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The Via Claudia Nova

  • Robert Gardner

At the period when, after a process of development extending over almost five centuries, the road-system of ancient Italy had attained to its maturity, we find that Rome was connected with the central and southern stretches of the Adriatic coast by four highways, the Via Appia, the Via Salaria, the Via Valeria and the Via Traiana. All of these roads were of republican origin, though the Via Claudia Valeria (the extension of the earlier Valeria to the Adriatic) and the Via Traiana did not become viae munitae until the first and second centuries of the empire respectively. It may be desirable to begin with a brief sketch of these roads, in order to make plain the part played by my proper subject, the Claudia Nova.

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page 205 note 1 Strabo, vi, 3, 7, p. 282, 283 : μία μὲν ἡμιονικὴ διὰ Πευκτίων, οὓς Ποιδίκλους καλο̑υσι, καὶ Δαυνἱων καὶ Σαυνιτῶν μέχρι Βενεουεντοῦ, ἐφ' ᾗ ὁδῷ Ἐγνατία πόλις, εἷτα Καιλία καὶ Νήτιον καὶ Κανύσιον καὶ Ἑρδωνία ἡ δὲ διὰ Τάραντος μικρὸν ἐν ἀριστερᾷ ὅσον δὴ μιᾶς ἡμέρας περίοδον κυκλέυσαντι, ἡ Ἀππία λεγομένη, ἁμαξήλατος μᾶλλον. Cicero, ad Att. vi, 1, 1, refers to this road, while Horace, Satires, i, 5, followed it in great part from Beneventum to Brundisium.

page 205 note 2 C.I.L. ix, 6003. A description of the Via Traiana is to appear in a forthcoming volume (no. vii) of the Papers of the British School at Rome.

page 206 note 1 Strabo, v, 3, 11, p. 238: Ἡ Οὐαλερια δ' ἄρχεται μὲν ἀπὸ Τιβόυρων, ἄγει δ' ἐπὶ Μαρσοὺς καὶ Κορφίνιον τὴν Πελίγνων μητρόπολιν. εἰσὶ δ' ἑν αὐτῇ Αατῖναι πόλεις Οὐαρία τε καὶ Καρσέολοι καὶ Ἄλβα, πλσίον δὲ καὶ πόλις Κούκουλον. cf. C.I.L. ix, p. 586, f.

page 206 note 2 C.I.L. ix, 5973.

page 206 note 3 C.I.L. ix, p. 582. It has been admirably described by Persichetti, N. in Viaggio archeologico sulla Via Salaria nel Circondario di Ciitaducale (Rome, 1893); La Via Salaria nel Circondario di Ascoli Piceno, Röm. Mitteilungen, 1903, p. 274; and La Via Salaria nei Circondarii di Roma e Rieti, Röm. Mitteilungen, 1908, p. 275, 1909, p. 121-169, 208; Persichetti, Alla ricerca della Via Caecilia, Röm. Mitteilungen, 1898, p. 193, 1902, p. 277.

page 206 note 1 C.I.L. vi, 3824 = 31603.

page 206 note 5 cf. Papers of the British School at Rome, i, p. 128. The Via Salaria (Livy, vii, 9, 6; Pliny, N.H. xxxi, 89) was said to have been the route by which the Sabines came to fetch salt from the marshes of Ostia and the salt-roads of the Veientines near Fregenae.

page 207 note 1 C.I.L. ix, 5959 = Dessau, 209.

page 207 note 2 C.I.L. ix, 5973.

page 207 note 3 Compare the record (C.I.L. ix, 6072) of the reconstruction of the Via Appia by Hadrian in A.D. 123 between Beneventum and Aeclanum, a distance of 15 Roman miles, 750 yards, and C.I.L. viii, 22173 (of the same year).

page 208 note 1 Persichetti, Viaggio archeologico, pp. 135-137. The stone is now in the museum at Aquila.

page 208 note 2 C.I.L. ix, 5960.

page 208 note 3 ibid. ix, 5961.

page 208 note 4 See below.

page 208 note 5 C.I.L. ix, 3434; ix, 3384, 3385; ix, 3613.

