BARI, the ancient Barium, capital of the above province and seat of an archbishop, is situated on a tongue of laud projecting into the Adriatic, in lat. 41° 7' N., and long. 16° 53' E. It is defended by various fortifications, among which the most important is the citadel, which is about a mile in circumference, and dates from the Norman possession. The general character of the older part of the town is gloomy and irregular, but the newer portion has spacious streets, with handsome buildings. The priory of St Nicolo, built by Robert Guiscard in 1087 to hold the relics of the saint, which had been brought from Myra in Lycia, is interesting for its beautiful crypt and the tombs of Robert of Bari and Bona Sforza of Poland. The festival of St Nicholas, on the 8th of May, is still attended by thousands ; and his body is believed by the superstitious to supply the Manna di Bari. The cathedral of St Sabino, a fine Gothic structure, was barbarously bestuccoed and transformed by Archbishop Gaeta in 1745. Among the other buildings of importance are the palace of the Intendente," the theatre (a large modern erection), the Lyceum, a college for the education of the nobility, and an " Athemeum." The commercial importance of Bari has been for some time on the increase ; and its harbour, augmented by the building of two moles in 1855, has more recently received a still greater extension, while excellent anchorage is also afforded by its roads. The inhabitants are skilful seamen, and carry on a large traffic in their own ships with different parts of the Adriatic. The exports, which consist chiefly of olive oil, wine, mustard seed, cream of tartar, grain, and almonds and other fruits, were valued in 1872 at £642,818, while the imports of the same year amounted to £249,081. The railway to Brindisi was opened in 1865, and another line has since been extended to Taranto. Barium, according to the evidence of its coins, was a place of importance in the 3d century B.C., and had a decided Greek element in its culture ; but it never acquired any-great influence in the old Roman world, and all allusions to it in the classical authors are of an incidental description. After the fall of the Western empire it was subject in turn to the Greek emperors, to the dukes of Benevento, and to the Saracen invaders. From the last it was delivered in 971 by Louis II., and again in 1002 by the Venetians, who left their Lion of St Mark as an emblem to the city. Not long after it was raised to the rank of capital of Apulia by the Greek emperors, who were soon (1040) cocipelled to acknowledge it as a free principality under Argyrus. After a four years' siege it was taken in 1070 by the Normans, who lost it in 1137 to Lothaire, but recovered it a few years later. In 1156 it was razed by William the Bad, and has several times suffered a similar fate. In the 14th century Bari became a duchy, which continued to exist till 1558, when it was bequeathed by Bona Sforza to Philip II. of Spain.
See Beatillo, Historic dc Bari, Napoli, 1637 ; Lombardi, Conrendio ercritologico dellc vde degli arcivescovi Baresi, 1697.