ORVIETO (anc. Volsinii, later Urbs Vetus, whence the modern name), a town and episcopal see of the province of Perugia, Italy, on the Paglia, 78 m.
11, &c.), who gives a somewhat exaggerated description of the site, and as Urbs Vetus elsewhere after his time.
II seq.) calls Ovp33c(3evr-63 (Urbs vetus, the modern Orvieto).
Its position, at the point where the Volscian Hills reach the coast, leaving no space for passage between them and the sea, commanding the Pomptine Marshes (urbs pron g in paludes, as Livy calls it) and possessing a small harbour, was one of great strategic importance; and it thus appears very early in Roman history.
He wrote some good hymns, including "O Throned, 0 Crowned" and a beautiful version of Urbs Beata.
Urbs Salvia >>
as "urbs deserta," and Synesius, a native, describes it in the following century as a vast ruin at the mercy of the nomads.
There is little or no evidence for the existence of towns other than Roman in early times, for the word urbs is merely a translation of burg, which was used for any fortified dwelling-place, and it is improbable that anything which could properly be called a town was known to the invaders before their arrival in Britain.
The road thence went on to Nuceria (whence a branch road ran to Septempeda and thence either to Ancona or to Tolentinum and Urbs Salvia) and Helvillum, and then crossed the main ridge of the Apennines, a temple of Jupiter Apenninus standing at the summit of the pass.
Up to the 3rd century Autricum (later Carnutes, whence Chartres) was the capital, but in 275 Aurelian changed Cenabum from a vicus into a civitas and named it Aurelianum or Aurelianensis urbs (whence Orleans).
In connexion with this may be read Humphrey's Urbs et Orbis (London, 1899), an account of the general government of Roman Catholicism.
of Urbs Salvia.
In 1497 it successfully resisted an attempt of Perkin Warbeck to capture it, in recognition of which it received various privileges from Henry VII., who gave it the title of urbs intacta.
But the site is not unreasonably considered to be ancient, and the name to be derived from Vetus urbs; tombs, too, have been found in the neighbourhood, and it is not an unlikely assumption that here, as elsewhere, the medieval town occupies the Etruscan site.
The castle round which the town grew up was founded I According to the theory now generally adopted, the Etruscan Volsinii occupied the site of Orvieto, which was hence called Urbs vetus in late classical and medieval times, while the Roman Volsinii was transferred to Bolaena (see VoLsINtu).