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Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)


EGNATIA (Ancient city) PUGLIA
  Egnatia or Gnatia (Egnatia or Ignatia: Eth. Gnathinos, Inscr.; Ignatinus, Lib. Col. p. 262), a considerable town of Apulia, situated on the seacoast between Barium and Brundusium. The Itineraries place it at 27 M. P. from the former, and 29 from the latter city. (Itin. Ant. pp. 117, 315; Tab. Peut.) Both Strabo and Ptolemy mention it as a city of the Peucetians or southern Apulians: and Pliny also assigns it to the Pediculi (the same people with the Peucetians), though he elsewhere less correctly describes it as a town of the Sallentines. It must indeed have been the last city of the Peucetians towards the frontiers of Calabria. (Strab. vi. p. 282; Ptol. iii. 1. § 15; Mel. ii. 4; Plin. ii. 107. s. 111, iii. 11. s. 16.) Horace, who made it his last halting-place on his journey to Brundusium, tells us that it suffered from the want of good water, and ridicules the pretended miracle (noticed also by Pliny) shown by the inhabitants, who asserted that incense placed on a certain altar was spontaneously consumed without the application of fire. (Hor. Sat. i. 5. 97-100; Plin. ii. 107. s. 111.)
  No mention of it is found in history, and it seems to have derived its chief importance from its position on the high road to Brundusium, which rendered it a convenient halting-place for travellers both by land and sea. (Strab.) There is, however, no authority for the assertion of some Italian topographers (adopted from them by Cramer and others), that the road from hence along the coast to Barium and Canusium was named from this city the Via Egnatia, - still less that it gave name to the celebrated military road across Macedonia and Thrace, from Apollonia to the Hellespont. It appears probable, indeed, that the proper, or at least the original, name of the city was not Egnatia, but Gnatia; which form is found in Horace, as well as in some of the best MSS. of Pliny and Mela; and is further confirmed by a Greek inscription, in which the name of the people is written Gnathinon. (Tzschucke, Not. ad Mel. l. c.; Mommsen, U. I. Dialekte, p. 66.)
  The period of the destruction of Egnatia is unknown, but its ruins are still visible on the sea-coast about 6 miles SE. of Monopoli. An old tower on the shore itself still bears the name of Torre d'Agnazzo; while considerable portions of the walls and other remains indicate the site of the ancient city a little more inland, extending from thence towards the modern town of Fasana. Numerous sepulchres have been excavated in the vicinity, and have yielded an abundant harvest of vases, terracottas, and other ancient relics, as well as a few inscriptions in the Messapian dialect. (Pratilli, Via Appia, iv. c. 15. p. 546; Romanelli, vol. ii. p. 146; Mommsen, U. I. Dialekte, p. 66.)

