History of The World: Assisi, Italy

The commune of Assisi is another ancient hilltop town found within the Umbrian region. Settlements of this type started to pop up around 1000 B.C., finding themselves under the shadow of first the Etruscans, then the Romans after the battle of Sentinum in 295 B.C. which gave them sole control of central Italy. Assisi is most famous as the birthplace of St. Francis, the founder of the Franciscan order, and St. Clare, founder of the Poor Sisters; both of which were and still are a powerful force within the Catholic ranks. Indeed Assisi was unique in the fact that conversion of the city took place in 238 A.D, well before the Christianization of the empire under Constance in the early 4th century. The town prospered until its destruction by the Ostrogoths in 545 A.D. The city then went the way of so many small Italian communes, she was locked in between power throws between papal authority and ambitions despots looking to make a name for themselves. Neighboring Perugia was often involved in the struggle over the supremacy of the commune. The city developed more or less peacefully during the Renaissance and great works of art began to appear, such as the basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels.
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