SOURCE: https:// www.beniculturalionline.it
The city of Caserta has ancient origins; the area on which the palace was built is part of a natural territory of archaeological importance where osci, samnites and romans have left evidence of their presence. Some trace its origins to the Osci, others to the Samnites. Despite everything, from the artifacts that have been found, even in the various fractions of the city, there is evidence of a very remote past. It is thought that the medieval village was born on the ruins of the ancient Saticulae. An important fact is that the monk Erchemperto, in the Historia Longobardorum Beneventanorum, speaks of Caserta when the inhabitants of Calatia are forced to flee due to the destruction of Pandone the Raptor but as a reality already existing. In 1990, some tombs from the Samnite era were found in the basement of the Reggia; it was therefore a necropolis of the fifth century BC. Around 423 BC. it was completely populated by the Samnites who gave it the name of Calatia, in 211 BC. sided against the Romans and in favor of Hannibal. It was condemned to expropriation and land division, which meant fragmentation of the territory into large parcels. In the eighth century it was destroyed by the Longobards of Capua by Pandone the Raptor who had a tower built in 863 as a symbol of conquest. The city was long disputed by the neighboring principalities of Naples, Salerno and Capua, remaining in the latter in 879, under Pandulfo di Capua who was its first Count. Up to the 9th century Casertavecchia saw a significant increase in its population: the beginning of the Saracen raids in fact pushed the inhabitants of the plain to seek refuge in safer and more defensible mountain places, which led to the transfer of the bishop’s seat to the mountain village.