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Volturno
Origin near Rocchetta a Volturno
Mouth Tyrrhenian Sea
Basin countries Italy
Length 175 km
Source elevation c. 500 m
Avg. discharge 82.1 m³/s
Basin area 5,550 km²

The Volturno (ancient Latin name Volturnus, from volvere, to roll) is a river in south-central Italy.

Contents

Geography

It rises in the Abruzzese central Apennines of Samnium near Rocchetta a Volturno (province of Isernia, Molise) and flows southeast as far as its junction with the Calore River near Caiazzo and runs south as far as Venafro, and then turns southwest, past Capua, to enter the Tyrrhenian Sea in Castel Volturno, northwest of Naples. The river is 175 km long.

After a course of some 120 km it receives, about 8 km east of Caiazzo, the Calore River. The united stream now flows west-southwest past Capua, where the Via Appia and Latina joined just to the north of the bridge over it, and so through the Campanian plain, with many windings, into the sea. The direct length of the lower course is about 50 km, so that the whole is slightly longer than that of the Liri-Garigliano, and its basin far larger.

History

The river has always had considerable military importance, and the colony of Volturnum (no doubt preceded by an older, possibly even Etruscan, port of Capua) was founded in 194 BC at its mouth on the south bank by the Romans; it is now about one mile inland. A fort had already been placed there during the Roman siege of Capua to serve, with Puteoli, for the provisioning of the army. Augustus placed a colony of veterans here. The Via Domitiana from Sinuessa to Puteoli crossed the river at this point, and some remains of the bridge are visible. The river was navigable as far as Capua.

In 554, the Byzantine general Narses defeated a Frankish-Alamannic army near this river, during the Gothic War.

Following the invasion of southern Italy by revolutionary forces led by Giuseppe Garibaldi in 1860, Francis II of the Two Sicilies fled from Naples and took up a defensive position on the south bank of the Volturno, near S. Maria di Capua Vetere. The Piedmontese troops and those of Garibaldi inflicted on the Neapolitan forces at the battle of the Volturno, on October 1 and 2, a defeat which led to the fall of Capua.

The Volturno also gave its name to the Volturno Line, a German defensive position in Italy during World War II.

See also

Sources

Wikisource-logo.svg "Volturno". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.  

Coordinates: 41°5′30″N 14°3′24″E / 41.09167°N 14.05667°E / 41.09167; 14.05667

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

VOLTURNO (anc. Volturnus, from volvere, to roll), a river of central Italy, which rises in the neighbourhood of Alfedena in the central Apennines of Samnium, runs S. as far as Venafro, and then S.E. After a course of some 75 m. it receives, about 5 m. E. of Caiazzo, the Calore, only 3 m. less in length,which runs first N. and then W., and after 37 m. reaches Benevento, near which it receives several tributaries; then curves round the mountain mass to the N. of the Caudine Forks, and so beyond Telese joins the Volturno. The united stream now flows W.S.W. past Capua (anc. Casilinum), where the Via Appia and Latina joined just to the N. of the bridge over it, and so through the Campanian plain, with many windings, into the sea. The direct length of the lower course is about 31 m., so that the whole is slightly longer than that of the Liri, and its basin far larger. The river has always had considerable military importance, and the colony of Volturnum (no doubt preceded by an older port of Capua) was founded in 194 B.C. at its mouth on the S. bank by the Romans; it is now about one mile inland. A fort had already been placed there during the Roman siege of Capua, in order, with Puteoli, to serve for the provisioning of the army. Augustus placed a colony of veterans here. The Via Domitiana from Sinuessa to Puteoli crossed the river at this point, and some remains of the bridge are visible. The river was navigable as far as Capua. On the 1st of October 1860 the Neapolitan forces were defeated on the S. bank of the Volturno, near S. Maria di Capua Vetere, by the Piedmontese and Garibaldi's troops, a defeat which led to the fall of Capua. (T. As.)


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