Latin History

The Italian word Lazio comes from the Latin word Latium.  Latini is the common language that’s spoken and passed on to the city-state of Ancient Rome.  In Roman mythology, the tribe of the Latini took their name from King Latinus.  The larger territory of land occupied by the Latini was called Latium.  It was divided into several lands.  Emperor Augustus officially united almost all of the present day Italy into Italia with eleven regions.  Lazio with the present region of Campania to the southeast of Lazio and the seat of Neapolis became Region I.

After the Gothic War in 533-544 and the Byzantine conquest, the region gained freedom.  Eventually, the area was seized by the Roman Bishop.  There were a series of power struggles between lords and the Roman bishop until the 16th century.  In 1353-1367, the papacy regained control of Lazio.

Since the middle of the 16th century, the papacy politically unified Lazio with the Papal States. Lazio became a puppet state of the First French Republic under the forces of Napoleon.  It existed for a short time and then in 1809, Lazio was added to the French Empire.  It was returned in 1815 to the Pope.  On September 20, 1870, the capture of Rome during Pope Pius IX’s reign and France’s defeat at Sedan helped unite Italy.  Lazio became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

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