Cerdonians, ancient heretics, whose belief, half philosophical, half religious, was a confused mixture of Christian dogmas with oriental dualism and Gnostic ideas. Their founder, Cerdo, was a Syrian, who came to Rome about the year 139, under the pontificate of Hyginus, and developed a system, involving the two principles of good and evil and a demiurge, similar to, if not identical with, that of his contemporary Marcion. (See Gnostics.) His disciples became confounded with tnose of the latter.
Cerealia, a festival celebrated at Rome every April in honor of Ceres, if the citizens were not in mourning for some public calamity. If they were, its celebration was omitted, because no person wearing mourning could be present at it. On the occasion of this festival the wanderings of the goddess in search of her daughter were represented by women dressed in white, running about with lighted torches; and games were celebrated in the circus maxi-mus, the spectators of which appeared in white.
Cerignola, a town of Italy, in the province and 22 m. S. E. of the city of Foggia; pop. about 18,000. The inhabitants are engaged in the cultivation of almonds and cotton, and also in linen manufactures. It has a college, hospital, and several convents. On April 28, 1503, the Spaniards, commanded by Gonzalvo de Cordova, here defeated the French under the duke of Nemours, who lost his life in the battle. In the principal streets of Cerignola is a milliarium recording that Trajan laid out the road from Beneventum to Prundusium at his own cost.
Cerreto (anc. Cernetum), a well built town of Italy, on the Apennines, in the province and 12 m. N. W. of Benevento; pop. about 5,000. It has a cathedral, a collegiate church, a diocesan school, three convents, five annual fairs, and cloth manufactories. Near its site Pyrrhus was defeated in 275 B. C. In 1688 an earthquake destroyed a great part of the town.
Certaldo, a town of Italy, in the province and 15 m. S. W. of Florence, on the right bank of the river Elsa; pop. of the commune about 6,000. It was the place of residence and death of Boccaccio, who was buried here in the church of St. Michael and St. James. His sepulchre formerly stood in the centre of the church, and a more conspicuous monument was erected to him in 1503. His remains were removed in 1783, from a false interpretation of a law against burials in churches, and they were scattered and lost. His house, built of brick, with a small tower, was repaired in 1823 by the marchioness Lenzoni Medici, one of his descendants, and the fragments of stone which had covered his grave were collected by her in 1820, and placed in the house, with an inscription by the poet Giordani. A monument is to be erected to him by the authorities of Certaldo on Dec. 21, 1875, the fifth centenary of his death.