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


  Brundisium or Brundusium (Brentesion: Eth. Brentesinos, Brundusinus or Brundisinus: Brindisi), one of the most important cities of Calabria, situated on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, 50 miles from Hydruntum, and 38 from Egnatia. It was distant from Tarentum 44 miles; but the direct distance across the peninsula to the nearest point of the Gulph of Tarentum does not exceed 30 miles. (Itin. Ant. pp. 118, 119.) Its name was derived from the peculiar configuration of its celebrated port, the various branches of which, united into one at the entrance, were thought to resemble a stag's head, which was called, in the native dialect of the Messapians, Brention or Brentesion. (Strab. vi. p. 282; Steph. B. s. v. Brentesion.) It appears to have been in very early times one of the chief towns of the Sallentines: hence tradition generally ascribed its foundation to a colony from Crete, the same source from whence the origin of the Sallentines themselves was derived. (Strab. l. c.; Lucan ii.610.) An obscure and confused tale related by Justin (xii. 2) represents it as founded by the Aetolians under Diomed, who were, however, expelled by the native inhabitants of the country, whom he calls Apulians. Both legends point to the fact that it was in existence as a Messapian or Sallentine city before the settlement of the Greek colonies in its neighbourhood. According to Strabo, it had long been governed by its own kings, at the time of the foundation of Tarentum by Phalanthus, and afforded a place of refuge to that chieftain himself when expelled by civil dissensions from his newly founded city. Hence the monument of the hero was shown at Brundusium. (Strab. l. c.; Justin. iii. 4.) We have very little information concerning its history prior to the Roman conquest; but it seems to have been a place of comparatively little importance, being obscured by the greatness of its neighbour Tarentum, which, at this period, engrossed the whole commerce of this part of Italy. (Pol. x. 1.) Brundusium, however, appears to have retained its independence, and never received a Greek, colony. Hence Scylax, though he notices Hydruntum, makes no mention of Brundusium, and Scymnus Chius terms it the port or emporium of the Messapians. (Scyl. § 14; Scymn. Ch. 363.) The name is only once mentioned incidentally by Herodotus (iv. 99), but in a manner that shows it to have been familiar to the Greeks of his day.
  But the excellence of its port, and its advantageous situation for the purpose of commanding the Adriatic, both in a commercial and naval point of view, appear to have early attracted the attention of the Romans; and the possession of this important port is said to have been one of the chief objects which led them to turn their arms against the Sallentines in B.C. 267. (Zonar. viii. 7.) But though the city fell into their hands on that occasion, it was not till B.C. 244 that they proceeded to secure its possession by the establishment there of a Roman colony. (Liv. Epit. xix.; Vell. Pat. i. 14; Flor. i. 20.) It is from this period that the importance of Brundusium must be dated: the new colony appears to have risen rapidly to wealth and prosperity, for which it was indebted partly to the fertility of its territory, but still more to its commercial advantages; and its importance continually increased, as the Roman arms were carried in succession, first to the opposite shores of Macedonia and Greece, and afterwards to those of Asia. Its admirable port, capable of sheltering the largest fleets in perfect safety, caused it to be selected as the chief naval station of the Romans in these seas. As early as the First Illyrian War, B.C. 229, it was here that the Romans assembled their fleet and army for the campaign (Pol. ii. 11); and during the Second Punic War it was again selected as the naval station for the operations against Philip, king of Macedonia. (Liv. xxiii. 48, xxiv. 10, 11.) Hannibal, on one occasion, made a vain attempt to surprize it; but the citizens continued faithful to the Roman cause, and at the most trying period of the war Brundusium was one of the eighteen colonies which came forward readily to furnish the supplies required of them. (Id. xxv. 22, xxvii. 10.) During the subsequent wars of the Romans with Macedonia, Greece, and Asia, the name of Brundusium continually recurs: it was almost invariably the point where the Roman generals assembled the fleets and armies with which they crossed the Adriatic; and where, likewise, they landed on their return in triumph. (Id. xxxi. 14, xxxiv. 52, xxxvii. 4, xliv. 1, xlv. 14, &c.) After the Roman dominion had been permanently established over the provinces beyond the Adriatic, the constant passage to and fro for peaceful purposes added still more to the trade and prosperity of Brundusium, which thus rose into one of the most flourishing and considerable cities of Southern Italy.
