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Atella was an ancient city of Campania, half way between Naples and Capua. It is not mentioned until the second Punic War, when, although an independent city which struck its own coinage, it was allied with Capua and the other Campanian cities in siding with Carthage after the battle of Cannae. It was occupied by Rome in 210 BC, the survivors exiled and the city refounded as a home for the refugees from Nuceria . In the 1st century BC, Cicero speaks highly of it and appears to have been its patron; it continued into imperial times as a municipium. Its bishopric was transferred to the nearby Norman fortress-city of Aversa in 1030, and the city declined. The ruins of the city walls, private houses, and many tombs remain.

Atella is also the name of a small town in southern Italy (population 4000) founded in 1320, in the Basilicata region. It does not have a relationship with the ancient city.

Last updated: 02-11-2005 17:47:38