Arles has been selected by Roberto Amati in relation to the real history of european integration, then enlisted in the CITY OR CIVITAS category, accompanied by own fact SHEET useful to the comprehension, completed of historical MAPS AND IMAGES or with a direct linking to the related Blog contents dedicated to the entire history of european integration and the future of Europe.

Arles civitas

Arles is one of the most ancient cities of the history of European integration, signed in great part by Christianity. The Civitas Arles was founded in 123 BC by Romans, where the river Rhône forks into two branches forming the Camargue zone and the wide portual area of Marseille, thanks to an articifial channel reaching the Mediterranean Sea. At the end of the civil war, Arles became the Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelatensium Sextanorum inhabited by the veterans of Legio VI Ferrata legion Colonia, in great part being Ligurians and Celts people together with Italics.

Within the reform of Augustus (see Roman Empire), Arles was part of the Gallia Narbonensis province and obtained the building of an amphitheatre, which is still today the city icon, and the southernmost bridge on the Rhône along the roman way Julia Augusta coming from Genoa. With the reform of Constantine I (see Christian Empire), Arles became the capital of Septem Provinciae Diocesi, seat of an imperial bishopric and of the Prefecture of the Gauls starting the evangelization of Iberian Pensinsula and Brittany. For this reason Arles was connected to other roman ways: the Domitia way passing through the civitas of Nimes towards Narbonne and going to Turin to reach Piacenza; the Flavia Way starting in Xanten and passing through the civitas of Cologne, Trier, Metz, Chalon-sur-Saône, Lyon and Vienne before to reach Arles.

At the falling of Western Roman Empire, the city was included in the Visigoths Reign and accused to keep for the Arian eresy, then persecuted by the Catholics Church of Rome and restored to ortodoxy: for that reason, Arles was the seat of many church councils in alternative at the near rival city of Vienne for centuries. After the conquering of Franks, Arles was eliged capital of the Frankish Kingdom of Burgundy but frequently terrorised by Saracen and Viking raiders, until 829 AD when the emperor Louis "the Pious" placed Arles under royal protection and assigned it with special privileges. In 855, the city was included in the Provence County under the rule of Bosoni dinasty, that ceded their feudum to Welfen family joined to their possession into the Kingdom of Arles and the kings went to be crowned in the cathedral.

At the extinction of the royal family, the city and its kingdom were inherited by the emperor of Reich and under Federick I "Barbarossa" regained political and economic prominence, becoming a "free city" governed by an elected podestat of consuls and other magistrates, maintaining the status until the French Revolution of 1789. The County of Provence has been enfeoffed to Bosoni descendants until 1113 AD when it passed to the Bellonidi dinasty and afterthat to Angioini family, until the county and Arles were inherited by the royal family of France in 1481 and joined to their Reign.

Arles had an important and prominent Jewish community between the Roman era and the end of the 15th century: the first was the exiled from Judea after Jerusalem fell to the Romans in 70 AD, so that Arles has been an important Jewish crossroads, as a portual city to reach Spain and the rest of Western Europe. In the VIII century, jurisdiction over the Jewish of Arles was passed to the local Archbishop, making their taxes to the clergy somewhat of a shield for the community from mob attacks, especially during the Crusades, so that their community lived relatively peacefully when they were expelled out of the city never to return.

Today the archeological area "Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments" is enlisted in the UNESCO Wordl Heritage, with the roman amphitheatre and theater, the Thermes of Constantine and the Church of St. Trophime built in XII century. Arles is a medium size town in the south-east of France, within the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, whose patron is Saint Stephen the "protomartyr" of Christianity..

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