Todi - Encyclopedia

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TODI (anc. Tuder), a town and episcopal see of the province of Perugia, Italy, 28 m. S. of Perugia by road, on a steep hill above the east bank of the Tiber, 1348 ft. above sea-level, and 866 ft. above the river. Pop. (1901), 3599 (town), 16,528 (commune). Some portions of the ancient town walls - of two enceintes, an inner and an outer, the former attributed to the original Umbrian inhabitants, the latter to the Romans - are preserved, and also remains of baths, amphitheatre, theatre, and a substruction wall of massive masonry, with four niches. Here was found the bronze statue of Mars, now in the Vatican, so that the building is sometimes erroneously called the temple of Mars. Beneath the cathedral square, at the highest point of the town, is a large reservoir. The Romanesque cathedral has a simple façade (partly of the 11th, partly of the 14th and i 5th centuries), with a fine portal and rose window. In the same square is the massive Romanesque Gothic Palazzo Comunale of 1267, the Palazzo dei Priori and the Palazzo della Podesta. The Gothic church of S. Fortunato, with its nave and aisles of the same height, has a splendid portal; the upper part of the façade is unfinished. Both this church and the cathedral have good choir-stalls.

Just outside the town on the west is the pilgrimage church of S. Maria della Consolazione, one of the finest buildings of the Renaissance, and often wrongly attributed to Bramante. Contemporary documents prove that the interior was begun in 1508 by Cola Matteuccio da Caprarola, and the exterior completed in1516-1524by Ambrogio da Milano and Francesco di Vito Lombardo; the slender dome was not added till .1606; its plan is a Greek cross. S. Fillippo in the town, a church of the early 16th century, betrays the influence of the Consolazione in details.

During the period of its independence, the town struck coins with the legend Tutere. It is hardly mentioned in history until it received Roman citizenship in the Social War. Crassus took it in 83 B.C.; and a colony was founded there by Octavian, including some soldiers of the 41st legion, which only existed in his time, after which it bore the name Colonia Iulia fida Tuder. It was a station "on the road between America and Perusia, but otherwise is hardly mentioned. Narses won a victory over the Goths near Todi in 552, and Totila lost his life. In the middle ages it had frequent struggles with Perugia, and its obedience to the church until the 16th century was somewhat fitful. The village of Vicus Martis Tudertium lay 9 m. to the east on the Via Flaminia. Several inscriptions mention it (Corpus inscript. lat. xi. 694).

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