COLONIA JULIA AUGUSTA PARMENSIS
A city of the eighth Augustan region,
Aemilia. Originally a settlement of the Late Bronze Age
between the present via della Repubblica and Borgo
Valorio, it was probably developed by the Etruscans and
Parma became an urban center with the sending out
of the colony in 183 B.C., and was destroyed by Mark
Antony in 44 B.C. during the battle of Modena. The
Augustan reconstruction, following the earlier city plan,
must have marked an amplification and enrichment of
the colonia recorded later by Pliny in his catalogue of
the cities of the eighth region, and restored by Constantine.
The plan of the city, with the intersection of the main
axes almost at the center, is easily recognizable today
from aerial photographs and confirmed by archaeological
finds. The cardo maximus corresponds to via Farini—via
Cavour; the decumanus to via Mazzini—via della Repubblica, which follow the ancient via Emilia; and the
central forum to Piazza Garibaldi. The perimeter of the
city walls seems to correspond to a quadrangular castrum, though the city developed outside the walls, especially to the S. There the theater (60 m diam.) was built, and farther E was the amphitheater (136-106 m).
Though these buildings were partly excavated in 1843
and 1846 and probed in 1933 and 1937, their plans are
A few traces remain of a suburban villa from the Republican period. There are numerous deposits of amphorae, some with painted inscriptions. Notable are the mosaics in cocciopesto
with white tesserae. Variations include subjects such as a centaur and a warrior silhouetted
in black on white, polychrome, and black-and-white geometric designs. There are several marble and bronze
statues, and a funerary stele of a purpurarius with clothing and tools of his calling, documenting the flourishing
wool trade in Parma. Another stele has portraits and
one is aedis rotunda in form. Of great value is the 3d c.
A.D. Roman gold work of Teatro Regio, and that of the
Lombards found in Borgo della Posta.
The major monumental evidence of the city consists
of large fragments of architectural decorations from
diverse periods. Additions to the city walls, whlch were
redrawn and restored in the time of Theodoric, are indicative of new prosperity in the city, which flourished again
in Byzantine times under the name Chrysopolis. The
Museo Nazionale di Antichitià contains local prehistoric
and Roman material, as well as Renaissance collections
originating elsewhere, and Greek ceramics.
I. Affò, Storia di Parma
Andreotti, “Intorno ai primordi e allo sviluppo di P.
nell'antichità,” in Bull. Com
. 56 (1929); M. Corradi
Cervi, “Notizie,” Arch. St. p. le prov. parmensi
; G. Monaco in NSc
; A. Frova & R. Scarani, Parma Museo Naz. di Antichitcà
; M. P. Rossignani, Decorazione architettonica romana a Parma