HISTORY OF ITALY
The History of Italy spans over three thousand years. Italy is rich in history. There is scarcely a patch of land in Italy that has not been the site of some famous battle, where blood has been shed or civilisations built. All the stories are fascinating and great reading. To recount Italian history is an immense tale.
Sicily was settled by the Greeks around 1100 B.C.before the first mainland colony was established in Cuma in Campi Flegrei, near Naples.There are important archaeological sites to be found on the mainland in Latium, Tuscany, Umbria and Basilicata as well as the Cuma archaeological park with the cave of Sybil, in Campania, an ancient greek site which dates back to 1050 B.C.
After the period of Magna Graecia (the latin name given to the Greek colonies) the areas were dominated by the Etruscan civilizations that left behind beautiful examples of Etruscan art, pottery, ceramics and jewelry.
Then followed the Roman Empire which became the largest empire in the history of Europe, with one of the most famous military rulers Julius Caesar living from 100 B.C-44 B.C. (see photo by Galen R Frysinger, Temple of Apollo Medice 431 B.C-34 B.C)
The city of Rome is a historian?s paradise containing buildings from all the periods in Italian history but many were built by the grandiose Roman Emperors who wanted the size of their buildings to match the size of their egos.
After the Roman emperor Constantine converted to Christianity, in the fourth century A.D., the church started to become a powerful force in the ruling politics of Italy until the twentieth century with the separation of church and state.
The history and battles of the Roman Empire are long and varied. Their feats are legendary both in the military campaigns won and also in the development of human civilization and the advancement of human skills.Their architecture was monumental, glorious in marble and their engineering stupefying in its physical achievements, and outstanding for its time.
Medieval history is also a fascinating account in Italy with many amazing castles still standing in testimony to their builders and conquerors. With the flowering of the Renaissance period with Florence at its center, there began a magnificent period of learning and advances in human civilisation, education and the arts, where genius was fostered and creativity was celebrated and respected.
Roman History of Italy