Comune di Usellus

Coat of arms

Location of Usellus in Sardinia

Coordinates: 39°48′N 8°51′E / 39.800°N 8.850°E / 39.800; 8.850
Country Italy
Region Sardinia
Province / Metropolitan city Oristano (OR)
Frazioni Escovedu
  Mayor Felice Atzori
  Total 35.10 km2 (13.55 sq mi)
Elevation 289 m (948 ft)
Population (December 2004)
  Total 933
  Density 27/km2 (69/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Usellesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 09090
Dialing code 0783

Usellus (Greek: Οὔσελλις; Latin: Uselis or Usellis[1]) is a town, comune (municipality) and former bishopric in the Province of Oristano in the Italian region Sardinia.

As of 31 December 2004, it had a population of 993 and an area of 35.1 square kilometres (13.6 sq mi).[2]

Usellus borders the following comuni: Albagiara, Ales, Gonnosnò, Mogorella, Villa Verde, Villaurbana.


Usellus is in the interior of Sardinia, about 25 kilometres (16 mi) from the Gulf of Oristano on the west coast, and the same distance south of Forum Trajani (modern Fordongianus). Its name is not found in the Itineraries, and the only ancient author who mentions it is Ptolemy,[3] who erroneously places it on the west coast of the island: but the existing ruins, together with the continuity of the name, leave no doubt of its true situation. It is about 5 kilometres (3 mi) northeast of the modern town of Ales.

Ptolemy styles it a colonia, and this is confirmed by an inscription on a bronze tablet of 158 CE (a tabula patronatus, setting forth that M. Aristius Balbinus had accepted the position of patron of the town for himself and his heirs) that speaks of the place as Colonia Julia Augusta Uselis. It would hence appear probable that the colony must have been founded under Augustus, though Pliny[4] asserts that Turris Libisonis (modern Porto Torres) was the only colony in Sardinia at his time (79 CE, hence after Augustus' reign)[5] It may be that civic rights were obtained from Augustus.[6][7]

Ecclesiastical history

Circa 590 AD a Latin bishopric was established as Diocese of Uselli. Only its last bishops are known :

In 1182 it was renamed as bishopric of Ales as the episcopal see was transferred to nearby Ales, where the cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul (Apostles) stands.

Main sights


  1. Richard Talbert, Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, (ISBN 0-691-03169-X), Map 48.
  2. All demographics and other statistics: Italian statistical institute Istat.
  3. Ptolemy, iii. 3. § 2
  4. Pliny the Elder, H.N. iii.85
  5. De la Marmora, Voy. en Sardaigne, vol. ii. pp. 367, 466.
  6. Mommsen, Corp. Inscr. Lat. x. p. 816
  7. 1 2 Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Uselis". Encyclopædia Britannica. 27 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 809.
  8. "IterrCost - Church of Santa Reparata". Retrieved April 2014. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
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