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Auximum  

Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

Auximum (mod. Osimo) with well-preserved ancient walls, hill-town of *Picenum, 17 km. (10 ½ mi.) from the Adriatic. Becoming a Roman colony (128 bce?), it developed into a flourishing place, which supported *Caesar against *Pompey. Much later it and four other cities constituted the Pentapolis under the *Ravenna Exarchate.

Article

John Frederick Drinkwater

Aventicum, civitas-capital of the *Helvetii, modern Avenches, destroyed by the *Alamanni in the 3rd cent. ce. Vespasian established a colony of *veterans here (Colonia Pia Flavia Constans Emerita Helvetiorum Foederata); the relationship of coloni and incolae is disputed. Much survives, including defences (of the Flavian colony), east gate, theatre, forum, amphitheatre, baths, and private houses.

Article

Avernus  

T. W. Potter

Avernus, a deep volcanic crater, now a lake, near *Puteoli. Its appearance inspired the belief that it led to the Underworld (Strabo 5. 244, etc.). *Hannibal made a sacrifice there, and M. *Vipsanius Agrippa built a *canal linking it with a new port, which soon silted up. Associated monuments include the so-called Sibylline cave and ‘temple of *Apollo’ (a bath-building).

Article

Bactria  

Pierre Briant and Amélie Kuhrt

Enormous region lying (roughly) between the *Oxus (Amu-Darya) to the north and the Hindu Kush to the south; the term occasionally also includes Sogdiana to the north (Tadjikistan/Uzbekistan). The Achaemenid satrapy (Bāxtriš) is cited several times in the *Persepolis tablets. Because of the silence of the classical sources, Bactrian history only becomes more fully recoverable with *Alexander (3) the Great, who had to fight tough battles here. The discovery of 30 parchments and 18 wooden boards from the late *Achaemenid period (*Artaxerxes (3) III to *Alexander (3) the Great), including two possibly dating to the 5th cent. (as well as palimpsests), written in Aramaic, is now revealing some details of the Achaemenid administration of the region (Bagavant, governor of Khulmi, under Akhvamasda, satrap of Bactria) and Persian-held domains. Recent excavations have profoundly enhanced our knowledge, especially excavation of the site of *Ai Khanoum, a Hellenistic city, (possibly) founded by Alexander himself, on the upper Oxus (Alexandria Oxiana?).

Article

Baetica  

Simon J. Keay

The heart of the province originally (197 bce) called Further Spain, comprising a range of sophisticated and urbanized peoples formerly controlled by *Carthage. As Roman territory increased, an administrative division between Hither and Further Spain was formed: this began at the Mediterranean south of *Carthago Nova (mod. Cartagena) and ran west-north-west to the Guadiana and thence northwards to the Tajo. In 27 bce the old settled province east and south of the Anas was assigned to the senate as Hispania Baetica. It was divided for judicial purposes into four *conventus centred at Gades (Cadíz), Corduba (Córdoba, the capital), Astigi, and Hispalis (Seville: Plin. HN 3. 7). Moreover, Caesar and Augustus created many colonies in this heavily urbanized province, while their grants of municipal status (see municipium) to native communities were greatly extended by Vespasian. Baetica was one of the richest provinces in the Roman west, exporting metals (see gold), *olive oil, and fish sauce (see fishing; food and drink) to Rome and the northern frontiers.

Article

Baiae  

H. Kathryn Lomas

Baiae, dependency of *Cumae, said to have been named after Baios, a companion of *Odysseus. It never became a *municipium, but flourished as a fashionable spa and resort, thanks to volcanic hot springs. By the mid-1st cent. bce, many of the Roman élite owned houses there. Several imperial palaces were built and it remained fashionable until the 3rd cent. ce, when *earthquakes and malaria (see disease) sent it into a decline.

