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Piazza della Chiesa – Inscriptions

Italia, Regione Piemonte, provincia del Verbano Cusio Ossola, Baveno

Positioning

Piazza della Chiesa

COORDINATES
(CH 1903) E   682674 N   84605 H  
(WGS 84) Long.   8.504 Lat.   45.908
GENERAL EVALUATION
DIFFICULTY
INTERESSE CONTESTUALE Archaeological, Architectural
Historical
ARCHAEOSITE   cemetaries/burial

DESCRIPTION

The Chiesa Propositurale di SS. Gervaso e Protaso (Parish Church of St. Gervase and St. Protase) contains some funerary and votive Roman inscriptions, indicating that the area was already considered as holy in ancient times, and that it contained a number of Pre-Christian religious buildings and monuments.

INSIGHT

The façade of the Church bears an inscription on Candoglia marble by a servant (Trophimus Daphnidianus) of Emperor Claudius. A second inscription, in gneiss rock, appears along the southern wall of the church, and the fragmented text suggests that it should be interpreted as a funerary inscription of a personal nature, by a man (Valenzius) dedicating the monument to other members of his family. There is also an upright marble aedicule slab found in 2002, which has a niche capped by a triangular pediment where the low section is filled by two dolphins carved in relief, with their tails intertwined, probably around a helm. Inside the niche are two busts with abraded faces, probably depicting a married couple (the male is wearing a toga and the female is veiled), while in the centre there are two small busts that can be identified as the children of the couple. Only one line of the inscription is legible, and it presumably contains the name of the dedicant [CRES]TVS. Finally, a stone slab was discovered in 2011, and in its upper part it is just possible to see traces of a circular design (perhaps a panther); another two barely discernible circular designs can be seen immediately below, perhaps depicting wheels with spokes. The central section has been completely obliterated, while the lower part contains the recognisable shapes of two cows face to face, and a smaller four-legged animal standing between them (perhaps a sheep). These illustrations suggest that the slab might have had religious significance and might therefore depict a sacrificial scene.

scala temporale periodi geologici

HOW TO REACH THE SITE

Take motorway A26, exit at Baveno and follow directions to the old town centre. The Parish House (Casa Parrocchiale) is near the Baptistry and the Chiesa dei Santi Gervasio e Protasio (sign-posted).

USEFUL INFORMATION FOR THE VISIT

TO LEARN MORE

MOMMSEN Th., C.I.L., V, nn. 5997, 6638 e 6639;
CARAMELLA P., DE GIULI A. (1982), "Un secolo di scoperte archeologiche in provincia", in "Oscellana", p. 192;
CARAMELLA P., DE GIULI A. (1993), “Archeologia dell'Alto Novarese”, Mergozzo, p. 27;
FERRUA A. (1973), "Escursioni epigrafiche nell'alto Novarese", in "BSPN" n. LXIV, p. 16;
PANERO E. (2003), “Insediamenti celtici e romani in una terra di confine. Materiali per un sistema informativo territoriale nel Verbano Cusio Ossola tra culture padano-italiche e apporti transalpini”, Alessandria, p. 294;
PATTARONI F. (1986), "La necropoli gallo-romana di Gravellona Toce", Novara, pp. 30-31;
SPAGNOLO GARZOLI G. (2002), "Baveno, Parrocchia. Rinvenimento di stele funerarie", in "QuadAPiem" n. 19, pp. 177-178, tav. LXXXVII.

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Programma di cooperazione transfrontaliera Italia - Svizzera 2007 - 2013 Progetto cofinanziato dal Fondo Europeo Sviluppo Regionale (FESR)
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