Aquileia is an ancient Roman city located in northeastern Italy. It’s ruins is located adjacent to the modern town of the same name.
Aquileia | History
Roman Foundation and Growth
Aquileia was founded by the Romans in 181 BC as a strategic colony. Its location near the confluence of the Natisone and Isonzo Rivers made it a key point for trade and military control. The city was a bustling center of commerce and played a role in Roman expansion into the northern territories.
Over the centuries, Aquileia thrived as a vital Roman city. Its wealth and strategic importance were evident in the construction of grand monuments, including a large forum, a basilica, a port on the nearby Adratic Sea, and a city wall with imposing gates.
Early Christian Heritage
In the fourth century AD, Aquileia embraced Christianity, and the city became a hub for Christian activity. Its basilica, one of the largest in the Roman world, became a center of Christian worship. The basilica is renowned for its intricate mosaic floor, which features Christian iconography.
Invasions and Decline
The city faced repeated invasions and attacks, beginning with the Huns in the fifth century. The Lombards further weakened Aquileia’s position. The residents gradually abandoned the city, relocating to more defensible locations, and Aquileia’s population dwindled.
De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae | Gildas, c. 540
Historia Brittonum | Probably Nennius, early 9th century
Parzival | Wolfram von Eschenbach, 1200–1210