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Cumje

ancient, city and italy

CUMJE, kii'ine, a very ancient city in Cam pania, and the oldest colony of the Greeks in Italy was founded about 1030 a.c., according to ancient authorities, by colonists from Chaim in Eubcea and from Cyme in Asia Minor. Strabo tells us that it was the oldest of all Greek settlements in either Italy or Sicily. They soon spread out, and founded Zancle in Sicily (better known as Messina), and Naples. Its wealth and prowess invited a joint attack in 524 B.c. by the Etruscans of Capua, the Dau nians of Nola and the Aurunci of Mons Massi cus, which resulted in a victory for Cumm. In 420 B.C., Cut= was taken by the Campians and became Oscan in character. With the Campians, it came under the power of Rome (345 a.c.) and lost its identity. Daring the Second Punic War, it resisted the attacks of Hannibal. Thenceforth it remained a quiet suburb where the politicians of Rome had their villas. Its strong fortifications made it an important mili tary factor, but it was finally destroyed by the Neapolitans in 1205 A.D. All that remains of

the city are some ruins of an amphitheatre, of a small temple and masses of masonry, evidently of Roman construction. Considerable remains of the ancient fortifications are visible, and underneath the Acropolis are numerous crypts. The common belief of the inhabitants made Cume the home of the Cumaean sibyl, a most renowned ancient prophetess; and one of these caverns was supposedly her seat. The extensive cemeteries of the city have proved of great interest to archeologists who have unearthed Greek, Samite and Roman graves and many important objects, which establish the fact that some sort of pre-Greek settlement exisfed there. Consult Belock J., (Breslau 1890) ; Pellegrini G., 'Monumenti dei Lincei' (Vol. XIII, 1903) • Patroni, G. 'Atti del con gress° di scienze storiche> (Vol. V, 1904).