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Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > T > Todi


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Diocese in Central Italy; immediately dependent on the Holy See. The city of Todi stands on a steep hill commanding the valley of the Tiber. Its triple walls may still be seen; the innermost, built of rough grey travertine stone, is of Umbrian or Etruscan; the middle wall is Roman, and the outside wall dates from the sixth or seventh century. The cathedral, in Lombard style, contains ten pillars of oriental marble. S. Fortunata is a splendid specimen of Italian Gothic. S. Maria della Consolazione, one of the most harmonious works of the Renaissance, was begun in 1508 by Cola Matteuccio; the cupola was constructed in 1606. The church of the Servites of Mary contains the body of St. Philip Benizi, whose statue is the work of Bernini. Almost all the churches possess pictures by Polinari, a native of Todi. The communal hall (1267) is also worthy of notice. On the pre-Roman coins the city is called Tutere; the Romans called it Tuder, or Tudertum. It was sacked by Crassus in the Civil War (83 B.C.); Augustus established a colony there. During the war of the Goths it withstood Totila during a long and severe siege. The Lombard failed to capture it, and Todi and Perugia remained the two chief fortresses defending the passage through the duchy from Rome to the Exarchate. It was included in Pepin's donation to the Holy See. In the eleventh century Todi was a republic, and in 1340 its municipal statutes were drawn up by the jurisconsult Bartolo. In the factions of the Middle Ages Todi was almost always Ghibelline, and was in constant conflict with Perugia. Boniface IX gave the city to the Malatesta of Rimini, but soon took it back. During the fifteenth century it often changed rulers — Biondo Michelotti, Pandolfo Malatesta, Francesco Sforza (1434), Piccinino, Gabriello Catalani (Guelph), who was treacherously slain (1475). The city fell into the hands of Giordano Orsini, who was expelled by Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere (Julius II). The factions were by the agreement of the Chiaravalle and the Atti. In 1503 the Orsini were again expelled, on which occasion the fortress of Gregory IX, reputed impregnable, was destroyed.

Todi is the birthplace of Fra Jacopone, the adversary of Boniface VIII and supposed author of the "Stabat Mater", and of the humanist Antonio Pasini (Antonio di Todi). The city honours several martyrs, its bishops, among whom are St. Terentius, or Terentianus, martyred under Diocletian. Other bishops are: St. Callistus, killed by the Goths, succeeded by Fortunatus, whose body was taken to France; Theophylactus (787), sent by Pope Adrian to England and to the Council of Frankfurt (794); Rustico Brancaleone (1179), several times a papal legate; Rainuccio degli Atti (1326), expelled from the city by the partisans of Nicolas V, the antipope; Andrea degli Atti (1356), the restorer of ecclesiastical discipline; Guglielmo Dallavigna (1405), who tried to induce the antipope Benedict XIII to renounce his claim; Bartolomeo Aglioni (1436), imprisoned during the troublesome times; Marcello Sante (1606), who erected the seminary; Carpegno (1638) who promoted study and discipline; Cardinal Ulderico; Cardinal Giambattista Altieri (1643), brother of Clement X, a famous canonist; the brothers Filippo (1709) and Ludovico Gualtieri (1719), who erected a new seminary; Francesco M. Pasini (1760), under whom the restoration of the cathedral was completed. The diocese contains 49,200 inhabitants, 98 parishes, 97 secular and 15 regular priests, 6 religious houses of men and 8 of women, 1 boys college, and 2 girls' schools.


CAPPELLETTI, Le chiese d'Italia, XXII (Venice, 1857); LEONI, Memorie storiche di Todi (Todi, 1860).

About this page

APA citation. Benigni, U. (1912). Todi. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Benigni, Umberto. "Todi." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Joseph C. Meyer.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. July 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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