Sites & cities that bear the name of Nocera Superiore

Nocera Superiore

Today in : Italy
First trace of activity : ca. 6th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Nucr, Nuceria, Nucere, Nuceria Cristianorum, Nocera dei Pagani

Description : Nocera Superiore (Neapolitan: Nucere) is a city and comune with 24 390 inhabitants in the province of Salerno in the Campania region of south-western Italy. Its history, up until 1851, is in common with the adjacent Nocera Inferiore: the two cities share a common origin. Servius tells that, around 1500 BC, the Pelasgians, natives to Asia, arrived in Italy through the Alps, however this is just a fanciful story: history says that around VI century BC the Osci, an Italic people of Campania, gave rise to the original settlement of Nuceria, located in Nocera Superiore, between the current Pareti and Pucciano districts. This site was chosen due to its favourable geographic position characterized by water sources and a very fertile hinterland protected from winds. At its greatest expansion, Nuceria, famous for the robustness of the town walls, enclosed the current districts of Pareti, San Pietro, Pucciano, Grotti, Portaromana, Santa Maria Maggiore and San Clemente. There are astonishing similarities between the fortifications of Nuceria and Pompeii. Nuceria is rectangular with scarps defending the north, west, and east of the city while the southern side had the strongest fortifications as the most vulnerable section and, like Pompeii, featured a tufa opus quadratum double wall with an agger behind. During the Second Samnite War the town adhered to the Italic cause and in 310 BC Roman troops sacked the territory of Nuceria but at the end of the conflict the city obtained favourable treatment and entered into an alliance with Rome as a civitas foederata. In 280 BC, Nuceria presided over a confederation that included Sorrento, Pompeii, Stabia, and Ercolano, and minted coins on which the expression Nuvkrinum Al(a) faternum was engraved. During the Second Punic War (218 – 201 BC), the defences proved formidable enough that Hannibal reduced the city by starvation because of its loyalty to Rome, rather than by direct attack, though subsequently destroyed it in 216 BC. After the war the defences were rebuilt and strengthened with the addition of towers in opus incertum. Its territory was ravaged during the Social War (90 BC) and by the troops of Spartacus. During the period of the triumvirate the town was named Nuceria Costantia. The earthquake in 62 AD and the eruption of the Vesuvio in 79 AD caused serious damages to the town which never reached the previous prosperity. During the VI century the Lombards, under King Alboin, forced Nuceria to surrender: they placed it under the supremacy of the Duchy of Benevento. After the mid-9th century the town was part of the principality of Salerno first, and then of the principality of Capua. Nuceria, located where the future Nocera Inferiore would rise, was besieged by Roger II of Sicily in the battle in 1132, after four months he razed the town to the ground. After its reconstruction, the birth of the modern Nocera began with many hamlets and villages which gradually expanded and became small towns.

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