Turris Libisonis - Encyclopedia

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TURRIS LIBISONIS (mod. Porto Torres, q.v.), an ancient seaport town of Sardinia, situated at the north-western extremity of the island, and connected with Carales by two roads, which diverged at Othoca, one (the more important) keeping inland and the other following the west coast. It was probably of purely Roman origin, founded apparently by Julius Caesar, as it bears the title Colonia Julia; and in Pliny's time it was the only colony in the island. It is noteworthy that it apparently belonged to one of the urban tribes, the Collina; Puteoli, which belonged to the Palatina is the only other exception to the rule that municipia and coloniae were not enrolled in the urban tribes. A Roman bridge of seven arches, somewhat restored in modern times, the ruins of a temple (now known as Il Palazzo del Re Barbaro), which an inscription found there shows to have been restored (A.D. 247-249) by the praefectus of the province, together with the basilica, an aqueduct, various buildings (S. Valero Usni in Notizie degli scavi (1882), 121, A. Taramelli, ibid. (1904), 145) and some rock tombs, still exist.

The inscriptions from Turris Libisonis are given by Th. Mommsen in Corp. inscr. lat. x. 826; V. Dessi in Notizie degli scavi (1898), 260; A. Taramelli, ibid. (1904), 141. One of them (C.I.L. No. 7954) mentions the construction of a fountain basin, another the construction of a quay (riper turritana) : substructions may still be seen under water when the sea is clear. (T. As.)

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