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date: 16 January 2018


Brundisium (mod. Brindisi), a Messapian city on the Adriatic coast, and an important harbour. Source-traditions of foundation by Diomedes (2) or Phalanthus, or of Cretan colonists, probably do not indicate Greek colonization, but Greek influence is indicated by finds from a cemetery at Tor Pisani. Brundisium entered into alliance with Thurii c.440 bce (Supplementum epigraphicum Graecum 16. 582), and produced coinage closely modelled on that of Tarentum, but little is known about the Messapian city. In 244, a Latin colony (see ius latii) was founded there, and the via Appia was extended from Tarentum to Brundisium. Thereafter, it was the principal route from Italy to Greece and the east. It was strategically vital during the Punic Wars and the conquest of the east, and was exempted from the portoria by Sulla. It was captured by Caesar (49 bce), to cut off Pompey's retreat, and besieged by Antony (M. Antonius (2)) in 40. It was also the location for the Treaty of Brundisium, by which the triumvirs came to an agreement. Despite its importance, archaeological evidence is limited.

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