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MEDIOLANUM (Milano) Lombardy, Italy.

A Ligurian and then a Celtic center at the junction of important prehistoric roads from the plains and from the Alps. In the age of Caesar the center had a strong circuit wall in stone and brick, which was enlarged by Maximianus at the end of the 3d c. when the city became the Western Roman capital. The city had a circus, a mint, a horreum, and an imperial mausoleum, octagonal and fortified. The older city covered an area of ca. 9 ha which later increased to 15 ha. In addition to the monuments already mentioned there are remains of a theater, from the Augustan age; an amphitheater, the only one in Lombardy; from the age of Maximianus a 24-sided tower and the Baths of Hercules; and 16 large columns of a temple of the 2d c. A.D. There are also remains of a number of basilicas from the age of St. Ambrosius, who lived at the end of the 4th c. A.D. They include San Simpliciano, San Nazaro, the octagonal baptistery, the memorial chapel of San Vittore and, from the first half of the 5th c., the basilica of San Lorenzo with a symmetrical plan.

The imperial presence favored the development of the applied arts. Outstanding examples of craftsmanship include ivories such as the casket of Brescia and the diptych of Monza, works in silver such as the patera of Parabiago and the reliquary of San Nazaro, and sarcophagi such as that in Sant'Ambrogio and that of Cervia Abundantia. A few sculptures in marble have survived, such as a torso of Hercules of the Farnese type and a draped statue. Only a few Early Christian mosaics have survived, including those in San Vittore in ciel d'oro and in San Lorenzo. Many mosaic pavements are in the Civic Archaeological Museum.


A. Calderini in Storia di Milano, I (1953); M. Mirabella Roberti, Milano romana e paleocristiana (1972).


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