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POLLENTIA (Pollenzo) Piedmont, Italy.

An ancient city near the confluence of the Tanaro with the Stura and dominating a system of roads including the road for Alba - Hasta, Forum Fulvii - Dertona, that from Augusta Taurinorum and that for Augusta Bagiennorum, which crossed the valleys of the Tanaro and the Bormida and descended to Savona. It was enrolled in the tribus Pollia in the Augustan Regio IX. Its foundation by the Consul Q. Fulvius Flaccus in 179 B.C. seems to have preceded by some years the Roman occupation of the territory.

Pollentia was certainly a fortified city, as is confirmed by the sources. Cicero records it as the scene of encounters between the followers of Antony and of Brutus during the war of Modena (Ad. Fam. 11.14). Suetonius, reporting an episode in the revolt of the urban populace under Tiberius, mentions the numerous gates in the city walls (Tib. 37). Hygenus the Surveyor drew Pollentia with its walled perimeter in the age of Trajan.

The city was rectangular in plan oriented approximately N, following the usual scheme of Roman military establishments. The remains of ancient walls, which may belong to the fortified enclosure, have been noted in the past between the road to Cherasco and the Tanaro. Other traces of public buildings, a temple and a theater, appeared in explorations made in 1805 but are no longer visible. In the Imperial age the city contained a temple dedicated to Victory and another dedicated to Plotina, which is mentioned in local inscriptions. There was also an aqueduct and an amphitheater. Outside the walls, along the principal roads, were monumental mausolea. One of these, with a circular plan, has been discovered on the way to Alba. The necropoleis were along the principal roads and provide the major part of the material from Pollentia housed in the Municipal Museum of Bra. The city was well-known and prosperous in the early centuries of the Empire. It produced dark-colored wool cloth, fine purple wool, and pleasing ceramic cups. The city was the base of a garrison of Sarmatae in the 4th c., and the scene in 402 of the victory of Stilicone over the Goths of Alaric.


Cic. Fam. 11.14; Mart. 14. 157,158; Sil. Pun. 7, 599; Plin. 3.49; Suet. Tib. 37; Ptol. 3.1.45; Claud., Cons. Hon. 127,202; Oros. 7.37; Cassiod. Chron. 11.154; Not. Dig. occ. p. 21; Tab. Peut.

CIL V, 7615ff; Inscr. It. IX, 1; XVIII, 126ff; G. Franchi Pont., Delle antichità di Pollenzo (1806); F. Gabotto, Pollenzo (1895); P. Barocelli, “Sepolcreti di cremati,” BSPABA (1933) 65ff; G. Pesce, “La necropoli in contrada Pedaggera,” NSc (1936) 373; E. Mosca, “Note archeologiche pollentine,” RStLig (1958) 137; id., “Scavi nella necropoli di Pollenzo,” BPC (1962) 135; S. Curto, Pollenzo antica (1964).


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    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.5
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