  The position of Brundusium as the point of direct communication between Italy and the eastern provinces, naturally rendered it the scene of numerous historical incidents during the later ages of the republic, and under the Roman empire, of which a few only can be here noticed. In B.C. 83 Sulla landed here with his army, on his return from the Mithridatic war to make head against his enemies at Rome: the citizens of Brandusium opened to him their gates and their port, a service of the highest importance, which he rewarded by bestowing on them an immunity from all taxation, a privilege they continued to enjoy during a long period. (Appian, B.C. i. 79) In B.C. 57 they witnessed the peaceful return of Cicero from his exile, who landed here on the anniversary of the foundation of the colony (natali Brundisinae coloniae die, Cic. ad Att. iv. 1), a day which was thus rendered the occasion of double rejoicing. During the civil war between Caesar and Pompey, Brundusium became the scene of important military operations. Pompey had here gathered his forces together with the view of crossing the Adriatic, and a part of them had already sailed, when Caesar arrived, and after investing the town on the land side endeavoured to prevent the departure of the rest. For this purpose, having no fleet of his own, he attempted to block up the narrow entrance of the port, by driving in piles and sinking vessels in the centre of the channel. Pompey however succeeded in frustrating his endeavours until the return of his fleet enabled him to make his escape to Illyricum. (Caes. B.C. i. 24-28; Cic. ad Att. ix. 3, 13, 14, 15; Lucan ii.609-735; Dion Cass. xli. 12; Appian, B.C. ii. 40.) After the death of the dictator, it was at Brundusium that the youthful Octavius first assumed the name of Caesar; and the veteran cohorts in garrison there were the first that declared in his favour. (Appian, B.C. iii. 11.) Four years later (B.C. 40) it was again besieged by Antony and Domitius Ahenobarbus, and Octavian in vain attempted to raise the siege: but its fall was averted by the intervention of common friends, who effected a reconciliation between the two triumvirs (Id. v. 56, 57-60; Dion Cass. xlviii. 27-30). The peace thus concluded was of short duration, and in B.C. 41 Antony having again threatened Brundusium with a fleet of 300 sail, Maecenas and Cocceius proceeded thither in haste from Rome, and succeeded once more in concluding an amicable arrangement. It was on this last occasion that they were accompanied by Horace, who has immortalised in a well-known satire his journey from Rome to Brundusium. (Hor. Sat. i. 5; Plut. Ant. 35; Appian, B.C. v. 93.) In B.C. 19, Virgil died at Brundusium on his return from Greece. (Donat. Vit. Virgil.) At a later period Tacitus has left us an animated picture of the mournful spectacle, when Agrippina landed here with the ashes of her husband Germanicus. (Tao. Ann. iii. 1.) Under the empire we hear comparatively little of Brundusium, though it is certain that it retained its former importance, and continued to be the point of departure and arrival, both for ordinary travellers and for armies on their way between Italy and the East. (Capit. M. Ant. 9, 27; Spartian. Sev. 15.) The period at which the Appian Way was continued thither, and rendered practicable for carriages is uncertain: but the direct road from Rome to Brundusium through Apulia, by Canusium and Egnatia, which was only adapted for mules in the time of Strabo, was first completed as a highway by Trajan, and named from him the Via Trajana. The common route was to cross from hence direct to Dyrrhachium, from whence the Via Egnatia led through Illyricumn and Macedonia to the shores of the Bosporus: but travellers proceeding to Greece frequently crossed over to Aulon, and thence through Epeirus into Thessaly. During the later ages of the empire Hydruntum appears to have become a frequent place of passage, and almost rivalled Brundusium in this respect; though in the time of Pliny it was reckoned the less safe and certain passage, though the shorter of the two. (Strab. vi. pp. 282, 283; Itin. Ant. pp. 317, 323, 497; Plin. iii. 11. s. 16; Ptol. iii. 1. § 14; Mel. ii. 4.)
  After the fall of the Western Empire Brundusium appears to have declined in importance, and during the Gothic wars plays a subordinate part to the neighbouring city of Hydruntum. Its possession was long retained by the Byzantine emperors, together with the rest of Calabria and Apulia; but after they had long contested its possession with the Goths, Lombards, and Saracens, it was finally wrested from them by the Normans in the eleventh century.
  The excellence of the port of Brundusium is celebrated by many ancient writers. Strabo speaks of it as superior to that of Tarentum, and at a much earlier period Ennius (Ann. vi. 53) already called it Brundisium pulcro praecinctum praepete portu.
  It was composed of two principal arms or branches, running far into the land, and united only by a very narrow strait or outlet communicating with the sea. Outside this narrow channel was an outer harbour or roadstead, itself in a great degree sheltered by a small island, or group of islets, now called the Isola di St. Andrea; the ancient name of which appears to have been Barra. (Fest. v. Barium, p. 33.) It was occupied by a Pharos or lighthouse similar to that at Alexandria. (Mela, ii. 7.) Pliny speaks of these islands as forming the port of Brundusium. Hence he must designate by this term the outer harbour; but the one generally meant and described by Caesar and Strabo was certainly the inner harbour, which was completely landlocked and sheltered from every wind, while it was deep enough for the largest ships; and the narrowness of the entrance rendered it easily defensible against any attack from without. This channel is now almost choked up with sand, and the inner port rendered in consequence completely useless. This has been ascribed to the works erected by Caesar for the purpose of obstructing the entrance; but the port continued in full use many centuries afterwards, and the real origin of the obstruction dates only from the fifteenth century. Recent attempts to clear out the channel have, however, brought to light many of the piles driven in by Caesar, and have thus proved that these works were constructed, as he has himself described them, at the narrowest part of the entrance. (Caes. B.C. i. 25; Strab. vi. p. 282; Lucan. Phars. ii. 610, &c.; Swinburne's Travels, vol. i. pp. 384-390.)

