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Narni

Narni

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Narni is an ancient hilltown and comune
Comune
In Italy, the comune is the basic administrative division, and may be properly approximated in casual speech by the English word township or municipality.-Importance and function:...

of Umbria
Umbria
Umbria is a region of modern central Italy. It is one of the smallest Italian regions and the only peninsular region that is landlocked.Its capital is Perugia.Assisi and Norcia are historical towns associated with St. Francis of Assisi, and St...

, in central Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, with 20,100 inhabitants, according to the 2003 census. At an altitude of 240 m (787 ft), it overhangs a narrow gorge of the Nera River in the province of Terni
Province of Terni
The Province of Terni is the smaller of the two provinces in the Umbria region of Italy, comprising one-third of both the area and population of the region. Its capital is the city of Terni...

.
It is very close to the Geographic center of Italy. There is a stone on the exact spot with a sign in multiple languages.

History


The area around Narni was already inhabited in the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

 and Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 Ages, as attested by finds in some of the caves. Around the start of the first millennium the Osco-Umbrian, a people with a language of Indo-European
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

 origin that dominated the left bank of the Tiber
Tiber
The Tiber is the third-longest river in Italy, rising in the Apennine Mountains in Emilia-Romagna and flowing through Umbria and Lazio to the Tyrrhenian Sea. It drains a basin estimated at...

 that vertically cuts the region to the Adriatic sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

, settled in the area and called the town Nequinum. Records mention Nequinum as early as 600 BC.

The Romans conquered Nequinum in the 4th century BC and made it a position of force in this key point of the Via Flaminia
Via Flaminia
The Via Flaminia was an ancient Roman road leading from Rome over the Apennine Mountains to Ariminum on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, and due to the ruggedness of the mountains was the major option the Romans had for travel between Etruria, Latium and Campania and the Po Valley...

 the famous road which connected the city of Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 to the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

 (at that time the road passed through the town descending to the right bank of the Nera to then carrying on to Carsulae
Carsulae
Carsulae is an archaeological site in Umbria, central Italy, now one of the most important archaeological ruins in Italy. It is located c. 4 km north of San Gemini, a small comune in the province of Terni. Nearby is the comune of Montecastrilli .-Origins and history:Most historians fix the...

, Acquasparta
Acquasparta
Acquasparta is a town and comune in the province of Terni . It is located on a hill above the Naia Valley and the river of the same name, facing the Monti Martani mountain range....

, Massa Martana
Massa Martana
Massa Martana is an ancient Italian town and comune in the Monti Martani mountain range in the province of Perugia . It is 10 km N of Acquasparta, 18 km N of San Gemini and 32 km N of Narni; 14 km S of Bastardo and 27 km S of Bevagna...

 and Spoleto
Spoleto
Spoleto is an ancient city in the Italian province of Perugia in east central Umbria on a foothill of the Apennines. It is S. of Trevi, N. of Terni, SE of Perugia; SE of Florence; and N of Rome.-History:...

). It supported the Gauls
Gauls
The Gauls were a Celtic people living in Gaul, the region roughly corresponding to what is now France, Belgium, Switzerland and Northern Italy, from the Iron Age through the Roman period. They mostly spoke the Continental Celtic language called Gaulish....

 with the hope of freeing itself from Rome. The attempt failed and the victorious Romans changed its name to Narnia after the nearby Nar River; as in the case of Benevento
Benevento
Benevento is a town and comune of Campania, Italy, capital of the province of Benevento, 50 km northeast of Naples. It is situated on a hill 130 m above sea-level at the confluence of the Calore Irpino and Sabato...

, the former name was considered of ill augury: in Latin, nequeo means "I am unable", and nequitia means "worthlessness".

In 299 BC
299 BC
Year 299 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Paetinus and Torquatus/Corvus...

 it became a Roman Municipality, and took the name Narnia. In 209 BC
209 BC
Year 209 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Verrucosus and Flaccus...

, it was destroyed by the Romans, for refusing to help pay for the war against Carthage
Carthage
Carthage , implying it was a 'new Tyre') is a major urban centre that has existed for nearly 3,000 years on the Gulf of Tunis, developing from a Phoenician colony of the 1st millennium BC...

