Sigeric the Serious: Via Francigena, Pamphica (Pavia), Circa 990 AD

Submansio XLI – Pamphica

Dating back to pre-Roman times, the town of Pavia, then known as Ticinum was a municipality and an important Roman military site. It was said by Pliny the Elder to have been founded by the Ligures, while Ptolemy attributed it to the Insubres.  The importance of Ticinum grew with the extension of the Via Aemilia, which forked  at Placentia, one branch going to Mediolanum (Milano) and the other to Ticinum.


An Insubres chief from the time of Hannibal, ca. 200 B.C.

The city was the capital of the Kingdom of the Lombards from 572 to 774.

The ill-famed Queen Eadburh, also nicknamed the Saxon serial killer, had taken refuge in Pavia after having been driven away from both England and Charlemagne’s court and ended her days begging in the streets of the city.


Queen Eadburgh, England 787-802 A.D.

According to V. Ortenberg West, at the time of Sigeric’s visit, Anglo-Saxon pilgrims would have perhaps stayed at the xenodochium of Sta Maria Brittonorum, founded in 868. In the early Middle ages, a xenodochium was a type of hostel for foreigners or pilgrims, but the term could refer to charitable institutions in general.


Map of Pavia, from Theatrum Urbium Italicarum, Pietro Bertelli, Venice, 1599


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