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BENEVENTO

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Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 728 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BENEVENTO, a town and archiepiscopal see of Campania, Italy, capital of the province of Benevento, 6o m. by rail and 32 M. direct N.E. of Naples, situated on a hill 400 ft. above sea-level at the confluence of the Calore and Sabbato. Pop. (1901) town, 17,227; commune, 24,137. It occupies the site of the ancient Beneventum, originally Maleventum or Maluentum, supposed in the imperial period to have been founded by Diomedes. It was the chief town of the Samnites, who took refuge here after their defeat by the Romans in 314 B.C. It appears not to have fallen into the hands of the latter until Pyrrhus's absence in Sicily, but served them as a base of operations in the last campaign against him in 275 B.C. A Latin colony was planted there in 268 B.C., and it was then that the name was changed for the sake of the omen, and probably then that the Via Appia was extended from Capua to Beneventum. It remained in the hands of the Romans during both the Punic and the Social Wars, and was a fortress of importance to them. The position is strong, being protected by the two rivers mentioned, and the medieval fortifications, which are nearly 2 M. in length, probably follow the ancient line, which was razed to the ground by Totila in 728 A.D. 542. After the Social War it became a municipium and under Augustus a colony. Being a meeting point of six main roads,' it was much visited by travellers. Its importance is vouched for by the many remains of antiquity which it possesses, of which the most famous is the triumphal arch erected in honour of Trajan by the senate and people of Rome in A.D. 114, with important reliefs relating to its history (E. Petersen in Romische Mitleilungen, 1892, 241; A. von Domaszewzki in Jahreshefte des Osterreich. archdologischen Instituts, 1899, 173). There are also considerable remains of the ancient theatre, a large cry ptoporticus 197 ft. long known as the ruins of Santi Quaranta, and probably an emporium (according to Meomartini, the portion preserved is only a fraction of the whole, which once measured 1791 ft. in length) and an ancient brick arch (called the Arco del Sacramento), while below the town is the Ponte Lebroso, a bridge of the Via Appia over the Sabbato, and along the road to Avellino are remains of thermae. Many inscriptions and ancient fragments may be seen built into the houses; in front of the Madonna delle Grazie is a bull in red Egyptian granite, and in the Piazza Papiniano the fragments of two Egyptian obelisks erected in A.D. 88 in front of the temple of Isis in honour of Domitian. In 1903 the foundations of this temple were discovered close to the Arch of Trajan, and many fragments of fine sculptures in both the Egyptian and the Greco-Roman style belonging to it were found. They had apparently been used as the foundation of a portion of the city wall, reconstructed in A.D. 663 under the fear of an attack by Constans, the Byzantine emperor, the temple having been destroyed under the influence of the bishop, St Barbatus, to provide the necessary material (A. Meomartini, O. Marucchi and L. Savignoni in Notizie degli Scani, 1904, 107 sqq.). Not long after it had been sacked by Totila Benevento became the seat of a powerful Lombard duchy and continued to be independent until 1053, when the emperor Henry III. ceded it to Leo IX. in exchange for the bishopric of Bamberg; and it continued to be a papal possession until 18o6, when Napoleon granted it to Talleyrand with the title of prince. In 1815 it returned to the papacy, but was united to Italy in 186o. Manfred lost his life in 1266 in battle with Charles of Anjou not far from the town. Much damage has been done by earthquakes from time to time. The church of S. Sofia, a circular edifice of about 76o, now modernized, the roof of which is supported by six ancient columns, is a relic of the Lombard period; it has a fine cloister of the 12th century constructed in part of fragments of earlier buildings; while the cathedral with its fine arcaded facade and incomplete square campanile (begun in 1279) dates from the 9th century and was rebuilt in 1114. The bronze doors, adorned with bas-reliefs, are good; they may belong to the beginning of the 13th century. The interior is in the form of a basilica, the double aisles being borne by ancient columns, and contains ambones and a candelabrum of 1311, the former resting on columns supported by lions, and decorated with reliefs and coloured marble mosaic. The castle at the highest point of the town was erected in the 14th century. Benevento is a station on the railway from Naples to Foggia, and has branch lines to Campobasso and to Avellino. See A. Meomartini, Monumenti e opere d'Arte di Benevento (Benevento, 1899) ; T. Ashby, Melanges