ATELLA, an ancient Oscan town of Campania, 9 m. N. of Naples and 9 m. S. of Capua, on the road between the two. It was a member of the Campanian confederation, and shared the fortunes of Capua, but remained faithful to Hannibal for a longer time; the great part of the inhabitants, when they could no longer resist the Romans, were transferred by him to Thurii, and the town was reoccupied in 211 by the Romans, who settled the exiled inhabitants of Nuceria there. The fate of Atella at the end of the war, when the latter were able to return to their own city, is unknown. Cicero was in friendly relations with it, and exerted influence that it might retain its property in Gaul, so that it is obvious that it had then recovered municipal rights. The town is mainly famous as the cradle of early Roman comedy, the Fabulae Atellanae (see below). Some remains of the town still exist, including a tower of the city wall in brick.
See J. Beloch, Campanien (2nd ed., Breslau, 1890), p. 379.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)