Key to Umbria: Massa Martana

Roman Vicus Martis

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Excavations of Via Flaminia carried out in 2008

next to the church of Santa Maria in Pantano

Statio ad Martis, which was probably named in honour of Mars, developed in ca. 220 BC as a way station beside the Via Flaminia, near the present site of the church of Santa Maria in Pantano, some 8 km from modern Massa Martana.   

The Statio ad Martis is mentioned:

  1. in the inscriptions of the “Itinerarium Gaditanum” on the Vicarello Goblets (1st century);

  2. in the "Itinerarium Antoninii" (4th century); and

  3. on the copy of a roman map known as the Tabula Peutingeriana (5th century).

The settlement developed into a village known as Vicus ad Martis Tudertium.

A large boundary stone with the inscription “Vicani Vici Martis” (the people of Vicus ad Martis)  was re-used as base for the altar of Santa Maria in Pantano (see below).  Numerous inscriptions found on the site reveal it to have been a centre of veneration of Apollo, Mercury and Cerere as well as Mars.  A large number of coins of the emperors Trajan (98-117), Hadrian (117-38), Antonius Pius (138-61) and Septimius Severus (193-211) found around Massa Martana testify to the prosperity of the settlement under these emperors.

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Ponte Fonnaia (27 BC)

This small bridge took Via Flaminia over the Naia River, outside Massa Martana.   It was probably originally built in ca. 220 BC but seems to have been rebuilt during the Augustan restoration,

Roman inscription (124 AD)

This inscription (CIL XI 6619)  was found [when??] near the church of San Giacomo on Via Flaminia and subsequently placed under the arch of the gate to Massa Martana  It records that the Emperor Hadrian restored Via Flaminia  by providing it with a new foundation in the year of his 8th tribunate (124 AD).  (The image and translation are courtesy of Bill Thayer).

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