The Info List - Cathedral Of Aquileia

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(/ˌækwɪˈliːə/; Italian: [akwiˈlɛːja]; Friulian: Acuilee/Aquilee/Aquilea;[1] Venetian: Aquiłeja/Aquiłegia; German: Aglar/Agley/Aquileja; Slovene: Oglej) is an ancient Roman city in Italy, at the head of the Adriatic at the edge of the lagoons, about 10 kilometres (6 mi) from the sea, on the river Natiso (modern Natisone), the course of which has changed somewhat since Roman times. Today, the city is small (about 3,500 inhabitants), but it was large and prominent in Antiquity as one of the world's largest cities with a population of 100,000 in the 2nd century AD.[2][3] and is one of the main archeological sites of Northern Italy.


1 History

1.1 Roman Era 1.2 Late Roman Empire and Middle Ages

2 Main sights

2.1 Cathedral 2.2 Ancient Roman Remains 2.3 Others

3 Twin towns – sister cities 4 See also 5 Sources and references 6 External links

History[edit] Roman Era[edit]

A view of the archaeological area of Aquileia.

was founded as a colony by the Romans in 180/181 BC along the Natiso River, on land south of the Julian Alps
Julian Alps
but about 13 kilometres (8 mi) north of the lagoons. Presumably named from the probably Celtic word Akylis,[vague] the colony served as a strategic frontier fortress at the north-east corner of transpadane (on the far side of the Po river) Italy
and was intended to protect the Veneti, faithful allies of Rome
during the invasion of Hannibal
and the Illyrian Wars. The colony would serve as a citadel to check the advance into Cisalpine Gaul
of other warlike peoples, such as the hostile Carni to the northeast in what is now Carnia
and Histri tribes to the southeast in what is now Istria. In fact, the site chosen for Aquileia
was about 6 km from where an estimated 12,000 Celtic Taurisci
nomads had attempted to settle in 183 BC. However, since the 13th century BC, the site, on the river and at the head of the Adriatic, had also been of commercial importance as the end of the Baltic amber (sucinum) trade. It is, therefore, theoretically not unlikely that Aquileia
had been a Gallic oppidum even before the coming of the Romans. However, few Celtic artifacts have been discovered from 500 BC to the Roman arrival.[4] The colony was established with Latin
rights by the triumvirate of Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica, Caius Flaminius, and Lucius Manlius Acidinus, two of whom were of consular and one of praetorian rank. Each of the men had first hand knowledge of Cisalpine Gaul. Nasica had conquered the Boii in 191. Flaminius had overseen the construction of the road named after him from Bologna
to Arezzo. Acidinus had conquered the Taurisci
in 183.[5][6] The triumvirate led 3,000 families to settle the area[citation needed] meaning Aquileia
probably had a population of 20,000 soon after its founding.[vague] Meanwhile, based on the evidence of names chiseled on stone, the majority of colonizing families came from Picenum, Samnium, and Campania, which also explains why the colony was Latin
and not Roman. Among these colonists, pedites received 50 iugera of land each, centuriones received 100 iugera each, and equites received 140 iugera each. Either at the founding or not long afterward, colonists from the nearby Veneti supplemented these families.[4] Roads soon connected Aquileia
with the Roman colony of Bologna probably in 173 BC. In 148 BC, it was connected with Genua by the Via Postumia, which stretched across the Padanian plain from Aquileia through or near to Opitergium, Tarvisium, Vicetia, Verona, Bedriacum, and the three Roman colonies of Cremona, Placentia, and Dertona. The construction of the Via Popilia
Via Popilia
from the Roman colony of Ariminium to Ad Portum near Altinum
in 132 BC improved communications still further. In the 1st century AD, the Via Gemina would link Aquileia with Emona
to the east of the Julian Alps, and by 78 or 79 AD the Via Flavia would link Aquileia
to Pula. Meanwhile, in 169 BC, 1,500 more Latin
colonists with their families, led by the triumvirate of Titus Annius Lucius, Publius Decius Subulo, and Marcus Cornelius Cethegus, settled in the town as a reinforcement to the garrison.[7] The discovery of the gold fields near the modern Klagenfurt
in 130 BC[8] brought the growing colony into further notice, and it soon became a place of importance, not only owing to its strategic military position, but as a center of commerce, especially in agricultural products and viticulture. It also had, in later times at least, considerable brickfields. In 90 BC, the original Latin colony
Latin colony
became a municipium and its citizens were ascribed to the Roman tribe Velina. The customs boundary of Italy
was close by in Cicero's day. Caesar visited the city on a number of occasions and pitched winter camp nearby in 59-58 BC. Although the Iapydes
plundered Aquileia
during the Augustan period, subsequent increased settlement and no lack of profitable work meant the city was able to develop its resources. Jewish artisans established a flourishing trade in glasswork. Metal from Noricum
was forged and exported. The ancient Venetic trade in amber from the Baltic continued. Wine, especially its famous Pucinum was exported. Oil was imported from Proconsular Africa. By sea, the port of Aquae Gradatae, modern Grado, Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Friuli-Venezia Giulia
was developed. On land, Aquileia
was the starting-point of several important roads leading outside Italy
to the north-eastern portion of the empire — the road (Via Iulia Augusta) by Iulium Carnicum to Veldidena (mod. Wilten, near Innsbruck), from which branched off the road into Noricum, leading by Virunum (Klagenfurt) to Laurieum (Lorch) on the Danube, the road leading via Emona
into Pannonia
and to Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica), the road to Tarsatica (near Fiume, now Rijeka) and Siscia (Sisak), and the road to Tergeste (Trieste) and the Istrian coast. Augustus
was the first of a number of emperors to visit Aquileia, notably during the Pannonian wars in 12‑10 BC. It was the birthplace of Tiberius' son by Julia, in the latter year. The Roman poet Martial
praised Aquileia
as his hoped for haven and resting place in his old age.[9] In terms of religion, the populace adopted the Roman pantheon, although the Celtic sungod, Belenus, had a large following. Jews practiced their ancestral religion and it was perhaps some of these Jews who became the first Christians. Meanwhile, soldiers brought the martial cult of Mithras.

