City (pop., 2007 est.: 70,678), Lombardy, northern Italy. Located on the Ticino River, the site was originally a settlement of the Papiria tribe; it was conquered by Rome circa 220 BC. Pillaged by Attila and Odoacer in the 5th century AD, it became a centre of Gothic resistance against the Byzantine Empire. Ruled by the Visconti family (see Gian Galeazzo Visconti) from circa 1359, it became a leading Italian city-state. In 1525 it was the scene of a decisive victory by the Holy Roman emperor Charles V over the French under Francis I, who was captured. It was active in the Risorgimento and joined the Kingdom of Italy in 1859. It still retains the ancient plan of the Roman fortified town, and medieval structures remain. The University of Pavia (founded 1361) is linked with the ancient law school, which dates to 825. Pavia is a centre of communications, agriculture, and industry.
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Pavia (pronounced Pavìa, [paˈviˑa]), the ancient Ticinum, is a town and comune of south-western Lombardy, northern Italy, 35 km south of Milan on the lower Ticino river near its confluence with the Po. It has a population of c. 71,000.
Pavia is the capital of a fertile province known for agricultural products including wine, rice, cereals, and dairy products. Some industries located in the suburbs do not disturb the peaceful atmosphere which comes from the preservation of the city's past and the climate of study and meditation associated with its ancient University. The University of Pavia, together with the IUSS (Institute for Advanced Studies of Pavia), the Ghislieri College, the Borromeo College, the Nuovo College, the Santa Caterina College and the EDiSU, belongs to the Pavia Study System. Furthermore, Pavia is the see city of the Roman Catholic diocese of Pavia.
Dating back to pre-Roman times, the town of Pavia (then known as Ticinum) was a municipality and an important military site under the Roman Empire.
Here, in 476, Odoacer defeated Flavius Orestes after a long siege. To punish the city for helping the rival, Odoacer destroyed it completely. However, Orestes was able to escape to Piacenza, where Odoacer followed and killed him, deposing his son Romulus Augustus. This was commonly considered the end of the Western Roman Empire.
A late name of the city in Latin was Papia (probably related to the Pope), which evolved to the Italian name Pavia. Sometimes it's been referred to as Ticinum Papia, combining both Latin names.
After the Lombards conquest, Pavia became the capital of their kingdom. During the Rule of the Dukes, it was ruled by Zaban. It continued to function as the administrative centre of the kingdom, but by the reign of Desiderius, it had deteriorated as a first-rate defensive work and Charlemagne took it in the Siege of Pavia (June, 774) assuming the kingship of the Lombards. Pavia remained the capital of the Italian Kingdom and the centre of royal coronations until the diminution of imperial authority there in the twelfth century.
In the 12th century Pavia acquired the status of a self-governing commune. In the political division between Guelphs and Ghibellines that characterizes the Italian Middle Ages, Pavia was traditionally Ghibelline, a position that was as much supported by the rivalry with Milan as it was a mark of the defiance of the Emperor that led the Lombard League against the emperor Frederick Barbarossa, who was attempting to reassert long-dormant Imperial influence over Italy.
In the following centuries Pavia was an important and active town. Under the Treaty of Pavia, Emperor Louis IV granted during his stay in Italy the Palatinate to his brother Duke Rudolph's descendants. Pavia held out against the domination of Milan, finally yielding to the Visconti family, rulers of that city in 1359; under the Visconti Pavia became an intellectual and artistic centre, being the seat from 1361 of the University of Pavia founded around the nucleus of the old school of law, which attracted students from many countries.
The Battle of Pavia (1525) marks a watershed in the city's fortunes, since by that time, the former cleavage between the supporters of the Pope and those of the Holy Roman Emperor had shifted to one between a French party (allied with the Pope) and a party supporting the Emperor and King of Spain Charles V. Thus during the Valois-Habsburg Italian Wars, Pavia was naturally on the Imperial (and Spanish) side. The defeat and capture of king Francis I of France during the battle ushered in a period of Spanish occupation which lasted until 1713. Pavia was then ruled by the Austrians until 1796, when it was occupied by the French army under Napoleon.
Among other notable structures are:
People who have lived in Pavia include: