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MI´NCIUS (Μίγκιος: Mincio), a considerable river of Gallia Cisalpina, and one of the most important of the northern tributaries of the Padus. (Plin. Nat. 3.16. s. 20, 19. s. 23; Strab. iv. p.209.) It has its sources in the Rhaetian Alps, at the foot of the Monte Tonale, from which it flows to the lake Benacus, or Lago di Garda, which is formed by the accumulation of its waters; from thence it issues again at Peschiera (the ancient Ardelica), and has from thence a course of about 40 miles, till it falls into the Po near Governolo, about 10 miles above Hostilia. In the upper part of its course it is a mere mountain torrent; but after it leaves the lake Benacus it is a deep and clear stream, which holds a slow and winding course through the low and marshy plains of this part of Cisalpine Gaul. It is characteristically described by Virgil, who dwelt on its banks. (Verg. Ecl. 7.13, Georg. 3.15, Aen. 10.206.) In the immediate neighbourhood of Mantua the waters of the Mincius stagnate, so as to form shallow lakes of considerable extent, which surround that city on three sides, the fourth being also protected by artificial inundations.

A battle was fought on the banks of the Mincius in B.C. 197, between the consul Cornelius and the combined forces of the Insubres and Cenomani, in which the latter were entirely defeated, and their leader, the Carthaginian Hamilcar, taken prisoner. (Liv. 32.30.) At a much later period it was on the banks of the Mincius, near its confluence with the Padus, at a place called by Jornandes Acroventus, Mamboleius, that the celebrated interview took place between Pope Leo I. and Attila, which led the king of the Huns to withdraw his forces from Italy. (Jornand. Get. 42 ; P. Diac. Hist. Miscell. xv. p. 549.)


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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.16
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 32, 30
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