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Title: Amiternum  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: L'Aquila, Grand Highway of the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park, Sallust, Roman sites of Abruzzo, Museo Nazionale d'Abruzzo
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Location L'Aquila, Province of L'Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy
Region Abruzzo
Type Settlement
Periods Roman Republic - Byzantine Empire
Cultures Ancient Rome
Site notes
Management Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dell'Abruzzo
Website Area Archeologica Amiternum (Italian)

Amiternum, a traditional settlement of the Sabines, is an ancient Sabine prefecture in the Abruzzo region of modern Italy at 9 km from L'Aquila. Amiternum was the birthplace of the historian Sallust (86 BC).[1]


It was stormed by the Romans in 293 BC. It lay at the point of junction of four roads: the Via Caecilia, the Via Claudia Nova and two branches of the Via Salaria.[2] The site, in the upper Aterno valley, was one of the most important of Sabinum.[1]

There are considerable remains of an amphitheatre and a theatre, all of which belong to the imperial period, while on the hill of the surrounding village of San Vittorino there are some Christian catacombs.[2][1]

A well known Roman funerary relief of the first century BC depicts the Roman funeral procession or pompa.[3]

The modern name of the locality, San Vittorino, recalls the martyr Victorinus, of the time of the persecution by Nerva, who is looked on as bishop of Amiternum. Other bishops of Amiternum include Quodvultdeus, who encouraged the religious veneration of Victorinus by constructing his tomb, Castorius, who is mentioned by Pope Gregory I, Saint Cetteus, martyred by the Lombards in 597, and Leontius, a brother of Pope Stephen II. The last known bishop is Ludovicus, who took part in a synod held in Rome in 1069. Later, the territory of the diocese was united to that of Rieti. In the mid-13th century the population was transferred to the newly founded town of L'Aquila, which was erected as a diocese by Pope Alexander IV on 20 February 1257, incorporating in it the territory that had once been that of the diocese of Amiternum.[4][5][6]

No longer a residential bishopric, Amiternum is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.[7]


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ a b Chisholm 1911.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Giuseppe Cappelletti, Le chiese d'Italia dalla loro origine sino ai nostri giorni, Volume XXI, Venezia, 1870, pp. 417–418
  5. ^ Francesco Lanzoni, Le diocesi d'Italia dalle origini al principio del secolo VII (an. 604), vol. I, Faenza 1927, pp. 359–363
  6. ^ Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae, Leipzig 1931, p. 851
  7. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 831
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain
  • , 1976:Princeton Encyclopaedia of Classical SitesRichard Stillwell, ed. "Amiternum (San Vittorino), Latium, Italy"

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