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


YRIA (Ancient city) PUGLIA
  Hyria, Hyrium, or Uria (Hurie, Herod.; Huria, App.; Oupia, Strab.: Eth. Uritanus: Oria,) an inland city of Calabria, situated nearly in the heart of that country, on the Appian Way, about midway between Brundusium and Tarentum. (Tab. Peut.) Strabo correctly describes it as situated in the midst of the isthmus, as he terms it, between the two seas. (Strab. vi. p. 282.) He tells us that a palace of one of the ancient native kings was still shown there: and Herodotus represents it as the metropolis of the Messapians, founded by a colony of Cretans on their return from Sicily. According to this statement, it was the most ancient of the Messapian cities, from whence all the others were founded. (Herod. vii. 170.) But though it thus appears to have been in early times a place of importance, we hear very little of it afterwards, though its name again appears in Appian during the civil war between Octavian and Antony, while the latter was besieging Brundusium. (Appian, B.C. v. 58.) The people of Hyria must also be understood by the Urites of Livy, whom he enumerates among the allied cities that furnished ships to the praetor C. Lucretius in B.C. 171 (Liv. xlii. 48), if the reading be correct: but it is difficult to understand how an inland town like Hyria could be one of those bound to furnish a naval. contingent. The Uritanus ager is mentioned in the Liber Coloniarum (p. 262) among the Civitates Provinciae Calabriae, and it therefore appears to have held the rank of an ordinary provincial town under the Roman Empire: and there is little doubt that in Pliny (iii. 11. s. 16. § 100) we should read Uria for Varia. In Ptolemy also (iii. 1. § 77) we should probably substitute Ourion for Oureton, as Veretum (Ouereton) had been already mentioned just before. It still retains the name of Oria, a considerable town situated on a hill of moderate elevation, but commanding an extensive view over all. the country round. There are no ancient remains, but inscriptions have been found there in the Messapian dialect, and numerous coins, bearing the name of Orra, which, though written in Roman characters, was probably the native name of the city. (Millingen, Numism. de l'Anc. Italie, p. 281.)

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


EGNATIA (Ancient city) PUGLIA
   A town in Apulia on the coast of Italy. It was celebrated for its miraculous stone or altar, which of itself set on fire frankincense and wood--a prodigy which afforded amusement to Horace and his friends, who looked upon it as a mere trick. Egnatia was situated on the high-road from Rome to Brundisium, which from Egnatia to Brundisium bore the name of the Via Egnatia. The continuation of this road on the other side of the Adriatic from Dyrrhachium to Byzantium also bore the name of Via Egnatia. It was the great military road between Italy and the East. Commencing at Dyrrhachium, it passed by Lychnidus, Heraclea, Lyncestis, Edessa, Thessalonica, Amphipolis, Philippi, and traversing the whole of Thrace, finally reached Byzantium. Egnatia is called Gnatia in Horace by a popular contraction like that which gives us "Frisco" for San Francisco.

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


   The modern Brindisi; a celebrated city on the coast of Apulia, in the territory of the Calabri. By the Greeks it was called Brentesion, a word which, in the Messapian language, signified a stag's head, from the resemblance which its different harbours and creeks bore to antlers. Roman Pillar at Brundisium. Herodotus speaks of it as a place generally well known. Brundisium soon became a formidable rival to Tarentum, which had hitherto engrossed all the commerce of this part of Italy. The Romans annexed it in B.C. 245. From this period the prosperity of this port continued to increase in proportion with the greatness of the Roman Empire. Large fleets were always stationed there for the conveyance of troops into Macedonia, Greece, or Asia; and from the convenience of its harbour, and its facility of access from every other part of Italy, it became a sort of Dover to the Calais of Dyrrhachium. At Brundisium the Appian Way ended.

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


YRIA (Ancient city) PUGLIA
A town in Apulia.