page 208 note 6 ibid. ix, pp. 204, 412, 585; E. Albertini, Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire,1907, 471–477.

page 209 note 1 C.I.L. ix, 5959.

page 209 note 2 cf. Not. d. Scav. 1902, p. 579. 200 metres south of Vigliano railway station inhumation tombs and funeral objects (including a coin of Antoninus Pius) were found. The discovery throws light upon the site of the ancient Fisternae.

page 210 note 1 C.I.L. ix, p. 412.

page 210 note 2 Giovenazzi, , Della città di Aveia ne' Vestini ed altri luoghi di antica memoria (Roma, 1773); C.I.L. ix, p. 341.

page 210 note 3 C.I.L. ix, p. 585.

page 210 note 4 Mommsen (C.I.L. ix, p. 586) puts m.p. IIII between Pitinum and Prifernum, thus making the distance between Pitinum and Aveia m.p. XI (IV + VII). Thus Prifernum would be found near the modern Bazzano, an identification which cannot be supported by facts. Desjardins (p. 168, col. 3), following Bunsen (Annali dell' Instituto 1834, p. 119), and Camilli, (La Strada regia da costruirsi per l'Abbruzzo, Aquila, 1790) puts Prifernum at Assergi, a village away to the north at the foot of the Gran Sasso. This site was certainly inhabited late in imperial times, and the identification may be accepted as that least improbable in the absence of more precise indications. Desjardins thinks that the Table leaves the Via Claudia Nova at Pitinum, and, making a long détour on the left to Prifernum, returns to the main road at Aveia.

page 210 note 5 op. cit. p. 475.

page 211 note 1 Mommsen, C.I.L. ix, pp. 585, 586, gives Forulis-Pitinum m.p. VII [immo V]; Pitino Prifernum m.p. XII. [potius III]; Priferno Aveiam m.p. VII; [Aveia Peltuinum m.p. X]; [Peltuino ad confluentes Aternum et Tirinum m.p. XXIII]. For our conjecture as to the inclusion of Aufinum, see below.

page 212 note 1 The general map (fig. 39) includes all the more important names in the topography of the road. It is reduced from the Italian staff map (1: 50.000), sheets of Aquila, Borgocollefegato, Gran Sasso d'Italia, Barisciano, Popoli.

page 212 note 2 C.I.L. ix, 4395, 4401, 5959.

page 212 note 3 Virgil, Aeneid, vii, 714; Livy, xxvi, 11, 11 (where it is mentioned by Coelius Antipater); Strabo, v, 3, 1, p. 228; Silius, Pun. viii, 415. All our available information about Foruli may be found in C.I.L. ix, p. 417, and Pauly-Wissowa, ii, p. 55. Persichetti, Viaggio archeologico, pp. 127–141 describes the ancient roads near Foruli.

page 212 note 4 For the bridge see Persichetti, Viaggio archeologico, p. 129; for further references to its peculiarities and importance see Römische Mitteilungen, 1898, p. 213; 1902, p. 282. Kiepert's map in C.I.L. ix indicates the correct course of the Salaria and does not take it across the Ponte Nascoso. A. de Nino (Not. d. Scav. 1885, p. 481) wrongly regards the Ponte Nascoso as being upon the Salaria.

page 212 note 5 Not. d. Scav. 1902, p. 122. Inhumation tombs of the imperial period and three sepulchral inscriptions were discovered between the Madonna dei Mazzetti and Civitatomassa.

page 213 note 1 Persichetti, Viaggio archeologico, p. 132. Here were found C.I.L. ix, 4413, 4445.

page 213 note 2 Not. d. Scav. 1877, p. 210; 1888, pp. 255, 480; 1893, pp. 436, 437.

page 214 note 1 In the fabric of the church I saw C.I.L. ix, 4401, 4408, 4412, 4428. At the south-east corner was a fine piece of an ancient cornice, decorated with a floral design; below was a series of triglyphs and metopes, the latter containing reliefs of an eagle, a wreath and conventional circular designs.

