strabo even tells us that it could send into the field an army of 120,000 men, but this is evidently an exaggeration, and probably refers to the whole nation of the Veneti, of which it was the capital. (Strab. v. p. 213.) Whatever was the origin of the Veneti, there seems no doubt they were, a people far more advanced in civilisation than the neighbouring Gauls, with whom they were on terms of almost continual hostility. The vigilance rendered necessary by the incursions of the Gauls stood them in stead on occasion of the unexpected attack of Cleonymus the Lacedaemonian, who in B.C. 301 landed at the mouth of the Medoacus, but was attacked by the Patavians, and the greater part of his forces cut off. (Liv. x. 2.)
  It was doubtless their continual hostility with the Gauls that led the Venetians to become the allies of Rome, as soon as that power began to extend its arms into Cisalpine Gaul. (Pol. ii. 23.) No special mention of Patavium occurs during the wars that followed; and we are left to infer from analogy the steps by which this independent city passed gradually under the dependence and protection of Rome, till it ultimately became an ordinary municipal town. In B.C. 174 it is clear that it still retained at least a semblance of independence, as we hear that it was distracted with domestic dissensions, which the citizens appealed to Rome to pacify, and the consul M. Aemilius was selected as deputy for the purpose. (Liv. xli. 27.) But the prosperity of Patavium continued unbroken: for this it was indebted as much to the manufacturing industry of its inhabitants as to the natural fertility of its territory. The neighbouring hills furnished abundance of wool of excellent quality; and this supplied the material for extensive woollen manufactures, which seem to have been the staple article of the trade of Patavium, that city supplying Rome in the time of Augustus with all the finer and more costly kinds of carpets, hangings, &c. Besides these, however, it carried on many other branches of manufactures also; and so great was the wealth arising from these sources that, according to Strabo, Patavium was the only city of Italy, except Rome, that could return to the census not less than 500 persons of fortunes entitling them to equestrian rank, (Strab. iii. p. 169, v. pp. 213, 218.) We cannot wonder, therefore, that both he and Mela speak of it as unquestionably the first city in this part of Italy. (Id. v. p. 213; Mela, ii. 4. § 2.)
  The Patavians had been fortunate in escaping the ravages of war. During the Civil Wars their name is scarcely mentioned; but we learn from Cicero that in B.C. 43 they took part with the senate against M. Antonius, and refused to receive his emissaries. (Cic. Phil. xii. 4) It was probably in consequence of this, that at a later period they were severely oppressed by the exactions of Asinius Pollio. (Macrob. Sat. i. 11. § 22.) In A.D. 69 Patavium was occupied without opposition by the generals of Vespasian, Primus, and Varus, during their advance into Italy. (Tac. Hist. iii. 6.) From its good fortune in this respect there can be no doubt that Patavium continued down to a late period of the Empire to be a flourishing and wealthy city, though it seems to have been gradually eclipsed by the increasing prosperity of Aquileia and Mediolanum. Hence Ausonius, writing in the fourth century, does not even assign it a place in his Ordo Nobilium Urbium. But its long period of prosperity was abruptly brought to a close. In A.D. 452 it felt the full fury of Attila, who, after the capture of Aquileia, which had long resisted his arms, laid waste almost without opposition the remaining cities of Venetia. He is said to have utterly destroyed and razed to the ground Patavium, as well as Concordia and Altinum (P. Diac. Hist. Miscell. xv. p. 549); and, according to a tradition, which, though not supported by contemporary evidence, is probably well founded, it was on this occasion that a large number of fugitives from the former city took refuge in the islands of the lagunes, and there founded the celebrated city of Venice. (Gibbon, ch. 35, note 55.) But Patavium did not cease to exist, and must have partially at least recovered from this calamity, alit is mentioned as one of the chief towns of Venetia when that province was overrun by the Lombards under Alboin, in A.D. 568. (P. Diac. Hist. Long. ii. 14.) It did not fall into the hands of that people till near 40 years afterwards, when it was taken by Agilulf, king of the Lombards, and burnt to the ground. (Id. iv. 24.) But it once more rose from its ashes, and in the middle ages again became, as it has continued ever since, one of the most considerable cities in this part of Italy, though no longer enjoying its ancient preeminence.
  It is probably owing to the calamities thus suffered by Patavium, as well as to the earthquakes by which it has been repeatedly visited, that it has now scarcely any relics of its ancient splendour, except a few inscriptions; and even these are much less numerous than might have been expected. One of them is preserved with great care in the town-hall as containing the name of T. Livius, which has been supposed to refer to the great historian of the name, who, as is well known, was a native of Patavium. But this is clearly a mistake; the inscription in question refers only to an obscure freedman; nor is there the slightest foundation for regarding the sarcophagus preserved with it as the tomb of the celebrated historian. (Biogr. Dict. Vol. II. p. 790.) But at least the supposition was more plausible than that which assigns another ancient sarcophagus (discovered in 1274, and still preserved in the church of S. Lorenzo) as the sepulchre of Antenor! Besides these sarcophagi and inscriptions, the foundations of ancient buildings have been discovered in various parts of the modern city, but nothing now remains above ground.
  Patavium was the birthplace also of Thrasea Paetus, who was put to death by Nero in A.D. 66. One of the causes of offence which he had given was by assisting as a tragedian in certain games, which were celebrated at Patavium every 30 years in honour of Antenor, a custom said to be derived from the Trojan founders of the city. (Tac. Ann. xvi. 21; Dion Cass. lxii. 26.) We learn also from Livy that in his time the memory of the defeat of the Spartan Cleonymus was preserved by an annual mock fight on the river which flowed through the midst of the town. (Liv. x. 2.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited August 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