. It was later rebuilt, and during the Roman times
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 it was an outpost for the Roman army
Roman army
The Roman army is the generic term for the terrestrial armed forces deployed by the kingdom of Rome , the Roman Republic , the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine empire...

.

The Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

 Nerva
Nerva
Nerva , was Roman Emperor from 96 to 98. Nerva became Emperor at the age of sixty-five, after a lifetime of imperial service under Nero and the rulers of the Flavian dynasty. Under Nero, he was a member of the imperial entourage and played a vital part in exposing the Pisonian conspiracy of 65...

 was born at Narni in 35.

In Late Antiquity
Late Antiquity
Late Antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages, in both mainland Europe and the Mediterranean world. Precise boundaries for the period are a matter of debate, but noted historian of the period Peter Brown proposed...

 it suffered the events of the Greek-Gothic war and was plundered by Totila
Totila
Totila, original name Baduila was King of the Ostrogoths from 541 to 552 AD. A skilled military and political leader, Totila reversed the tide of Gothic War, recovering by 543 almost all the territories in Italy that the Eastern Roman Empire had captured from his Kingdom in 540.A relative of...

. Seat of a Lombard
Lombards
The Lombards , also referred to as Longobards, were a Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin, who from 568 to 774 ruled a Kingdom in Italy...

 gastald
Gastald
A gastald was a Lombard official in charge of some portion of the royal demesne with civil, martial, and judicial powers. By the Edictum Rothari of 643, the gastalds were given the civil authority in the cities and the reeves the like authority in the countryside...

, Narnia embraced the cause of Otho I of Saxony thanks to the mediation of its bishop, now Pope John XVII. Narni was part of the possessions of the Countess Matilde, once more part of the Dominions of the Church in 726. From the 11th century it began to increase in wealth and power, was opposed to Pope Paschal II in 1112 and rose against Barbarossa in 1167. This insubordination cost Narni a ferocious repression imposed by the archbishop Christian of Mainz, Barbarossa's chancellor. In 1242 Narni, prevalently tied to the Guelph
Guelph
Guelph is a city in Ontario, Canada.Guelph may also refer to:* Guelph , consisting of the City of Guelph, Ontario* Guelph , as the above* University of Guelph, in the same city...

 party, entered into an alliance with Perugia
Perugia
Perugia is the capital city of the region of Umbria in central Italy, near the River Tiber, and the capital of the province of Perugia. The city is located about north of Rome. It covers a high hilltop and part of the valleys around the area....

 and Rome against the Empire.

In the following century it was included in the reconquest of the papal patrimony by Cardinal Albornoz
Gil Alvarez De Albornoz
Gil Álvarez Carrillo de Albornoz was a Spanish cardinal and ecclesiastical leader.-Early years:Albornoz was born at Carrascosa del Campo, early in the 14th century. He was the son of Gil Állvarez de Albornoz and of Doña Teresa de Luna, sister of Jimeno de Luna, archbishop of Toledo and a member...

, who also had the mighty Rocca built. It was the work of Ugolino di Montemarte, known as il Gattapone. He was also author of the plans for the Loggia dei Priori and the Colonnade that faces out onto the Piazza dei Priori together with the 13th‑century Palazzo del Podestà and the 14th‑century fountain.

In 1373 Narni was given as fief to the Orsini to whom it returned in 1409. Occupied by King Ladislaus of Naples, in the 15th century, to be soon again reabsorbed by the church, thanks to Braccio da Montone. July 15, 1525 marked a decisive turning-point in Narni's history. The troops of Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

, mostly in fact the undisciplined Spanish soldiery and German mercenaries (Landsknecht
Landsknecht
Landsknechte were European, predominantly German mercenary pikemen and supporting foot soldiers from the late 15th to the late 16th century, and achieved the reputation for being the universal mercenary of Early modern Europe.-Etymology:The term is from German, Land "land, country" + Knecht...

en), put the city to fire and sword; it lost its ancient prosperity. Even the inhabitants of Terni
Terni
Terni is a city in southern Umbria, central Italy, capital of the province of Terni, located in the plain of the Nera river. It is 104 km N of Rome, 36 km NW of Rieti, and 29 km S of Spoleto.-History:...

 took advantage of the situation to deliver their blame to give vent to their long-repressed hatred of Narni. Its reconstruction gives it a physiognomy characteristic of the cities in Papal territory. It became part of the Roman Republic in 1789. In 1831 it joined the revolt against Gregory XVI and was annexed to the Italian Kingdom in 1860.

