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Venosa (
Lucano
Lucano
: ) is a town and ''
comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides essential public services: Civil registry, registry of births a ...
'' in the
province of Potenza The Province of Potenza ( it, Provincia di Potenza; Potentino: ) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, ...
, in the southern Italian region of
Basilicata it, Lucano (man) it, Lucana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = ...
, in the
Vulture area The Vulture ( it, Il Vulture, italic=no, ), also known as the Vulture-Melfese or Vulture-Alto Bradano is a geographical and historical region in the northern part of the province of Potenza, in the Basilicata region of Italy. Geography The are ...
. It is bounded by the comuni of
Barile Barile ( aae, Barilli; Lucano: ) is a town and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a local administrative division of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consist ...

Barile
,
Ginestra Ginestra ( aae, Zhura) is an Arbëreshë people, Arbëreshë town and ''comune'' in the Province of Potenza, Basilicata, Italy. It is bounded by the comuni of Barile, Forenza, Maschito, Ripacandida, Venosa. References

Arbëresh settle ...

Ginestra
,
Lavello Lavello (Potentino: ) is a town and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides essential public ...

Lavello
,
Maschito Maschito ( aae, Mashqiti; Lucano: ) is a town and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides ess ...
,
Montemilone
Montemilone
,
Palazzo San Gervasio Palazzo San Gervasio (Neapolitan language, Lucano: ) is a small agricultural town and ''comune'' in the province of Potenza, in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata. It is bounded by the comuni (Municipality, Municipalities) of Acerenza, B ...
,
Rapolla Rapolla is a town and ''comune'' in the province of Potenza, in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata. It is bounded by the comuni of Barile, Lavello, Melfi, Rionero in Vulture, Venosa. The ancient sarcophagus of Rapolla takes its name from it ...
and
Spinazzola Spinazzola is a town and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides essential public services: ...
.


History


Ancient

The city was known as Venusia ("City of
Venus Venus is the second planet from the Sun. It is named after the Venus (mythology), Roman goddess of love and beauty. As List of brightest natural objects in the sky, the brightest natural object in Earth's night sky after the Moon, Venus can ...
") to the Romans, who credited its establishment—as Aphrodisia ("City of
Aphrodite Aphrodite; , , ) is an ancient Greek goddess associated with love Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotion Emotions are mental state, psychological states brought on by neurophysiology, neurophysiological changes, ...

Aphrodite
")—to the
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
ic hero
Diomedes Diomedes (Jones, Daniel; Roach, Peter, James Hartman and Jane Setter, eds. ''Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary''. 17th edition. Cambridge UP, 2006. or ) or Diomede (; grc-gre, Διομήδης, Diomēdēs, "god-like cunning" or "advised ...

Diomedes
. He was said to have moved to
Magna Graecia Magna Graecia (, ; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic ...

Magna Graecia
in southern
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
following the
Trojan War In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Homer), Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris (mythology), Paris of Troy took Helen of Troy, Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the ...
, seeking a life of peace and building the town and its temples to appease the anger of Aphrodite for the destruction of her beloved
Troy Troy (Greek language, Greek: Τροία) or Ilium (Greek language, Greek: Ίλιον) was an ancient city located at Hisarlik in present-day Turkey, south-west of Çanakkale. It is known as the setting for the Greek mythology, Greek myth of the ...

Troy
. The town was taken by the
Romans Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...
after the
Third Samnite War The First, Second, and Third Samnite Wars (343–341 BC, 326–304 BC, and 298–290 BC) were fought between the Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run throug ...
in 291 BC and became a
colony In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, ...
for its strategical position between
Apulia it, Pugliese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_titl ...

Apulia
and
Lucania Lucania ( grc-gre, Λευκανία, Leukanía, Lefkanía (Modern Greek)) was a historical region of Southern Italy Southern Italy ( it, Sud Italia; nap, 'o Sudde; scn, Italia dû Sud), also known as ''Meridione'' or ''Mezzogiorno'' (, lit ...

Lucania
. No fewer than 20,000 men were sent there, owing to its military importance. Throughout the
Hannibal Hannibal (; xpu, 𐤇𐤍𐤁𐤏𐤋, ''Ḥannibaʿl''; 247 – between 183 and 181 BC) was a Carthaginian general and statesman who commanded the forces of Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern ...