Called Hyria by Herodotus; a town in Calabria, on the road from Brundusium to Tarentum, was the ancient capital of Iapygia, and is said to have been founded by the Cretans under Minos. It is now Oria.

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Comune di Brindisi


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YRIA (Ancient city) PUGLIA
Total results on 19/7/2001: 15

The Catholic Encyclopedia


Brindisi - called by the Romans Brundusium or Brundisium, by the Greeks Brentesion - is a city of in the province of Lecce, in Apulia, on a rocky peninsula which extends into the Adriatic.
  In ancient times it was very important as a seaport, being accessible in all winds. In 245 B.C. the Romans captured Brindisi without striking a blow and established a Roman colony there. This city was one terminal of the Via Appia. In the civil wars between Caesar and Pompey, Brindisi was the base of naval operations. Brindisi was the birthplace of the poet Pacuvius; here also Virgil died in 19 B.C., on his return from Greece.
  During the invasions of the barbarians it was taken and destroyed several times, but was always rebuilt within a short space of time, so that as late as the twelfth century it had a population of 60,000, which has since dwindled to about 20,000. The harbor gradually filled up, which hindered navigation. The Italian Government made great attempts to remedy this, but on account of an error of judgment the beneficial results anticipated were not permanent.
  According to a local legend, the first Bishop of Brindisi was St. Leucius, about 165, who later underwent martyrdom. However, taking into consideration the geographical position of this city, the beginnings of Christianity in Brindisi must date back to the first century. There is no historical proof for this except the account given by Arnobius of the fall of Simon Magus, who according to him withdrew to Brindisi and cast himself from a high rock into the sea.
  The Diocese of Brindisi at first embraced the territory comprised within the present Diocese of Oria. In the tenth century, after Brindisi had been destroyed by the Saracens, the bishops took up their abode at Oria, on account of its greater security. In 1591, after the death of Bishop Bernardino di Figueroa, Oria was made the seat of a new diocese. In the reorganization of the dioceses of the Kingdom of Naples in 1818 Brindisi was combined with the Diocese of Ostuni, formerly its suffragan. Brindisi has been an archiepiscopal see since the tenth century. The ancient cathedral was located outside the city, but in 1140 Roger II, King of Sicily and Naples, built the present cathedral in the centre of the city.
The bishops of Brindisi worthy of mention are:
- St. Aproculus (Proculus), who died in 352 at Ardea, when returning from Rome, and was buried at Anzio;
- St. Cyprian, who died in 364;
- Andrea, murdered by the Saracens in 979;
- Eustachio (1060), the first to bear the title of archbishop;
- Guglielmo (1173), author of a life of St. Leucius;
- Girolamo Aleandro (1524), a learned humanist, and papal nuncio in Germany in connection with Luther's Reformation, and later Cardinal;
- Pietro Caraffa, Bishop of Chieti, and afterwards Pope Paul IV, for some time the Apostolic administrator of this diocese;
- Franceseo Aleandro (1542);
- G. Bovio, from Bologna, who translated the works of St. Gregory of Nyssa, and was prominent in the Council of Trent;
- Paolo de Vilanaperlas (1716), founder of the seminary;
- Andrea Maddalena (1724), who restored the cathedral after it had been damaged by the earthquake of 1743.
In this diocese is the shrine of Mater Domini, near Mesagne. A beautiful church was erected there in 1605 to replace the ancient rustic chapel. The diocese has a population of 119,907, with 23 parishes, 89 churches and chapels, 181 secular and 15 regular clergy, and 64 seminarians.

U. Benigni, ed.
Transcribed by: Joseph E. O'Connor
This text is cited October 2004 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites


