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AMITERNUM, an ancient town of the Sabines, situated about 5 m. N. of Aquila, in the broad valley of the Aternus, from which, according to Varro, it took its name. It was stormed by the Romans in 293 B.C., and though it suffered from the wars of the Republican period, it seems to have risen to renewed prosperity under the empire. This it owed largely to its position. It lay at the point of junction of four roads-the via Caecilia, the Via Claudia Nova and two branches of the Via Salaria, which joined it at the 64th and 89th miles respectively. The fertility of its territory was also praised by ancient authors. There are considerable remains of an aqueduct, an amphitheatre and a theatre (the latter excavated in 1880-see Notizie degli scavi, 1880, 290, 350, 379), all of which belong to the imperial period, while in the hill on which the village of S. Vittorino is built are some Christian catacombs. Amiternum was the birthplace of the historian Sallust. In a gorge 1 1/2 m. east are massive remains of cyclopean walls (i.e. in rough blocks), probably intended to regulate the flow of the stream (N. Persichetti in Romische Mitteilungen, 1902, 134 seq..)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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