ORDONA

Situated on the edges of Tavoliere (Apulian Table) in the Sub-Apennine Dauno in the province of Foggia, Ordona was founded during the 9th Century not to far from the ancient Herdonia centre which existed from the 7th Century BC.

The ancient centre, founded by the Daunii, immediately enjoyed a noteworthy development and saw its maximum splendour. Its economic decline began during the 4th Century BC. The construction of defensive walls during this period suggests a period of battles with other centres in the region, probably comprising clashes with the Greek Hegemonic Cities in the territory, among them neighbouring Taranto.
It passed over to the Romans, as with all of Puglia, after the wars with the Greek-Messapian League, commanded by King Pirro of Epiro (280-275 BC). Herdonia was protagonist during the Second Punic War (219-202 BC) and in particular, during the events linked to its most famous battle in Canne (Cannae) on 2nd August 216 BC.
According to the Roman historian Livio, after the Battle of Canne (Cannae), the City passed to Hannibal, then returned immediately under the Romans (214 BC); taken once more by the Carthaginian General Hannibal who demolished it completely and saw its citizens transferred to Metaponto and Turi.
From this moment on, the City did not recover until its insertion along the Via Traiana route, a coastal alternative of the Via Appia (Appian Way), at the beginning of the 2nd Century AD.
Today’s central habitation began in the 9th Century, but had difficulties in developing due to terrible conditions in the territory. In fact, during the Medieval era, the Tavoliere delle Puglie (Apulian Table) lost its agricultural vocation and became a main transhumance for sheep arriving from all of central Italy.
The Jesuits took over the centre and tried to push Ordona’s economy by reclaiming part of its territory and allowing families to settle here.
In 1774, Ordona became part of Royal Bourbon property, allowing important new reclamation work to take place throughout the entire 19th Century.
Remains from the Roman Erdonia are situated in the following areas: the Forum, the Augustea Basilica, a part of the Via Traiana route where one can visit the remains of shops and the Market (Macellum), the remains of a temple from the Imperial era, the Amphitheatre and thermal baths with mosaic flooring.
Below this level, in the area of the Basilica, finds uncovered tombs and houses from the Dauna City.
The diffusion of Christianity is testified by the remains of a Paleochristian Basilica from the 6th Century AD.
Today’s digs have still not touched all the various levels and the Erdonia site could still reserve many surprises for archaeologists and enthusiastic visitors.

ORDONA
Achaeological Site

Puglia (Apulia) region of Italy

 

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