Tergeste - Encyclopedia

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TERGESTE (mod. Trieste, q.v.), an ancient city of Istria, 26 m. by road E.S.E. of Aquileia, at the northern extremity of the peninsula of Istria, in a bay at the head of the Adriatic Sea. Its importance was in ancient days, as now, mainly due to its commerce as the outlet of Pannonia and Dalmatia. It is first mentioned about too B.C. as a village. In 52 B.C. it was attacked by barbarian tribes from the interior. In 33 B.C. Augustus during his Dalmatian wars built a wall and towers there, as an inscription records; in a medieval copy of it the emperor Frederick III. mentions his own restoration of the city walls for the fourth time in 1470. At this time it probably became a colony, as it certainly was in Pliny's days. It appears to have had an extensive territory assigned to it. The loftily situated cathedral of S. Giusto occupies the site of a Roman temple, some of the walls and columns of which may be seen in the tower Into the facade are built fragments of sepulchral reliefs. The church itself has a curious plan which is due to its having been formed out of two distinct churches standing side by side, which were united in the 14th century. Each of these is a basilica with ancient columns and mosaics in the apse. The southern church, S. Giusto, has a central dome. The socalled Arco di Riccardo is a half-buried Roman arch with Corinthian pilasters, possibly a triumphal arch, possibly connected with an aqueduct.

The museum contains inscriptions, mosaic pavements, &c., from the ancient town, of which no remains beyond those mentioned now exist above ground.

See Th. Mommsen in Corp. inscr. Latin. V. (1883), p. 53 sqqT. G. Jackson, Dalmatia, Istria and the Quarnero (Oxford, 1887), III., 343; G. Caprini, Trieste (Bergamo, 2906). (T. As.)

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