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coat of arms
Benevento (Italy)
Country Italy
region Campania
province Benevento  (BN)
Local name Beneviento
Coordinates 41 ° 8 '  N , 14 ° 47'  E Coordinates: 41 ° 7 '52 "  N , 14 ° 46' 41"  E
height 135  m slm
surface 129 km²
Residents 58,794 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density 456 inhabitants / km²
Post Code 82100
prefix 0824
ISTAT number 062008
Popular name Beneventani
Patron saint San Bartolomeo (August 24th)
Website Benevento
Arch of Trajan
Arch of Trajan

Benevento ( Latin Beneventum , German Benevento ) is the capital of the Italian province of Benevento and is located in the Campania region .


Location of Benevento in the province of Benevento

Benevento is located 239 km southeast of Rome , 66 km northeast of Naples and 94 km southwest of Foggia .

Geographical location

The city lies in the historical hilly landscape of Samnium (Italian Sannio) at the foot of the Campanian Apennines , the old town on the Colle della Guardia, a hill at the confluence of the Sabato and Calore Irpino rivers . The municipal area extends over a height of 83 to 499  m slm. The city is located in earthquake zone 1 (highly endangered).

The core city is divided into six Rioni (districts): Centro Storico, Ferrovia, Libertà, Mellusi-Atlantici, Pacevecchia and Rufina. There are also numerous rural settlements in the extensive municipal area.

The neighboring municipalities are Apollosa , Castelpoto , Foglianise , Fragneto Monforte , Paduli , Pesco Sannita , Pietrelcina , Ponte , San Leucio del Sannio , San Nicola Manfredi , Sant'Angelo a Cupolo and Torrecuso .


Benevento has 58,794 inhabitants. (As of December 31, 2019).

Population development
year 1861 1881 1901 1921 1936 1951 1971 1991 2001 2016
Residents 19,222 21,359 24,137 26,790 37,865 47,604 59.009 62,561 61,791 59,945

Source: ISTAT



The original name of Benevento came from the Oscan and was possibly Malies or Malocis and evolved to Maloenton . The prefix Mal- may have meant "stone". This was Latinized as Malevam, which in Latin means "bad event". After the victory over Pyrrhus , the city was therefore when the colony was founded in 268 BC. Renamed in Beneventum ("good event").


Benevento was an important ancient Samnite city ​​in the Hirpiner region . Its founding is set in mythical times and named as the alleged founder Diomedes . It is mentioned for the first time in the history of the Second Samnite War in 314 BC. When the Samnites fled there after their defeat against the Romans . 275 BC The third battle between King Pyrrhos of Epirus and the Romans took place under the consul M. Curius Dentatus, perhaps at Benevento; but possibly the Arusinian fields ( Campi Arusini ) in Lucania were the site of this armed conflict. In any case, the battle ended with a decisive victory for the Roman expansion in southern Italy, and Pyrrhus escaped to Taranto with only a few horsemen . Because of the favorable location of the city, it was after the end of the war against Pyrrhus in 268 BC. Converted to a military colony under Latin law. The copper coins with the inscription BENVENTOD and the coat of arms of a running horse come from the early period of the Roman colony , possibly an allusion to the alleged city founder Diomedes. Probably soon after the deduction of the colony, the Via Appia was extended from Capua to Benevento; as early as the 2nd century BC Its continuation to Brundisium (now Brindisi ) seems to have been in use.

Due to its location and importance, Benevento was an important base for Roman rule in southern Italy. In the Second Punic War , which was fought against Hannibal , it was loyal to Rome. Due to its proximity to Campania and its strength as a fortress, it was repeatedly occupied by Roman generals. In order to force the constantly waiting dictator Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus to accept a battle, Hannibal and his army moved in 217 BC. Through Samnium to Campania and devastated the most flourishing landscapes in Italy, including the area of ​​Benevento; but Fabius followed the enemy, but stuck to his tactics. Two important military conflicts of this war took place near Benevento: 214 BC. BC the proconsul Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus defeated the Carthaginian general Hanno in a battle , and 212 BC. The camp of Hannos, in which a large amount of grain and other supplies were stored, was stormed by the Roman consul Quintus Fulvius Flaccus after a violent battle . 209 BC Benevento was one of the 18 Latin colonies that supplied the required army contingents and funds for the ongoing war.

The highest magistrates in the city carried the title of consul , based on the title of the highest official in Rome ; also Quaestors and perhaps praetors came before. This was an honorable equality with the mother city Rome, which is also expressed in the names of several locations such as the Capitolium Beneventi . During the alliance war (91-88 BC) Benevento was around 89 BC. Converted to a Municipium , and its magistrates have since been called Quattuorviri ; but the older names praetor, censor , interrex and quaestor had not yet completely disappeared.

