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A district in the north of Italy, originally included under the general name of Gallia Cisalpina, but made by Augustus the tenth regio of Italy. It was bounded on the west by the river Athesis, which separated it from Gallia Cisalpina; on the north by the Carnic Alps; on the east by the river Timavus, which separated it from Istria; and on the south by the Adriatic Gulf. Its inhabitants, the Veneti, frequently called Heneti (Ἑνετοί) by the Greeks, were not an Italian race, but their real origin is doubtful, as their language was certainly not Keltic (Polyb. ii. 17). Herodotus speaks of them as an Illyrian race, and this is probably a correct view (Herod.i. 196; v. 9). In consequence of their hostility to the Keltic tribes in their neighbourhood, they formed at an early period an alliance with Rome; and their country was defended by the Romans against their dangerous enemies. On the conquest of the Cisalpine Gauls, the Veneti likewise became included under the Roman dominions. The Veneti continued to enjoy great prosperity down to the time of the Marcomannic wars, in the reign of the emperor Aurelius; but from this time their country was frequently devastated by the barbarians who invaded Italy; and at length, in the fifth century, many of its inhabitants, to escape the ravages of the Huns under Attila, took refuge in the islands off their coast, on which now stands the city of Venice. The chief towns of Venetia in ancient times were Patavium, Altinum, and Aquileia.


A district in the northwest of Gallia Lugdunensis, inhabited by the Veneti. Off their coast was a group of islands called Insŭlae Venetĭcae (Belle-Ile). The name is preserved in the modern Vannes.

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