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DERTO´NA (Δέρθων, Strab. v. p.217; Δερτῶνα, Ptol. 3.1.35: Tortona), an important city of Liguria, situated in the interior of that province, at the northern foot of the Apennines, and on the high road leading from Genua to Placentia. The Itineraries place it 51 miles from the latter city, and 71 from Genua, but this last distance is greatly overstated. (Itin. Ant. pp. 288, 294.) Strabo speaks of it as one of the most considerable towns in this part of Italy, and we learn from Pliny that it was a Roman colony. Velleius mentions it among those founded under the republic, though its date was uncertain; but it appears to have been recolonised under Augustus, from whence we find it bearing in inscriptions the title of “Julia Dertona.” (VeIl. Pat. 1.15; Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 7; Orell. Inscr. 74.) Decimus Brutus encamped here on his march in pursuit of Antonius, after the battle of Mutina (Cic. Fam. 11.1. 0), and it was, one of the places where a body of troops was usually stationed during the later ages of the empire. (Not. Dign. ii. p. 121.) Ptolemy erroneously places Dertona among the Taurini; its true position is clearly marked by Strabo and the Itineraries, as well as by the modern town of Tortona, which retains the ancient name. Many ancient tombs were extant here in the time of Cluverius, and a remarkable sarcophagus is still preserved in the cathedral. (Cluver. Ital. p. 81; Millin, Voy. en Piémont, vol. ii. p. 281.) [E. H. B:]

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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.5
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 3.1
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