Oria, Italy

Infobox CityIT
img_coa = Oria-stemma.png official_name = Comune di Oria
region = Apulia
province = Brindisi (BR)
elevation_m = 83
area_total_km2 = 83
population_as_of = december 31, 2004
population_total = 15414
population_density_km2 = 184
timezone = CET, UTC+1
coordinates = coord|40|30|N|17|38|E|region:IT-BR
frazioni =
telephone = 0831
postalcode = 72024
gentilic = Oritani
saint = Barsanuphius of Palestine
day = August 29
mayor =
website = [http://www.comune.oria.br.it Comune di Oria]

Oria (or "Orra", _gr. Hyria, Uria) is a town in the Apulia region, in the province of Brindisi, in southern Italy.

History

In classical times, Oria was known as "Hyria (Uria)" or "Hyrium", a city in ancient Messapia and one of the principal Messapian cities. It was located just north of the ancient town Manduria, at some distance southwest of Brundisium, and southeast of Taras/Tarentum; corresponding to the location of the modern town.According to Herodotus (7.170), it was founded by the Messapians (who according to Herodotus were originally Cretans) sometime after the abortive siege of the Sicanian city Camicus. Between 217 and 84 BC the city was minting its own coins. The coins often feature "Iapagus", the Iapygian national hero.

Hyria was conquered by the Romans. It was destroyed in AD 924 and 977. In 1266, Oria was besieged by Manfred of Sicily.

Jewish Presence

Oria had one of the oldest Jewish communities in Europe. Jewish scholarship in Oria included the study of philosophy, the Talmud, languages such as Greek and Latin, and medicine and natural sciences. It was home to Shabbethai Donnolo, one of the first Hebrew writers who was native to Europe.

Ten scholars in the community were killed when Arabs under Abu Ahmad Ja'far ibn 'Ubaid conquered Oria in 925. This was the beginning of the end of Jewish presence in Oria; the last relic was an epitath produced in 1035. It is likely, however, that Jews were living in Oria until the fifteen century.

People from Oria

Jewish scholar and writer Shabbethai Donnolo was born in Oria in 913.

The neoclassisictic writer Francesco Milizia was born in Oria in 1725.

Twin cities

*flagicon|Germany Lorch, Germany.
*flagicon|POL Miekinia, Poland.
*flagicon|ITA Sarteano, Italy.

External links

* [http://www.visitoria.com/sito_eng/ Official Oria tourist site]
* [http://www.borgodioria.it/ Oria apartments for rent]
* [http://www.casapuglia.com/property_listing_villas.htm Villas Oria]
* [http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=126&letter=O&search=oria Jewish Encyclopedia entry on Oria]



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