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ALBA POMPEIA (Alba) Liguria, Italy.

A city on the right bank of the Tanaro river, NE of Pollentia in the Augustan Regio IX. In inscriptions, in the Peutinger Table, and in the Latin authors, the name Poinpeia is occasionally added, perhaps because Cn. Pompeius Strabo conferred Latin citizenship on the entire area across the Po river. As a municipiuin, the city was enrolled in the tribus Camilla and was the birthplace of the emperor Pertinax. The city may have been built on a pre-Roman settlement on either side of the road from Augusta Taurinoruin to Aquae Statiellae. It had a circuit wall whose entire polygonal perimeter is known and of which some sections, replaced in the Middle Ages, are still visible on the N side. The walls, probably of the Augustan period, were constructed with a solid core faced with long bricks ca. 2.45 m thick at the base. In one section toward the Tanaro river, a system of fortified passages may have formed one of the city gates. The modern streets, which follow the ancient line and the remains of the Roman sewers (whose underground network is still extant), reveal a regular plan with crossing axis streets. The cardo corresponds to the present-day Via Vittorio Einanuele and Via Vernazza, connecting with the road to Pollentia to the W and to Aquae Statiellae and Hasta to the E. The decumanus, recognizable in the straight course of Via Cavour-Via Vida, was linked to the road to Vada Sabatia (Savona). At the junction of the major axis streets, the modern Piazza del Risorgimento occupies the area of the forum. Here, in 1839 in the Cathedral (the ancient Capitolium?), a colossal marble head of Juno was brought to light. Outside the walls, no visible monumental remains exist today. However, remains of buildings have been isolated in the basements of homes, and precious mosaic pavements have been recovered in the area of the Church of SS. Cosmas and Dainian (a temple, baths?) and near the Church of San Giuseppe. On each occasion, discoveries have been made of inscriptions, sculptures, and objects coming mainly from the necropolis (the major cemetery on Via di Pollenzo) and today are maintained in the Museo Federico Eusebio of the city.


Plin. 3.5, 17.4; Ptol. 3.1.45; Tab. Peut; Rav. Cosm. 4.32.

CIL V, 1, 863f, 7595; E. Ferrero, “Testa muliebre di marmo scoperta ad Alba,” ASPABA (1875) 315ff; F. Eusebio, Alba antica prima dell'era volgare (1884); id., Le mura romane di Alba Pompeia (1906); “Sul Museo Civico di Alba e sopra alcune scoperte archeologiche del territorio albese,” ASPABA (1897) 200ff; A. Piva, “Albensi Vagienni e Statielli,” BSPABA (1932) 7ff; P. Barocelli, Il Piemonte dalla capanna neolitica ai monumenti di Augusto (1933) III, p. 37; N. Lamboglia, Alba Pompeia e il Museo Storico Archeologico F. Eusebio (1949); C. Carducci, Trovamenti ad Alba, N.S. (1950) 211ff; id., “Problemi archeologici di Alba romana,” Boll. Soc. St. Stor. Arch. Cuneo (1969) 1ff.


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    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.5
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