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date: 28 November 2020


  • H. Kathryn Lomas


Capua (mod. S. Maria di Capua Vetere), settled in the 9th cent. bce. The early finds show a close resemblance to Villanovan artefacts from Etruria (see villanovan culture). By c.600, Capua was an *Etruscan city, whose material culture supports *Velleius' foundation-date (Vell. Pat. 1. 7. 2), and one of the principal cities of *Campania. It was the head of a league of twelve cities, including *Atella, *Cales, *Casilinum, Calatia, *Suessula, and Acerrae. The entire surrounding area was known as the ager Campanus. After 474 bce, when the Etruscans were defeated by a combined force of Syracusans and Cumaeans (see syracuse; cumae), Etruscan power in Campania began to wane. *Oscan expansion, which had hitherto taken the form of gradual peaceful settlement, became more rapid and aggressive, and in c.425 Capua was conquered, along with *Cumae (421), *Paestum (410), and most of inland Campania (Diod.

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