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CUMAE (Gr. Kb/.m)

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Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 618 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CUMAE (Gr. Kb/.m), an ancient city of Campania, Italy, about 12 M. W. of Neapolis, on the W. coast of Campania, on a volcanic eminence, overlooking the plain traversed by the Volturno. There are many legends as to its foundation, but even the actual period of its colonization by the Greeks is so early (ancient authorities give it as 1050 B.C.) that there is some doubt as to who established it, whether Chalcidians from Euboea or Aeolians from Ki jnj(Cyme), and it should probably be regarded as a joint settlement. It was certainly, as Strabo says, the oldest of the Greek colonies on the mainland of Italy or in Sicily. Livy tells us (viii. 22) that the settlers first landed on Pithecusae (Ischia) and thence transferred their position to the mainland, which seems a probable story. We find it in 721 B.C. founding Zancle (Messina) in Sicily jointly with Chalcis, and it extended its power gradually over the coast of the Gulf of Puteoli and the harbours of the promontory of Misenum. Puteoli itself under the name Dicaearchia was probably founded by Cumae. In the 7th century, according to the legends, Parthenope, whither the demos of Cumae had taken refuge after an unsuccessful rising against the aristocracy, was attacked by the latter and destroyed, but soon rebuilt under the name of Neapolis (New City, the present Naples) .2 The most fertile portion of the Campanian plain was also under its dominion; the name " fossa Graeca " still lingered on in 205 B.C. to testify to its ancient limits. Cumae was now at the height of its power, and many fine coins testify to its prosperity. In 524 B.C. it was the object of a joint attack by the Etruscans of Capua, the Daunians of the district of Nola, and the Aurunci of the Mons Massicus. A brilliant victory was, however, won in the hilly district outside the town, largely owing 1 From Late Lat. cultivare, through cultivus, from colere, to till, cultivate; whence cultus, worship, form of religion, cult. 2 Mommsen, however (Corpus Inscrip. Latin. x., Berlin, 1883, p. 170), rightly throws considerable doubt on the existence of Parthenope and even of Palaeopolis, of which there is some mention in Roman annals; under both he is inclined to trace Cumae itself. group of parliamentary burghs.
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