1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Apulia

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APULIA (sometimes Appulia in manuscripts but never in inscriptions), the district inhabited in ancient times by the Apuli. Strictly a Samnite tribe (see Samnites) settled round Mount Garganus on the east coast of Italy (Strabo vi. 3. 11), the Apuli mingled with the Iapygian tribes of that part of the coast (Dauni, Peucetii, Poediculi) who, like the Messapii, had come from Illyria, so that the name Apulia reached down to the border of the ancient Calabria. Almost the only monument of Samnite speech from the district is the famous Tabula Bantina from Bantia, a small city just inside the Peucetian part of Apulia, on the Lucanian border. This inscription is one of the latest and in some ways the most important monument of Oscan, though showing what appear to be some southern peculiarities (see Osca Lingua). Its date is almost certainly between 118 and 90 B.C., and it shows that Latin had not even then spread over the district (cf. Lucania). Far older than this are some coins from Ausculum and Teate (later known as Teanum Apulum), of which the earliest belong to the 4th century B.C. Roman or Latin colonies were few, Luceria (planted 314 B.C.) in the north and Brundisium (soon after 268) being the chief. (See R. S. Conway, Italic Dialects, xxviii.-xxx. pp. 15 f.; and Mommsen’s introduction to the opening sections of C.I.L. ix.)  (R. S. C.) 

The wars of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. brought a great part of the pastures of the Apulian plain into the hands of the Roman state, and a tax was paid on every head of cattle and every sheep, at first to the tax farmer and later to the imperial procurator. It was under the Romans that the system of migration for the flocks reached its full development, and the practice is still continued; the sheep-tracks (tratturi), 350 ft. wide, leading from the mountains of the Abruzzi to the plain of Apulia date in the main at least from the Roman period, and are mentioned in inscriptions. The plain, however, which once served as winter grazing ground for a million sheep, now gives pasture to about one-half of that number.[1] The shepherds, who were slaves, often gave considerable trouble; we hear that some 7000 of them, who had made the whole country unsafe, were condemned to death in 185 B.C. (Livy xxxix. 29). Sheep-farming on a large scale was no doubt detrimental to the interests of the towns. We hear of repeated risings, for the last time in the Social War. Even in the 4th century B.C. the then chief town of Apulia, Teate or Teanum Apulum (see above), suffered in this way. Luceria subsequently took its place, largely owing to its military importance; but under the Empire it was succeeded by Canusium.

The road system of Apulia, which touched all the important towns, consisted of three main lines, the Via Appia (see Appia, Via), the Via Traiana, and the coast road, running more or less parallel in an east-south-east direction. The first (the southernmost), coming east from Beneventum, entered Apulia at the Pons Aufidi, and ran through Venusia to Tarentum, and thence, turning north-east, to Brundusium. The second, coming north-east from Beneventum, turned east at Aecae, and ran through Herdoniae, Canusium, Butuntum, Barium and Gnathia (Gnatia) to Brundusium. There was also a short cut from Butuntum to Gnathia through Caelia, keeping inland. The third parallel line ran to the north of the Via Traiana, in continuation of the road along the north-east coast of Picenum and Samnium; it entered Apulia near Larinum (whence a branch ran south to Bovianum Undecimanorum), and thence, keeping in the plain to the south of the Mons Garganus, rejoined the coast at Sipontum, where it received a branch road from the Via Traiana at Aecae, passing through Luceria and Arpi. It then passed through Barduli (where it was joined by a road from Canusium by way of Cannae) to Barium, where it joined the Via Traiana. From Barium a road probably ran direct to Caelia, and thence south-south-east to join the Via Appia some 25 m. north-west of Tarentum.

Barium was an important harbour, though less so than Brundusium and Tarentum, which, however, belonged to Calabria in the Roman sense. Apulia, with Calabria, formed the second region of Augustus, though we once find Calabria treated as a part of the third region, Lucania (C.I.L. ix. 2213). The Hannibalic and later wars had, Strabo tells us, destroyed the former prosperity of the country; in imperial times we hear little or nothing of it. Both were governed by a corrector from the time of Constantine onwards, but in 668 the Lombards conquered Calabria and Apulia, and it was then that the former name was transferred to Bruttium, the meaning of the latter being extended to include Calabria also. In the 10th century the greater part of this territory was recovered by the Byzantine emperors, whose governor was called Καταπανός, a name which, under the corrupt form Capitanata, belonged to the province of Foggia till 1861. It was conquered by the Normans under William Bras-de-fer, who took the title of comes Apuliae in 1042; it was raised to a dukedom with Calabria by Robert Guiscard in 1059, and united to the Sicilian monarchy in 1127. Many of the important towns possess fine Romanesque cathedrals, constructed under the Normans and the Hohenstaufen rulers. It shared the subsequent fate of Sicily, becoming a part of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies in 1734, and being united with Italy in 1861.

