Milan | 0 to 800 AD
Roman Milan | 1st – 5th centuries AD
The city was founded by the Celts in the fourth century BC. In the first century AD, Milan became an important Roman city and administrative center during the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire. In the fourth century AD, Emperor Diocletian established Milan as the capital of the Western Roman Empire for a brief period.
In 313 AD, the Edict of Milan, issued by Emperor Constantine the Great, granted religious tolerance to Christians and played a significant role in the development of early Christianity in the region. The city prospered economically, with a thriving trade network and the construction of impressive Roman buildings, including the city walls and the Basilica of San Lorenzo.
Germanic Invasions and Lombard Rule | 5th – 8th centuries AD
In the fifth century, the Western Roman Empire faced invasions by various Germanic tribes. Milan was sacked by the Visigoths in 402 AD and again by the Huns in 452 AD.
The Lombards, a Germanic tribe, invaded and established the Kingdom of the Lombards in northern Italy in the late sixth century. Milan fell under Lombard rule. The Lombard kings, such as Agilulf and Rothari, held their courts in Milan, and the city continued to be a prominent urban center.
Milan’s archbishops gained political and religious influence during this time, and the city became a significant ecclesiastical center. In 774 AD, Charlemagne, king of the Franks, defeated the Lombards and added Milan to his expanding Carolingian Empire. This marked the beginning of Frankish rule in the region.
End of Early Medieval Period | 8th century AD
Milan’s political and cultural landscape continued to evolve under Frankish rule. Charlemagne established the Archbishopric of Milan as an ecclesiastical entity. The eighth century saw further political changes in the region, including the rise of the Carolingian Empire and the influence of the Papal States.
Alliterative Morte Arthure | c. 1400
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470