ASISIUM (mod. Assisi), an ancient town of Umbria, in a
lofty situation about 15 m. E.S.E. of Perusia. As an independent
community it had already begun to use Latin as well as Umbrian
in its inscriptions (for one of these recording the chief magistratesómaronesósee
C.I.L. xi. 5390). It became a municipium in
90 B.C., but, though numerous inscriptions (C.I.L. xi. 5371-5606)
testify to its importance in the Imperial period, it is hardly
mentioned by our classical authorities. Scanty traces of the
ancient city walls may be seen; within the town the best-preserved
building is the so-called temple of Minerva, with six
Corinthian columns of travertine, now converted into a church,
erected by Gaius and Titus Caesius in the Augustan era. It
fronted on to the ancient forum, part of the pavement of which,
with a base for the equestrian statues of Castor and Pollux (as
the inscription upon it records) has been laid bare beneath the
present Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. The remains of the amphitheatre,
in opus reticulatum, may be seen in the north-east corner
of the town; and other ancient buildings have been discovered.
Asisium was probably the birthplace of Propertius.
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