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Sentinum is located in Italy
Shown within Italy
Location Sassoferrato, Province of Ancona, Marche, Italy
Coordinates 43°25′6.56″N 12°51′8.1″E / 43.4184889°N 12.852250°E / 43.4184889; 12.852250Coordinates: 43°25′6.56″N 12°51′8.1″E / 43.4184889°N 12.852250°E / 43.4184889; 12.852250
Type Settlement
Cultures Ancient Rome
Site notes
Condition Ruined
Ownership Public
Management Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici delle Marche
Public access Yes
Mosaic floor depicting Aion and Tellus in richly-patterned framing from Sentinum (Glyptothek, Munich)

Sentinum was an ancient town currently located in the Marche region of Italy. It was situated in the low ground about a kilometre south of the present-day town of Sassoferrato. The ruins of Sentinum were identified in 1890 and published by T. Buccolini.[1]

The foundations of the city walls are preserved. The city gates, a road, cisterns, and the remains of houses have been discovered. Notable cultural finds include several mosaic pavements[2] and inscriptions of the latter half of the 3rd century AD, including three important tabulae patronatus, recording legal ratifications of civic appointments of official patrons.

The Battle of Sentinum took place nearby in 295 BC, with the Romans defeating the combined forces of the Samnites and Gauls. During the civil wars of the 40s, Sentinum sided with Mark Antony, but in 41 BC was taken and destroyed by Salvidienus Rufus leading troops of Octavian.[3] It was planned and rebuilt, reurbanized, and continued to exist under the Empire, chartered as a municipium and (as is sometimes supposed) a colonia.[citation needed]

Baths (thermae) dating from the early Empire have yielded a large figured mosaic, preserved in the Museo Nazionale delle Marche. A 2nd-century colored mosaic of Mithra-Sol is conserved in the Glyptothek, Munich; Mithraic bas-relief of animals representing the stages of the initiate's progress were reused in the Church of Santa Croce, and Mithraic inscriptions are recorded.[4]

Civic life at Sentinum seems to have collapsed at the time of the invasion of Alaric I [5] and not to have been renewed.

The site and its environs have been excavated under the joint auspices of the University of Genoa, led by Maura Medri, and the University of Urbino under Sergio Rinaldi Tufi. The site is protected as the Archaeological park of Sentinum.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, s.v. "Sentinum"
  2. ^ T. Buccolini in Notizie degli scavi, 1890, 346.
  3. ^ Cassius Dio; Appian The Civil Wars 5.30.
  4. ^ C. Ramelli, Monumenti mitriaci di Sentinum (1863); Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum XI, 5736-37.
  5. ^ Zosimus 5.37.


External links[edit]