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FLORENTIA (Firenze) Tuscany, Italy.

A Roman colony, established probably about the middle of the 1st c. B.C., following the devastation of the area in the Catilinarian conspiracy and its aftermath, and reinforced by a new draft of colonists under the first triumvirate (Lib.Colon. 1.213). It stood on the N bank of the Arno near its junction with the Mugnone, a site already long inhabited, guarding a river crossing and destined to become an important road center. The colony was inscribed in the tribus Scaptia, and the town was given a castrum plan (ca. 480 x 420 overall) with brick-faced fortifications that employ round towers. The city throve, showing special prosperity and growth under Hadrian, and early became a bishopric; it seems never to have ceased to be inhabited.

The most interesting remains of the ancient city discovered to date are the marble-paved forum with an imposing triple-cella capitolium dominating its length. There have also been found remains of a Temple of Isis, two bath complexes, a theater and amphitheater, and two Early Christian basilicas, as well as numerous dwellings and tombs. Little that is ancient is visible in situ today, but the archaeological record has been scrupulously kept and the finds housed in the Museo Archeologico.


A. K. Lake in MAAR 12 (1935) 93-98; G. Maetzke, Florentia (Italia Romana: Municipi e Colonie 1.5) (1941)MP; id. in NSc (1948) 60-99.


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