Flavia Sebrio

Date
02/02/2019 (Cs) - 06/02/2019 (Mi)- 21/07/2019
Region
Lombardia
Town
Castelseprio (VA) e Milano
Subject
numismatics

Castelseprio’s fortune was determined by its strategic position in the middle Olona Valley, controlling riverine and terrestrial routes towards the Alpine passes and central Europe. The military structures founded in Late Antiquity (4th – 5th century) were reinforced under the Goths (5th – 6th century) with the birth of the castrum, surrounded by an imposing turreted town wall that extended to include Torba in the valley bottom.

Under Lombard rule, from the late 6th century until 774, in addition to being a military garrison Castrum Sibrium was also the juridical and administrative centre of the Giudicaria del Seprio, becoming the seat of a powerful aristocracy of knights and high-ranking officials of whom survives scarce but important evidence, such as the Wideramn funerary inscription. Castelseprio currently lacks the abundant weapons found as grave goods at other Lombard sites; these are illustrated in the exhibition by finds from the cemetery of Nosate (MI) thanks to collaboration with the Civico Museo Archeologico di Milano.

The most significant indication of Sibrium‘s central role and its direct contacts with the royal court consists of the rare coins minted by the Lombards and currently on display in the Museo Archeologico di Milano: the late 6th century gold pseudo-imperial tremissis bearing the name of Justinian I, and the gold starred tremisses of King Desiderius (756-774) bearing the legend Flavia Sebrio, which qualifies Sibrium as a "royal town".