History in Bologna

Edit This
Since the early days of the Roman Empire, Bologna History has been marked by dispute. Forces such as the Church, various imperial powers and regional nobility have all had their share in trying to dominate the city's politics. Through ups and downs, Bologna has been able to emerge as a splendor of northern Italy.

Early Years

Inhabitants have been recorded in what is now Bologna since the Bronze Age, with the local population being skilled potters and smiths. Slowly, the region was enveloped by the Etruscans and turned into a strong commercial center. However, around 350 BCE the city was overrun by the Celtic Boii tribe. For 200 years the city remained Celtic until the Romans overran the city and turned it into a colony. Historians say Bologna is derived from the word Boa, which is Celtic for city.

Middle Ages

During the High Middle Ages, Bologna was a European powerhouse, at one point one of the top 5 most populous cities. During this period the San Petronio Basilica was built. The city's most notable achievement, perhaps, is the founding of the University of Bologna in 1088, the oldest degree-awarding university in the world. To this day, the city is called “ la dotta ” (the learned one).

The Middle Ages was not an entirely tranquil period for Bologna. Bologna was situated at the nexus of vying forces. After the fall of Rome, Bologna served as an outpost of the western Roman Empire, trying its best to fend off barbarians. In 728, the Lombard king Liutprand gained control of the city. Eventually Bologna would come under the auspicious of the Papal States until the Reunification of Italy in 1870. However, the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire would squabble over the affairs of Bologna for most of the Middle Ages until the Early Modern period.

Modern Bologna

Bologna flourished during the Renaissance, which developed the city's intellectual and inquisitive character. It was popularly known for its liberal stance on the rights and education of women. Today, Bologna enjoys a good life, replete with food and learning. Known as “ la rossa” (the red one) both for its roof colors and food (spaghetti bolognese) as well as its being a bastion of communism in post-World War II Italy. Bologna serves as an important transportation hub between northern and central Italy. The city has an active industrial sector, specializing in agricultural production machinery, chemical printing and textiles.

Contributors
April 12, 2010 change by stolsen

Nearby History Guides

Where World66 helps you find the best deals on Bologna Hotels