Thursday, November 17, 2005

Pilgrimage to Pietrabbondante

After spending the whole morning in Agnone, I caught a bus to Pietrabbondante around 2 pm. There are two big rocks that loom over the town (hence the name -- "abundant rocks"), and many smaller ones that do more lurking than looming. I descended from the bus in the main square, where a brazen Samnite warrior glared down upon me from his commemorative pedestal. The ancient site is a bit of a walk from the town, but it gives a good panoramic view:

By happy coincidence, the Samnites built their theater-temple complex on Mommsen Street:

It's generally agreed that Pietrabbondante, whatever its ancient name, was the foremost sanctuary and meeting place of the Samnites, regardless of tribe. It's likely that the legio linteata ("Linen Legion"), the crème de la crème of the Samnite fighting forces, was mustered here before its defeat at Aquilonia in 293 BCE.

This, the signs all say, is the greatest monument left by the Samnites:

It's called "Temple B," and it dates to the end of the 2nd century BCE. The section of standing wall was reconstructed by archaeologists from fallen blocks. Below Temple B and on the same axis is a theater...

...where I sit and listen to the chirping of the remaining autumn birds, the almost imperceptible rush of the wind, and the song of a distant jackhammer. Some future post may hold more photographs and a fuller description of the site and its history, but for the moment I find that I have little to say. veni, vidi, arrivederci.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Compliments. "Tria corda" rang an old bell. anime multiple. Lucio