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Aquino

AQUINO, a town and episcopal see of Campania, Italy, in the province of Caserta; it is 56 m. N.W. by rail from the town of Caserta, and 7 m. N.W. of Cassino. Pop. (1901) 2672. The modern town, close to the ancient, is unimportant, though the canons of the cathedral have the privilege of wearing the mitre and cappa magna at great festivals. It is close to the site of the ancient Aquinum, a municipium in the time of Cicero, and made a colony by the Triumviri, the birthplace of Juvenal and of the emperor Pescennius Niger. The Via Latina traversed it; one of the gates through which it passed, now called Porta S. Lorenzo, is still well preserved, and there are remains within the walls (portions of which, built of large blocks of limestone, still remain) of two (so called) temples, a basilica and an amphitheatre (see R. Delbrück in Röm. Mitteilungen, 1903, p. 143). Outside, on the south is a well-preserved triumphal arch with composite capitals, and close to it the 11th-century basilica of S. Maria Libera, a handsome building in the Romanesque style, but now roofless. Several Roman inscriptions are built into it, and many others that have been found indicate the ancient importance of the place, which, though it does not appear in early history, is vouched for by Cicero and Strabo. [1] A colony was planted here by the Triumviri. St Thomas Aquinas was born in the castle of Roccasecca, 5 m. N.

See E. Grossi, Aquinum (Rome, 1907).

(T. As.)

[1] According to H. Nissen, Ital. Landeskunde (Berlin, 1902), ii. 665, a road ran from here to Minturnae; but no traces of it are to be seen.

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

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