Benevento listen is a city and comune of Campania, Italy, capital of the province of Benevento,50 kilometres northeast of Naples. It is situated on a hill 130 metres above sea level at the confluence of the Calore Irpino and it is also the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishop. Benevento occupies the site of the ancient Beneventum, originally Maleventum or still earlier Maloenton, the -vent portion of the name probably refers to a market-place and is a common element in ancient place names. The Romans theorized that it meant the site of bad events, in the imperial period it was supposed to have been founded by Diomedes after the Trojan War. A patron saint of Benevento is Saint Bartholomew, the Apostle, Benevento, as Maleventum, was one of the chief cities of Samnium, situated on the Via Appia at a distance of 51 kilometres east from Capua on the banks of the river Calor. Festus, on the contrary, related that it was founded by Auson, a son of Ulysses and Circe, a tradition which indicates that it was an ancient Ausonian city, previous to its conquest by the Samnites. But it first appears in history as a Samnite city, and must have already been a place of strength and it appears, however, to have fallen into their hands during the Third Samnite War, though the exact occasion is unknown. Benevento was certainly in the power of the Romans in 274 BC, six years later they further sought to secure its possession by establishing there a Roman colony with Latin rights. It is probable that the Oscan or Samnite name was Maloeis, or Malieis, whence the form Maleventum would derive, like Agrigentum from Acragas, Selinuntium from Selinus and its wealth is also evidenced by the quantity of coins minted by Beneventum. Horace famously notes Beneventum on his journey from Rome to Brundusium and it was indebted to the same circumstance for the honor of repeated visits from the emperors of Rome, among which those of Nero, Trajan, and Septimus Severus, are particularly recorded. It was probably for the reason that the triumphal arch. The Arch of Trajan is one of the best-preserved Roman structures in the Campania and it repeats the formula of the Arch of Titus in the Roman Forum, with reliefs of Trajans life and exploits of his reign. Some of the sculptures are in the British Museum, successive emperors seem to have bestowed on the city accessions of territory, and erected, or at least given name to, various public buildings. Its inhabitants were included in the Stellatine tribe, diaconus speaks of it as a very wealthy city, and the capital of all the surrounding provinces. The territory of Beneventum under the Roman Empire was of considerable extent. An inscription has preserved to us the names of several of the pagi or villages dependent upon Beneventum, the citys most ancient coins bear the legend Malies or Maliesa, which have been supposed to belong to the Samnite, or pre-Samnite, Maleventum. Coins with the legend BENVENTOD, must have struck after it became a Latin colony. Not long after it had been sacked by Totila and its walls razed, the circumstances of the creation of duchy of Benevento are disputed
Main landmarks in Benevento. Clockwise from the upper left: the Arch of Trajan, the church of Santa Sofia, the Cathedral's main portal, the castle and the Roman theatre
View of the Roman Theatre of Benevento.
Panoramic view of Benevento from the mount Pentime, part of the Taburnus mountain range