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Cumae


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(Gk. Cӯmē),

Euboean colony, founded c.740 bc opposite Pithecusae. It was the earliest colony on the Italian mainland, and dominated coastal Campania from 700, in turn founding Neapolis, Dicaearchia (see puteoli), and Zancle (see messana). In 421, it fell to the Oscans. Although substantially Oscanized, Greek culture was not eradicated. During the Archaic period, it had enjoyed cordial relations with Rome, but they soured after the Oscan conquest. It became a cīvitās sine suffrāgiō (see citizenship, roman) in 338, and remained loyal to Rome in the Punic Wars. In 180 it adopted Latin as its official language, and probably obtained full citizenship soon after. The developing port of Puteoli eclipsed Cumae economically, but it remained important. Many of the Roman élite had villas there, and the harbour and acropolis were sumptuously rebuilt by Augustus, who also granted Cumae colonial status. The Cumaean Sibyl and cult of Apollo were important in Augustan ideology (as can be seen in Virgil's Aeneid, bk. 6), and Cumae was popular among Roman aristocrats because of its Greek culture.

Subjects: Classical Studies — Architecture.


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