42 BC BC, when the decisive battle against the Caesar murderers was imminent, the triumvirs Marcus Antonius , Octavian (later Emperor Augustus ) and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus promised their soldiers 18 wealthy Italian cities, including Benevento, to incite their hopes of victory among other gifts Settlement. The land and houses of these communities were to be divided among the soldiers as if they had fallen to them as enemy property in the war. Lucius Munatius Plancus headed the territorial distributions to the veterans. Augustus reinforced the colony , probably after the Battle of Actium (31 BC), with veterans of the Legio VI Ferrata and Legio XXX Classica . The colony was strengthened again under Nero . Her full name Colonia Iulia Concordia Augusta Felix Beneventum is given by an inscription from Caudium from the Severan period .

During the imperial era , the city is often mentioned as rich and prosperous, which it owes in particular to its position in the center of the entire sub-Italian road network. Besides the above-mentioned Via Appia to Capua, its extension via Venusia (today Venosa ) to Tarentum (today Taranto ) and Brundisium was perhaps already in the 2nd century. v. Used. In addition, there were later the road via Canusium and Barium (today Bari ) to Brundisium, furthermore smaller roads: to Saepinum and further into the Samnite area, to Telesia and Campania, to the coast via Abellinum to Salernum (today Salerno ). As a result, Benevento is often mentioned in travelogues, for example by Horace on the occasion of his trip from Rome to Brundisium. The emperors also frequently visited the city, such as Nero, as well as Vespasian and Domitian . The already extensive urban area was enlarged during the imperial era: Augustus added the urban area of ​​Caudium to him, and Trajan added part of the area of ​​the Ligures Baebiani .

The building remains that have been preserved testify to the prosperous state of the city: above all the Arch of Trajan (now Porta Aurea ), built in 114 AD , with rich sculptural decorations relating to the warlike and peaceful merits of the emperor; another unadorned arch ( Arco del sacramento ); also important remains of a theater from the 2nd century, thermal baths and ancient bridges. Also noteworthy are the monuments pointing to Egyptian cults, especially the remains of an obelisk in front of a temple of Isis, erected in 88 AD by Lucilius Rufus under the reign of Domitian .

Diocletian separated Benevento from the second region of Italy, to which Augustus had assigned it, and made it Campania. Even in later times, during the general decline of the southern Italian landscape and despite multiple devastations caused by earthquakes and Gothic wars, it continued to flourish. The Ostrogoth king Totila destroyed the walls of Benevento in 545, which were rebuilt by Narses soon afterwards, as were the public buildings .

middle Ages

After the expansion of the Longobards , Benevento became the seat of the Lombard dukes (see Duchy of Benevento ), but repeatedly became dependent on the Franks and the German emperors. In connection with the Arab conquest of southern Italy in 840, Benevento was occupied by the Muslims for a few years and the duchy was divided into two, 850 into three special territories (Benevento, Salerno and Capua ). The city has been the seat of the Archdiocese of Benevento since 969 . In 1047 it fell into the hands of Norman princes with the exception of the city, which Emperor Heinrich III. 1053 Leo IX. to compensate for some ceded feudal rights to Bamberg .

Four councils were held in Benevento in the 11th and 12th centuries. On the first of 1087 the antipope Guibert was excommunicated and lay investiture forbidden. The second council, convened in 1091, was also directed against Guibert and his followers, while the third, held in 1108 by Paschal II , was again against the investiture of lay people . Finally, at the fourth Benedictine council in 1117, the excommunication of Archbishop Maurice Bourdin of Braga (later Antipope Gregory VIII ) took place.

On February 26, 1266, in the battle of Benevento on the so-called Rosenfeld in front of the gates of the city, the Hohenstaufer Manfred was defeated by Karl von Anjou , whereupon the latter seized Apulia, Sicily and Tuscany. In 1418 Benevento came to Naples , but Ferdinand I gave it to Pope Alexander VI. who bestowed it on his eldest son, Juan Borgia , as a duchy. But Juan was soon murdered. Occupied by the Spanish in 1527, but returned to the Church, it was later taken several times by Naples.

