Area archeologica di Isernia - Episcopio

Isernia - La città romana

Piazza Andrea d'Isernia
Isernia (IS)


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Isernia stands on a limestone hill, at the confluence of two rivers, the Carpino and the Sordo, and protected on the north by the Mainarde mountains  and the south by the Matese mountains. The Latin colony of Aesernia was founded in 263 B.C. on a site that was previously occupied by the Samnites, and the scene of conflict during the Samnite wars (Livy X, 31).
The internal structure of the settlement is unclear, a result of the topography of the site and continuous occupation up to the present day. The original settlement, contemporary with the colony, can be dated to the first half of the 3rd century B.C.; the main road can be identified with today's via Marcelli, and the site of the ancient forum is today occupied by the cathedral.
During the Social War, the colony was conquered by Italic forces before being returned to Rome following its renewed conquest by Sulla. The town was subsequently accorded municipal status and became part of Augustus’s regio IV, gaining administrative and political control of an area of some 400 km2. This was a time of great development: inscriptions from the period testify to the existence of many public buildings, such as the baths which were connected to the aqueduct, and an important market.