Aquileia - Oglej
Cities, Towns and Hamlets


Ancient Rome's Naval Station

Archeaologists who have accompanied the Italian Army of Occupation of Istria have made some interesting discoveries of Roman remains; on the site of Aquileia, twenty-two miles northwest of the Port of Trieste.

Aquileia was the great transadriatic emporium of ancient Rome, the autumnal residence of the Emperor Augustus, and the great station of the Roman fleet. It then had a population of 200,000 and its villas were surpassed by none outside the valley of the Digentia. Attila destroyed it in 452, but in the Middle Ages it was restored and its Patriarchs, powerful prelates in the early Christian Church, ruled all the northeastern Adriatic lilteral and, for a number of years, held Fiume as a fief. Under the Austrian rule the population has shrunk to fewer than 1,000.

The discoveries of the archaeologists consist of bas reliefs and mosaics, which from appearance belong lo the early part of the first century. From time to time before the war there had been similar discoveries made in the vicinity, proving the whole delta land of the Isonzo and Natisone to have been one of the oldest civilized districts of Iho Roman world. Aquileia was founded in B.C. 181 as a stronghold against the Celts from the north and also against the Illyrian pirates, which earned it its name of "Water town" from the Latin "Aquilegia." It became a great centre for the .Roman legions, particularly after Marcus Aurelius.

Besides its maritime and military eminence it had gained a great commercial importance owing to its position on the Adriatic Sea and as a central point for traffic routes from the cast. As the key to Northeast Italy it was subjected to many sieges, which, thanks to its strong walls, it was able to resist until Atlila .destroyed it completely.


  • New York Times, June 29, 1919.

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Created: Wednesday, November 11, 2009; Last updated: Friday June 14, 2013
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