Narni

Narni is an ancient hilltown and comune of Umbria, in central Italy, with 20,100 inhabitants, according to the 2003 census. At an altitude of 240 m (787 ft), it overhangs a narrow gorge of the Nera River in the province of Terni. The area around Narni was already inhabited in the Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages, as attested by finds in some of the caves. Around the start of the first millennium the Osco-Umbrian (Ombrikoì in Greek), a people with a language of Indo-European origin that dominated the left bank of the Tiber that vertically cuts the region to the Adriatic sea, settled in the area and called the town Nequinum. Records mention Nequinum as early as 600 BC. The Romans conquered Nequinum in the 4th century BC and made it a position of force in this key point of the Via Flaminia the famous road which connected the city of Rome to the Adriatic Sea (at that time the road passed through the town descending to the right bank of the Nera to then carrying on to Carsulae, Acquasparta, Massa Martana and Spoleto). It supported the Gauls with the hope of freeing itself from Rome. The attempt failed and the victorious Romans changed its name to Narnia after the nearby Nar River; as in the case of Benevento, the former name was considered of ill augury: in Latin, nequeo means “I am unable”, and nequitia means “worthlessness”. In 299BC it became a Roman Municipality, and took the name Narnia. In 209 BC, it was destroyed by the Romans, for refusing to help pay for the war against Carthage. It was later rebuilt, and during the Roman times it was an outpost for the Roman army. It is very close to the Geographic center of Italy. There is a stone on the exact spot with a sign in multiple languages.

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