page 214 note 2 In the village itself I saw C.I.L. ix, 4395, 4418.

page 214 note 3 Persichetti, Viaggio archeologico, p. 134. Of the bridge there remain only three blocks, a metre from the shoulder of the modern bridge, and masses of concrete from a pier.

page 214 note 4 At Paule, in the commune of Sassa, a fragment of a Latin sepulchral inscription has turned up (Not. d. Scav. 1908, p. 298).

page 215 note 1 Persichetti does not say if there are ancient traces along this course. It is tempting to suppose that the road crossed the Raio about 400 metres above the Ponte Peschio, and that its course is represented by the path running in the valley west of the hill upon which the Madonna delle Grazie stands and leading to Coppito: the path continues past the Laghetto Vetoio to the Madonna di Pettino. A tomb and fragmentary dolia were discovered at Coppito in 1893 (Not. d. Scav. 1893, p. 241).

page 215 note 2 Not. d. Scav. 1903, p. 621, records architectural fragments, etc. of the Roman period near the Madonna delle Grazie, south of Coppito.

page 215 note 3 C.I.L. ix, 4331.

page 215 note 4 Mommsen, C.I.L. ix, p. 412, says: Hie (Monte Pettino) collocari solet viae Alba Interocrium pergentis mansio Pitinum, nominata in itinerario Peutingerano distans a Forulis m.p. VII, recte puto (cf. Nissen, Ital. Land, ii, p. 470). Not. d. Scav. 1893, p. 266, describes two tombs discovered on the site of Pitinum and to be attributed to the first Iron age.

page 215 note 5 Not. d. Scav. 1892, p. 429; Persichetti, Viaggio archeologico, pp. 140, 141. The first two stretches, 15 m. and 35 m. long respectively, were part of the left sustaining wall; the third stretch, 23 m. long, was on the right of the road. The width of the road was 6 metres, and its course was 4 metres distant from and parallel with the modern road. Liberatore, (Opuscoli vari, Aquila, 1834, i, p. 93) refers to such a road as existing at his time “for more than a mile, with hard stones at the sides, going east to Aqua Oria and beyond to Pitino.” This road is marked by Kiepert in his Tabula Italiae, Regio iv (C.I.L. ix). See also Not. d. Scav. 1907, p. 145, f.

page 215 note 6 Tombs of the Roman period have been discovered in the district of Colle di Gioia, near Pile (Not. d. Scav. 1897, p. 200). They were those of poor country people, buried without adornment. This may confirm Persichetti's theory (Viaggio, pp. 134, 135, 207) that Pile was inhabited in Roman times.

page 216 note 1 The concrete was very gritty, being full of fragments of bricks and flint. The opus reticulatum was large and irregular, three blocks measuring respectively 8·5 by 12·5; 11 by 9; 11 by 10 cms. and resembled that in the theatres at Amiternum, and Peltuinum.

page 217 note 1 Nov. d. Scav. 1900, p. 643; 1901, p. 406 (fig. 325 no. 2).

page 217 note 2 ibid. 1892, p. 208.

page 217 note 3 Giovenazzi, Della città di Aveia ne' Vestini, pp. 46–48, 139; Mommsen, C.I.L. ix, p. 341: Id (Civita di Bagno) medio aevo claruit sub Forconae nomine, quod habet iam Paulus Diaconus hist. Lang. 2, 20, diuque habitum est pro ipsa Aveia … Posteriore tamen Furcona nomen mutavit, dicta primum ab ecclesia primaria Civitas s. Maxima, mox a castello Bagni vicino (Franchi, difesa dell' Aquila, p. 40). Among others, Holste (ad Cluv. p. 139) wrongly identifies Civita di Bagno with Aveia.

