A fortified part of the Grek city in ancient time.


An alcove girded by columns, pillars and a gable.


An elliptical building with rising tiers of seats ranged about an open space used especially for contests and spectacles.

augustan age

Roman historical period that started on 16 January 27 b.c with the raising as imperator with the title of Augustus of Octavian (63 BC – AD 14) (Julius Cesar’s nephew Octavius).


Of the Aurunci, ancient population of the Southern Latium at war with Romans from VIth century BC and defeated for good in 340 BC.


A barren area in which soft rock layers have eroded into unusual forms.

bocage (F)

Agricultural land very fragmented into small fields, woods, marshes but always enclosed by hedges.

bossage front

External surface of a wall built with squared stone blocks protruding from the face of the wall into which they are inserted (see Palazzo Pitti in Florence).

Bourbons age

Historical period of the Kingdom of Naples under the rule of the French Bourbons family (1735-1860).


The Capitolium is a term for a temple dedicated to the Capitoline Triad, that is, to the gods Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, taking the model of the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus built on the Capitoline Hill in Rome. (by Wikipedia)

cardo maximus

Main street, oriented North-South (orthogonal to the decumanus maximus) in a roman town or fort.

Carolingian times

Historical period of the Europe under the rule of the French Carolingian family (751-1002).


Small proto-historic fortified borough (bronze age and iron age) usually built in high position and easily defendable.


Campania ancient population based on Caudium, today Montesarchio.

centuriation (1)

Agrarian subdivision system undertaken by land surveyors with a view to distribute land to Roman citizens when they were sent as settlers to conquered territories or allotted to them without the establishment of a new autonomous community. This subdivision occurred through tracing a series of alignments called limites, perpendicular to each other, which depending on their orientation with respect to the land surveyor responsible for the subdivision, were called “cardines“.

Church State or Pontifical State

Territories governed directly by a Pope (732-1870) prior to Italian Unity.


A boundary-stone or tombstone.


Urban roman built up area of medium size.


Burial room with niches arranged in the walls.


Building material made by mixing cement with sand, grave, etc.




A vaulted, generally closed underground corridor. Romans built vaulted cryptoporticus in particular at the side of gardens to create a sheltered passage with constant temperature between various parts of a building.


19 Roman miles long segment (28 Km) of the via Appia between Borgo Faiti and Terracina and of the adjacent roman drainage canal.

decumanus maximus

Main street oriented East-West (orthogonal to the cardo maximus) in a roman town or fort.


Wall or mound of earth, stone, etc. to support a raised road.


Monumental inscription.


A semicircular enlargement of basilicas, fora and spaces girded with colonnades.


Large monumental square surrounded by public buildings, centre of the roman civil life.

gravina (canyon)

Deep ravine with steep inner sides.


The jazzo (or iazzo) is a particular sheep pen in common use in the territory of Apulia (especially in the Murgia) and neighboring areas, built near the sheep-tracks and intended for the seasonal shelter of sheep performing transhumance.

imperial age

Historical roman period starting on 16 January 27 BC with the proclamation of Octavian as first imperator and Augustus, ending in AD 476 in the West and in AD 1453 in the East.


Diagrammatic maps listing stations on routes (Antonine Itinerary, Vicarello vessels).

Kingdom of Naples

Ancient State before the Unity of Italy (1282-1860).


A road borderland. Originally the military road running along the border, later on, the continental frontier of the Empire.

mansio (1)

An inn also offering accomodation generally located at intervals equal to day’s journey. The inn served food, provided accommodation and public mail service; it could vary in size and sometimes provide spacious courtyards, thermal spaces, stables and small worship buildings.


A monumental sepulchral edifice following eastern burial customs. Originally, the sepulchral monument of Mausolo, the satrap of Halicarnassos and his wife, Artemisia.

medieval age

Historical period that began in 476 after the deposition of the last Western Roman emperor (Romulus Augustus) and conventionally ended in the 16th century.

Derived from the ancient population from Puglia which immigrated from Illiria around 1000 BC and finally became Roman in 88 BC.

middle age

Historical period from the 5th century to XVIth century.

milestone (1)

Stone setup at the side of a road showing distances from Rome; at the time of the Republic the stone would also carry the names of the consuls or of the high ranking judges in charge of the construction and maintenance of the road whereas at the time of the Empire it the name and title of the Emperors builders of the roads that is reported.