Modern times

Coat of arms of the princes of Benevento, 1808

When Benevento was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1668 , the then Archbishop Orsini (later Pope Benedict XIII ) had a large part of the city rebuilt from his private assets. The harshness of Pope Clement XIII. against the Infante Philip of Parma caused the Neapolitans to occupy Benevento in 1761, which was returned to Clement XIV in 1774 . The French conquered Benevento in 1798 and sold it to Naples. Cardinal Ruffo dispersed the republican troops in a battle near Benevento in 1799. In 1806 Napoleon I gave Benevento as a principality to his minister Talleyrand , who assumed the title of Prince of Benevento. In 1815, it was after the defeat of Napoleon and appointed by again returning King Joachim Murat of Naples returned to the Pope. The King of Naples only reserved a few sovereign rights, such as the regalia of the tobacco and salt sales and the postal and customs services. The popular uprising that broke out here in 1820 was soon suppressed. In 1831 Naples, when the military was called in, ensured that Benevento did not rebel like other papal delegations. Since the annexation of Naples in 1860, Benevento belonged to the newly formed Kingdom of Italy .

Second World War

Benevento Cathedral with restored facade and modern nave

During the Second World War , Benevento suffered first air raids on August 21, 1943. They were concentrated on the station on the important railway line from Rome to the south and south-east of the country.

After Italy was handed over to the Allies in the Armistice of Cassibile on September 8, 1943, Benevento was occupied by the German Wehrmacht in order to control the Ponte Vanvitelli in the city center and the railway bridge over the Calore Irpino river and to stop the advance of Allied troops here. In order to drive away the German occupation, the area around the bridge was bombed on September 11th, 12th and especially on September 15th, completely destroying the medieval city center. The number of civilians killed is given as 2000. On October 2, 1943, the German troops left the city.


Facade of the cathedral
Interior of the cathedral
  • The Arch of Trajan , built in 114 AD, was a city ​​gate of Benevento under the name "Golden Gate" ( porta aurea ) . It is considered one of the most beautiful architectural monuments in southern Italy.
  • Since June 2011, the Santa Sofia church complex has been part of a group of building ensembles that was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List under the title The Lombards in Italy, Places of Power (568 to 774 AD) .
  • At the cathedral of Benevento only the attached bell tower is mostly old. The west facade was so unstable after the bombardment in 1943 that it was rebuilt according to the old model. The bronze wings of the main portal are originals from the 13th century. During the reconstruction the ship got the shape of a basilica again , but with modern simplicity.



Benevento is on State Road 7 that runs from Rome to Brindisi on the Adriatic coast . Immediately after the capture by the Romans, the Via Appia from Capua to Benevento was extended and finally in 190 BC. Built further to Brundisium. It led over today's Ponte Leproso over the Sabato and crossed the city in the course of today's Corso Garibaldi. The modern Via Appia leads south of the old town as a bypass with separate lanes. 108 to 110, Trajan had the shorter Via Appia Traiana built, the beginning of which is marked by the Arch of Trajan . Today it is replaced by the Strada stadale SS 90 bis / 90 delle Puglie to Foggia. The Strada stadale SS 88 dei Due Principati connects the city with Avellino and Salerno . Benevento is connected to the A16 Autostrada dei due Mari from Naples to the Adriatic Sea via a motorway slip road, the Raccordo autostradale 9 .


The main train station Benevento Centrale is an important junction for rail connections to Rome, Naples, Campobasso, Salerno, Foggia and Bari. It was one of the 103 train stations that, because of their importance, were operated by a subsidiary of Ferrovie dello Stato (FS), Centostazioni S. p. A., managed and maintained. This company was incorporated into the FS operating division Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) in 2018 .

Here took place on 15 February 1953, a serious railway accident : The Diretto 816 of Lecce to Naples , pulled by an electric locomotive of the series E.428 , drove 106 km / h instead of the permitted 30 km / h into the station. The entire train derailed except for the last car . 23 people died and 25 others were seriously injured. The engine driver claimed brake failure, but it cannot be ruled out that he fell asleep.

air traffic

Around five kilometers north of Benevento there is an airport for general aviation near the village of Olivola .


Fausto Pepe ( PD ) was elected mayor for the second time in May 2011. His center-left alliance also has the majority in the municipal council with 19 out of 32 seats. He won the 2006 election against his predecessor Sandro Nicola D'Alessandro (center-right alliance) (2001-2006).

coat of arms

Coat of arms of the city of Benevento
Blazon : "Under the head of a golden shield , inside a black boar with a red band, quartered with red and silver ."
Justification of the coat of arms: The boar is a symbol of the legendary city founder Diomedes, as he freed his hometown Kalydon from the devastation of a boar.