The ancient inland port of Aquileia

In the war against the Marcomanni
in 167, the town was hard pressed; its fortifications had fallen into disrepair during the long peace. Nevertheless, when in 168 Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
made Aquileia
the principal fortress of the empire against the barbarians of the North and East, it rose to the pinnacle of its greatness and soon had a population of 100,000. Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
visited in 193. In 238, when the town took the side of the Senate against the Emperor Maximinus Thrax, the fortifications were hastily restored, and proved of sufficient strength to resist for several months, until Maximinus himself was assassinated. An imperial palace was constructed in Aquileia, in which the emperors after the time of Diocletian
frequently resided.

Roman Emperor Flavius Victor
Flavius Victor
on this as struck in Aquileia

During the 4th century, Aquileia
maintained its importance. Constantine sojourned there on numerous occasions. It became a naval station and the seat of the Corrector
Venetiarum et Histriae; a mint was established, of which the coins were very numerous, and the Catholic bishop obtained the rank of metropolitan archbishop. A council held in the city in 381 was only the first of a series of Councils of Aquileia that have been convened over the centuries. However, the city played a part in the struggles between the rulers of the 4th century. In 340, Emperor Constantine II was killed nearby while invading the territory of his younger brother Constans. Late Roman Empire and Middle Ages[edit] Main article: Patriarchate of Aquileia

