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Mosaic floor depicting Aion and Tellus in richly-patterned framing (Glyptothek, Munich)

Sentinum was an ancient town of currently located in the Marche region in Italy, lying a kilometre in the low ground at the east of the existing town of Sassoferrato. Its ruins were identified in 1890 and published by T. Buccolini.[1]

The foundations of the city walls are preserved, and city gates a road, cisterns and remains of houses have been discovered, including 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.

In the neighborhood, the Battle of Sentinum took place, in which the Romans defeated the combined forces of the Samnites and Gauls in 295 BC. It sided with Anthony but was taken and destroyed in 41 BC by Salvidienus Rufus leading troops of Octavian.[3] It was replanned under a regular urbanisation and continued to exist under the Empire, as a municipium, never (as some wrongly suppose) a colonia. From a thermae of the earliest Empire a large figured mosaic pavement is 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, which have been excavated under the joint auspices of the Università degli studi di Genova (Prof.ssa Maura Medri) and the Università degli studi di Urbino "Carlo Bo" (Prof. Sergio Rinaldi Tufi) are protected as the Archaeological park of Sentinum.


  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.