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Ancient city west of Naples, Italy. Probably the oldest Greek mainland colony in the West, it was home to the Cumaean Sibyl, whose cavern still exists. Founded c. 750 BC by Greeks from Chalcis, it came to control much of the Campanian plain. Taken by the Samnites in the 5th century BC, it was subjugated by Rome in 338 BC. Under the empire it became a quiet country town. It was destroyed in AD 1205. Remains of fortifications and graves from all these periods have been found throughout the area.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Cumae, visit Britannica.com.