in a 1493 woodcut from Hartmann Schedel's Nuremberg Chronicle

At the end of the 4th century, Ausonius
enumerated Aquileia
as the ninth among the great cities of the world, placing Rome, Constantinople, Carthage, Antioch, Alexandria, Trier, Mediolanum, and Capua
before it. However, such prominence made it a target and Alaric and the Visigoths
besieged it in 401, during which time some of its residents fled to the nearby lagoons. Alaric again attacked it in 408. Attila
attacked the city in 452. During this invasion, on July 18, Attila
and his Huns so utterly destroyed the city that it was afterwards hard to recognize its original site. The fall of Aquileia was the first of Attila's incursions into Roman territory; followed by cities like Mediolanum
and Ticinum.[10] The Roman inhabitants, together with those of smaller towns in the neighborhood, fled en masse to the lagoons, and so laid the foundations of the cities of Venice
and nearby Grado. Yet Aquileia
would rise again, though much diminished, and continue to exist until the Lombards
invaded in 568; the Lombards
destroyed it a second time in 590. Meanwhile, the patriarch fled to the island town of Grado, which was under the protection of the Byzantines. When the patriarch residing in Grado reconciled with Rome
in 606, those continuing in the Schism of the Three Chapters, rejecting the Second Council of Constantinople, elected a patriarch at Aquileia. Thus, the diocese was essentially divided into two parts, with the mainland patriarchate of Aquileia
under the protection of the Lombards, and the insular patriarchate of Aquileia
seated in Grado being protected by the exarchate of Ravenna and later the Doges of Venice, with the collusion of the Lombards. The line of the patriarchs elected in Aquileia
would continue in schism until 699CE. However, although they kept the title of patriarch of Aquileia, they moved their residence first to Cormons
and later to Cividale. The Lombard Dukes of Friuli
ruled Aquileia
and the surrounding mainland territory from Cividale. In 774, Charlemagne
conquered the Lombard duchy and made it into a Frankish one with Eric of Friuli
as duke. In 787, Charlemagne
named the priest and master of grammar at the Palace School Paulinus the new patriarch of Aquileia. The patriarchate, despite being divided with a northern portion assigned to the pastoral care of the newly created Archbishopric of Salzburg, would remain one of the largest dioceses. Although Paulinus resided mainly at Cividale, his successor Maxentius considered rebuilding Aquileia. However, the project never came to fruition. While Maxentius was patriarch, the pope approved the Synod of Mantua, which affirmed the precedence of the mainland patriarch of Aquileia over the patriarch of Grado. However, material conditions were soon to worsen for Aquileia. The ruins of Aquileia
were continually pillaged for building material. And with the collapse of the Carolingians in the 10th century, the inhabitants would suffer under the raids of the Magyars. By the 11th century, the patriarch of Aquileia
had grown strong enough to assert temporal sovereignty over Friuli
and Aquileia. The Holy Roman Emperor gave the region to the patriarch as a feudal possession. However, the patriarch's temporal authority was constantly disputed and assailed by the territorial nobility. In 1027 and 1044 Patriarch Poppo of Aquileia, who rebuilt the cathedral of Aquileia, entered and sacked neighboring Grado, and, though the Pope
reconfirmed the Patriarch of the latter in his dignities, the town never fully recovered, though it continued to be the seat of the Patriarchate until its formal transference to Venice in 1450. In the 14th century the Patriarchal State reached its largest extension, stretching from the Piave river to the Julian Alps
Julian Alps
and northern Istria. The seat of the Patriarchate of Aquileia
had been transferred to Udine
in 1238, but returned to Aquiliea in 1420 when Venice
annexed the territory of Udine. In 1445, the defeated patriarch Ludovico Trevisan
Ludovico Trevisan
acquiesced in the loss of his ancient temporal estate in return for an annual salary of 5,000 ducats allowed him from the Venetian treasury. Henceforth only Venetians were allowed to hold the title of Patriarch of Aquileia. The Patriarchal State was incorporated in the Republic of Venice
with the name of Patria del Friuli, ruled by a provveditore generale or a luogotenente living in Udine. The Patriarchal diocese was only finally officially suppressed in 1751, and the sees of Udine
and Gorizia (Görz) established from its territory.

Interior of the Cathedral, with the mosaic pavement.

Ancient mosaic in the Cathedral.

The archaeological walk.

