|Location||Grumento Nova, Province of Potenza, Basilicata, Italy|
|Founded||3rd century BC|
|Abandoned||4th century AD|
|Events||Battle of Grumentum|
|Management||Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Basilicata|
|Website||Grumentum Archaeological Area|
Grumentum was an ancient town in the centre of Lucania, in what is now the comune of Grumento Nova, c. 50 km south of Potenza by the direct road through Anxia, and 80 km by the Via Herculia, at the point of divergence of a road eastward to Heraclea.
The first settlements, of the Lucani, in the area date from the 6th century BC, but the town was founded by the Romans in the 3rd century BC, during the Samnite Wars, as a fortified vanguard. In 215 BC the Carthaginian general Hanno was defeated under its walls, and in 207 BC Hannibal made it his headquarters. In the Social War it appears as a strong fortress, and seems to have been held by both sides at different times. It became a colony, perhaps in the time of Sulla, at the latest under Augustus, and seems to have been of some importance.
In 370 Grumentum became a bishopric seat, but soon afterwards it began to be abandoned. Due to the Saracen inroads (9th-10th centuries), in 954 a new town (Saponara or Saponaria, the modern Grumento Nova) was founded.
Its ruins include those of a large amphitheatre (arena 62.5 by 60 m, 1st century BC), the only one in Lucania. There are also remains of a theatre. Inscriptions record the repair of its town walls and the construction of thermae (of which remains were found) in 57-51 BC, the construction in 43 BC, of a portico, remains of which may be seen along an ancient road, at right angles to the main road, which traversed Grumentum from south to north. A domus with 4th century mosaics is also present, as well as two small temples of imperial times. Outside the walls monumental tombs, a Palaeo-Christian basilica and an aqueduct have been found.
Much of the findings can be seen in the Archaeological Museum of Grumento Nova.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Information about Grumentum given by the Agenzia di Promozione Territoriale di Basilicata
- Information about the Museo Archeologico Nazionale dell’Alta Val d’Agri di Grumento Nova given by the Agenzia di Promozione Territoriale di Basilicata
- Official website of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale dell’Alta Val d’Agri di Grumento Nova (Italian)
- Description of Grumentum on the website of the Parco Nazionale dell'Appennino Lucano Val d'Agri - Lagonegrese (Italian)
- Photos of Grumentum