The History of the City-Fortress of Rossano (Italy- Calabria)

ROSSANO is a "FORTRESS CITY" founded on a RED ROCK rich in RED LEAD, also known as "TIMPE ROSSE" and is characterized by the beauty of its ancient village.

Ignored by the Visigoths of Alaric in 412 and by the Longobards in 573, it is the only city in the South of Italy to resist the incessant attacks of the Arabs and to NEVER be conquered by the Saracens of Sicily. Being a first-class military center it was one of the most important political-administrative centers during the Byzantine ruling that hosted the HIGHEST DIGNITARIES of the court of BYZANTIUM and of the ITALY-GERMAN EMPIRE (Otto III, the emperor of Saxony).

Rossano played a very important role in the history of the spirituality of the entire Medieval Age: the monks sought out areas protected from the Byzantine rulers and they built "digging" hermit caves. In 636 the CODEX PURPUREUS reached Rossano, a very precious illustrated gospel TODAY BELONGING TO THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE. The Xth century which for Europe was one of the "iron centuries", for Rossano is "the golden century". It becomes the largest and most important urban center in Calabria, with a first-class port, home to the "Stratego" (the Byzantine Governor) and monastic schools from which emerge the most representative men of that time as Nilus of Rossano, the forerunner of the great cultural revolution which will lead to Humanism-Renaissance. At the end of the Angevin period, Rossano became principality, and from the early XVI to the mid-XVIII century relives the role of a "City of Culture" with the opening of two academies known at a national level, that of the "Naviganti" and that of the "Spensierati" which will have the adhesion of so many illustrious characters such as the philosopher Gian Battista Vico.

Alfredo Montalti

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