Town twinning

  • Palastina autonomous areasPalestine Bethlehem , Palestinian Territories, since 1950
  • ItalyItaly Naples , Italy, since 1966
  • ItalyItaly Torre Annunziata , Italy, since 1966
  • ItalyItaly Pozzuoli , Italy, since 1970
  • CroatiaCroatia Pula , Croatia, since 1977
  • MaltaMalta Gozo , Malta, since 1987
  • CroatiaCroatia Split , Croatia, since 1997
  • SpainSpain Palma , Spain, since 2001
  • SwitzerlandSwitzerland Bern , Switzerland, since 2002
  • ItalyItaly Campobasso , Italy, since 2002
  • AlbaniaAlbania Vlora , Albania, since 2007

sons and daughters of the town

Web links

Commons : Benevento  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Statistiche demografiche ISTAT. Monthly population statistics of the Istituto Nazionale di Statistica , as of December 31 of 2019.
  2. Classificazione sismica. In: Italian Civil Defense , accessed September 18, 2018 (for seismic classification).
  3. Pliny the Elder , Naturalis historia 3, 105; Sextus Pompeius Festus , De verborum significatu p. 340 and the corresponding epitome by Paulus Diaconus , p. 34; Prokop , De bello Gothico 1, 15; among others
  4. Solinus , De mirabilibus mundi 2, 10; Scholion at Pindar , Nemeae 10, 12; Servius . Commentary on Virgil , Aeneis 8, 9; 11, 226; 11, 243; Martianus Capella , De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii 6, 642; Prokop, De bello Gothico 1, 15; among others
  5. ^ Titus Livius , Ab urbe condita 9, 27, 14.
  6. ^ So Plutarch , Pyrrhos 25.
  7. Thus Florus ( Epitoma de Tito Livio 1, 13, 11) and Orosius ( Historiae adversus paganos 4, 2, 3); Hans Georg Gundel prefers this information : Curius 7. In: Der Kleine Pauly (KlP). Volume 1, Stuttgart 1964, column 1345 ..
  8. Polybios , Historien 3, 90, 8; Livy, Ab urbe condita , Periocha to Book 15; Velleius Paterculus , Historia Romana 1, 14; Eutropius , Breviarium ab urbe condita 2, 16.
  9. a b Christian Hülsen : Beneventum 2 . In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume III, 1, Stuttgart 1897, Col. 273-275 (here: 274).
  10. Polybios, Historien 3, 90, 6 ff .; Livy, Ab urbe condita 22, 13, 1 ff.
  11. Livy, Ab urbe condita 24, 14, 1-24, 16, 9.
  12. Livius, Ab urbe condita 25, 13, 1 - 25, 15, 3 (heavily decorated); Appian , Hannibalika 37.
  13. ^ Livy, Ab urbe condita 27, 10.
  14. CIL 9, 1547 ; CIL 9, 1633 .
  15. CIL 9, 1636
  16. CIL 9, 1547 .
  17. ^ Appian, Civil Wars 4, 3.
  18. Plancus' grave inscription: CIL 10, 6087
  19. Liber coloniarum 231.
  20. CIL 9, 2165 .
  21. Strabon , Geographika 5, p. 250.
  22. Christian Hülsen: Beneventum 2 . In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume III, 1, Stuttgart 1897, Col. 273-275 (here: 274 f.).
  23. Horace, Saturae 1, 5, 71; see. also Cicero , Epistulae ad Atticum 5, 3, 3 and 9, 15, 6 ..
  24. Tacitus , Annalen 15, 34.
  25. ^ Cassius Dio , Roman History 66, 9.
  26. CIL 9, 1558
  27. Christian Hülsen: Beneventum 2 . In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume III, 1, Stuttgart 1897, Col. 273-275 (here: 275).
  28. ^ Symmachus , Epistulae 1, 3.
  29. ^ Prokop, De bello Gothico 1, 15; Paulus Deacon, Historia gentis Langobardorum 2, 20.
  30. ^ Benevento '43. In: La Repubblica , September 13, 2009, accessed on September 18, 2018 (with photo documentation).
  31. Ecco le bellissime ma sconvolgenti foto di quello che resto in piazza Duomo ed Orsini dopo i bombardamenti del 1943. In: Gazzetta di Benevento, September 4, 2013, accessed on September 18, 2018 (documentation on the 70th anniversary of the destruction).
  32. ^ Ascanio Schneider, Armin Masé: Catastrophes on rails. Railway accidents, their causes and consequences. Orell Füssli, Zurich 1968, DNB 458863750 , pp. 114-116;
    Peter WB Semmens: Disasters on the rails. A worldwide documentation. Transpress, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-344-71030-3 , p. 150.
  33. Position: ; Official website of the local aero club. In:, accessed on September 18, 2018.
  34. ^ Information from the Ministry of the Interior on the local elections on May 15, 2011. In:, accessed on September 18, 2018.
  35. Decreto del Capo del Governo (DCG), April 24, 1941, and Decreto del Presidente della Repubblica (DPR), December 27, 1990. Quoted from Stemma Ufficiale. Profilo Araldico. In:, accessed on September 18, 2018.