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NOVA´RIA

NOVA´RIA (Νουαρία, Ptol.: Novara), a considerable city of Cisalpine Gaul, situated on the highroad from Mediolanum to Vercellae, at the distance of 33 miles from the former city. (Itin. Ant. pp. 344, 350.) It was in the territory of the Insubres (Ptol. 3.1.33); but its foundation is ascribed by Pliny to a people whom he calls Vertacomacori, who were of the tribe of the Vocontii, a Gaulish race, according to Pliny, and not, as asserted by Cato, a Ligurian one. (Plin. Nat. 3.17. s. 21.) No mention is found in history of Novaria previous to the Roman conquest; but it seems to have been in the days of the Empire a considerable municipal town. It is reckoned by Tacitus (Tac. Hist. 1.70) among the “firmissima Transpadanae regions municipia” which declared in favour of Vitellius, A.D. 69; and was the native place of the rhetorician C. Albucius Silus, who exercised municipal functions there. (Suet. Rhet. 6.) Its municipal rank is confirmed also by inscriptions (Gruter, Inscr. p. 393. 8, &c.); and we learn from Pliny that its territory was fertile in vines (17.23. s. 35). After the fall of the Western Empire Novaria is again mentioned as a fortified town of some importance; and it seems to have retained its consideration under the Lombard rule. (Procop. B. G. 2.12; P. Diac. Hist. Lang. 6.18.) The modern city of Novara is a flourishing place, with about 16,000 inhabitants, but has no ancient remains. [E.H.B] [p. 2.449]

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