Nepi - Encyclopedia




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NEPI (anc. Nepet or Nepete), a town and episcopal see of Italy, in the province of Rome, 72 m. S.W. of the town of Civita Castellana, 738 ft. above sea-level. Pop. (tool) 2973. The site, surrounded by ravines and accessible only on the W., is naturally strong and characteristic of an Etruscan town; on this side there is a considerable fragment of the ancient Etruscan wall, built of rectangular blocks of tufa (whether the rest of the site was protected by walls is uncertain), and a ruined castle, erected by Antonio da Sangallo the elder in 1499, for Pope Alexander VI., and restored by Pope .Paul III. The municipio (town hall) is from the designs of. Vignola, and contains some ancient inscriptions. The cathedral was burnt down by the French in 1789 and restored in 1831. A mile and a half E.N.E. is the Romanesque church of S Elia, founded about A.D. 1000, with frescoes of the period. It contains a pulpit of the time of Pope Gregory IV. (827-844), the sculptures of which are scattered about the church (F. Mazzanti in Nuovo Bollettirio d'Archaeologia Cristiana, 18 9 6, 34).

Nepet had become Roman before 386 B.C., when Livy speaks of it and Sutrium as the keys of Etruria. In that year it was surrendered to the Etruscans and recovered by the Romans, who beheaded the authors of its surrender. It became a colony in 383 B.C. It was among the twelve Latin colonies that refused further help to Rome in 209 B.C. After the Social War it became a municipium. It is hardly mentioned in imperial times, except as a station on the road (Via Amerina) which diverged from the Via Cassia near the modern Settevene and ran to Ameria and Tuder. In the 8th century A.D. it was for a short while the seat of a dukedom.

See G. Dennis, Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria (London, 1883, i. 82). (T. As.)

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