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Cremōna

A city of Cisalpine Gaul, northeast of Placentia and a little north of the Cremona and Placentia were both settled by Roman colonies, B.C. 219 (Polyb. iii. 40). After the defeat on the Trebia, we find the consul P. Scipio retiring to Cremona (Liv.xxi. 56), and it appears that the Romans retained the place throughout the whole of the Second Punic War, though it suffered so much during its continuance, and afterwards from the attacks of the Gauls, that it was found necessary to recruit its population by a fresh supply of colonists. The colony, being thus renewed, continued to prosper for nearly a hundred and fifty years; when the Civil Wars, which ensued after the death of Caesar, materially affected its interests. Cremona, unfortunately, espoused the cause of Brutus, and thus incurred the vengeance of the victorious party. The loss of its territory, which was divided among the veteran soldiers of Augustus, is well known from the line of Vergil (Eclog. ix. 28), which is nearly repeated by Martial (viii. 55). The effect of this calamity would seem, however, to have been but temporary; and, in fact, we learn from Strabo that Cremona was accounted in his time one of the most considerable towns in the north of Italy. The civil wars which arose during the time of Otho and Vitellius were the source of much severer affliction to this city than any former evil, as the fate of the Empire was more than once decided between large contending armies in its immediate vicinity. After the defeat of Vitellius's party by the troops of Vespasian, it was entered by the latter (A.D. 69) and exposed to all the horrors that fire, the sword, and a licentious soldiery can inflict upon a city taken by storm. The conflagration of the place lasted four days. The indignation which this event excited throughout Italy seems to have been such that Vespasian, afraid of the odium it might attach to his party, used every effort to raise Cremona from its ruins by recalling the scattered inhabitants, reconstructing the public edifices, and granting the city fresh privileges.

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