Conquest of Rome

Galata Morente (immagine tratta da Wikipedia)

The Via Emilia, a road along which to build a civilization

The first incursions of Rome in Emilia took place around 300 BC, but it took more than a century for the Roman legions to definitively break Celtic resistance: in those years Rome was engaged in a fight to the death for the supremacy in the Mediterranean against that which was at the time his bitter adversary: ​​Carthage. The adventure of Hannibal provided the Boii with the opportunity to stem the expansion of Rome, but with the defeat of the Carthaginians Rome turned all its legions, organized and trained by twenty years of continuous war, against Gallia Cisalpina. The Celts, politically disunited and without a real military organization, had no escape. The clashes lasted a few more years, until in 190 a.C. the Boii were forced to abandon their last stronghold as well. The following year the consul Marco Emilio Lepido began the work of the road that still bears his name and that would have been the driving force of the development of the region for more than two thousand years: the Via Emilia was born, and with her, Emilia as we we know it. Along the way, the Romans would have founded or expanded centers almost equidistant, so that both legions on foot and wagons loaded with goods could move quickly and safely from one stage to another. The road network underwent numerous enlargements and expansions, connecting also the smaller villages.

The conquest of Rome

Following the Roman conquest, the province of Gallia Cisalpina experienced a century of peace and immense economic development, becoming one of the richest and most populous areas of Romanity. But tensions stirred under the surface: the inhabitants of the colonies throughout Italy claimed more autonomy and above all the right to acquire Roman citizenship. It was in consequence of these tensions that, in 91 a.C., social wars broke out (from the Latin socii, “allies”), a series of conflicts between the central government of Rome and the peripheral populations, which however considered themselves now fully Roman. The clashes lasted three years and saw the recognition of citizenship to the Italic peoples. It was a concession not without limits anyway, since the Roman citizens to exercise the right to vote in the assemblies had to present themselves in person within the walls of the City. The most significant change, however, was the transformation of numerous Roman colonies, including Bononia and Mutina, in the municipality, institutions with a certain autonomy of government, with the right to have a senate and to elect local representatives.


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