1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Suessula

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SUESSULA, an ancient town of Campania, Italy, in the plain 1½ m. W. of the modern Cancello, 9 m. S.E. of the ancient Capua. Its earlier history is obscure. In 338 B.C. it obtained Latin rights from Rome. In the Samnite and Hannibalic wars it was strategically important as commanding the entrance to the Caudine pass. Sulla seems to have founded a colony here. It is frequently named as an episcopal see up till the 10th century A.D., and was for a time the chief town of a small Lombard principality. It was several times plundered by the Saracens, and at last abandoned by the inhabitants in consequence of the malaria. The ruins of the town lie within the Bosco d'Acerra, a picturesque forest. They were more conspicuous in the 18th century than they now are, but traces of the theatre may still be seen, and débris of other buildings. Oscan tombs were excavated there between 1878 and 1886, and important finds of vases, bronzes, &c., have been made. The dead were generally buried within slabs of tufa arranged to form a kind of sarcophagus (see F. von Duhn in Römische Mitteilungen, 1887, p. 235 sqq.). Suessula lay on the line of the Via Popillia, which was here intersected by a road which ran from Neapolis through Acerrae, and on to the Via Appia, which it reached just west of the Caudine pass. On the hills above Cancello to the east of Suessula was situated the fortified camp of M. Claudius Marcellus, which covered Nola and served as a post of observation against Hannibal in Capua.  (T. As.)