Modern Apulia comprises the three provinces of Foggia, Bari and Lecce (the latter corresponding roughly with the ancient Calabria, which, however, extended somewhat farther north inland), and is often known as Le Puglie; it stretches from Monte Gargano to the south-east extremity Modern Apulia.of Italy, with an area of 7376 sq. m.; it is bounded on the north and east by the Adriatic, on the south-east by the Gulf of Taranto, on the south by Basilicata and on the west by Campania and the Abruzzi. The three provinces correspond to the three natural divisions into which it falls. That of Foggia, though it has mountains on the west and south-west boundary, and the Monte Gargano at its north-east extremity, is in the main a great plain called the Tavoliere (chessboard) di Puglia, with considerable lagoons on its north and east coast. That of Bari, east-south-east of Foggia and divided from it by the Ofanto (Aufidus), the only considerable river of Apulia, 104 m. long, is a hilly district with a coast strip along which are the majority of the towns—the lack of villages is especially noticeable; in the circondario of Barletta, the north-east portion of the province, there are only eleven communes, with a total population of 335,934. That of Lecce, to the east-south-east again, is a low flat limestone terrace.

The industries of Apulia are mainly pastoral or agricultural. Besides sheep, a considerable number of horses, cattle and swine are bred; while despite the lack of water, which is the great need of modern Apulia (in 1906 arrangements were made for a great aqueduct, to supply the three provinces from the headwaters of the Sele), cultivation is actively carried on, especially in the province of Bari, where grain, wine, olives, almonds, lemons, oranges, tobacco, &c., are produced in abundance, and the export of olive oil is attaining considerable importance. The salt works of Margherita di Savoia produce large quantities of salt, and nitre is extracted near Molfetta.

Railway communications are fairly good, the main line from Bologna to Brindisi passing through the whole length of Apulia, by way of Foggia and Bari, and having branches from Foggia (the main railway centre of Apulia) to Benevento and Caserta, to Manfredonia, to Lucera and to Rocchetta S. Antonio (and thence to either Avellino, Potenza or Gioia del Colle), from Ofantino to Margherita di Savoia, from Barletta to Spinazzola (between Rocchetta S. Antonio and Gioia del Colle), from Bari to Putignano, and via Gioia del Colle to Taranto, and from Brindisi to Taranto, and to Lecce and Otranto; besides which, there is a steam tramway from Barletta to Bari via Andria.

The most important harbours of Apulia are Brindisi, Bari, Taranto, Barletta, Molfetta and Gallipoli. The export of olive oil to foreign countries from the province of Lecce in 1905 amounted to 1048 tons, as against 3395 in 1901; but that to home ports increased from 7077 to 9025 tons in the same period. The production of wine was 358,953 tons in 1905 as against 203,995 tons in 1901 (an exceptionally bad year) and 284,156 tons in 1902. Of this 211,872 tons were forwarded by rail and sea, in the proportion of five to two respectively, the rest being used for home consumption and as a reserve. The cultivation of oriental tobacco is extending in the province (see Consular Report, No. 3672, July 1906).

The population of the province of Foggia was 425,450 (1901) as against 322,758 in 1871, the chief towns being Foggia (53,151), Cerignola (34,195), S. Severo (30,040), Monte S. Angelo (21,870), S. Marco in Lamis (17,309), Lucera (17,515); that of Bari, 827,698 (1901) as against 604,540 in 1871, the chief towns being Bari (77,478), Andria (49,569), Barletta (42,022), Corato (41,573), Molfetta (40,135), Trani (31,800), Bisceglie (30,885), Bitonto (30,617), Canosa (24,169), Ruvo (23,776), Terlizzi (23,232), Altamura (22,729), Monopoli (22,545), Gioia del Colle (21,721); that of Lecce, 706,520 (1901) as against 493,594 in 1871, the chief towns being Taranto (60,733), Lecce (32,687), Brindisi (25,317), Martina Franca (25,007), Ostuni (22,997), Francavilla Fontana (20,422), Ceglie Messapica (16,867), Nardo (14,387), Galatina (14,071), Gallipoli (13,552), Manduria (13,113).  (T. As.) 

  1. The migration was made compulsory by Alphonso I. in 1442, and remained so until 1865. Since that time the tratturi have been to some extent absorbed by private proprietors.