), a river of Liguria, the most important of all the southern tributaries of the Padus.
It rises in the Maritime Alps above Ceva
(Ceba), flows at first due N., receives near Cherasco
the waters of the Stura,
a stream as considerable as itself, then turns to the NE., passes within a few miles of Pollentia (Pollenza
), flows under the walls of Alba Pompeia and Asta (Asti
), and discharges its waters into the Po
about 15 miles below Valenza
It receives many considerable tributaries besides the Stura
already mentioned, of which the most important is the Bormida,
the ancient name of which has not been preserved to us; but the Orba,
a minor stream which falls into it a few miles above its junction with the Tanaro,
is evidently the river Urbs, mentioned by Claudian (B. Get.
555), the name of which had given rise to an ambiguous prophecy, that had misled the Gothic king Alaric. The Belbo,
which falls into the Tanaro
a few miles above the Bormida,
has been identified with the Fevus of the Tabula; but the names of rivers given in that document in this part of Italy are so corrupt, and their positions so strangely misplaced, that it is idle to attempt their determination. Though the Tanarus is one of the most important rivers of Northern Italy, its name is not mentioned by any of the geographers except Pliny; nor does it occur in history until long after the fall of the Western Empire. (Plin. Nat. 3.16. s. 20
; P. Diac. Hist. Lang.