to Naples. SANTA MARIA DI CAPUA. 1. Route. 9
strongly fortified. In the Piazza dei Giudici is the Arco di S.
Eligio, with ancient inscriptions. The Gothic Cathedral possesses
22 beautiful columns from the amphitheatre of ancient Capua
(see below), and a crypt, containing a marble sarcophagus with a
representation of the hunt of Meleager. Otherwise modern Capua
presents no attractions.
The bridge across the Volturno , restored in 1756, is adorned
with a statue of Nepomut; beyond it is an inscription to the
memory of the emperor Frederick II., the statue belonging to
which has disappeared. The Torre Mignana within, and the Cap-
pella de' Morti without the town commemorate the sanguinary
attack made on Capua by Caesar Borgia in 1501, on which occasion
5000 lives were sacrificed.
On the Volturno , in the vicinity of Capua, king Francis II.
was defeated by the Piedmontese, Oct. 1860, after which the
fortress was surrendered.
About 3!/2 M. beyond the Volturno and Capua, stat. Santa
Maria di Capua, or Santa Maria Maggiore, is reached (Albergo di
Gaetano Aran, in the Piazza). The flourishing town occupies the
site of the celebrated ancient Capua.
Capua, founded by the Etruscans and afterwards occupied by Sabellian
tribes, entered into alliance with the Romans B. C. 343, for the sake of
protection against the attacks of the Samnites. At an early period its
power and opulence became developed in this luxuriant district, and at
the same time its effeminacy and degeneracy. When in the zenith of its
prosperity it was the largest city in Italy after Rome and had a popul. of
300,000. In the 2nd Punic war, after the battle of C annse, it entered into
alliance with Hannibal, who here took up his winter-quarters. That his
army became so enervated by their residence at Capua as no longer to be
a match for the Romans, is doubtless a mere hypothesis. Certain however
it is, that the Romans soon regained their superiority, and after a long siege
reduced the town B. C. 214. Its punishment was a severe one; the inhabi¬
tants were entirely deprived of all civic privileges. It was rescued from its
abject condition by Ciesar, and under his successors regained its ancient
splendour. It continued to prosper until the wars of the Goths, Vandals;
and Lombards. In the 8th cent, it was destroyed by the Saracens and the
inhabitants emigrated to the modern Capua (p. 8).
The most remarkable of the ruins is the *Amphitheatre (gratuity
V2 L for 1—2 pers.), constructed of travertine, reputed the most
ancient in Italy and said to have been capable of containing
100,000 spectators. Three of its passages are tolerably well pre¬
served , but two only of the 80 entrance arches. The keystones
are decorated with images of gods. The arena, with its passages,
dens for the wild animals and subterranean receptacles, is, like
that of Pozzuoli, better defined than that of the Colosseum at
Rome. The flight of steps for the use of the gladiators is still
to be seen. Capua contained great numbers of these unhappy
combatants, and it was here that the dangerous war of the gla¬
diators broke out B. C. 73 . which was with difficulty quelled by
Crassus two years later. The halls of the amphitheatre contain