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Capua (käˈpwä) [key], town (1991 pop. 18,845), Campania, S Italy, on the Volturno River. It is an agricultural center and occupies the site of ancient Casilinum. Ancient Capua, situated 3 mi (4.8 km) to the southeast, where Santa Maria Capua Vetere (1991 pop. 31,396) now lies, was a Roman town strategically located on the Appian Way. During the second of the Punic Wars it went over (216 B.C.) to the side of Hannibal, but was retaken by Rome in 211 B.C. Later it was an important colony under the Roman Empire. After Capua was destroyed (A.D. 841) by the Arabs, its inhabitants moved to Casilinum and founded modern Capua. Strongly fortified to defend nearby Naples, Capua suffered several sieges, including ones by Cesare Borgia (1501) and the Piedmontes (1860). Of note are a Roman bridge, a 9th-century cathedral (frequently restored), an 11th-century castle, and a museum of archaeology and sculpture.

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

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