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AUGUSTA TAURINORUM (Αὐγούστα Ταυρινῶν, Ptol.: Torino or Turin), the capital of the Ligurian tribe of the Taurini, was situated on the river Padus, at its junction with the Duria Minor or Dora Riparia. It was at this point that the Padus began to be navigable, and to this circumstance, combined with its position on the line of high road leading from Mediolanum and Ticinum to the passage of the Cottian Alps (Mont Genèvre), the city doubtless owed its early importance. It is probable that the chief city of the Taurini, which was taken by Hannibal immediately after his descent into Italy (Plb. 3.60), and the name of which, according to Appian (Annib. 5), was Taurasia, was the same that became a Roman colony under Augustus, and received from him the name of Augusta. The only subsequent mention of it in history is during the civil war between Otho and Vitellius, A.D. 69, when a considerable part of it was burnt by the soldiers of the latter (Tac. Hist. 2.66); but we learn both from Pliny and Tacitus, as well as from numerous inscriptions, that it retained its colonial rank, and was a place of importance under the Roman empire. (Plin. Nat. 3.17. s. 21; Ptol. 3.1.35; Gruter. Inscr. pp. 458. 8, 495. 5; Maffei, Mus. Veron. pp. 209--233; Millin. Voy. en Piémont, vol. i. p. 254.)

The name of Augusta seems to have been gradually dropped, and the city itself came to be called by the name of the tribe to which it belonged: thus we find it termed in the Itineraries simply “Taurini,” from whence comes its modern name of Torino or Turin. It continued after the fall of the Roman empire to be a place of importance, and became the capital of Piedmont, as it now is of the kingdom of Sardinia. With the exception of the inscriptions [p. 1.340]which have been mentioned above, it retains no vestiges of antiquity.


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