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CLASTIDIUM (Casteggio) Italy.

About 60 km S of Milan and 11 km S of the Po, it controls the route across the Po to Ticinum (Pavia) on the other side. It is famous as the town of the Celtic Anamares where the Republican general M. Claudius Marcellus won the spolia opima in 222 B.C. by slaying Virdumarus, the king of the Insubrian Gauls, in hand-to-hand combat. Shortly afterwards the poet Naevius celebrated Marcellus' feat in an historical play entitled Clastidium. After Marcellus' victory the Romans planned to use Clastidium as one of their chief bases for the conquest of the neighboring parts of Liguria and Cispadane Gaul, but they had to wait until after the second Punic war (218-201 B.C.) before they could carry out their program since at the very beginning of that struggle the town was betrayed into the hands of Hannibal (Polyb. 3.69 and Livy 21.48; 32.29,31). When the Romans finally brought Clastidium under control after 200 B.C., they made it a dependency of Placentia.

The Roman town was in the part of Casteggio known locally as Pisternile, but no Roman monuments have survived there. There are, however, remains of Roman bridges over two neighboring creeks, the Rile and the Coppa, and there is also a large block of ancient masonry at nearby Masone, the so-called Fontana di Annibale. Roman inscriptions, coins, pottery, glass, and architectural fragments have been found at Casteggio in some quantity. The Municipio houses a few of the finds, but most have been sent to the museum of antiquities in the Castello Visconteo at Pavia, 20 km to the N.

The great Roman highway from Dertona to Placentia, the Via Postumia, served Clastidium; remains of its road station were found on the E outskirts of the modern town.


G. Giulietti, Casteggio: Notizie Storiche (1890); M. Baratta, Clastidium (1931).


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    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 21, 48
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