page 217 note 4 Giovenazzi, op. cit. see especially p. 39: “il vero sito adunque della città di Aveia non altrove pare a me, che dobbiamo fissarlo che nelle vicinanze della terra di Fossa. Qui gli abitanti di questa, e di altre ville intorno ad una gran pianura, che resta tra 'l settentrione, e levante della suddetta terra danno appunto fino in oggi il nome di Aveia; e ciò di una voce pubblica, e consenziente. … Dico piu innanzi, come in questo luogo si osservano non pochi rimasugli di antiche fabbriche, di archi, di ponti, di aquedotti, e sopratutto di un grande edifizio che chiamano volgarmente il Palazzo del Re.” cf. also Mommsen, C.I.L. ix, p. 341;. Hülsen in Pauly-Wissowa, ii, 2280; Nissen, op. cit. ii, p. 442.

page 217 note 5 It is mentioned in the Tabula Peutingerana; Ptolemy (iii, 1, 59) places it in Vestinis; the Liber Coloniarum puts it in the provincia Valeria. In Silius Italicus (viii, 517): “Vestina iuventus … quae … pascua haud tarde redeuntia tondet Avellae,” Aveiae has been restored.

page 218 note 1 Not. d. Scav. 1891, p. 344, and 1902, pp. 67, 68. The latter inscription, of which we possess only a bad copy and which seems in addition to have been badly cut, appears to spell Aveia Habae[ia].

page 218 note 3 Not. d. Scav. 1901, p. 304–306.

page 218 note 3 Not. d. Scav. 1902, pp. 67, 68.

page 220 note 1 Mommsen, C.I.L. ix, p. 338; compare C.I.L. ix, 3578.

page 220 note 2 Nat. d. Scav. 1876, 134, 135, and 211; 1878, 153 (coltellini litici), 290–292 (objects from the Iron and Roman ages), 305–310 (statuettes and other objects of various ages), 1893, 72 (sepulchral inscription), 383, 384, (Roman walls, dolia, aqueduct).

page 220 note 3 Mommsen, C.I.L. ix, p. 333; Weiss in Pauly-Wissowa, vii, 308; Nissen, op. cit. ii, p. 442; Giovenazzi, op. cit. pp, 138–141.

page 220 note 4 The lex of the temple is given in C.I.L. ix, 3513.

page 221 note 1 Not. d. Scav. 1894, p. 288.

page 221 note 2 ibid. 1896, p. 490.

page 224 note 1 According to Dr. Esther Van Deman the facing is early and, in all probability, the opus quadratum at the angle almost immediately terminated and was replaced by opus reticulatum. In that early period (the exact date is unknown) the Romans did not prolong an opus reticulatum facing right up to an angle, but formed the angle itself of opus quadratum. This curious phenomenon is seen in the theatres at Ansidonia and Amiternum.

page 225 note 1 Five blocks measured 12 by 11; 16 by 15; 12 by 11; 15 by 14; 11 by ro cm.

page 225 note 2 Not. d. Scav. 1894, p. 289.

page 225 note 3 ibid. 1903, p. 514.

page 226 note 1 C.I.L. ix, p. 324.

page 226 note 2 N.H. iii, 107: “Vestinorum … Peltuinates quibusiunguntur Aufinates Cismontani” (cf. p. 230).

page 226 note 3 Giovernazzi, op. cit. p. 120, quotes form Franchi, Difesa dell' Aquila, p. 35: “ne rimangono molte vestigia in piano rilevato a 14 miglia, e all' oriente dell' Aquila, e che si veggono pubbliche mura, rimasugli di fabbriche grandi, e sopratutto un nobilissimo avanzo di un circo.” Nissen (ii, p. 441) writes: “Die Hauptstadt des ganzen Bezirks west vom Appennin ist Peltuinum an der Via Claudia Nova. Die vorhandenen Ruinen der Stadtmauer, eines Amphitheaters [he means theatre] aus Netzwerk und anderer Gebäude künden dies schon an.”

page 226 note 4 Not. d. Scav. 1899, p. 65.

page 226 note 5 ibid. 1899, p. 67.

page 226 note 6 It is on a block of local limestone, measuring 0·77 by 0·67 by 0·44 m. The lettering is good and deep (0·20 m.). There is no s visible, as Dressel has already observed.

