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
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
(1965) 145-51; G. Pontiroli, “Cremona e il
suo territorio in età romana,” Atti del Centro Studi
1 (1969) 165-211.
M. MIRABELLA ROBERTI