Picenum


Picenum

Picenum was a region of ancient Roman Italy. Picenum was the birthplace of such notables as Pompey the Great and his father Pompeius Strabo. It was situated in what is now the region of Marche in modern Italy.

The little-known Piceni were one of the ancient Italic peoples who lived in that Adriatic coastal plain of the southern Marche, before the dominance of Rome. They maintained a religious centre in Cupra Marittima, in honor of the goddess Cupra, near Grottammare; their name continued in Roman times as Picenum.

Historical Context

Picenum is one of the regions of Italy found on the Adriatic coast, on the opposite side of the peninsula from Rome [Bunson, M: "Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire.", page 327. Facts on File, Inc. 1994.] and southeast of Umbria.Mish, Frederick C., Editor in Chief. “Picenum.” "Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary". 9th ed. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster Inc., 1985. ISBN 0-87779-508-8, ISBN 0-87779-509-6 (indexed), and ISBN 0-87779-510-X (deluxe).] Picenum spread along the Adriatic coast, and was surrounded by the regions of Umbria, Samnium, and Apulia. [Bunson, M: "Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire.", page 327. Facts on File, Inc. 1994.]

It was first settled in during the beginnings of the Iron Age, which lasted from the 9th century B.C. to the early 3rd century B.C. [Vermeulen, F.: "The contribution of aerial photography and field survey to the study of urbanization in the Potenza valley.", pages 57-82. L'Annee Philologique records.]

Picenum later became one of the eleven districts of Italy. The three interior towns of Picenum showed a system of urban layout and appeared to be economically successful, so it is unknown as to what caused this city to decline in later years. [Vermeulen, F.: "The contribution of aerial photography and field survey to the study of urbanization in the Potenza valley.", pages 57-82. L'Annee Philologique records.]

Roman Capture

The course of Picenum’s history was changed dramatically in 286 B.C., when it was conquered by the Romans and became a colony of Rome. [Bunson, M: "Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire.", page 327. Facts on File, Inc. 1994.] This capture had major consequences for coastline settlements selected as colonies by the Romans.

Picenum is most known for siding with Rome in the war against Hannibal, during the Punic Wars. It was also used as a Roman base during the Social Wars, showing Picenum’s Roman allegiance during the war for Italian citizenship.


=Cultural Context=

Excavations in Picenum

Excavations performed in the late 19th century in Picenum give some insight into the region during the Iron Age. Excavated tombs in Novilara of the Molaroni and Servici cemeteries show that the Picenes laid bodies in the ground wrapped in garments they had worn in life. [Randall-MacIver, D: "The Iron Age in Italy; a study of those aspects of the early civilization which are neither Villanovan nor Etruscan.", page 105. The Clarendon Press. 1927.] Warriors would be buried in the ground with a helmet, weapons and vessels for food and drinks. Buried beads, bone, fibulae and amber seem to demonstrate that there was an active trade in the ninth and perhaps tenth centuries on the Adriatic coast, especially in the fields of amber and beads of glass paste. In women’s graves there is a large abundance of ornaments made of bronze and iron. [Randall-MacIver, D: "The Iron Age in Italy; a study of those aspects of the early civilization which are neither Villanovan nor Etruscan.", page 130. The Clarendon Press. 1927.] Origins of these items may also show that the Picene may have looked to the south and east for development. [Randall-MacIver, D: "The Iron Age in Italy; a study of those aspects of the early civilization which are neither Villanovan nor Etruscan.", page 120. The Clarendon Press. 1927.]


=Evidence of War= The warrior tombs seem to show that the Picene were a war-like people. Every man’s grave contained more or less a complete outfit of a warrior, with the most frequent weapon being a spear. Picene swords appear to be imported from the Balkans. [Randall-MacIver, D: "The Iron Age in Italy; a study of those aspects of the early civilization which are neither Villanovan nor Etruscan.", page 122. The Clarendon Press. 1927.]

External links

* [http://spazioinwind.libero.it/popoli_antichi/Italici/Piceni.html Piceni] (Italian)

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

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