Senigallia, according to its history by Marinella Bonvini Mazzanti (Urbino, Quattro Venti, 1998), was either occupied or founded by the Gauls sometime in the fifth or fourth century BC. It was then turned into a Roman colony in 290-280 BC. Although the intention of the Romans was to obliterate all traces of the Gauls, they clearly didn’t succeed, as Mazzanti remarks that many words of Gallic derivation still form part of the local dialect. (Annoyingly, she doesn’t list any of them.) Apparently, many of the soldiers who defeated Hasdrubal in the battle of the Metaurus (see previous blog) came from Senigallia. In 82 BC the city was sacked by Pompey the Great, who was then Sulla‘s general, as a punishment for having sided with Sulla’s enemy Marius. In 42 BC Roman veterans were settled on Senigallese territory.
After that Senigallia disappears from classical history until 365 AD, when the emperors Valentinianus and Valens promulgated a joint decree there, forbidding the construction of new buildings but urging the inhabitants of Roman municipia to repair their old town buildings.
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