city and archiepiscopal see, Campania regione, southern Italy. The city lies on a ridge between the Calore and Sabato rivers, northeast of Naples. It originated as Malies, a town of the Oscans, or Samnites; later known as Maleventum, or Malventum, it was renamed Beneventum by the Romans. It became an important town on the Appian Way and was a base for Roman expansion in southern Italy. In 275 BC, Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, was defeated at Beneventum in his last battle with the Romans. After partial destruction by Totila, king of the Ostrogoths, in AD 452, Benevento in 571 became the capital of an important Lombard duchy controlling much of southern Italy. It passed in the 11th century to the Byzantines and then to the papacy, which ruled it-except for a brief period (1806-15) when it was governed as a principality by Napoleon's minister Talleyrand-until it became part of Italy in 1860. In 1266 Charles I of Anjou defeated and killed the Hohenstaufen Manfred, king of Naples and Sicily, at Benevento
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