Layout of Beneventum

The chief function of Beneventum when it was founded in 268 B.C. seemed to be to keep the Samnites under control.  Beneventum had prime real estate in southern Italy, as it controlled one of the sites where the Apennine chain could be crossed[1].  The Via Appia linked Beneventum to the city of Rome, and extended into the far reached of the Empire.  Since Beneventum has been occupied continuously since its founding, the primary layout of the city if mostly unknown.  Archaeological research done on the area has led historians to believe that there was significant activity in the area during the third century B.C. due to its position on the Via Appia.  Beneventum was heavily traveled by foreign officials on their way to the eastern provinces.  The construction of the Via Traiana in 109 A.D. also seemed to give the city an economic boost[2]. 

Rough estimates of what the city looked like during the Roman Empire can only give us a peak into what Beneventum actually looked like.  Structures such as the Arch of Trajan, Temple of Isis, Theatre and Amphitheatre have been discovered and researched, but there are many more sites of ancient Beneventum that we know virtually nothing about. Bath buildings were constructed that date to the second century, remains of which can be fund near the Piazza Pacca and the Via Posillipo.  Evidence suggests that there were two forums, both of which were surrounded by a large portico[3].

Beneventum flourished in its position along the Via Appia, along with the rest of Rome during the second and third centuries.

Modern Map of Beneventum

1.John R. Patterson. 2006. Landscapes and Cities: Rural Settlement and Civic Transformation in Early Imperial Italy. Oxford, Ney York: Oxford University Press. 107.
2. Patterson. 108.
3.Patterson. 112.
Beneventum: Plan of the city. (image). Landscapes and Cities. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006, 107.