Amiternum was an ancient Sabine city, then Roman city and later bishopric and Latin catholic titular see in the central Abruzzo region of modern Italy, located 9 km (5.6 mi) from L'Aquila. Amiternum was the birthplace of the historian Sallust (86 BC).[1]

Rovine di Amiternum.JPG
Amiternum is located in Abruzzo
Shown within Abruzzo
LocationL'Aquila, Province of L'Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy
PeriodsRoman Republic - Byzantine Empire
CulturesAncient Rome
Site notes
ManagementSoprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dell'Abruzzo
WebsiteArea Archeologica Amiternum (in Italian)


The site, in the upper Aterno valley, was one of the most important of Sabinum.[1]

Amiternum was defeated by the Romans in 293 BC.

It lay at the point of junction of four roads: the Via Caecilia, the Via Claudia Nova and two branches of the Via Salaria.[2]

There are considerable remains of an amphitheatre and a theatre, all of which belong to the imperial period, while on the hill of the surrounding village of San Vittorino there are some Christian catacombs.[2][1]

A well known Roman funerary relief of the first century BC depicts the Roman funeral procession or pompa.[3]

Ecclesiastical historyEdit

The modern name of the locality, San Vittorino, recalls the martyr of Victorinus, who is looked on as bishop of Amiternum, of the time of the persecution by Roman Emperor Nerva (30-98 AD), b-while other sources put the bishopric's foundation circa 300AD. Circa 400 AD it gained territory from the suppressed Diocese of Pitinum.

Other bishops of Amiternum include Quodvultdeus, who encouraged the religious veneration of Victorinus by constructing his tomb, Castorius, who is mentioned by Pope Gregory I, Saint Cetteus, martyred by the Lombards in 597, and Leontius, a brother of Pope Stephen II. The last known bishop is Ludovicus, who took part in a synod held in Rome in 1069.

Circa 1060 AD, the bishopric was suppressed and it the territory merged into the Rieti. In the mid-13th century the population was transferred to the newly founded town of L'Aquila, which was erected as a diocese by Pope Alexander IV on 20 February 1257, incorporating in it the territory that had once been that of the diocese of Amiternum.[4][5][6]

Titular seeEdit

No longer a residential bishopric, Amiternum is today listed by the Catholic Church as a [7][Latin titular bishopric since the diocese was nominally restored in 1966.

It has had the following incumbents, of the fitting episcopal (lowest) or mostly of higher archiepiscopal (intermediary) rank :

  • Titular Bishop Stanislao Amilcare Battistelli, Passionists (C.P.) (1967.02.22 – 1976.01.06)
  • Titular Archbishop Agostino Cacciavillan (1976.01.17 – 2001.02.21), as papal diplomat (Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Kenya (1976.01.17 – 1981.05.09), Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to India (1981.05.09 – 1990.06.13), Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Nepal (1985.04.30 – 1990.06.13), Permanent Observer to Organization of American States (OAS) (1990 – 1998.11.05), Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to United States of America (1990.06.13 – 1998.11.05)), then President of Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (1998.11.05 – 2002.10.01); later created Cardinal-Deacon of Ss. Angeli Custodi a Città Giardino (2001.02.21 [2001.04.21] – 2011.02.21), becoming Protodeacon of College of Cardinals (2008.03.01 – 2011.02.21), promoted Cardinal-Priest of the above Ss. Angeli Custodi a Città Giardino as pro hac vice Title (2011.02.21 – ...)
  • Titular Archbishop Timothy Paul Andrew Broglio (2001.02.27 – 2007.11.19)
  • Titular Archbishop Luciano Suriani (2008.02.22 – ...)


  1. ^ a b c S. P. Oakley (13 October 2005). A Commentary on Livy, Books VI-X : Volume IV: Book X: Volume IV:. Oxford University Press, UK. pp. 414–. ISBN 978-0-19-156924-1.
  2. ^ a b Chisholm 1911.
  3. ^ Fred Kleiner (8 January 2009). Gardner’s Art through the Ages: The Western Perspective. Cengage Learning. pp. 195–. ISBN 0-495-57360-4.
  4. ^ Giuseppe Cappelletti, Le chiese d'Italia dalla loro origine sino ai nostri giorni, Volume XXI, Venezia, 1870, pp. 417–418
  5. ^ Francesco Lanzoni, Le diocesi d'Italia dalle origini al principio del secolo VII (an. 604), vol. I, Faenza 1927, pp. 359–363
  6. ^ Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae, Leipzig 1931, p. 851
  7. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 831

Sources and external linksEdit


Coordinates: 42°24′02.00″N 13°18′21.60″E / 42.4005556°N 13.3060000°E / 42.4005556; 13.3060000