While during the last decades many significant archaeological findings were made referring to the pre-Roman human settlement of Milan, from a historical perspective no substantial change has yet intervened since 1783, when Pietro Verri published his Storia di Milano, the work which can be considered the starting point of the scientific historiography on Milan. Therefore, it can be still today shared Verri’s conclusion that the conquest of the Celtic settlement by the Romans in 222 BC is to be considered the first reliable event in the history of Milan, despite what can be read in the impressive production of non scientific publications – printed since the half of the 19th century, when Milan assumed the role of “moral capital” and second largest city in the newly born Italian state – which transforms a series of questionable assumptions into the pretended history of the pre-Roman settlement. The core of these assumptions is that the origin and development of the pre-Roman Milan was strictly connected with the presence of a federal sanctuary – the one mentioned by Polybius 2, 32, 6 – dedicated to a Celtic goddess equivalent to Athena/Minerva and that from this function of religious centre of all the Celtic tribes living south of the Alps, the settlement derived the name Medhelan, according to what is presented as a general rule at the time for such centres in the transalpine Celtic world. As a matter of fact both statements lack a real base: the first derives from an evident mistake in translating the text of Polybius, while the latter depends on the fact that no one has ever noted that the toponym Mediolanum is attested in transalpine Gaul only later, in the age of the Roman conquest, and apparently as a linguistic import (and as such somewhere even dropped at a later stage, after the end of the Roman rule).
|Translated title of the contribution||[Autom. eng. transl.] The historical framework. From the oppidum to the municipium: history of studies|
|Number of pages||25|
|Journal||NOTIZIE ARCHEOLOGICHE BERGOMENSI|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
- Roman conquest
- conquista romana