probably founded by the Veneti and heavily damaged by
the Giapidi in 52 B.C. A Roman colony was founded there
either by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. or in 42-41 by the
Triumviri after the battle of Filippi.
The colony's strategic importance is indicated by its
walls. Made of sandstone blocks, they encircled the city,
following the descent from the hill toward the sea. Inside
traces of the right-angled urban establishment are preserved. One gate survives, the so-called Arco di Riccardo.
It is on the decumanus, is built of Sistiana stone, and is
the city's oldest monument.
The city developed commercially, being the point of
departure for both Nauporto and the towns along the
Danube. Later, at the time of Vespasian, it was linked
to the Istrian centers on the Via Flavia.
During the long period of the Pax Romana, that is
from Augustus to the first barbarian skirmishes, the city
spread outside the walls with beautiful villas of great
archaeological interest. Inside the walls the monumental
An Early Christian basilica has been discovered under
the cathedral dedicated to S. Giusto. It is rectangular in
form and dates from the first half of the 5th c. It was
adapted from a Roman temple constructed in the age of
Domitian and perhaps restored by Hadrian or by Antoninus Pius. One entered the temple from a propylon of
Hellenistic type, perhaps the only example of its kind in
N Italy. It was probably built by P. Palpellius Clodius
Quirinalis, retired prefect of the Ravenna fleet, ca. A.D.
V, 533). Before the temple stood an equestrian
monument, dedicated to C. Calpentanus Ranzius Quirinalis Valerius Festus, vice consul in A.D. 71 (CIL
To the N of the temple opened the forum, connected
by a portico with the large civil basilica, divided into
three naves with an internal apse. The donor was Q.
Baienus Blassianus (1.1. 10.4.37-40), procurator of Trajan
before A.D. 120-125.
Also from the age of Trajan is the beautiful theater
in the Greek style, with a single balcony and two loggias
superimposed on it. The scena was ornamented by many
votive statues in marble which constitute a notable body
of sculpture of the so-called cult type from the 2d c. A.D.
Represented are Athena, Knidia, Asklepios, Apollo, and
The aqueduct of Rosandra is still partly preserved.
During the last ten years a succession of Early Christian buildings have been discovered in the center of the old city.
It is probable that Trieste remained outside the routes
of the invasions that in the 6th c. destroyed Aquileia,
and that it continued to enjoy a tranquil life until the
beginning of the mediaeval period.
Besides the monuments cited, Trieste is rich in museums. The Civic Museum of History and Art deserves
special mention. Besides the public collections there are
numerous private collections of varying interest and importance.
A. Tamaro, Storia di Trieste
F. Farolfi, “L'Arco romano detto di Riccardo,” Archeografo triestino
3, 21 (1936); V. Macchioro, “Le statue
del teatro romano di Trieste,” Rivista della città di
(1938); V. Scrinari, Tergeste
(1951); A. Degrassi, Il confine nord-orientale dell'ltalia romana
B. F. Forlati, “Il Veneto orientale,” Arte e Civilità romana dell' Italia settentrionale
(1964); “La Basilica
romana di Trieste sul Colle di S. Giusto,” in Istituto
Lombardo Scienze e Lettere
103 (1969); M. M. Roberti,
(1971) s.v. S. Giusto,
Trieste. B. FORLATI TAMARO