Compsa (modern Conza della Campania) was an ancient city of the Hirpini, near the sources of the Aufidus, on the boundary of Lucania and not far from that of Apulia, on a ridge 609 m above sea level.[1] It was betrayed to Hannibal in 216 BC after the defeat of Cannae, but recaptured two years later. It was probably occupied by Sulla in 89 BC, and was the scene of the death of Titus Annius Milo in 48 BC.[2]

Compsa foro.jpg
Compsa is located in Campania
Shown within Campania
LocationConza della Campania, Province of Avellino, Italy
Coordinates40°52′13″N 15°19′50″E / 40.87028°N 15.33056°E / 40.87028; 15.33056Coordinates: 40°52′13″N 15°19′50″E / 40.87028°N 15.33056°E / 40.87028; 15.33056
Site notes
ManagementSoprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici di Salerno, Avellino, Benevento e Caserta
Public accessYes
WebsiteSito Archeologico di Compsa (in Italian)

Most modern sources, for example Hülsen in Pauly-Wissowa's Realencyclopädie (Stuttgart, 1901, iv. 797), refer Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Civili (iii. 22) and Pliny's Naturalis Historiæ[3] to this place, supposing the ancient manuscripts to be corrupt. The usual identification of the site of Milo's death with Cassano allo Ionio on the Gulf of Taranto must therefore be rejected.

In imperial times, as inscriptions show, it was a municipium, but it lay far from any of the main highways. The ruins of the ancient city were studied again, when they reappeared after the destruction of the modern town in the 1980 Irpinia earthquake.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Edlund Berry, I.; A. Small, DARMC; R. Talbert, S. Gillies; T. Elliott, J. Becker. "Places: 442550 (Compsa)". Pleiades. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
  2. ^ Michele Carluccio (2002). Conza della Campania. Il parco archeologico Compsa. De Angelis. ISBN 978-88-86218-46-7.
  3. ^ Plin. HN 3.105.4