Umbria

The History and the Art

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Others joined the coalition between the Sannites, the Galli Senoni and the Etruscans, only to be defeated by the Romans at the decisive battle of Sentino in 295 B.C. In the end Rome brought within its sphere of control all the towns of Umbria by creating settlements at Narni (299), Sena Gallica (283), Ariminum (268), Aesis (247), and Spoleto of the Cathedral (Opera del Duomo). Umbrian civilisation began an inexorable decline when it came in contact with Rome. At first some cities, such as Otricoli, tried forming an alliance. Others joined the coalition between the Sannites, the Galli Senoni and the Etruscans, only to be defeated by the Romans at the decisive battle of Sentino in 295 B.C. In the end Rome brought within its sphere of control all the towns of Umbria by creating settlements at Narni (299), Sena Gallica (283), Ariminum (268), Aesis (247), and Spoleto (241). The alliance was sealed with the creation of great public works such as Via Flaminia (220) which joined Rome with Ariminum and the upper Adriatic, and the concession to the Umbrians in 90 B.C. of Roman citizenship. There are many remains which bear witness to the Roman period: in Perugia, Assisi, Foligno, Gubbio, Todi, Spoleto, Narni, and Terni as well as other minor centres around Sangemini such as Bevagna, Spello, Collemancio (Urvinum Hortense), and Carsulae. There are also numerous Roman villas scattered over the whole region including that of Pliny the Younger, near Citt di Castello. Christianity found fertile terrain here. As early as the 6th century A.D. 21 dioceses were established. At a time when the whole peninsula was being overrun and ravaged by barbarian hordes, these became a focal point for the local population. This was the starting point for the construction of the first religious buildings. The church of Sant'Angelo was built in Perugia between the 5th and the 6th century; the Abbey of San Pietro in Valle near Ferentillo was built in the 8th century whilst the small basilica of Sant'Eufemia took form in Spoleto from the 10th to 11th century.