Terrapieno artificiale a forma tronco-conica adatto a sorvegliare militarmente un territorio in epoca medievale.

mutatio (1)

A horse-changing station usually located every 5 to 9 roman miles (12 to 22 Km). It was used as support to the mansio and was considered its subordinate with a ratio of 6 to 8 mutationes for every stretch of road included between two mansiones. It served in particular to change horses and could also include stables (stabula), shops (horrea) and inns for passers-by.


Hole in a walls’ depth, generally of half cylindrical shape, vertical and ending at the top with a quarter sphere meant to carry a statue.


In Roman architecture the collective noun designating masonry and stone-work types:

opus incertum

A randomly built, irregular stone wall with polygonal blocks of stones fitting close together by the angles (from ancient Palasgians technics – people who occupied Greece in pre-hellenic time).

opus quadratum

The opus quadratum is a construction technique from ancient Rome, consisting of the superimposition of square blocks in parallelepiped form and of uniform height, which are laid in homogeneous rows with continuous support planes.

opus reticulatum (1)

opus caementicium” masonry (mural nucleus of broken stone slabs, sand and lime) made of small blocks of stones of uniform pattern of pyramidal shape (cubilia) with square stone base in the frontage; the sides of the cubilia are directed diagonally by 45� compared with the horizontal plane. This type of wall was common from the half of the first century BC until the time of the Antonini emperors.

opus signinum (1)

Concrete floor with crushed brick or stone finish, generally of reddish colour; being waterproof it was used in particular for baths and tanks.

opus spicatum (1)

A herringbone wall made of small bricks arranged edgewise; it was particularly used for courtyards, terraces and warehouses.


Brave and honest protector at the court of Charlemagne, giving rise to the legend of the Paladins protectors of the faith against the unfaithful of Spain (the most famous was Orlando).


Length measurement unit equal to 5 foot (5 x 0,296 = 1,482 m).

paving stone

Paving stones are those large slabs of stone of volcanic or calcareous origin, or other tenacious stone, with the upper face polished and variously polygonal in shape, and the lower part wedge-shaped so as to penetrate firmly into the ground, of considerable weight and size (often 50×50 cm or 60×60 cm), used for road paving.


Of the ancient population of Peucezia, a region of Apulia between Bari and Brindisi that immigrated from Illyria.

Peutinger Map.

It is a medieval copy of a pictorial map depicting the Roman road network in the Imperial period that the scholar Konrad Peutinger inherited in the 15th century.

It looks like a roll of 680 x 42 cm on which are drawn the stretches and distances between the cities; it is kept in the Hofbibliothek in Vienna.


An upright support for a superstructure.

pretoria gate

Door to the Pretorians’ camp.


Covered colonnade.

republican age

Historical period starting in 510 BC and ending with the proclamation of Octavian as first imperator, on 16 January 27 BC.

roman mile

Roman measure of distance equal to 1000 roman passus (1482 m); changes in the course of time and throughout the territories of the Roman Empire.

roman foot

Roman length measurement unit equal to the Attic foot of 0,296 m. The model was kept in Giunone Moneta’s Temple.


An inner four-sided portico, covered with arches supported by pillars and columns.


Population of warriors originally from the Sabine which lived in the Sannio area (inner mountainous areas of central Italy). After three wars with the Romans from IV century b.c they were defeated for good in the year 82 BC.


The most important hallowed space of temples.


Side track which branches off from the main road.


Underground structure to uphold an overhanging building. Used in particular to create an horizontal level in case of gradient ground.

statio (1)

Generic term meaning a place to stop.


An open semicircular building with rising tiers of seats used especially for music or prose. Greek and Roman theatres were in open air, with semicircular tier of seats.

Trajan age

Emperor TRAJAN was born in 53 AD and ruled from 98 to 117 AD.


Towing of a boat parallel to the embankment. River transport system used when moving against the stream.


Little mount of artificial soil of conical shape put over a tomb.


Name given to a country area with few or no inhabitants.

Note 1

Free translated from : L. Gambaro, Glossario, in Vie romane in Liguria, a c. di R. Luccardini, Genova, 2001, pp.219-224.