BENEVENTO (ancient Benerentam), a city of southern Italy, capital of the province of the same name. It occupies the site of the ancient city, out of the material's of which it 13 entirely built, on the declivity of a hill, near the of the Calorc and 8abato, about 32 in. me. of the city of•Naples. B. is about Iwo m. in circumference; is surrounded by walls, has ;t citadel, a fine old cathedral, some noteworthy churches, and a magnifiitent arch, erected to the honor of the emperor Trajan, by the senate, 114 A.D., whisk, With the single exception of that of Ancona, is the best preserved specimen of Boman architecture in Italy. It is an archiepiscopal see, and has a pop. of (1872) 20,133. 13. is a place of very great antiquity. Some writers attribute its origin to Thorned. and in the cathedral is a bass-relief representing the Calydonian boar adorued for sacrifice, said to be the gift of the Greek hero himself. Others give the credit of its origin to Anson, a son of Ulysses and Circe. It was, however, in the possession of the Sainnites, when history first takes notice of it. and it. appears to have been captured from than by the Romans, some time during the third Sainnite war. It was certainly in the hands of the lhanans, 274 n.c.. who changed its name from 3Ialeventum to Beneventum, six years later, andrnade it a Homan colony. The Carthaginians under Mauro were twice
decisively (Ideated in the immediate neighborhood, durieg the second Punic war. It rapidly rose to a place of importance under the Itoman empire, and was visited at vari ous times by several of the emperors.
Under the Lombards, who conquered it in the 6th c., 13. continued to flourish, and became the capital of a duchy which included nearly the half of the late kingdom of Naples. In the 9t11 c. the duchy Was separated into three states—B., Salerno, and Capua. In 1077, the whole was taken possession of by the Normans, excepting the town• and its present delegation, which lad previously (1053) been presented to the pope, by the etnperor Henry III. During the llth and 12th centuries, four councils were held nt the city of Benevento. Since that time, with some slight intervals, it has remained under the direct dominion of the popes, who govern it through a resident cardinal with the title of legate. In 1600, it was made a principality' by Napoleon, with Talleyrand as prince of 13.; but it was restored to the pope in 1815. In 1848-49, 13. was faithful to the pope. The province of B. has an area of 675 sq.m.; pop. '72, 231,878.