), a Ligurian tribe, who occupied the country on the E. slope of the Alps, down to the left bank of the Padus, in the upper part of its course. They were the most northerly of the Ligurian tribes, and from their geographical position would more naturally have been regarded as belonging to Cisalpine Gaul than to Liguria; but both Strabo and Pliny distinctly say they were a Ligurian tribe, and the same thing may be inferred from the omission of their name by Polybius where he is relating the successive settlements of the Gaulish
tribes in the N. of Italy (Pol. 2.17; Strab. iv. p.204
; Plin. Nat. 3.17. s. 21
). Their territory adjoined that of the Vagienni on the S., and that of the Insubres on the NE.; though the Laevi and Lebecii, tribes of which we know very little, must also have bordered on their NE. frontier (Pol. l.c.
The first mention of the Taurini in history is at the time of Hannibal's passage of the Alps (B.C. 218), when that general, [p. 2.1113]
on descending into the plains of Italy, found the Taurini on hostile terms with the Insubres, and, in consequence, turned his arms against them, took their principal city, and put the inhabitants to the sword. (Pol. 3.60; Liv. 21.38
.) Neither Polybius nor Livy mention the name of this city, but Appian calls it Taurasia (Annib.
5): it was probably situated on the same site which was afterwards occupied by the Roman colony.
The name of the Taurini is not once mentioned during the long wars of the Romans with the Cisalpine Gauls and Ligurians, and we are ignorant of the time when they finally passed under the Roman yoke. Nor have we any precise account of the foundation of the Roman colony in their territory which assumed the name of Augusta Taurinorum, though it is certain that this took place under Augustus, and it was doubtless connected with his final subjugation of the Alpine tribes in B.C. 8. From this time the name of the Taurini never again appears in history as that of a people; but during the latter ages of the Roman Empire the city
of Augusta Taurinorum seems to have been commonly known (as was the case in many instances in Transalpine Gaul) by the name of the tribe to which it belonged, and is called simply Taurini in the Itineraries, as well as by other writers. (Itin. Ant.
p. 341; Itin. Hier.
p. 556; Tab. Peut.; Amm. Marc. 15.8.18
.) Hence its modern name of Torino or Turin.
This is the only city that we can assign with any certainty to the Taurini. On the W. their territory was bounded (at least in the days of Augustus) by the Segusiani and the other tribes subject to Cottius; and their limit in this direction is doubtless marked by the station Ad Fines, situated 18 miles from Augusta, on the road to Segusio (Itin. Ant. l.c.
But it appears probable that at an earlier period the nation of the Taurini was more widely spread, or their name used in a more comprehensive sense, so as to comprise the adjoining passes of the Alps; for Livy speaks of the Insubrian Gauls who crossed into Italy, “per Taurinos saltusque invios Alpes transcenderunt” (Liv. 5.34
), and Strabo, in enumerating, after Polybius, the passes across the Alps, designates one of them as τὴν διὰ Ταυρινῶν
(Strab. iv. p.209
.). Whether the pass here meant is the Mont Genèvre
or the Mont Cenis
(a much disputed point), it would not be included within the territory of the Taurini in the more restricted sense.