The late duchy of Mantua evolved over an extended period of time linked, as we shall see, to the feudal system that ruled it. In the period between the 9th and 13th centuries Sabbioneta was located, as it already was in Roman times, in the territory of Cremona. In fact, G.L. Gregori stated that:
"In Roman times Sabbioneta belonged to the territory of Cremona and not to Mantua (as T. Mommsen supposed). Sporadic finds are attested only sporadically at Roman times such as rustic villas or necropolis (1).
Things changed radically with the conquest of the territory by the Gonzaga family during the15th century. These newly conquered lands were assigned to the cadet branches of the Gonzaga family. Sabbioneta, which in 1429 became subject to the high dominion of the Gonzaga. At this time it was just a small village with a few buildings along the “Via Postumia” and the “Via Vitelliana” (2).
The name of Sabbioneta was mentioned for the first time in a plaque of the sixth century AD, which is now lost, and we know of it only through references in later learned works.
History of Dozza
The territory around Dozza has been inhabited since prehistoric times, but only scattered settlement remains still exist from the Roman period and the Early Medieval Age, and only one larger cluster of houses has been found in nearby Toscanella (1).
The site of Dozza in ancient times was a fertile land full of springs, so it is conceivable that it was a strategically important place, maybe even defended by a fortified Roman camp. However this is only a partial hypothesis based on linguistic rather than on historical observed data.