Christian Dalera Pages

Friday, 28 September 2012

Spoleto - steeped in history

 About 10 years ago I spent a week in the small, ancient mountain town of Spoleto, there for the wedding of a friend. Spoleto is an ancient city in the Italian province of Perugia in east central Umbria on a foothill of the Apennines.
Spoleto was situated on the eastern branch of the Via Flaminia, which forked into two roads at Narni and rejoined at Forum Flaminii, near Foligno.
An ancient road also ran hence to Nursia. The Ponte Sanguinario of the first century BCE still exists.
The Forum lies under today's marketplace.
 Located at the head of a large, broad valley, surrounded by mountains, Spoleto has long occupied a strategic geographical position.
It appears to have been an important town to the original Umbri tribes, who built walls around their settlement in the 5th century BC, some of which are visible today.
 The first historical mention of Spoletium is the notice of the foundation of a colony there in 241 BC;[1] and it was still, according to Cicero colonia latina in primis firma et illustris: a Latin colony in 95 BC. After the Battle of Lake Trasimene (217 BC) Spoletium was attacked by Hannibal, who was repulsed by the inhabitants.
During the Second Punic War the city was a useful ally to Rome. It suffered greatly during the civil wars of Gaius Marius and Sulla.
The latter, after his victory over Crassus, confiscated the territory of Spoletium (82 BC). From this time forth it was a municipium.

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