Main sights


Like many of the smaller towns of Umbria, Narni is still of strikingly medieval appearance today, with stone buildings, and narrow cobblestone streets. The town is famous for the largest Roman bridge (Ponte di Augusto
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

http://en.structurae.de/structures/data/index.cfm?id=s0001265) ever built, by which the Via Flaminia
Via Flaminia
The Via Flaminia was an ancient Roman road leading from Rome over the Apennine Mountains to Ariminum on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, and due to the ruggedness of the mountains was the major option the Romans had for travel between Etruria, Latium and Campania and the Po Valley...

 crossed the Nera: about half of the bridge still stands; it is some 30 meters high.

Other sights include:
  • Duomo (Cathedral).
  • Eroli Museum with a Domenico Ghirlandaio
    Domenico Ghirlandaio
    Domenico Ghirlandaio was an Italian Renaissance painter from Florence. Among his many apprentices was Michelangelo.-Early years:Ghirlandaio's full name is given as Domenico di Tommaso di Currado di Doffo Bigordi...

    's altarpiece
    Altarpiece
    An altarpiece is a picture or relief representing a religious subject and suspended in a frame behind the altar of a church. The altarpiece is often made up of two or more separate panels created using a technique known as panel painting. It is then called a diptych, triptych or polyptych for two,...

    .
  • Church of Santa Maria Impensole.
  • Communal Palace (13th century).
  • Palazzo dei Priori, located in the ancient Roman forum's site.
  • Rocca Albornoziana (Albornoz' Castle), overlooking the town, now hosting temporary exhibitions.
  • Romanesque church of Santa Pudenziana, just outside the town.
  • Church of Sant'Agostino, decorated with 18th century tromp-l'oeil frescoes.
  • Benedictine abbey of San Cassiano.

Narnia


The imaginary land of Narnia, described in the works of C. S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis
Clive Staples Lewis , commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was a novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist from Belfast, Ireland...

, is said to have been named after Narni after he came across the name in an atlas as a child.

Notable people

  • Marcus Cocceius Nerva
    Nerva
    Nerva , was Roman Emperor from 96 to 98. Nerva became Emperor at the age of sixty-five, after a lifetime of imperial service under Nero and the rulers of the Flavian dynasty. Under Nero, he was a member of the imperial entourage and played a vital part in exposing the Pisonian conspiracy of 65...

     - Roman emperor 96-98.
  • Erasmo of Narni
    Erasmo of Narni
    This article is about the condottieri Erasmo da Narni. For Donatello's equestrian statue, see Gattamelata Erasmo of Narni , better known as "Gattamelata" , was among the most famous of the condottieri or mercenaries in the Italian Renaissance...

    , best known as "Gattamelata", a famous condottiere
    Condottieri
    thumb|Depiction of [[Farinata degli Uberti]] by [[Andrea del Castagno]], showing a 15th century condottiero's typical attire.Condottieri were the mercenary soldier leaders of the professional, military free companies contracted by the Italian city-states and the Papacy, from the late Middle Ages...

    .
  • Cardinal Berardo Eroli
  • Blessed Lucy of Narni
    Lucia Brocadelli of Narni
    Lucia Brocadelli of Narni, T.O.S.D., was an Italian Roman Catholic mystic, beatified in 1710.-An incipient vocation:Lucia was the eldest of eleven children of Bartolomeo Broccadelli and Gentilina Cassio. When she was only five years old, she had a vision of the Virgin Mary. Two years later, she...


External links