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Benevento (bānāvānˈtō) [key], city (1991 pop. 62,561), capital of Benevento prov., in Campania, S Italy. It is a trade center for wine and tobacco. It is basically an impoverished area with little industry. A leading town of Samnium, Benevento became under the Romans an important trade center on the Appian Way. It was the capital of a powerful Lombard duchy (6th–11th cent.) that extended over much of S Italy. Except for short periods of foreign occupation, the city was under papal rule from the 11th cent. to 1860. In 1266, Charles of Anjou defeated Manfred, King of Sicily, near Benevento. Noteworthy structures of the city include the cathedral (11th–13th cent., restored after being severely damaged in World War II); a triumphal arch erected (A.D. 114) for Trajan; a Roman theater (2d cent. B.C.); and the Church of Santa Sofia, with a 12th-century cloister.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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