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Nola is a city and comune of Campania, southern Italy, in the province of Naples, situated in the plain between Mount Vesuvius and the Apennines. It is served by the Circumvesuviana railway from Naples.



Nola Bronze Age Settlement

Nola in Bronze Age times was the site of a settlement that has yielded evidence of the destructive power of an eruption by Mount Vesuvius between 1700 BC and 1600 BC (the Avellino eruption). Excavations revealed extensive evidence of a small village abandoned quickly by its occupants at the time of the eruption so that a wide range of pottery and other artifacts were left behind to survive with the imprint of buildings in the mud from the eruption.

Ancient era

Called Nuvlana on the most ancient coins, it was one of the oldest cities of Campania: it is said to have been founded by the Ausones. The latter were certainly in Nola about 560 BC. When it sent assistance to Naples against the Roman invasion (328 BC) it was probably occupied by the Oscans in alliance with the Samnites. In the Samnite War (311 BC) the town was taken by the Romans, while in the Second Punic War it thrice offered defiance to Hannibal (first, second, and third Battle of Nola) and on two occasions (215 and 214) it was defended by Marcellus. In the Social War it was given by treason into the hands of the Samnites, who kept it until Marius, with whom they had sided, was defeated by Sulla, who in 80 BC subjected it together with the rest of Samnium. Seven years later it was stormed by Spartacus, for which reason Augustus and Vespasian sent colonies there.

Nola, though losing much of its importance, remained a municipium with its own institutions and the use of the Oscan language. It became a Roman colony under Augustus, who died there in 14 AD. Later it became an important site of Christian pilgrimage and hospitality, after the Christian senator Paulinus relocated to the town, eventually becoming bishop.

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