Main sights[edit] Cathedral[edit] The Aquileia
Cathedral is a flat-roofed basilica erected by Patriarch Poppo in 1031 on the site of an earlier church, and rebuilt about 1379 in the Gothic style by Patriarch Marquard of Randeck. The façade, in Romanesque-Gothic style, is connected by a portico to the so-called Church of the Pagans, and the remains of the 5th-century baptistry. The interior has a nave and two aisles, with a noteworthy mosaic pavement from the 4th century. The wooden ceiling is from 1526, while the fresco decoration belongs to various ages: from the 4th century in the St. Peter's chapel of the apse area; from the 11th century in the apse itself; from the 12th century in the so-called "Crypt of the Frescoes", under the presbytery, with a cycle depicting the origins of Christianity in Aquileia
and the history of St. Hermagoras, first bishop of the city. Next to the 11th-century Romanesque chapel of the Holy Sepulchre, at the beginning of the left aisle, flooring of different ages can be seen: the lowest is from a Roman villa of the age of Augustus; the middle one has a typical cocciopesto pavement; the upper one, bearing blackening from the Attila's fire, has geometrical decorations. Externally, behind the 9th-century campanile and the apse, is the Cemetery of the Fallen, where ten unnamed soldiers of World War I are buried. Saint Hermagoras is also buried there. Ancient Roman Remains[edit] Today, Aquileia
is a town smaller than the colony first founded by Rome. Over the centuries, sieges, earthquakes, floods, and pillaging of the ancient buildings for materials means that no edifices of the Roman period remain above ground. The site of Aquileia, believed to be the largest Roman city yet to be excavated, is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Excavations, however, have revealed some of the layout of the Roman town such as a segment of a street, the north-west angle of the town walls, the river port, and the former locations of baths, of an amphitheater, of a Circus, of a cemetery, of the Via Sacra, of the forum, and of a market. The National Archaeological Museum contains over 2,000 inscriptions, statues and other antiquities, mosaics, as well as glasses of local production and a numismatics collection. Others[edit] In the Monastero fraction is a 5th-century Christian basilica, later a Benedictine monastery, which today houses the Paleo-Christian Museum. Twin towns – sister cities[edit] Aquileia
is twinned with the following settlements:[11]

Piran, Slovenia Maria Saal, Austria

See also[edit]

Schism of the Three Chapters Aquileian rite Councils of Aquileia List of Aquileia
Bishops and patriarchs Acaste Bresciani

Sources and references[edit]

^ bilingual name of Aquileja - Oglej in: Gemeindelexikon, der im Reichsrate Vertretenen Königreiche und Länder. Herausgegeben von der K.K. Statistischen Zentralkommission. VII. Österreichisch-Illyrisches Küstenland (Triest, Görz und Gradiska, Istrien). Wien 1910 ^ The Oxford Classical Dictionary, p. 129, at Google Books ^ A Brief History of Venice, p. 16, at Google Books ^ a b G. Bandelli, " Aquileia
dalla fondazione al II secolo d.C" in Aquileia
dalla fondazione al alto medioevo, M. Buora, ed. (Udine: Arte Grafiche Friulane, 1982), 20. ^ Livy, XL, 34, 2-4. ^ E. Mangani, F. Rebecchi, and M.J. Srazzulla, Emilia Venezie (Bari: Laterza & Figli, 1981), 210. ^ Livy XLIII 17,1 ^ Strabo IV. 208 ^ Martial, Epigrams lib. 4, 25: Aemula Baianis Altini litora villis et Phaethontei conscia silva rogi, quaeque Antenoreo Dryadum pulcherrima Fauno nupsit ad Euganeos Sola puella lacus, et tu Ledaeo felix Aquileia
Timauo, hic ubi septenas Cyllarus hausit aquas: uos eritis nostrae requies portusque senectae, si iuris fuerint otia nostra sui. http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/martial/mart4.shtml ^ Jordanus
(1997). "THE ORIGINS AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS". Getica. University of Calgary. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.  ^ "Gemellaggi". Retrieved 4 November 2014. 

Catholic Encyclopedia Neher in Kirchenlexikon I, 1184–89 De Rubeis, Monumenta Eccles. Aquil. (Strasburg, 1740) Ferdinando Ughelli, Italia Sacra, I sqq.; X, 207 Cappelletti, Chiese d'Italia, VIII, 1 sqq. Menzano, Annali del Friuli
(1858–68) Paschini, Sulle Origini della Chiesa di Aquileia
(1904) Glaschroeder, in Buchberger's Kirchl. Handl. (Munich, 1904), I, 300-301 Hefele, Conciliengesch. II, 914-23. For the episcopal succession, see P. B. Gams, Series episcoporum (Ratisbon, 1873–86), and Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi (Muenster, 1898).