EGNATIA (Ancient city) PUGLIA
  A city between Bari and Brindisi. Ancient sources place it on the border between Messapia and Peucezia and identify it as a maritime freight station and crossroads for land traffic (Strab. 6.282; Ptol. 3.1.15; Mela 2.4; Plin. 2.107, 3.102). Horace (Sat. 15.97ff.) passed through Gnathia in 38 B.C. on his voyage from Rome to Brindisi.
  The earliest evidence of organized life comes from the acropolis and dates to the Bronze and Iron Ages. About the 4th-3d c. B.C. the site acquired the appearance characteristic of a Messapian city, surrounded by powerful walls on its three landward sides. From this period date rich tombs, often containing painted ornaments and furnished with valuable vases.
  In the Roman period, especially during the early centuries of the Empire, the city prospered because of its location on the principal transit route to the Orient. In A.D. 109 the Emperor Trajan, in order to facilitate communication between the capital and Brindisi, improved the old pack road cited by Strabo and Horace. A stretch of this paved road, the Via Traiana, and traces of the gate of Egnatia have recently been discovered in the course of systematic excavation. In the Christian epoch the city was the seat of a bishopric. A bishop of Egnatia, Rufentius, participated in the Council of Rome, convened in the early years of the 6th c. by Pope Symmachus I. The causes of the city's destruction and end at the beginning of the Middle Ages remain unknown.
  The first systematic excavations were undertaken in 1912 and 1913 and have continued at intervals since then. The city was defended on the landward sides by a circuit wall, almost 2 km long, preceded by a wide ditch. The wall was of double curtain construction built of large blocks of tufa in isodomic courses, with interior rubble fill. The best-preserved stretch of this wall is visible near the sea. The acropolis was also defended by walls. Traces of the port establishments are preserved underwater as a result of gradual changes in the relative level of land and sea. Between the acropolis and the Via Traiana, was the Roman forum. It was paved with regular blocks of tufa and enclosed by a portico with Doric columns, covered with limestone. The Hellenistic agora was also surrounded by porticos, later turned into shops. Not far from the two forums is a large ellipsoidal plaza, perhaps intended as a place for spectacles. A monument with a dedicatory inscription (sacerdos Matris Magnae et Syriae deae) documents the existence of an Oriental cult widespread in Italy at the beginning of the Empire. The Via Traiana, which runs parallel to the sea, divides a zone of public buildings at the foot of the acropolis from an area of rather modest private houses. They are quadrangular in plan, occasionally show traces of white mosaic pavements, and almost always are furnished with catch basins to collect rainwater. Among the ruins of more recent monuments are those of two Christian basilicas with mosaic pavements that date from the early mediaeval period when the city was the seat of a bishopric.
  The earliest necropolis lay outside the acropolis in an area that was later included in the Roman urban plan. Sumptuous chamber tombs were often painted and richly provided with ceramics. In the Hellenistic age the ceramics are of the overpainted type, called vases of Gnathia because they were discovered here in abundance for the first time.

F. G. Lo Porto, 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.


KELIA (Ancient city) PUGLIA
  An ancient center of Messapia mentioned by Pliny (HN 3.101) together with Lupine and Brundisium. Its name is preserved in that of the modern town, where remains of megalithic walls break the surface of the ground. The inscriptions in the Messapian language from the necropoleis are notable and the rich funerary material from numerous tombs, dating for the most part from the 4th-3d c. B.C. The trozzella, a vase typical of the Messapian area, predominates. Archaeological material from the site is in the museums at Taranto and at Brindisi.

F. G. Lo Porto, 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.

Uria or Hyria

YRIA (Ancient city) PUGLIA
  An ancient city about midway between Taranto and Brindisi on the Via Appia. Strabo (6.282) places it on the isthmus between the two seas and mentions that the palace of a native king was there. Herodotos (7.170) considers it the most ancient Messapic city, founded by colonists from Crete on their return from Sicily. In the civil war between Octavian and Mark Antony, Servilius was besieged there (App. BCiv. 5.58). In the Liber Coloniarum (p. 262), among the Civitates Provinciae Calabriae, the "Uritanus ager" is undoubtedly associated with this center (Plin. HN 3.100).
  Recent excavations in the districts of Ciriaco and Maddalena have brought to light numerous tombs of the 6th and 4th-3d c. B.C. The archaic burial chambers, with the bodies usually contracted, have grave gifts among which Greek ceramic ware is found beside the typically local products. Yet in the tombs of the Hellenistic period, it is not unusual to find some interesting Messapic inscriptions or a few bronze coins incised with the city name ORRA. A rich archaeological collection belonging to Martini Carissimo is preserved in the Castello di Oria. Other finds, particularly epigraphic ones, are on exhibition in the local Biblioteca Civica.

F. G. Lo Porto, 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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