Suasa has a story to tell – a story of conquest and dispossession, of the rise and fall of a civilisation, and of people living out their daily lives – working, playing and worshipping for hundreds of years, unaware that one day their civilisation would decline and collapse and their descendants would abandon Suasa and take to the hills. The town was founded by Rome between 232 and 220 BC. Roman settlers moved in and divided up the land which had lain fallow and neglected for 50 years, since the battle in 283 BC when Cornelius Dolabella defeated its former inhabitants, the once-proud Galli Senones (Senonian Gauls), conquerors of the Eternal City itself,. Or was the land empty? Were the defeated and scattered Gauls still living there, just trying to keep their heads down? Before the Gauls moved in and conquered the region between the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, the Picentes had lived there, as their Iron Age burials, revealed by archaeology, bear witness. Again, did the Gauls drive out the Picentes or did they just continue to live there as a subject people? After all, the Normans didn’t drive out the Anglo-Saxons from England after the Conquest.
Where is Suasa? It’s in the valley of the River Cesano, situated east of the river and just to the north of modern Castelleone di Suasa at Pian di Volpello. You can see on the map that Suasa is called Suasa Senonum, after the Galli Senones, from whom Senigallia, Sena Gallica, also takes its name.
- The Roman Road network around Suasa. Thanks to Progetto Suasa – 2008 for this image.
[More detailed stuff for historians, classicists and anyone who’s interested.
Suasa was founded following the Lex Flaminia of 232 BC, which allowed the Ager Gallicus, the former Gallic lands along the Adriatic coast, to be divided up among landless Roman citizens.
Suasa’s date and location need to be understood both in the context of the river valley and the road network of ancient Rome.
The River Cesano flows north eastward from its source at Monte Catria to the Adriatic between Marotta and Senigallia.
The Via Flaminia was opened in 220 BC. Its offshoot, the main road along the valley, (Strada Statale 424, the Pergolese) ran west of the river in Roman times, as it still does today, from Cagli(Ad Calem) towards modern Marotta. Therefore Suasa’s foundation can be dated between 232 and 220 BC. Had it been founded later than 220 BC, it would have been situated on the other side, the west side, of the river.]
Really like your enquiring approach to the history. My partner has tweeted about your Suasa blog and Marche Turismo has re-tweeted it to all their followers.
Thanks Lina. More to follow about Suasa and the domus dei Coiedii. The Scavi are in a sad state at the moment – not open to the public. Loved your piece on the onion festival. Castelleone has always been good for fresh produce – perhaps one should drive there specially for their onions?
Yes, Castelleone, like so many towns here, opens itself up like an Aladdin’s cave on a Festa night. Can’t resist telling you that local gossip has it that the onions used on the night were “shipped in” in bulk from Rimini !! Smoke and mirrors…
Pingback: Suasa in Le Marche, central Italy | Le Marche another Italy | Scoop.it
Pingback: Suasa in Le Marche, central Italy | Internet Billboards
Pingback: Suasa in Le Marche, central Italy | Good Things From Italy - Le Cose Buone d'Italia | Scoop.it
Pingback: Suasa in Le Marche, central Italy | World Latest News | Scoop.it
Pingback: Suasa | Living in Le Marche | Scoop.it
Pingback: Suasa update | Hill towns of the Marche, Italy