External links[edit]

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Aquileia.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aquileia.

virtual tour (Italian Landmarks) Pre-Roman and Celtic Aquileia Aquileia
featured on 10 Euro Italian Coin

v t e

– Venezia Giulia · Comuni of the Province of Udine

Aiello del Friuli Amaro Ampezzo Aquileia Arta Terme Artegna Attimis Bagnaria Arsa Basiliano Bertiolo Bicinicco Bordano Buja Buttrio Camino al Tagliamento Campoformido Campolongo Tapogliano Carlino Cassacco Castions di Strada Cavazzo Carnico Cercivento Cervignano del Friuli Chiopris-Viscone Chiusaforte Cividale
del Friuli Codroipo Colloredo di Monte Albano Comeglians Corno di Rosazzo Coseano Dignano Dogna Drenchia Enemonzo Faedis Fagagna Fiumicello Villa Vicentina Flaibano Forgaria nel Friuli Forni Avoltri Forni di Sopra Forni di Sotto Gemona del Friuli Gonars Grimacco Latisana Lauco Lestizza Lignano Sabbiadoro Lusevera Magnano in Riviera Majano Malborghetto Valbruna Manzano Marano Lagunare Martignacco Mereto di Tomba Moggio Udinese Moimacco Montenars Mortegliano Moruzzo Muzzana del Turgnano Nimis Osoppo Ovaro Pagnacco Palazzolo dello Stella Palmanova Paluzza Pasian di Prato Paularo Pavia di Udine Pocenia Pontebba Porpetto Povoletto Pozzuolo del Friuli Pradamano Prato Carnico Precenicco Premariacco Preone Prepotto Pulfero Ragogna Ravascletto Raveo Reana del Rojale Remanzacco Resia Resiutta Rigolato Rive d'Arcano Rivignano Ronchis Ruda San Daniele del Friuli San Giorgio di Nogaro San Giovanni al Natisone San Leonardo San Pietro al Natisone San Vito al Torre San Vito di Fagagna Santa Maria la Longa Sauris Savogna
di Cividale Sedegliano Socchieve Stregna Sutrio Taipana Talmassons Tarcento Tarvisio Tavagnacco Teor Terzo d'Aquileia Tolmezzo Torreano Torviscosa Trasaghis Treppo Grande Treppo Ligosullo Tricesimo Trivignano Udinese Udine Varmo Venzone Verzegnis Villa Santina Visco Zuglio

v t e

World Heritage Sites in Italy


Crespi d'Adda Genoa Mantua
and Sabbioneta Monte San Giorgio1 Porto Venere, Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto, Cinque Terre

Corniglia Manarola Monterosso al Mare Riomaggiore Vernazza

Residences of the Royal House of Savoy

Castle of Moncalieri Castle of Racconigi Castle of Rivoli Castello del Valentino Royal Palace of Turin Palazzo Carignano Palazzo Madama, Turin Palace of Venaria Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi Villa della Regina

Rhaetian Railway
Rhaetian Railway
in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes1 Rock Drawings in Valcamonica Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe- Roero
and Monferrato


Aquileia The Dolomites Ferrara Modena Cathedral, Torre della Ghirlandina
Torre della Ghirlandina
and Piazza Grande, Modena Orto botanico di Padova Ravenna Venice Verona City of Vicenza
and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto


Assisi Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri
and Tarquinia Florence Hadrian's Villa Medici villas Piazza del Duomo, Pisa Pienza Rome2 San Gimignano Siena Urbino Val d'Orcia Villa d'Este


Alberobello Amalfi Coast Castel del Monte, Apulia Cilento
and Vallo di Diano
Vallo di Diano
National Park, Paestum
and Velia, Certosa di Padula Herculaneum Oplontis
and Villa Poppaea Naples Palace of Caserta, Aqueduct of Vanvitelli
Aqueduct of Vanvitelli
and San Leucio
San Leucio
Complex Pompeii Sassi di Matera


Aeolian Islands Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale Archaeological Area of Agrigento Barumini nuraghes Mount Etna Syracuse and Necropolis of Pantalica Val di Noto

Caltagirone Catania Militello in Val di Catania Modica Noto Palazzolo Acreide Ragusa Scicli

Villa Romana del Casale


Longobards in Italy, Places of Power (568–774 A.D.)

Brescia Cividale
del Friuli Castelseprio Spoleto Temple of Clitumnus
Temple of Clitumnus
located at Campello sul Clitunno Santa Sofia located at Benevento Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo
Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo
located at Monte Sant'Angelo

Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps3 Primeval Beech Forests of Europe4 Venetian Works of Defence between 15th and 17th centuries5

Bergamo Palmanova Peschiera del Garda

1 Shared with Switzerland 2 Shared with the Holy See 3 Shared with Austria, France, Germany, Slovenia, and Switzerland 4 Shared with Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain
and Ukraine 5 Shared with Croa