de l'ecole franraise, 1903, 416. (T. As.) BENEVOLENCE (Lat. bene, well, and volens, wishing), a term for an act of kindness, or a gift of money, or goods, but used in a special sense to indicate sums of money, disguised as gifts, which were extorted by various English kings from their subjects, without consent of parliament. Among the numerous methods which have been adopted by sovereigns everywhere to obtain support from their people, that of demanding gifts has frequently found a place, and consequently it is the word and not the method which is peculiar to English history. Edward II. and Richard II. 1 These were (I) the prolongation of the Via Appia from Capua, (2) its continuation to Tarentum and Brundisium, of which there were two different lines between Beneventum and Aquilonia at different dates (see APPIA, VIA), (3) the Via Traiana to Brundisium by Herdoniae, (4)" the road to Telesia and Aesernia, (5) the road to Aesernia by Bovianum, (6) the road to Abellinum and Salernum.had obtained funds by resorting to forced loans, a practice which as probably not unusual in earlier times. Edward IV., however, discarded even the pretence of repayment, and in 1473 the word benevolence was first used with reference to a royal demand for a gift. Edward was very successful in these efforts, and as they only concerned a limited number of persons he did not incur serious unpopularity. But when Richard III. sought to emulate his brother's example, protests were made which led to the passing of an act of parliament in 1484 abolishing benevolences as " new and unlawful inventions." About the same time the Chronicle of Croyland referred to a benevolence as a " nova et inaudita impositio muneris ut per benevolentiam quilibet daret id quod vellet, immo verius quod nollet." In spite of this act Richard demanded a further benevolence; but it was Henry VII. who made the most extensive use of this system. In 1491 he sent out commissioners to'obtain gifts of money, and in 1496 an act of parliament enforced payment of the sums promised on this occasion under penalty of imprisonment. Henry's chancellor, Cardinal Morton, archbishop of Canterbury, was the traditional author of a method of raising money by benevolences known as " Morton's Fork." If a man lived economically, it was reasoned he was saving money and could afford a present for the king. If, on the contrary, he lived sumptuously, he was evidently wealthy and could likewise afford a gift. Henry VII. obtained consider-able sums of money in this manner; and in 1545 Henry VIII. demanded a " loving contribution " from all who possessed lands worth not less than forty shillings a year, or chattels to the value of £15; and those who refused to make payment were summoned before the privy council and punished. Elizabeth took loans which were often repaid; and in 1614 James I. ordered the sheriffs and magistrates in each county and borough to collect a general benevolence from all persons of ability, and with some difficulty about £40,000 was collected. Four counties had, how-ever, distinguished themselves by protests against this demand, and the act of Richard III. had been cited by various objectors. Representatives from the four counties were accordingly called before the privy council, where Sir Edward Coke defended the action of the king, quoted the Tudor precedents and urged that the act of 1484 was to prevent exactions, not voluntary gifts such as James had requested. Subsequently Oliver St John was fined and imprisoned for making a violent protest against the benevolence,and on the occasion of his trial Sir Francis Bacon defended the request for money as voluntary. In 1615 an attempt to exact a benevolence in Ireland failed, and in 162o it was decided to demand one for the defence of the Palatinate. Circular letters were sent out, punishments were inflicted, but many excuses were made and only about £34,000 was contributed. In 1621 a further attempt was made, judges of assize and others were ordered to press for contributions, and wealthy men were called before the privy council and asked to name a sum at which to be rated. About £88,000 was thus raiged, and in 1622 William Fiennes, 1st Viscount Saye and Sele, was imprisoned for six months for protesting. This was the last time benevolences were actually collected, although in 1622 and 1625 it was proposed to raise money in this manner. In 1633 Charles I. consented to collect a benevolence for the recovery of the Palatinate for Charles Louis, the son of his sister Elizabeth, but no further steps were taken to carry out the project. See W. Stubbs, Constitutional History of England, vol. iii. (Oxford, 1895) ; H. Hallam, Constitutional History of England, vol. i. (London, 1855) ; T. P. Taswell-Langmead, English Constitutional History (London, 1896) ; S. R. Gardiner, History of England, passim (London, 1893).
End of Article: BENEVENTO
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