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An article from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, now in the public domain.
Any color photos are mine, © William P. Thayer.

p491 Ariminum

Ariminum (mod. Rimini), a city of Aemilia, on the NE coast of Italy, 69 m. SE of Bononia. It was founded by the Umbrians, but in 268 B.C. became a Roman colony with Latin rights. It was reached from Rome by the Via Flaminia, constructed in 220 B.C., and from that time onwards was the bulwark of the Roman power in Cisalpine Gaul, to which province it even gave its name. Its harbour was of some importance, but is now silted up, the sea having receded. The remains of its moles were destroyed in 1807‑1809. Ariminum became a place of considerable traffic owing to the construction of the Via Aemilia (187 B.C.) and the Via Popilia (132 B.C.), and is frequently mentioned by ancient authors. In 90 B.C. it acquired Roman citizenship, but in 82 B.C. having been held by the partisans of Marius, was plundered by those of Sulla (who probably made the Rubicon the frontier of Italy instead of the Aesis), and a military colony settled there. Caesar occupied it in 49 B.C. after his crossing of the Rubicon. It was one of the eighteen richest cities of Italy which the triumviri selected as a reward for their troops. In 27 B.C. Augustus planted new colonists there, and divided the city into seven vici after the model of Rome, from which the names of the vici were borrowed. He also restored the Via Flaminia (Mon. Ancyr. c. 20) from Rome to Ariminum. At the entrance to the latter the senate erected, in his honour, a triumphal arch which is still extant — a fine simple monument with a single opening. At the other end of the decumanus maximus or main street (3000 Roman ft. in length) is a fine bridge over the Ariminus (mod. Marecchia) begun by Augustus and completed by Tiberius in A.D. 20. It has five wide arches, the central one having a span of 35 ft., and is well preserved. Both it and the arch are built of Istrian stone. The present piazza Giulio Cesare marks the site of the ancient forum. The remains of the amphitheatre are scanty; many of its stones have gone to build the city wall, which must, therefore, at the earliest belong to the end of the classical period. In A.D. 1 Augustus's grandson Gaius Caesar had all the streets of Ariminum paved. In A.D. 69 the town was attacked by the partisans of Vespasian, and was frequently besieged in the Gothic wars. It was one of the five seaports which remained Byzantine until the time of Pippin. (See Rimini.)

See A. Tonini, Storia della Città di Rimini (Rimini, 1848‑1862).

[T. As.]


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Page updated: 9 Sep 07