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LODI

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Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 862 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LODI, a town and episcopal see of Piedmont, Italy, in the province of Milan, 202 m. by rail S.E. of that city, on a hill above the right bank of the Adda, 230 ft. above sea-level. Pop. (1901) 19,970 (town), 26,827 (commune). The site of the city is an eminence rising very gradually from the Lombard plain, and the surrounding country is one of the richest dairy districts in Italy. The cathedral (1158), with a Gothic facade and a 16th-century lateral tower, has a restored interior. The church of the Incoronata was erected by Battaggio (1488) in the Bramantesque style. It is an elegant octagonal domed structure, and is decorated with frescoes by the Piazza family, natives of the town, and four large altar-pieces by Calisto Piazza (died after 1561). There is a fine organ of 1507. The 13th-century Gothic church of San Francesco, restored in 1889, with 14th-century paintings, is also noticeable. The Palazzo Modegnani has a fine gateway in the style of Bramante, and the hospital a cloistered quadrangle. In the Via Pompeia is an early Renaissance house with fine decorations in marble and terra-cotta. Besides an extensive trade in cheese (Lodi producing more Parmesan than Parma itself) and other dairy produce, there are manufactures of linen, silk, majolica and chemicals. The ancient Laus Pompeia lay 31 m. W. of the present city, and the site is still occupied by a considerable village, Lodi Vecchio, with the old cathedral of S. Bassiano, now a brick building, which contains 15th-century frescoes. It was the point where the roads from Mediolanum to Placentia and Cremona diverged, and there was also a road to Ticinum turning off from the former, but it is hardly mentioned by classical writers. It appears to have been a municipium. No ruins exist above ground, but various antiquities have been found here. From which Pompeius, whether Cn. Pompeius Strabo, who gave citizenship to the Transpadani, or his son, the more famous Pompey, it took its name is not certain. In the middle ages Lodi was second to Milan among the cities of northern Italy. A dispute with the archbishop of Milan about the investiture of the bishop of Lodi (1024) proved the beginning of a protracted feud between the two cities. In 1111 the Milanese laid the whole place in ruins and forbade their rivals to restore what they had destroyed, and in 1158, when in spite of this prohibition a fairly flourishing settlement had again been formed, they repeated their work in a more thorough manner. A number of the Lodigians had settled on Colle Eghezzone; and their village, the Borgo d'Isella, on the site of a temple of Hercules, soon grew up under the patronage of Frederick Barbarossa into a new city of Lodi (1162). At first subservient to the emperor, Lodi was before long compelled to enter the Lombard League, and in 1198 it formed alliance offensive and defensive with Milan. The strife between the Sommariva or aristocratic party and the Overgnaghi or democratic party was so severe that the city divided into two distinct communes. The Overgnaghi, expelled in 1236, were restored by Frederick II. who took the city after three months' siege. Lodi was actively concerned in the rest of therGuelph and Ghibelline struggle. In 1416 its ruler, Giovanni Vignati, was treacherously taken prisoner by Filippo Maria Visconti, and after that time it became dependent on Milan. The duke of Brunswick captured it in 1625, in the interests of Spain; and it was occupied by the French (1701), by the Austrians (1706), by the king of Sardinia (1733), by the Austrians (1736), by the Spaniards (1745), and again by the Austrians (1746). On the loth of May 1796 was fought the battle of Lodi between the Austrians and Napoleon, which made the latter master of Lombardy.
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