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ALBA POMPEIA

ALBA POMPEIA (Ἄλβα Πομπηΐα Ptol.: Albenses Pompeiani), a considerable town of the interior of Liguria, situated on the river Tanarus, near the northern foot of the Apennines, still called Alba. We have no account in any ancient writer of its foundation, or the origin of its name, but there is every probability that it derived its distinctive appellation from Cn. Pompeius Strabo (the father of Pompey the Great) who conferred many privileges on the Cisalpine Gauls. An inscription cited by Spon (Miscell. p. 163), according to which it was a Roman colony, founded by Scipio Africanus and restored by Pompeius Magnus, is undoubtedly spurious. (See Mannert. vol. i. p. 295.) It did not possess colonial rank, but appears as a municipal town both in Pliny and on inscriptions: though the former author reckons it among the “nobilia oppida” of Liguria. (Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 7; Ptol. 3.1.45; Orell. Inscr. 2179) It was the birth-place of the emperor Pertinax, whose father had a villa in the neighbourhood named the Villa Martis. (D. C. 73.3; Jul. Capitol. Pert. 1, 3.) Its territory was particularly favourable to the growth of vines. (Plin. Nat. 17.4. s. 3.) Alba is still a considerable town with a population of 7000 souls; it is an episcopal see and the capital of a district.

[E.H.B]

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