  Tarvisium (Tarbision: Eth. Tarvisianus: Treviso), a town of Northern Italy, in the province of Venetia, situated on the left bank of the river Silis (Sele), about 15 miles from its mouth. The name is not mentioned by any of the geographers, though Pliny speaks of the Silis as flowing ex montibus Tarvisanis, in a manner that would lead us to suppose it to have been a municipal town (Plin. iii. 18. s. 22), and this is confirmed by an inscription given by Muratori (Inscr. p. 328). After the fall of the Western Empire it appears as a considerable city, and is repeatedly noticed by Procopius during the Gothic Wars, as well as by Cassiodorus and Paulus Diaconus. (Cassiod. Var. x. 27; Procop. B. G. ii. 29, iii. 1, 2; P. Diac. Hist. Lang. ii. 12, iv. 3, v. 28, &c.) It retained this consideration throughout the middle ages, and is still a flouishing city under the name of Treviso.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited September 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


  Verona (Ouerona, a, Ptol. iii. 1. § 31; Thueron, Strab. iv. p. 206, v. p. 213; Berone, Procop. B.G. ii. 29, iii. 3, &c.; and Berona, Ib. iv. 33: Eth. Veronensis: Verona), an important town in Gallia Transpadana, seated on the river Athesis (Verona Athesi circumflua, Sil. It. viii. 595), and chiefly on its W. bank. There is some difficulty in determining whether Verona was a city of the Euganei or of the Cenomani, from the little knowledge which we possess of the respective boundaries of those peoples, and from the confusion which prevails upon the subject in ancient authors. By Ptolemy (l. c.), who does not mention the Euganei, it is ascribed to the Cenomani; and Catullus (lxvii. 34), in a passage, however, which has been banished by some editors as not genuine, Brixia, which undoubtedly belonged to the Cenomani, is styled the mother city of Verona. Pliny, on the other hand (iii. 19. s. 23), gives Verona partly to the Rhaeti and partly to the Euganei, and Strabo (l. c.) attributes it to the former. Some have sought a solution of this difficulty by assuming that the city belonged originally to the Euganei, but was subsequently occupied by the Cenomani, referring to Livy, v. 35. (Cf. Justin, xx. 5.) We know little or nothing of the early history of Verona. Under the Roman dominion it became a colony with the surname of Augusta, and one of the finest and most flourishing cities in that part of Italy (Tac. H. iii. 8; Itin. Ant. p. 128; Strab. v. p. 213; Grut. Inscr. p. 166. 2.) The surrounding country was exceedingly fruitful, producing good wine, excellent apples, and abundance of spelt (alica, Plin. xviii. 11. s. 29, xiv. 1. s. 3, xv. 14. s. 14; Cassiod. Var. xii. 4). The Rhaetian wine also is praised by Virgil. (G. ii. 94; cf. Strab. iv. 206; Suet. Oct. 77.) The situation of Verona rendered it a great thoroughfare and the centre of several highroads (Itin. Ant. pp. 128, 174, 275, 282; Itin. Hier. p. 558.)
  Verona was celebrated in history for the battle fought by Marius in the Campi Raudii, in its neighbourhood, againt the Cimbri. (Vell. Pat. ii. 12; Florus, iii. 3.) From an inscription still extant on one of its gates, now called the Porta de' Borsari, the walls of Verona appear to have been newly erected in the reign of the emperor Gallienus, A.D. 265. It was besieged by Constantine on his march from Gaul to Rome, and, though obstinately defended by Ruricius Pompeianus, obliged to surrender at discretion. (Paneg. Vet. ix. 9, sqq.) It was likewise the scene of the victory of Theodoric over Odoacer. (Jornand. Get. 57.) Theodoric made it one of his residences, and often held his court there: a representation of his palace is still extant upon a seal. (Gibbon, Decl. and Fall, vol. v. p. 22, ed. Smith.) It was at Verona that the splendid wedding took place between king Autharis and Theudelinda. (Procop. B. G. iii. 5; Paul. Diac. iii. 29.) But, more than by all these events, Verona is illustrious as having been the birthplace of Catullus (Ovid. Amos. iii. 15. 7; Mart. x. 103; Plin. xxxvi. 