Vercelli, Italy

Town and capital of Vercelli province, in Piedmontregion, 39 mi WSW of Milan. Originally the capitalof the Libici tribe, it later became a Roman municipium. At the nearby Campi Raudii Hannibal won his first victory on Roman soil in 218 b.c. during the Second Punic War. In 101 b.c. the Cimbri were defeated here by Marius and Catullus. An independent republic during the Middle Ages, it came under Milan in 1335 and passed to Savoy in 1427. The library of thecathedral contains the 10th-century Anglo-Saxon manuscript, the Codex Vercellensis.