page 227 note 1 Not. d. Scav. 1896, p. 169. The traces of the road are thus described: “In Valle da Seno, verso Capestrano, sono ancora visibili, nella viva roccia, alcuni tratti di via romana, forse la Claudia Nova, che da Furfo andava ad Aufinum, la quale, in ultimo, seguendo il corso del fiume Tirino, andava a recongiungersi con la Claudia Valeria, come da altre tracce da me osservate e già notate, di rimpetto a Bussi.”

page 228 note 1 For example, the Via Valeria between Carsoli and Tagliacozzo, where it crosses the pass below Monte Bove, follows an entirely different course from the modern road, though from Tivoli to Carsoli, along the Anio valley, the lines generally coincide. Similarly, the course of the Claudia Valeria from Cerfennia (Collarmele) across the Forca Caruso (Mons Imeus) to Statulae (Goriano Sicoli) is totally different from that of the modern road, being much more direct, and, naturally, much more steep.

page 228 note 2 I was told at Bussi that an old road led up through the Valle Parata and below Navelli to Aquila, but I could not examine it. It seemed, however, to present no serious difficulties.

page 229 note 1 Not. d. Scav. 1892, p. 484: “Dalla via Claudia Valeria, nelle valle Peligna, si diramavano due strade diverse.” Roman antiquities have been discovered in these parts, but none bears upon the course of the Claudia Nova.

page 230 note 1 At the Madonna delle Centurelle, where the tratturo divides, the altitude is 749 metres. In the Piano di Nasilli, 1 kilometre farther on, it is 830 metres, and at the summit-level below Monte Rotondo 902 metres. Within the next kilometre it drops to 660 metres, and in the next, to the point where the path to Ofena leaves the tratturo, it is 460 metres, a gradient of roughly 1 in 5. The descent of the Via Claudia Valeria from Mons Imeus (Forca Caruso) to Statulae (Goriano Sicoli) is almost as straight as an arrow and quite as precipitous as that described here.

page 230 note 2 C.I.L. ix, p. 320: “Peltuinatibus iungi Aufinates cismontanos Plinius scribit (N.H. iii, 107); significari Ofenam quae nunc est et nominis similitudo et quod vere Ofena ut proxima Peltuino, ita inde iugo montium separata est; denique Ofena, episcopium vetustum habuit. Cismontani propterea appellari videntur, quod summum iugum Apennini montis (Forca di Penne) Aufinum et Pinnam separat; ceterum cognomine oppidum trans Apenninum nos certe nullum novimus.”

page 230 note 3 Not. d. Scav. 1897, p. 403.

page 230 note 4 ibid. 1900, p. 152.

page 230 note 5 C.I.L. ix, p. 320, where Mommsen says: “In valle fluvii olim Tirini (n. 3373), hodie Tritani, Capestranum quod nunc est Romana aetate pagus videtur fuisse satis celeber; nomen ignoratur, neque quidquam dandum est coniecturae satis levi, quae propter titulum n. 3515 Bussi eiusdem vallis vicum Busutrum nuncupavit. Tituli argumenti privati omnes cum rempublicam nullam hoc loco fuisse declarent, pastores eo loco tamquam conciliabulo usos esse indicat porticus ibi facta ex pecunia saltuaria vel saltuariorum (n. 3386). Comprehensa autem videtur fuisse vallis haec finibus Peltuinatium.”

page 230 note 6 Not. d. Scav. 1897, p. 430. The inscription C.I.L. ix, 3524, was (I found) in the clock-tower at Castelvecchio.

page 231 note 1 Not. d. Scav. 1894, p. 179.

page 231 note 2 Caesar, B.C. i, 16: “recepto Asculo … Caesar … Corfinium contendit; eo cum venisset, cohortes quinque praemissae a Domitio ex oppido pontem fluminis interrumpebant, qui erat ab oppido m.p. circiter iii.” Strabo, v, 4, 2, p. 241: Ἄτερνος … ζεύγματι περατὸς … διέχει δὲ τὸ ζεῦγμα τέσσερας καὶ εἴκοσι σταδίους ἀπὸ Κορφινίον Nissen, op. cit. ii, p. 447, ‘places the Pons Aterni below Corfinium near Popoli.

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