Short URL for this page:

[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
mail: Bill Thayer 
[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]

An article from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, now in the public domain.
Any color photos are mine, © William P. Thayer.


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 15th 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 Podestà. 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 in 1516‑1524 by Ambrogio da Milano and Francesco di Vito Lombardo; the slender dome was not added till 1606; its plan is a Greek cross. S. Filippoº 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 Ameriaº and Perusia, but otherwise is hardly mentioned. Narses won a victory over the Goths near Todi in 552, and Totila lost his life.​a 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​b lay 9 m. to the east on the Via Flaminia. Several inscriptions mention it (Corpus inscript. lat. XI.694).

Thayer's Notes:

a On an Umbrian scale, it's peculiar to locate the battle of Tadinum, to which this refers, as "near Todi", and I suspect a slip on the part of the writer, influenced by the similarity in names. The site of the battle, as has long been known, is in the comune of Gualdo Tadino, pretty much at the opposite end of modern Umbria, 59 km away to the NE.

b Usually referred to today as vicus ad Martis; the town has been localized in the immediate area of S. Maria in Pantano, a very old church just south of Massa Martana.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 26 Oct 18