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PIEDMONT (Ital. Piemonte; Low Lat. Pe...

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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 588 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PIEDMONT (Ital. Piemonte; Low Lat. Pedemons and Pedemontium), a territorial division (compartimento) of northern Italy, bounded N. by Switzerland, W. by France, S. by Liguria had been deemed sufficient when the roof was of timber only, and E. by Lombardy. Physically it may be briefly described and led to the development of the compound or clustered pier. as the upper gathering-ground and valley of the river Po, To give extra support to the subordinate arches of the nave enclosed on all sides except towards the Lombard ptain by the arcade, semicircular shafts or pilasters were added, carried up vast semicircle of the Pennine, Graian, Cottian, Maritime and to the transverse and diagonal ribs of the main vault. In Ligurian Alps. In 1859 it was divided into the four provinces Romanesque work the pier was generally square on plan with of Alessandria, Cuneo, Novara and Torino (Turin). It has an semicircular shafts attached, the angles of the pier being worked area of 11,340 sq. m. The.people are chiefly engaged in agri- with smaller shafts. As the rings or orders of the nave arches culture—growing wheat, maize and rice, chestnuts, wine and increased in number, additional shafts were added to carry hemp; in the reeling and throwing of silk and in the manu- them, and the pilaster facing the nave had central and side shafts facture of cotton, woollens and clothing; there are also rising to carry the transverse and diagonal ribs of the vault; this considerable manufactures at Turin, Savigliano, &c. The development of the compound pier obtains throughout Europe Piedmontese dialect has been rather strongly influenced by in all vaulted structures. In the Early English period the piers French. The chief towns in the several provinces are as follows, become loftier and lighter, and in most important buildings a with their communal populations in 1901: Alessandria (72,109), series of clustered columns, frequently of marble, are placed Asti (39,251), Casale Monferrato (31,370), Novi Ligure (17,868)', side by side, sometimes set at intervals round a circular centre, Tortona (17,419), Acqui (13,940), Valenza (10,956), Ovada and sometimes almost touching each other. These shafts are (10,284); total of province 825,745, number of communes 343; often wholly detached from the central pier, though grouped Cuneo (26,879), Mondovi (18,982), Fossano (18,175), Savigliano round it, in which case they are almost always of Purbeck or (17,340), Saluzzo (16,028), Bra (15,821), Alba (13,637), Bethersden marbles. In Decorated work the shafts on plan are Boves (10,137); total of province 670,504, number of corn- very often placed round a square set angle-wise, or a lozenge, munes 263; Novara (44,249), Vercelli (30,470), Biella (19,267) the long way down the nave; the centre or core itself is often Trino (12,138), Borgomanero (10,131); total of province 763,830; worked into hollows or other mouldings, to show between the number of communes, 437; Turin (329,691), Pinerolo (18,039), shafts, and to form part of the composition. In this and the Carmagnola (11,721), Ivrea (11,696), Moncalieri (11,467); total latter part of the previous style there is generally a fillet on the of province 1,147,414; number of communes, 442. The total outer part of the shaft, forming what has been called a " keel population of Piedmont was 2,738,814 in 1859, and in 1901 moulding " (q.v.). They are also often tied together by bands, 3,407,493. The large number of communes is noticeable, as formed of rings of stone and sometimes of metal. About this in Lombardy, and points to a village life which, owing to greater period, too, these intermediate mouldings run up into and form insecurity and the character of the country, is not to be found part of the arch moulds, there being no impost. This arrange-in central and southern Italy as a whole. There are numerous ment became much more frequent in the Perpendicular period; summer resorts in the Alpine valleys. The chief railway centres in fact it was almost universal, the commonest section being a are Turin, communicating with the Mont Cenis line, and with lozenge set with the long side from the nave to the aisle, and not the Riviera by the railway over the Col di Tenda (in process of towards the other arches, as in the Decorated period, with four construction), Novara, Vercelli, Asti, Alessandria, Novi. The shafts at the angles, between which were shallow mouldings, communications with Liguria are difficult owing to the approach one of which was in general a wide hollow, sometimes with wave of the mountains to the coast, and the existing lines from Genoa moulds. The small columns at the jambs of doors and windows, to Turin and Milan are hardly sufficient to cope with the traffic. and in arcades, and also those attached to piers or standing Piedmont in Roman times until 49 B.C. formed a part of Gallia detached, are generally called " shafts " (q.v.). Transpadana, and in Augustus' division of Italy formed with The term pier is sometimes applied to the solid parts of a wall what was later known as Lombardy the 11th region. It formed between windows or voids, and also to the isolated masses of part of the Lombard kingdom, and it was not till about A.D. 1000 brickwork or masonry to which gates are hung. (R. P. S.) that the house of Savoy (q.v.) arose. The subsequent history Piers of Bridges.—The piers of bridges and viaducts on land of Piedmont is that of its dynasty. are constructed of masonry or brickwork and occasionally, in
End of Article: PIEDMONT (Ital. Piemonte; Low Lat. Pedemons and Pedemontium)
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