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Photographer's Note

The Marche were known in ancient times as the Picenum territory. The coastal area was occupied by the Senones, a tribe of Gauls. They were conquered by the Romans after the Battle of Sentinum in 295 BC. The Romans founded numerous colonies in the areas, connecting them to Rome by the Via Flaminia and the Via Salaria. Ascoli was a seat of Italic resistance during the Social War (91–88 BC).

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the region was invaded by the Goths. After the Gothic War, it was part of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna (Ancona, Fano, Pesaro, Rimini, and Senigallia forming the so-called Pentapolis). After the fall of the Exarchate it was briefly in the possession of the Lombards, but was conquered by Charlemagne in the late eighth century. In the ninth to eleventh centuries the marches of Camerino, Fermo and Ancona were created, whence the modern name.

The Marche were nominally part of the Papal States, but most of the territory was under local lords, while the major cities ruled themselves as free communes. In the twelfth century, the commune of Ancona resisted both the imperial authority of Frederick Barbarossa and the Republic of Venice, and was a maritime republic on its own. An attempt to restore Papal suzerainty by Gil de Albornoz in the fourteenth century was short-lived.

During the Renaissance, the region was fought over by rival aristocratic families, such as the Malatesta of Rimini, Pesaro, Fano and the house of Montefeltro of Urbino. The last independent entity, the Duchy of Urbino, was dissolved in 1631, and from then on, the Marche were firmly part of the Papal States except during the Napoleonic period, which saw the short lived Republic of Ancona created in 1797, the merging of the region with the Roman Republic and the Kingdom of Italy from 1808 to 1813, and then a short occupation by Joachim Murat. After Napoleon's defeat, the Marche returned to Papal rule until November 4, 1860, when it was annexed to the unified Kingdom of Italy by a plebiscite.

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Additional Photos by Stamatis Stamatis (stamatis) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 278 W: 11 N: 413] (2565)
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