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Peoples on the Italian Peninsula at the beginning of the Iron Age
  • Ligurians
  • Veneter
  • Etruscan
  • Picener
  • Umbrian
  • Latins
  • Oscar
  • Messapaper
  • Greeks
  • The Picener (also Picenter , Piceni ) were an ancient people in Italy who lived in the 3rd century BC. In the Roman Empire .


    Presumably, the Picener settled from the 9th century BC. BC on the Upper Italian Adriatic coast in the Marche and built mainly hut villages as hilltop settlements. The first stone buildings date back to the 7th century BC. Dated. From the 5th century BC The Picenians took over rectangular stone structures with tiled roofs from the Etruscans and Greeks.

    The people flourished in the 6th and 5th centuries BC. When it benefited from the Etruscan and Greek trade routes that ran through its territory . The grave goods from this period show trade connections as far as Asia Minor . Even cowrie shells from the Indian Ocean have been found. Trade connections across the Alps to the north are suspected, but have not yet been proven. During this period, Numana , its capital, also reached its greatest extent. The Picenians were hit hard by the invasion of Italy by the Celts , but in some cases they also adopted Celtic customs, which can be seen, among other things, in the design of grave steles that depict the armament of the Celtic sword and helmet and typical glass bracelets. From 400 to 350 BC Their empire fell into decline. 295 BC The Romans defeated the remains of the Picenians in the battle of Sentinum and absorbed them into their domain. The end of the independent culture came with the Roman conquest of Picenum in 268 BC. BC.


    Little is known about the Picenos, which is mainly due to the small amount of archaeological finds that come mainly from grave goods and only rarely from settlements. In addition, numerous Picenian artifacts were destroyed in the bombing of the museum in Ancona during World War II. In the 1960s, minor settlement remains were discovered near Osimo and Ancona. More important are the excavations of the necropolis near Novilara , where, in addition to metal-age finds, a limestone stele was found, which to this day represents almost the only evidence of the North Pikenish language that has not yet been deciphered and is to be regarded as unclassified , at least not with Picenic Is related. The stele is in the Oliveriano Archaeological Museum in Pesaro .

    GD Lollini divides the Picenian culture into six phases based on the archaeological remains from burials: Piceno I from 900 to 800, Piceno II, 800 to 700, Piceno III, 700 to 580, Piceno IVA, 580 to 520, Piceno IVB, 520 to 470, Piceno V, 470 to 385, and Piceno VI, 385 to 268 BC. Chr.

    Settlement area of ​​the Picener

    The actual pre-Roman borders of the Picenum stretched in the north to Novilara (the entire northern area was subject to a strong influence of the Umbrians from the 5th century BC ) and in the south to Ascoli Piceno . The Teramanic area adjoining it to the south already belonged to the Praetutti who are counted as part of the Central Adriatic culture.

    Important Picenic necropolises are for the northern Picenum Novilara, Ancona, Camerano, Sirolo-Numana, Recanati, Pianello di Castelbellino, for the middle Picenum Matelica (Macerata), Tolentino, San Severino, Fabriano and for the southern Picenum Belmontamare Piceno, Grottazzittima, Cuprottolina -Grottammare, Montegiorgio and Ripatransone.

    Occasionally the Picenians are assigned to the Central Adriatic culture , but their settlement area only adjoined them to the south.

    The warrior of Capestrano

    The " Warrior of Capestrano " is a grave statue that was found in the cemetery of the same name at the beginning of the 19th century together with a female torso and fragments of other statues that are now kept in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Chieti. It is often attributed to the Picenian culture.

    The burial belonging to the statue is unknown, even if large parts of the necropolis of Capestrano with around 200 burials have been uncovered. An inscription, which is carved on the left lateral support pillar in South Picenian, provides information about the sculptor and the person depicted: "ma kupri koram opsut aninis raki nevíi pomp [uled] íi" (transcription based on the suggestion by A. La Regina in German roughly: “What a beautiful image Aninis made for King Nevio Pomuledio”). The weapons depicted on the grave statue, such as the long sword that is in the scabbard, the breastplate and the two lances as well as the neck and arm jewelry and the sandals are modeled on real objects down to the smallest detail, such as those found in grave goods from the early Archaic period Abruzzo are known.


    • Luisa Franchi Dell'Orto (ed.): The Picener - a people of Europe. Schirn, Kunsthalle Frankfurt, December 12, 1999 - February 6, 2000. Edizioni De Luca, Rome 1999, ISBN 88-8016-330-2 .
    • I Piceni e l'Italia medio-adriatica. Atti del XXII Convegno di Studi Etruschi ed Italici. Ascoli Piceno, Teramo, Ancona. 9–13 April 2000, Pisa / Rome 2003.
    • I. Dall'Osso: Guide Illustrata del Museo Nazionale di Ancona . Ancona 1915.
    • M. Landolfi: I Piceni. In: Italia Omnium terrarum alumna. Milan 1988, pp. 315-372.
    • DG Lollini: La civiltà picena. In: Popoli e Civiltà dell'Italia Antica V. Rom 1976, pp. 107-195.
    • P. Marconi: La cultura orientalizzante nel Piceno. In: Monumenti Antichi. 35, 1933, pp. 265-454.
    • A. Naso: I Piceni. Storia e archeologia delle Marche in epoca preromana. Milan 2000.
    • Karl W. Beinhauer: Investigations into the Iron Age burial places of Novilara (Province of Pesaro and Urbino, Italy). Archeology, anthropology, demography. Methods and Models. 2 volumes. Haag & Herchen, Frankfurt am Main 1985, ISBN 3-88129-767-7 .
    • Peter Ettel , Alessandro Naso (ed.): Treasures from the Picenum. Iron Age grave goods from central Italy. The Otto Schott Collection of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena . (= Documentation of the Jena Municipal Museums. 13). Weimar 2004, ISBN 3-89807-075-1 .
    • Peter Ettel, Alessandro Naso (eds.): Montegiorgio. The Compagnoni Natali collection in Jena. La collezione Compagnoni Natali a Jena. (= Jena writings on prehistory and early history. 2). Jena / Langenweißbach 2007, ISBN 978-3-937517-62-9 . (with contributions by L. Bonomi, A. Coen and S. Seidel)

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