1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Venafrum

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VENAPRUM, an ancient town of Campania, Italy, close to the boundaries of both Latium adjectum and Samnium. Its site is occupied by the modern Venafro, a village with 4716 inhabitants (1901), on the railway from Isernia to Caianello, 15 m. S.W. of the former, 658 ft. above sea-level. Ancient authors tell us but little about it, except that it was one of those towns governed by a prefect sent yearly from Rome, and that in the Social War it was taken by the allies by treachery. Augustus founded a colony there and provided for the construction of an aqueduct (cf. the long decree relating to it in Carp. Inscr. Lat. x. No. 4842). It seems to have been a place of some importance. Its olive oil was the best in Italy, and Cato mentions its brick works and iron manufactures. The original line of the Via Latina probably ran through Venafrum, making a détour, which the later road seems to have avoided (cf. Latina, Via). Rufrae was probably dependent on it. Roads also ran from Venafrum to Aesernia and to Telesia by way of Allifae. Of ancient remains hardly anything is left—some traces of an amphitheatre and fragments of polygonal walls only. (T. As.)