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Hispellum : Spello’s Ancient Roman Festival

Giorgio

27 January 2021

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Hispellum is the most awaited re-enactment of the Roman era in Umbria, in Spello.

During the days of the event the glorious Roman era is renewed with shows, historical parades, markets, scenes of daily life, Plautian theater, battles and simulations of sieges. In addition, it will be possible to taste dishes from the cuisine of the time faithfully reproduced.

 

The History of Hispellum

During 1733, near the church of San Claudio near the ruins of the Roman theater, near Villa Fidelia, a long epigraphic text known as the “Rescript of Constantine” dating back to the year 336 AD was found. where the great emperor recognizes the ancient role of the Umbrian ethnic sanctuary in the city.

It is on these glorious and solid historical foundations that today an evocative and popular scenario is proposed in a “four days” dedicated to “Spello and the Roman world – Panem et circensespromoted by the Municipality of Spello and by Pro Spello, with moments of life drawn from Roman civilization and open windows on interesting interventions of a cultural nature with lectures and presentation of books on topics related to Roman history and civilization, to the Emperor Constantine and the Rescript of Spello with guided tours to discover the main eminences of the Roman city from the 1st century B.C. to the 4th century AD in the light of recent archaeological finds.

Hispellum was part, together with Spoletium, Asisium, Mevania, Ameria etc. – of the VI Regio Umbria which including the “ager gallicus” reached the Adriatic while the ancient Perusia was instead in the VII Regio Etruria together with all the centers of Etruscan origin.

 

The village of Spello

Spello, in addition to the Roman urban layout, preserves several interesting finds: the consular gate, the arch of Augustus in via Giulia, the beautiful complex of the Venus gate with two towers, the “urbica” and “arce” gates, remains of the Roman amphitheater but also of the Forum, of the ancient walls, of various evidences in the spaces of Villa Fidelia and much more if more importance was given to the excavations.

This city, served by the Via Flaminia, must have looked truly “Splendid”, surrounded by an excellent walled area, with monumental gates and temples, equipped with sports and recreational facilities capable of holding large crowds: amphitheater, spa, theater.

In this splendid setting, where the monumental Sacred Area developed, Spello will relive the glories of the Roman era with battles, chariot races and pilum launches, including gladiators, taverns and popinae, processions and rites from the Constantinian era.