Article

The name Gymnesiae (Γυμνησίαι), used by early Greek voyagers, was replaced by Baliares or Baliarides. The spelling was changed to Baleares under Augustus. Roman names of each island were Maiorca (formerly Columba), Minorca (formerly Nura), Capraria, Menaria, Tiquadra, and Cunicularia (formerly Hannibalis). On Maiorca towns included native Tucis, Bocchoris, and Guium, with Latin colonies at Palma and Pollentia. Minorca had native Sanisera as well as Puni (?) Mago and Iamo. The Greek name of Pithyusae became Roman Ebusus (Ibiza) and Colubraria (Formentera), and there was a Punic colony at Ebusus. Although the islands were officially Roman by 202 bce, they were not pacified until 121 by Q. *Caecilius Metellus Baliaricus. The islands formed part of the conventus Carthaginiensis (Hispania *Tarraconensis). Iamo, Mago, and Ebusus (part of *Baetica) were granted municipal rights under Vespasian and the latter issued coins under Tiberius and Gaius. In the countryside native megaliths (talayots) continued well into the imperial era. In ce 395 the islands constituted an independent province and also hosted dye-works (bafii, see *dyeing) for the state.

Article

Bantia  

H. Kathryn Lomas

*Lucanian city on the border with Apulia (25 km. (15 ½ mi.) south of Venosa). It flourished in the 4th–3rd cents. bce, and became a *municipium in 89 bce. The material culture shows strong Greek and *Daunian influence. The *tabula Bantina was found there, as was an augural temple.

Article

Barcino  

Simon J. Keay

Barcino (mod. Barcelona), Colonia Iulia Augusta Paterna Faventia, founded by Augustus on a coastal branch of the via Augusta, possibly around 15 bce. There was no earlier native occupation and excavations have revealed traces of its early walls, street-grid (see urbanism), the *mosaic floors of houses, an early imperial cemetery, and part of an *aqueduct.

Article

Barium  

H. Kathryn Lomas

Barium (mod. Bari), a Peucetian city and port. Despite a strategic position it was of only minor importance in antiquity, and was economically dependent on *fishing. There are traces of Greek influence, and it had municipal status (see municipium) after 89 bce. It became a diocesan capital (see dioecesis) in ce 374.

Article

Bassae  

Richard Allan Tomlinson

Bassae, in SW Arcadia, near Phigaleia, the site of one of the best-preserved Greek temples. This was dedicated to *Apollo the Helper (Epikourios). *Pausanias (3) says it was the work of *Ictinus, possible (with some local influence) but unprovable. It dates to the latter part of the 5th cent. bce with an interruption due to Spartan occupation of the area during the *Peloponnesian War. The greater part of the temple is in the local limestone, with carved decoration applied in marble. The *orientation, followed also by its predecessor, was towards the north instead of the east, and the early sunlight, instead of entering through the main doorway, was admitted to the adytum through an opening in the eastern side-wall. Ten engaged Ionic columns decorated the side walls of the cella internally, with a single central Corinthian column—one of the earliest of its kind, and one of the most beautiful (see orders)—between the cella and the adytum.

Article

Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

Bedriacum (or Betriacum), near modern Calvatone midway between *Verona and *Cremona in Cisalpine Gaul, gave its name to two decisive battles in 69 ce. *Vitellius' troops defeated *Otho's in the first, but were themselves defeated by *Vespasian's in the second some months later. Both battles were apparently fought nearer Cremona than Bedriacum.

Article

Albert Brian Bosworth

Bematists, the surveyors of *Alexander (3) the Great. Of known bematists Philonides of Crete was a celebrated distance runner, and others (notably Baeton and Diognetus) had literary aspirations. Their measurements of key distances in the empire comprised an archive, later controlled by *Seleucus (1) I. Individual bematists published their observations in monographs termed Stathmoi (‘Stages’), which combined precise calculations of distance with more exotic reports of the flora, fauna, and customs of the empire.

