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CREMONA Lombardy, Italy.

The first colony founded by the Romans beyond the Po in Cisalpine Italy (218 B.C.). It was built on the site of a pre-Roman center. It then became an important gateway to the river to the ford on the Via Postumia between Genoa and Aquileia. Cremona was a military base for the forces of Vitellius in the civil war, which was decided by the two battles of Bedriacum in A.D. 69. The city, sacked and burned, was restored by Vespasian and remained a military garrison with a permanent parade ground that can still be noted in the urban area. The city was nearly square (500 x 520 m). The paving of several roads has been found, including one 6 m wide that ran along the walls and is still partly visible; no Roman buildings are preserved. From Tacitus (Hist. 3.27.3) the name of a gate, the Porta Brixiana, is known. Of particular interest are the mosaic pavements, both black-and-white and polychrome, now preserved in the Museum. In the subterranean vaults under the cathedral, mosaics of the Early Christian basilica are visible.

Other objects of particular importance in the Museum include several Roman vases in bronze, helmets of various types, and a marble bust of Q. Labienus Parthicus, son of Caesar's general who fought against the Romans in 41 B.C.


C. Albizzati, “Due ritratti romani a Cremona,” Historia 4 (1930) 634-40; A. Frova, “I mosaici romani di Cremona,” BdA 42 (1957) 325-34; M. Mirabella Roberti, “Un campo militare romano sotto la cataulada di Cremona,” Atti del I Congr. Naz. di Studi bizantini (1965) 145-51; G. Pontiroli, “Cremona e il suo territorio in età romana,” Atti del Centro Studi dell'Italia Romana 1 (1969) 165-211.


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