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Italia






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ITALIA, Italy. This most noble and most interesting of European countries was thus called, from Italus, ancient King of the CEnotrians, or, a Thueydides says, of the Sicilians, previous to which it bore the name of Hesperia, from Hesperius, brother of Atlas, King of Mauritania. Latium and Ausonia are also names of certain parts of the same celebrated and beautiful region, which has for its natural boundries the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea.

ITALIA Italy's fertility and power over the rest of the world are expressed: the one by the cornucopiae and the ears of corn; the other by the sceptre, on coins of Vespian, Titus, Hadrian, etc. First brass medals of Antoninus Pius and also of Commodus represent ITALIA under the figure of a matronly female (the latter with head turrited) sitting on a globe and holding the hasta pura and cornucopia.


ITALIA. A woman standing with a spear in her right and cornucopiae in the left hand. It is thus that Italy and its personified genius are stamped on silver coins of Hadrian, whose arrival in that country (ADVENTIS AVG ITALIAE) is also marked on others of his medals. A woman with cornucopiae, holding a patera on a lighted altar, on the other side of which stands the emperor: ADVENTI AVG ITALIAE: on the gold, silver, and brass of Hadrian.

Hadrian's first coming to Italy is dated in the year of Rome 871, and this advent was often commemorated; as often, indeed, as he returned to the capital of his empire from his accustomed peregrinations. But it also appears that the mistress of the world reveived many benefits and embellishments from him. He remitted her fiscal debt; an indulgence which greatly relieved Italy. In and increased spirit of liberality he remitted to her moreover the aurum coronarium (see the words); and he augmented the funds which Trajan had destined for the maintenance (alimenta) of a certain number of the Italian youth of both sexes.

He likewise bore annual honorary office in the magistry of many cities of Italy; thus establishing, beyond the mere claim of imperial flattery, his pretension to be called RESTITVTOR ITALIAE, as he is styled on a fine large brass medal, the reverse of which exhibits the emperor who, standing, raises with his hand a woman bending the knee to him, and holding the cornucopiae.

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