Sites & cities that bear the name of Chieri


Today in : Italy
First trace of activity : ca. 5th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Karreo?, Karrea?, Carrea?, Karreum?, Carreum Potentia, Cher

Description : Chieri (Italian: ; Piedmontese: Cher) is a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Turin, Piedmont (Italy), located about 11 kilometres (7 miles) southeast of Turin, 15 km (9 mi) by rail and 13 km (8 mi) by road. Between the Neolithic and the Iron Age, the original inhabitants of this part of the Italian peninsula were the Ligures. The Ligures living in this area of the Po river plain belonged specifically to the Taurini tribe. The location of Chieri is within the Taurini tribe's territory, in the belt of hills which surround Turin. The original settlement was most likely founded by them, being sited on a prominent hill (on which the church of San Giorgio currently stands) and growing to be the geographical focus of the city centre. Its original name would have been Karreum or a variant thereof (e.g. Karreo/Karrea/Carrea); this is based on the root kar, which possibly means "stone", reflecting the typical Ligurian settlement layout of a stone edifice at the centre of a grouping of other habitations within a village, which would have likely been the original layout of Chieri. Sometime around 400 BCE, Celtic tribes crossed the Alps from Gaul and settled the Po river plain. These peoples mingled with the original Ligures, either through conquest or peaceful cohabitation, and gave rise to a Celto-Ligurian people, inhabiting the region which the Romans would call Cisalpine Gaul, i.e. "Gaul this side of the Alps". Roman The Romans, over the two centuries between 400-200 BCE, conducted a prolonged counter-offensive to conquer all of the northern Italian peninsula, partially in response to successive invasions, starting with Gauls led by king Brennus in 391 BCE, and later the Carthaginians under the great general Hannibal Barca in 218 BCE. It is likely sometime after 176 BCE that Cisalpine Gaul was completely subdued by Roman legions, and this would have included the village of Karreum itself. This was possibly under the command of Roman consul Caius Claudius Pulcrus, leading a military response to a rebellion the year before by the Ligures. Following this Roman conquest in the 2nd Century BCE, the village became known as the Roman settlement of Carreum Potentia: the Latin name Potentia (derived from potens, "powerful") being added as a cognomen to the original Ligurian name. It is likely that, following similar examples elsewhere, at Carreum Potentia the Roman settlement was built alongside the pre-Roman one, the Roman part built on lower ground in the plain, alongside the Rio Tepice stream and at the base of the original native hill-top settlement. It would appear the Forum and the main Temple (most likely dedicated to the goddess Minerva) were located in the area where the cathedral and the piazza around it currently stand, with a wall around it (traces of which were excavated in the 1960s). Roman historian Pliny the Elder referenced "Carreum quod Potentia cognominatur", in his Naturalis Historia (dated 50-60 AD), naming it within a list of fortified settlements which then abounded in the section of Cisalpine Gaul between the River Po and the Ligurian Apennines: the city was portrayed as a prosperous Roman walled city, surrounded by cultivated farmlands and scattered agricultural settlements. By the 1st Century AD, Carreum Potentia was indeed referred to as a Roman municipium, i.e. a seat of local government for the surrounding area. The city underwent conversion to Christianity sometime in the 5th century, as recorded on a funeral slab dated from June 488 AD for a little girl called Genesia who died at the age of two. According to Marguerite de Lussan, biographer of Louis Balbe-Bertone de Crillon, the city of Chieri was given a republican form of government by a Balbus, member of a patrician Roman family, who relocated to the city in the late sixth century. No evidence of this statement is provided, although Chieri would emerge in the middle ages as a republic striving for independence from its feudal liege lords.

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