Article

Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

Beneventum (mod. Benevento in southern Italy), was originally a stronghold of the Hirpini Samnites (see samnium) named Malventum. It fell sometime after 300 bce to the Romans, who made it a Latin colony (see ius latii), changing its ill-sounding name to Beneventum, 268 bce (Vell. Pat. 1. 14; Festus 25 Lindsay). Thereafter Beneventum flourished. Under the republic it was a military base, later an opulent *municipium; under the empire a colonia and road-centre (*via Appia, *via Traiana). In ce 571, it became an important *Lombard duchy. *Trajan's arch (ce 114) is particularly notable, and there is evidence of a cult of *Isis, including an Egyptian obelisk (erected ce 88).

Article

John Frederick Drinkwater

Bibracte (mod. Mont-Beuvray), a hill-fort, the original capital of the *Aedui, where in 52 bce supreme command was conferred upon *Vercingetorix. Though its inhabitants were later transferred to *Augustodunum, the site retained a religious significance. Bibracte is much cited in modern research as the best example of indigenous Celtic urbanization in central Gaul during the late iron age (see celts).

Article

Thomas Robert Shannon Broughton and Stephen Mitchell

A territory in NW Asia Minor, originally confined to the peninsula of Chalcedon, but gradually extending eastward to *Heraclea (3) and *Paphlagonia, and southward across the Propontis to Mysian Olympus. Although much of the land is mountainous and covered with forest, the *Sangarius river with its tributaries and the valleys that run back from the Propontis form fertile plains and provide relatively easy communications. It was economically one of the richest regions of *Asia Minor, producing good timber, excellent pasturage, and all manner of fruits and grains, possessing fine marble quarries and good harbours, and crossed by the main roads to the Anatolian plateau and to Pontus.The Bithynians were related to the Thracians (see thrace) and long retained their ethnic identity. They were often at war with the Greek colonies of the coast, preserved a measure of autonomy under their own rulers during the Persian regime, and in 298/7 bce founded a dynasty beginning with King Zipoetes.

Article

Bola  

Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

Bola (or Bolae), town in Latium, which often changed hands between Romans and *Aequi in the 5th cent. bce. It disappears from history after 389 bce (Livy 6. 2. 14; Diod. Sic. 14. 117. 4). Its site was somewhere near *Algidus.

Article

Bonna  

Peter Salway and John Frederick Drinkwater

(Mod. Bonn). Auxiliary troops (see auxilia) were first stationed at Bonna c.20/10 bce and remained in garrison there into the 3rd cent. The legionary fortress dates from the reign of Claudius and was rebuilt several times. It was in use in the 4th cent., very probably still by a military garrison. As well as the *canabae there was also a separate civil settlement.

Article

Bononia  

Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

Bononia (mod. Bologna) in Cisalpine Gaul (see gaul, cisalpine) has always been a place of consequence. First settled c.1000 bce, about 500 bce the Etruscans founded *Felsina there. Felsina became the chief Etruscan city north of the Apennines (Plin. HN 3. 115), but fell first to the *Boii, then to Rome (196 bce), and acquired the name Bononia (Livy 33. 37). Subsequently as Latin colony (see ius latii), *municipium, or imperial colonia, Bononia maintained its importance (Livy 37. 57; Festus 155 Lindsay; Tac. Ann. 12. 58; Procop. Goth. 3. 11). As a centre of the north-Italian road-system (Strabo 5. 216 f.), Bononia flourished and was able to survive a conflagration in ce 53 and *Alaric's attack in 410 (Tac. Ann. 12. 58; Zos. 6. 10). It later became part of the Byzantine exarchy, and was taken by the *Lombards in 727.

Article

Max Cary and David C. Braund

Borysthenes, a river of *Scythia (the modern Dnieper). According to Herodotus (4. 53) it was the largest river after the Nile and the Ister (Danube) and was navigable for 40 days from the Black Sea (Euxine). Herodotus seems to have been unacquainted with its upper course, but his praise of its fisheries and meadows is well founded. The Borysthenes was a principal route into the hinterland of Scythia and beyond. However, archaeology indicates that little of the goods that passed up the Borysthenes proceeded beyond Kiev.