Hannibal
ic wars, it remained faithful to
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
, and had a further contingent of colonists sent in 200 BC to replace its losses in the war. In 190 BC the
Appian way The Appian Way (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of ...

Appian way
was extended to the town. Some coins of Venusia of this period exist. It took part in the Social War, and was recaptured by
Quintus Metellus Pius
Quintus Metellus Pius
; it then became a ''
municipium Municipium (pl. municipia) is the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through t ...
'', but in 43 BC its territory was assigned to the veterans of the
triumvir A triumvirate ( la, triumvirātus) or a triarchy is a political regime ruled or dominated by three powerful individuals known as triumvirs ( la, triumviri). The arrangement can be formal or informal. Though the three are notionally equal, this ...
s, and it became a colony once more.
Horace Quintus Horatius Flaccus (; 8 December 65 – 27 November 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace (), was the leading Roman Empire, Roman Lyric poetry, lyric poet during the time of Augustus (also known as Octavian). The rhetoricia ...

Horace
was born here in 65 BC. It remained an important place under the Empire as a station on the
Via Appia The Appian Way (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of ...

Via Appia
, though
Theodor Mommsen Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen (; 30 November 1817 – 1 November 1903) was a German classical scholar Classics or classical studies is the study of classical antiquity, and in the Western world traditionally refers to the study of Anci ...

Theodor Mommsen
's description of it as having branch roads to
Aequum Tuticum Aequum Tuticum was a Roman vicus in southern Italy, about 35 km east-northeast of Benevento, Beneventum. The site lies beside Saint Eleuterio hamlet, overlooking at an elevation of 575 m, about 15 km north of the modern Ariano Irpino, w ...
and
Potentia
Potentia
, and Kiepert's maps annexed to the volume, do not agree with one another.


Middle Ages

After the fall of the
Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican ...

Western Roman Empire
, Venusia was sacked by the
Heruls The Heruli (or Herules) were an early Germanic peoples, Germanic people. Possibly originating in Scandinavia, the Heruli are first mentioned by Ancient Rome, Roman authors as one of several "Scythians, Scythian" groups raiding Roman provinces in t ...
, and in 493 AD it was turned into the administrative centre of the area in the
Ostrogoth The Ostrogoths ( la, Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were a Roman-era The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: P ...
ic kingdom of Italy, although later this role was moved to
Acerenza Acerenza (Neapolitan language, Lucano: ) is a town and ''comune'' in the province of Potenza, in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata. History With its strategic position above sea-level, Acerenza has been sacked by a series of invaders. ...

Acerenza
. The
Lombards The Lombards () or Langobards ( la, Langobardi) were a Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, based on ...
made it a
gastald A gastald (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Re ...
ate in 570/590. In 842 Venosa was sacked by the
Saracens upright 1.5, Late 15th century German woodcut depicting Saracens Saracens () were primarily Arab Muslims, but also Turkish people, Turks, Persian people, Persians or other Muslims as referred to by Christian writers in Europe during the Middle Ag ...
, who were later ousted by
Emperor Louis II Louis II (825 – 12 August 875), sometimes called the Younger, was the king of Italy and emperor of the Carolingian Empire from 844, co-ruling with his father Lothair I until 855, after which he ruled alone. Louis's usual title was ''impera ...

Emperor Louis II
. Next rulers in the 9th century were the
Byzantines
Byzantines
, who lost control of it after their defeat in 1041 by the Italo-Normans, Normans. Under the latter, Venosa was assigned to Drogo of Hauteville. In 1133 the town was sacked and set on fire by Roger II of Sicily. His later successor Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II had a castle built here where a Lombard outpost existed before, which was to house the Treasury (Ministry of Finances) of the Kingdom of Sicily. Frederick's son, Manfred of Sicily, was perhaps born here in 1232. After the latter's fall, the Hohenstaufens were replaced by the Capetian House of Anjou, Angevines; King Charles of Anjou assigned Venosa as a county to his son Robert.


