Acerrae (Cisalpine Gaul)

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Acerrae (Ancient Greek : Ἀχέρραι) was ‘a city of Cisalpine Gaul, in the territory of the Insubres. Polybius describes it merely as situated between the Alps and the Po; and his words are copied by Stephanus of Byzantium: but Strabo tells us that it was near Cremona: and the Tabula places it on the road from that city to Laus Pompeia (Lodi Vecchio), at a distance of 22 Roman miles from the latter place, and 13 from Cremona. These distances coincide with the position of Gherra or Gera , a village, or rather suburb of Pizzighettone, on the right bank of the river Adda . It appears to have been a place of considerable strength and importance (probably as commanding the passage of the Adda) even before the Roman conquest: and in B.C. 222, held out for a considerable time against the consuls Marcellus and Scipio, but was compelled to surrender after the battle of Clastidium.’ [1]

Cisalpine Gaul Roman province

Cisalpine Gaul was the part of Italy inhabited by Celts (Gauls) during the 4th and 3rd centuries BC. Conquered by the Roman Republic in the 220s BC, it was a Roman province from c. 81 BC until 42 BC, when it was merged into Roman Italy. Until that time, it was considered part of Gaul, precisely that part of Gaul on the "hither side of the Alps", as opposed to Transalpine Gaul.

Insubres

The Insubres or Insubri were a Gaulish population settled in Insubria, in what is now the Italian region of Lombardy. They were the founders of Mediolanum (Milan). Though completely Gaulish at the time of Roman conquest, they were the result of the fusion of pre-existing Ligurian and Celtic population with Gaulish tribes.

Polybius Ancient Greek historian

Polybius was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period noted for his work The Histories, which covered the period of 264–146 BC in detail. The work describes the rise of the Roman Republic to the status of dominance in the ancient Mediterranean world and includes his eyewitness account of the Sack of Carthage in 146 BC.

According to Polybius, [2] in 222BC the Romans invaded the territory of the Insubres and laid siege to Acerrae during the consulships of Consuls whom Polybius names Marcus Claudius and Gnaeus Cornelius (ie. Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus and Marcus Claudius Marcellus).

Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus was a Roman general and statesman.

Marcus Claudius Marcellus Roman military leader and Second Punic War general

Marcus Claudius Marcellus, five times elected as consul of the Roman Republic, was an important Roman military leader during the Gallic War of 225 BC and the Second Punic War. Marcellus gained the most prestigious award a Roman general could earn, the spolia opima, for killing the Gallic military leader and king Viridomarus in hand-to-hand combat in 222 BC at the Battle of Clastidium. Furthermore, he is noted for having conquered the fortified city of Syracuse in a protracted siege during which Archimedes, the famous mathematician, scientist and inventor, was killed. Marcus Claudius Marcellus died in battle in 208 BC, leaving behind a legacy of military conquests and a reinvigorated Roman legend of the spolia opima.

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References

  1. Quoted from Edward Herbert Bunbury, ‘ ACERRAE’, in Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography , ed. by William Smith, 2 vols (London:Walton and Maberly, 1854), I, 11. Bunbury supplies the following references: Pol. ii. 34 ; Plut. Marc. 6 ; Zonar. viii. 20 ; Strab. v. p. 247 ; Steph.B. s.v; Tab. Peut.; Cluver. Ital. p. 244.
  2. Polybius, Histories, 2:34