6. s. 7); though it is exceedingly doubtful whether the remains of a villa on the Logo di Garda, commonly called the villa of Catullus, could really have belonged to him. The honour sometimes claimed for Verona of having given birth to the architect Vitruvius Pollio arises from a mistaken interpretation of the inscription on the arch of the Gavii, formerly existing at Verona, but pulled down in the year 1805. The inscription related to the great architect's less celebrated namesake, Vitruvius Cerdo. (Descriz. di Verona, pt. i. p. 86.) Some are of opinion that the elder Pliny also was born at Verona, but it is more probable that he was a native of Comum. In the life of him ascribed to the pen of Suetonius, he is styled Novocomensis; and when he calls himself in his Preface the conterraneus of Catullus, that epithet by no means necessarily implies that he was the fellow-citizen of the poet, but rather that he was merely his fellow-countryman, or from the same province.
  The amphitheatre at Verona is a very striking monument of antiquity. Although not nearly so large as the Colosseum, it is in a much better state of preservation, owing to the pains which have always been taken to keep it in repair. It is also of a more costly material than the Roman amphitheatre; for whilst the latter is built of travertino, that at Verona is of marble, from some quarries in the neighbourhood. The substructions are of Roman brickwork. The date of its erection cannot be ascertained, but it must undoubtedly have been posterior to the time of Augustus. A great part of the external arcade was thrown down by an earthquake in the year 1184. Its form is elliptical, the larger diameter being 513 feet externally and 248 internally; the smaller one, 410 feet externally and 147 feet internally. The banks or rows of seats are at present 45 in number, but, from the repairs and alterations which the building has undergone, it is not certain whether this was the original number. It is estimated that it would afford seats for about 22,000 persons.
  There are also a few remains of a Roman theatre, on the left bank of the Adige, at the foot of the hill immediately under the castle of S. Pietro It appears from two decrees of king Berengarius, dated in 895 and 913, that the theatre was then regarded as of the highest antiquity, and had in great part gone to ruin; on which account its destruction was allowed. (Descriz. di Verona, pt. ii. p. 108, sqq.)
  We have already alluded to the ancient gate called the Porta de' Borsari. It is evidently older than the walls of Gallienus, the elevation of which in the space of 8 months is recorded upon it; since a previous inscription has been erased in order to make room for the new one. It is a double gate, of a very florid style of architecture, concerning the merits of which architects have held widely different opinions. The walls of Gallienus, to judge of them from the vestiges which still remain, were of a construction sufficiently solid, notwithstanding the shortness of the time in which they were erected. The other remains of antiquity at Verona, as the Porta de' Leoni, the baths, &c., do not require any particular description in this place.
  The chief works on Verona and its antiquities are the splendid ones of Count Scip. Maffei, entitled Verona Illustrata, and Mulseum Veronense. Onuphrius Panvinius also described its remains (Antiq. Veron. lib. viii. Pat. 1668). Some account of them will likewise be found in the Descrizione di Verona e della sua Provincia, by Giovambatista da Pertico, 8vo. Verona, 1820.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited September 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities


ATRIA (Ancient city) ITALY
A city in Picenum about five miles from the Adriatic Sea. It is now called Atri. It was one of the eighteen Latin colonies which remained faithful to Rome at the time of Hannibal's invasion.


PATAVION (Ancient city) PADOVA
   Now Padova or Padua. An ancient town of the Veneti in the north of Italy, on the Medoacus Minor, and on the road from Mutina to Altinum, said to have been founded by the Trojan Antenor. Under the Romans it was the most important city in the north of Italy, and by its commerce and manufactures (of which its woollen stuffs were the most celebrated) it attained great opulence. It is celebrated as the birthplace of the historian Livy. Near Patavium were the Aquae Patavinae, on which see Aponi Fons.

This text is cited July 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Now Treviso; a town of Venetia in the north of Italy, on the river Silis, which became the seat of a bishopric, and a place of importance in the Middle Ages.


