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DIOCESE OF SARSINA (SARSINATENSIS)

Located in Aemilia, Province of Forli, Italy. Besides agriculture and cattle-raising, the principal employments of the population are the sulphur and manganese industries. There are some deposits of fossilized carbon and various sulphur springs. Ruins of temples, baths, and fortifications; and urns, pillars, bronze objects, etc., show that this town, the birthplace of Plautus, was important in ancient days. It was an Umbrian city, was captured by Cornelius Scipio in 271 and was later a municipium . In the tenth century the bishops obtained the temporal sovereignty of the city and the surrounding district. From 1327 till 1400 it was disputed for by the Ordelaffi of Forli, the popes, and the bishops. In the fifteenth century it was subject in turn to the Malatesta of Cesena, and then to those of Rimini, from whom it was taken by Caesar Borgia (1500-03), on whose death it was captured by the Venetians (1503-09). In 1518 it was enfeoffed to the Pio di Meldola, passing later to the Aldobrandini. The cathedral is a noteworthy monument of the eighth century. The patron of the city is St. Vicinus, believed to have been bishop about the year 300; another bishop was Sts. Rufinus (fifth century). We may also mention: Benno (770), who erected the cathedral ; St. Apollinaris (1158), monk ; Guido (1255), who defended the rights of his church and was killed for so doing; Francesco Calboli (1327), had to defend the city by force of arms against Francesco Ordelaffi; Benedetto Mateucci Accorselli (1385), the last prince bishop ; Gianfilippo Negusanti (1398), renowned for his piety and erudition; Raffaele degli Alessi (1524), reformed the discipline and the morals of the people; Nicolo Branzi (1602) was imprisoned in the Castle of S. Angelo but liberated later. In 1807 Napoleon suppressed the see, which, having been re-established in 1817, was in 1824 united to that of Bertinoro ; but in 1853 was again re-established. The diocese is suffragan of Ravenna, and contains 34 parishes, with 90 secular priests, 32,000 inhabitants, and 2 houses of monks.


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