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The History

Amelia owes its ancient name, Ameria, to a legendary founder, King Ameroe.

According to Catone il Censore, the first community of settlers came around 1134 BC, four centuries before the founding of Rome. Given the location of the city and its powerful neighbors, most notably the Etruscans, fortifications such as the polygonal walls (VI - IV century BC.) seemed necessary. The walls were formed by huge blocks of stone connected together without mortar with incredible skill, they were meant to defend the access to the acropolis.

Some historians claim that Ameria became a Roman municipium in 338 BC, others say it was around the first century BC. The via Amerina route was of significant importance, it connected Lazio with Chiusi passing through Todi and Perugia, and that in medieval period was the only road that connected Ravenna (home of the Exarchate) with Rome, forming a good part of the Byzantine Corridor.
During the Roman domination Amelia enjoyed a period of splendor as evidenced by the remains of Roman baths and cisterns and numerous other exhibits in the Archaeological Museum and the Municipal Art Gallery at the former college Boccarini.
Certainly the most interesting finding in the Museum is a bronze statue by Germanicus, dating to the Roman era. Majestic and beautiful, over 2 m high, it displays Nero Claudius Drusus victorious.
With the emergence of Christianity, Amelia became a diocese (363). Besieged by the Goths (458), it was then dominated by the Longobards (579) and then passed into the hands of the Byzantine Romans.
It became a Common but was sacked by the imperial troops of Frederick II (1240), and then entered definitively under the influence of the Church.
Among the famous people born in Amelia are the painter Piermatteo of Amelia (1400’s) a graduate from the school of Lippi and Cardinal Alessandro Geraldini, a diplomat at the court of Aragon, who favored the voyage of Christopher Columbus towards the discovery of America and was subsequently appointed the first bishop of America.

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