   A district in the north of Italy, originally included under the general name of Gallia Cisalpina, but made by Augustus the tenth regio of Italy. It was bounded on the west by the river Athesis, which separated it from Gallia Cisalpina; on the north by the Carnic Alps; on the east by the river Timavus, which separated it from Istria; and on the south by the Adriatic Gulf. Its inhabitants, the Veneti, frequently called Heneti (Henetoi) by the Greeks, were not an Italian race, but their real origin is doubtful, as their language was certainly not Keltic. Herodotus speaks of them as an Illyrian race, and this is probably a correct view. In consequence of their hostility to the Keltic tribes in their neighbourhood, they formed at an early period an alliance with Rome; and their country was defended by the Romans against their dangerous enemies. On the conquest of the Cisalpine Gauls, the Veneti likewise became included under the Roman dominions. The Veneti continued to enjoy great prosperity down to the time of the Marcomannic wars, in the reign of the emperor Aurelius; but from this time their country was frequently devastated by the barbarians who invaded Italy; and at length, in the fifth century, many of its inhabitants, to escape the ravages of the Huns under Attila, took refuge in the islands off their coast, on which now stands the city of Venice. The chief towns of Venetia in ancient times were Patavium, Altinum, and Aquileia.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


   Now Verona; an important town in Gallia Cisalpina, on the river Athesis. It was originally the capital of the Euganei, but subsequently belonged to the Cenomani. At a still later time it was made a Roman colony, with the surname Augusta; and under the Empire it was one of the largest and most flourishing towns in the north of Italy. It was the birthplace of Catullus; and, according to some accounts, of the elder Pliny. There are still many Roman remains at Verona, and among others an amphitheatre in a good state of preservation.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

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Adria, Atria

ATRIA (Ancient city) ITALY
  An ancient city in the territory of the Veneti, between the Adige and Po and today about 22 km from the Adriatic Sea, from which it derives its name (Strab. 5.1.8). Some ancient sources attribute its founding to the Greeks (Just. Epit. 20.1.9) and others to the Etruscans (Plut. Vit. Cam. 16; Livy 5.33.7; Plin. HN 3.16.120-21), but there is also some evidence pointing toward a Venetic origin. It flourished especially from the middle of the 6th c. until the end of the 5th c. B.C. when it was the principal port of the Adriatic as a result of the importation of Greek products into the valley of the Po. It is uncertain whether it became a true Greek colony or was an emporium of the Etruscans, whose influence during that period was spreading N. At the beginning of the 4th c. B.C., Dionysios I of Syracuse sought to supplant the commercial hegemony of Athens with that of Sicily, and the founding of Atria is also attributed to him (Etym. Magn., s.v. Adrias to pelagos). However, archaeological finds show no Sicilian influence. Toward the end of the 4th c. B.C., Atria was probably occupied by the Gauls, as seems to be indicated by the discovery of funerary furniture similar to that found in Gallic tombs. In the Roman period, Atria became a municipium inscribed on the rolls of the tribus Camilia. Pliny (loc.cit.) mentions the "Atrianorum paludes quae Septem Maria appellantur" and says that the city was blessed with a renowned harbor. It is certain that Atria was at that time less than an hour from the sea, as shown by two lines of marine dunes to the E of the city. The first dates to the Graeco-Etruscan era and the second, farther E, to the Roman era. It is entirely possible that even in antiquity Atria was not on the sea but, like Spina, was connected to the Adriatic by a series of canals.
  As early as the Renaissance, there is evidence of archaeological investigations at Atria. From 1700 on, the Bocchi family of Atria collected Attic red-figure and black-figure vases, jewelry of local and Etruscan production, inscriptions, pottery, and Roman glass--nearly all discovered accidentally in the city. The Bocchi collection, given to the Italian government at the beginning of the 20th c., still constitutes the most important collection of the Adria museum. All the Greek pottery from the 6th c. and the 5th c. B.C., for the most part fragmentary, comes not from tombs but from the ancient settlement in the S part of the modern city. In that area were discovered remains of buildings on pilings and also of a theater (known from a drawing of 1662) probably dating to the 2d C. A.D. No ancient building in Adria is now visible. Because of the flooding of the rivers and because of the coastal bradyseism, the archaeological levels are very deep (from 1 to 2 m for the Roman period, and from 3 to 7 m for the pre-Roman period). Excavations have been made even more difficult by the existence of water-bearing strata near the surface. The cemeteries that surround the ancient site to the E, S, and W, only partially explored, date at the earliest to the 4th c. B.C. and span the years until the Roman Imperial period. The archaic cemeteries have not yet been discovered.

M. Scarfi, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.

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