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Vercelli(vārchĕl`lē), city (1991 pop. 49,458), capital of Vercelli prov., Piedmont, N Italy, on the Sesia River. It is an important rice market and has food-processing, machinery, and textile industries. A Roman town and later a prosperous free commune, it passed to the Visconti of Milan in 1335 and was ceded by them to the house of Savoy in 1427. Of note is the Gothic basilica of Sant' Andrea (13th cent.), which has a Renaissance cloister and a convent. The only school of painting in Piedmont flourished at Vercelli in the 15th–16th cent. In the library of the cathedral (16th–18th cent.) is the Vercelli Book or Codex Vercellensis, a late 10th-century Anglo-Saxon manuscript that contains a collection of religious poems, including Elene by CynewulfCynewulf
, fl. early 9th cent.?, Old English religious poet of Northumbria or Mercia. Four poems have been ascribed to him on the evidence of his signatures in runes in the text of each of these poems.
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a city in northern Italy, in the Piedmont region, located in the western Paduan Plain, on the Sesia River (a tributary of the Po River). Administrative center of Vercelli Province. Transportation junction on the Turin-Milan railway line. Population, 56,000 (1968).
Vercelli is an important agricultural and trade center (serving as the European rice market). The city engages in the manufacture of farm machinery and the production of fertilizers, toxic chemicals, synthetic fibers, plywood veneers, and cement; there are also textile and food industries, as well as the manufacture of musical instruments. Near Vercelli, in the city of Trino, is an atomic power plant; and there is an atomic scientific research center in the city of Saluggia.
In July 101 B.C., near Vercelli, the Roman army of the consul Gaius Marius (approximately 50,000 men) smashed the German Cimbri tribe, led by Boiorix; this tribe had pushed into northern Italy in 102 B.C. Up to 60,000 Cimbrian prisoners (for the most part, women and children) were sold into slavery.