Capua was one of the largest cities in Italy. Capua dominated the area known as Campania. During its long history you would be able to meet a wide variety of different people. At its foundation according to Cato the Elder Capua was an Etruscan settlement. Capua would have been populated largely by Etruscans and native Oscan speaking people. The city of Capua was conquered by the Samnites in 424 BCE. The conquest by the Samnites led the people of Capua to seek an alliance with Rome. During this alliance Capua enjoyed Roman citizenship but lacked the right to vote. During the Second Punic war Capua joined with the Carthaginian General Hannibal Barca after the crushing defeat of the Roman armies at the Battle of Cannae. After the Second Punic War Capua had its citizenship revoked and was colonized by Romans. By the beginning of the first century CE Capua was largely a Roman city however there remained a large Oscan speaking minority well into the Second Century.
2) How You’ll Get There
The best way to travel to Capua was by road. Capua was linked to Rome by the Via Appia one of the earliest military Roads built by the Romans. Capua was also linked to the sea via the City of Neapolis. Other roads connected Capua to many smaller settlements throughout the Campania region.
3) Why You’d go there
There were many reasons to visit Capua. As the Largest city in Campania it served as a trade hub for the farmers living in the surrounding hinterland. The Via Appia was a major trade route between the farmers of the fertile Campanian countryside and the hungry urban people of Rome. Campania largely produced cereals that were in great demand. Another attraction was the Amphitheater of Capua which was second in size only to the Flavian Amphitheater in Rome. The Amphitheater was built in the First Century CE by the emperor Augustus as a gift to the people of Capua. Capua was home to some of the most famous gladiator schools. The most famous gladiator produced by Capua was the Thracian Spartacus. Capua also became the center of Spartacus’ slave revolt. After two years the revolt was crushed. According to The Histories of Appian the defeated slaves were crucified along the Via Appia from Capua to Rome.
4) What was Capua like?
Capua throughout its long history was and important trade city that served the population of Campania. The farmers from the surrounding countryside would bring their produce to market at Capua where it would then be sent on to Rome or Neapolis or any other large settlement in Italy. Capua had many theatres and bath complexes for it citizens. Capua also served as a religious center and had many temples.
Cunliffe, Barry. Rome and Her Empire. Maidenhead England: McGraw-Hill Co-Publications, 1978. Print.
Christ, Karl. The Romans. 1 ed. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1985. Print.