Photographer's Note

ENGLISH
Spoleto was situated on the eastern branch of the Via Flaminia, which forked into two roads at Narni and rejoined at Forum Flaminii, near Foligno. An ancient road also ran hence to Nursia. The Ponte Sanguinario of the first century BCE still exists. The Forum lies under today's marketplace.Located at the head of a large, broad valley, surrounded by mountains, Spoleto has long occupied a strategic geographical position. It appears to have been an important town to the original Umbri tribes, who built walls around their settlement in the 5th century BC, some of which are visible today.The first historical mention of Spoletium is the notice of the foundation of a colony there in 241 BC; and it was still, according to Cicero colonia latina in primis firma et illustris: a Latin colony in 95 BC. After the Battle of Lake Trasimene (217 BC) Spoletium was attacked by Hannibal, who was repulsed by the inhabitants During the Second Punic War the city was a useful ally to Rome. It suffered greatly during the civil wars of Gaius Marius and Sulla. The latter, after his victory over Crassus, confiscated the territory of Spoletium (82 BC). From this time forth it was a municipium.Under the empire it seems to have flourished once again, but is not often mentioned in history. Martial speaks of its wine. Aemilianus, who had been proclaimed emperor by his soldiers in Moesia, was slain by them here on his way from Rome (253), after a reign of three or four months. Rescripts of Constantine (326) and Julian (362) are dated from Spoleto. The foundation of the episcopal see dates from the 4th century: early martyrs of Spoleto are legends, but a letter to the bishop Caecilianus, from Pope Liberius in 354 constitutes its first historical mention. Owing to its elevated position Spoleto was an important stronghold during the Vandal and Gothic wars; its walls were dismantled by Totila.
Duchy of Spoleto
Under the Lombards, Spoleto became the capital of an independent duchy, the Duchy of Spoleto (from 570), and its dukes ruled a considerable part of central Italy. In 774 it became part of Holy Roman Empire. Together with other fiefs, it was bequeathed to Pope Gregory VII by the powerful countess Matilda of Tuscany, but for some time struggled to maintain its independence. In 1155 it was destroyed by Frederick Barbarossa. In 1213 it was definitively occupied by Pope Gregory IX. During the absence of the papal court in Avignon, it was prey to the struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines, until in 1354 Cardinal Albornoz brought it once more under the authority of the Papal States.View of Spoleto.After Napoleon's conquest of Italy, in 1809 Spoleto became capital of the short-lived French department of Trasimne, returning to the Papal States after Napoleon's defeat, within five years. In 1860, after a gallant defence, Spoleto was taken by the troops fighting for the unification of Italy. Giovanni Pontano, founder of the Accademia Pontaniana of Naples, was born here. Another child of Spoleto was Francis Possenti who was educated in the Jesuit school and whose father was the Papal assesor, Francis later entered the Passionists and became Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.

FRANCAIS
Ayant envahi l'Italie du Nord (568), certaines bandes lombardes diriges par Faroald dcident d'aller plus au sud et choisissent Spolte comme capitale (vers 570) d'un des plus grands duchs, l'influence politique de la cit s'tendant sur un vaste territoire de l'Italie du centre et du sud, jusqu'au duch de Bnvent. Comme ce dernier, le duch de Spolte est semi-indpendant par rapport aux rois lombards qui sigent principalement Pavie. deux reprises, le roi Liutprand (712/744) doit soumettre le duc rebelle Transamund II de Spolte. la chute des Lombards vaincus par Charlemagne (774), le duch revient aux Francs. Quand l'empire carolingien est dmembr en 842, les ducs de Spolte Guy III et son fils Lambert se lancent la conqute de la couronne impriale (889).Spolte est le sige d'une importante communaut juive jusqu'en 1441. En 1205, Franois d'Assise y aurait reu une vision.
A Spolte, Franois d' assise eut, avant sa conversion, un songe qui bouleversa ses projets.
S'tant mis en route et arriv Spolte, - d'o il continuerait vers la Pouille -, il commena tre un peu malade. Proccup nanmoins de son chemin, il russit s'endormir, mais dans un demi-sommeille, il entendit alors quelqu'un lui demander o il dsirait aller. Lorsque Franois lui eut racont tout son projet, son interlocuteur lui dit : "Qui peut donc te faire le plus de bien ? le matre,ou le serviteur ? - Le matre ! - Alors, pourquoi abandonnes-tu le matre pour le serviteur et le prince pour le vassal ? Et Franois dit : "Que veux-tu que je fasse, Seigneur ? - Retourne dans ton pays et on te dira ce que tu dois faire, car cette vision que tu as eu, il faut que tu l'a comprenne autrement." En se rveillant, il commena rflchir intensment cette vision et, tandis que lors de la premire vision, le dsir d'un bonheur temporel l'avait, pour ainsi dire, totalement fait sortir de lui-mme sous l'effet d'une grande joie, au contraire, cette fois, il se concentra totalement, admirant et considrant avec tant d'attention l'exigence de cette vision que, cette nuit-l, il ne russit pas se rendormir. Au matin, il repartit en hte vers Assise, remplit de joie, attendant la volont de Dieu qui lui avait montr cela et le conseil qu'il lui donnerait pour son salut. Dj transform intrieurement, il renonce partir en pouille et aspire se conformer la volont divine.


ITALIANO
Spoleto un antichissimo centro abitato fin dalla preistoria. Le prime testimonianze indicano che Spoleto fu abitata almeno dal VII secolo a.C. dagli Umbri, come attestano antiche tombe risalenti all'et del ferro. Le mura poligonali del V-IV secolo a.C., dette mura ciclopiche, costituite da enormi massi di pietra calcarea in forma poligonale, dimostrano che si trattava di una citt ben fortificata e munita, in posizione dominante sulla valle Umbra.

Diventata colonia romana nel 241 a.C., Spoleto (Spoletium) si fece ben presto fiorente e ricca di monumenti. Spoleto si mantenne sempre fedele a Roma, in special modo durante le guerre puniche, non soltanto respingendo Annibale dopo la sua vittoria al Trasimeno (217 a.C.), ma soprattutto nel periodo critico successivo a quel lungo conflitto.

Nel 43 a.C. vi sost Ottaviano, prima della battaglia di Modena, officiando un sacrificio rituale presso uno dei templi della citt.

TANKS TO WIKIPEDIA


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