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HASTA (Asti) Piedmont, Italy.

About 48 km SE of Turin and in antiquity a colony in the Augustan Regio IX. Like other colonies enrolled in the tribus Pollia, it is believed to have been founded prior to the social war. Cited in the itineraries, mentioned by Varro, Pliny, Ptolemy, Claudian, and Cassiodorus, the city was famous along with Pollentia in the Imperial period for its ceramic ware. Developing at a crossroads (the Via Fulvia, from Augusta Taurinorum through Carreo Potentia to Dertona, and the road through Alba-Pollentia), the city was a fortified center with a regular urban plan. The walls, which have disappeared, had a rectangular perimeter and must have extended as far as Piazza San Secondo to the E and Piazza Santa Caterina to the W, Piazza San Giuseppe to the S and Via Testa to the N. At the entrance to the road to Turin, there remains a Roman tower with brick facing. It is today attached to the Church of Santa Caterina but originally belonged to a city gate. Other elements of the fortification system, every trace of which has been lost, are traditionally mentioned under the names of Castello dei Varroni, Castrum Vetus, and Castelletto. Corso Alfieri still represents, as it moves from E to W, the ancient decumanus maximus, crossed at a right angle by the cardo (the axis of Via Balbo - Via Tribunale) at the top of the forum (the modern Piazza Roma). The destruction suffered by the city in 480 during the Burgundian invasions explains the loss of records regarding the most important public buildings. There is no documentation for the remains of buildings and of streets which have been uncovered in the past in the course of excavations. The existence of a temple, perhaps the Capitolium, may be supposed in the area of the modern Cathedral, where Corinthian capitals seem to have been reused. However, the cemeteries are known to have lined the major arteries of communication. In the most extensive, outside the Porta Santa Caterina and about 300 m from the city walls, have been discovered rich objects in glass, bronzes, and vases, which are today in the museum at Turin. Numerous inscriptions, for the most part funerary, have been preserved along with other finds in the Museo Archeologico Comunale at Asti.


Varro Rust. 11.15; Plin. 3.49; Ptol. 3.1.45; Claud. Cons. Hon. 202; Cassiod. Var. 11.15; Tab. Peut.

CIL V, 7555ff; G. Fantaguzzi, Ritrovamenti van ad Asti, N.S. (1881) 150; (1882) 124; (1884) 136; F. Gabiani, Asti nei suoi principali ricordi storici (1927); P. Barocelli, Dalla capanna neolitica ai monumenti di Augusto (1933) III, p. 24.


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    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.5
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