Modern era

After a series of different feudal lords, Venosa became a possession of the Orsini family, Orsini in 1453. Count Pirro Del Balzo, who had married Donata Orsini, built a new castle (1460–1470) and a cathedral. Then, under the house of Aragon, Aragonese domination, followed the Gesualdo family (1561); amongst their number was the famous prince, musician and murderer Gesualdo da Venosa, Carlo Gesualdo. Despite the plague that had reduced its population from the 13,000 of 1503 to 6,000, Venosa had a flourishing cultural life under the Gesualdos: apart from the famous Carlo, other relevant figures of the period include the poet Luigi Tansillo (1510–1580) and the jurist Giovanni Battista De Luca (1614–1683). Venosa took part in the Masaniello, revolt of Masaniello in 1647. The Gesualdos were in turn followed by the Ludovisi (family), Ludovisi and the House of Caracciolo, Caracciolo families. Home to a traditionally strong republican tradition, Venosa had a role in the peasant revolts and the Carbonari movement of the early 19th century. A true civil war between baronial powers and supporters of the peasants' rights broke out in 1849, being harshly suppressed by the Neapolitan troops.(See Sicilian revolution of independence of 1848.) In 1861, after the fall of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies during the Italian unification, Venosa was occupied by some Brigandage in the Two Sicilies, bands of brigands under the command of Carmine Crocco in order to restore the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Bourbon power in Basilicata.


Main sights

*The Aragonese castle, built in 1470 by Pirro del Balzo Orsini. It has a square plan with four cylindrical towers. The shining sun, the del Balzo coat of arms, is visible on the western towers. It was turned into a residence by Carlo Gesualdo, Carlo and Emanuele Gesualdo, who added also an internal loggia, the north-western wing and bastions used as prisons. From 1612 it was the seat of the Accademia dei Rinascenti. It is now home to the National Museum of Venosa, inaugurated in 1991, with ancient Roman and other findings up to the 9th century. The entrance is preceded by a fountain conceded by King Charles I of Anjou. *Many fragments of Roman workmanship are built into the walls of the cathedral, which is due to Pirro del Balzo also (c. 1470). *The Abbey of the Santissima Trinità (Venosa), abbey church of ''SS. Trinità'' is historically interesting; it was consecrated in 1059 by Pope Nicholas II and passed into the hands of the Knights of Saint John in the time of Boniface VIII (1295–1303). In the central aisle is the tomb of Alberada of Buonalbergo, Alberada, the first wife of Robert Guiscard and mother of Bohemund I of Antioch, Bohemund. An inscription on the wall commemorates the great Norman brothers William Iron Arm, Drogo, Humfrey and Robert Guiscard. The bones of these brothers rest together in a simple stone sarcophagus opposite the tomb of Alberada. The church also contains some 14th-century frescoes. Behind it is a larger church, which was begun for the Benedictines about 1150, from the designs of a French architect, in imitation of the Cluniac church at Paray-le-Monial, but never carried beyond the spring of the vaulting. The ancient amphitheatre adjacent furnished the materials for its walls. *Baroque Church of the Purgatory (or ''San Filippo Neri'') *The Archaeological Area of Notarchirico, in the communal territory. It covers the Palaeolithic period with eleven layers dating from 600,000 to 300,000 years ago. Remains of ancient wildlife, including extinct species of elephants, bisons and rhinoceroses, have been found, as well as a fragment of a femur of ''Homo erectus''. *Jewish catacombs of Venosa, Jewish catacombs with inscriptions in Hebrew language, Hebrew, Greek language, Greek and Latin show the importance of the Jewish population here in the 4th and 5th centuries. *Remains of the ancient city walls and of an amphitheatre still exist, and a number of inscriptions have been found there.


People

*
Horace Quintus Horatius Flaccus (; 8 December 65 – 27 November 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace (), was the leading Roman Empire, Roman Lyric poetry, lyric poet during the time of Augustus (also known as Octavian). The rhetoricia ...

Horace
(65 BC8 BC): Roman poet *Manfred, King of Sicily, Manfred (1232–1266): king of Kingdom of Sicily, Sicily *Bartolomeo Maranta (1500–1571): physician, botanist, and literary theorist *Luigi Tansillo (1510–1568): poet *Carlo Gesualdo (1566–1613): music composer, lutenist and nobleman *Giovanni Battista de Luca (1614–1683): jurist and cardinal *Giacomo Di Chirico (1844–1883): painter *Mario de Bernardi (1893–1959): colonel and aviator *Cinzia Giorgio (b. 1975): writer


Twin towns

* Tortolì, Italy * Bernalda, Italy


References


External links

* {{authority control Cities and towns in Basilicata Roman sites of Basilicata Coloniae (Roman) Archaeological sites in Italy