Narni - Encyclopedia




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NARNI (anc. Umbrian Nequinum, Rom. Narnia), a town and episcopal see of the province of Perugia, Italy, 65 m. N. of Rome by rail. Pop. (1901) 5200 (town), 12,773 (commune). It is picturesquely situated on a lofty rock (787 ft. above sea-level), 480 ft. above the Nera valley, at the point where the river traverses a narrow ravine, and commands a fine view. The cathedral and the portico of S. Maria della Pensola are buildings of the 11th century with flat arches; the former has some good Renaissance sculptures. There are other interesting churches; S. Francesco has a good doorway of the 14th century. In the town hall is a "Coronation of the Virgin" by D. Ghirlandaio. The town also contains some picturesque Gothic houses and palaces. Near the station, below the town, are factories of india-rubber and calcium carbide.

The Umbrian Nequinum was taken by the Romans after a long siege in 299 B.C., and a colony planted there against the Umbrians, taking its name from the river. It was among the twelve colonies that were punished for refusing help to Rome in 209 B.C. It was considered a suitable point to oppose a threatened march of Hasdrubal on Rome. It stood on the Via Flaminia, the great bridge of which over the river lies below the town. The original main road ran to Nuceria by Mevania; a branch by Interamna and Spoletium joined it at Forum Flaminii. According to some authors, the emperor Nerva was born at Narnia. The town is mentioned in the history of the Gothic wars. Procopius (B.G. i. 17) describes the site of the town, the river and the bridge - the latter as built by Augustus, and as having the highest arches that he knew. In the middle ages Narni was under the papal power. It was the birthplace of the well-known condottiere Erasmo Gattamelata.

See G. Eroli, Miscellanea Storica Narnese (2 vols., Narni, 1858-1862), and other works by the same author.

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