1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Grumentum

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17089281911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 12 — GrumentumThomas Ashby

GRUMENTUM, an ancient town in the centre of Lucania, 33 m. S. of Potentia by the direct road through Anxia, and 52 m. by the Via Herculia, at the point of divergence of a road eastward to Heraclea. It seems to have been a native Lucanian town, not a Greek settlement. In 215 B.C. the Carthaginian general Hanno was defeated under its walls, and in 207 B.C. Hannibal made it his headquarters. In the Social War it appears as a strong fortress, and seems to have been held by both sides at different times. It became a colony, perhaps in the time of Sulla, at latest under Augustus, and seems to have been of some importance. Its site, identified by Holste from the description of the martyrdom of St Laverius, is a ridge on the right bank of the Aciris (Agri) about 1960 ft. above sea-level, 1/2 m. below the modern Saponara, which lies much higher (2533 ft.). Its ruins (all of the Roman period) include those of a large amphitheatre (arena 205 by 197 ft.), the only one in Lucania, except that at Paestum. There are also remains of a theatre. Inscriptions record the repair of its town walls and the construction of thermae (of which remains were found) in 57–51 B.C., the construction in 43 B.C., of a portico, remains of which may be seen along an ancient road, at right angles to the main road, which traversed Grumentum from S. to N.

See F. P. Caputi in Notizie degli scavi (1877), 129, and G. Patroni, ibid. (1897) 180.  (T. As.)