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Caudium (modern Montesarchio) was an ancient city in Samnium situated on the Appian Way between Beneventum (modern Benevento) to Capua. (It was 21 Roman miles from Capua, and 11 from Beneventum.) In early times it was an important site: the capital or chief city of the Caudini.


Grave goods, found in the necropolis nearby, show that the site was inhabited from the 8th to the 3rd centuries.

Caudium is first mentioned during the Second Samnite War, when in 321 BC the Samnite army under C. Pontius encamped there just before their great victory over the Romans in the nearby mountain called the Caudine Forks (Livy 9.2). A few years later, the Samnites used Caudium as a place from which to watch the Campanians (Liv. 9.27).

Caudium is not mentioned during the Second Punic War, but the Caudini are repeatedly mentioned. Niebuhr supposed that the city was destroyed by the Romans in revenge for their great defeat at the Caudine Forks, but there is no evidence for this, and in a later period it was known as a stopping place along the Appian Way, both in the time of Augustus (Hor. Sat. 1.5.51; Strabo 5. p. 249) and in the late empire.[1]

In the triumviral period Caudium received a colony of veterans; and it appears from Pliny, as well as from inscriptions, that it retained its municipal character, though deprived of a large portion of its territory in favor of the neighboring city of Beneventum. (Plin. iii. 11. s. 16; Lib. Colon. p. 232; Orelli, Inscr. 128, 131.)

The period of its destruction is unknown: the name is still found in the 9th century, but it is uncertain whether the town still existed at that time.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Ptol. iii. 1. § 67; Itin. Ant. p. 111; Itin. Hier. p. 610; Tab. Peut.

Coordinates: 41°03′40″N 14°38′00″E / 41.06111°N 14.63333°E / 41.06111; 14.63333