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Segni (in Latin Signia) is an Italianmarker town and comune located in Lazio. The city is situated on a hilltop in the Lepini Mountains, and overlooks the valley of the Sacco Rivermarker.

History

Early history

According to ancient Latin sources, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, King of Rome, first brought Segni under Rome's control, but little evidence exists to support this claim. The town did become a Latin colony in 494 BCE (Livy 1.56.3; Dionysius of Halicarnassus 4.63). The ancient architectural remains at the site date mostly from the Republican period. These include a circuit of fortification walls built using polygonal masonry. The walls incorporated a system of gates, including the Porta Saracena which is covered by a large monolithic architrave. Atop the ancient acropolis of Segni sits the podium of the temple of Juno Moneta, which now supports a Medieval church of Saint Peter (tenth century).

Later history

On several occasions Segni served as a place of refuge for popes, and Eugene III erected a palace there. In the twelfth century it came into possession of the Counts of Marsi, hereditary enemies of the Orsini. The family called de' Conti produced several popes (Innocent III, Gregory IX and Alexander IV) and many cardinals. In 1558 Segni was sacked by the forces of the Duke of Alba in the war against Pope Paul IV; immense booty was captured, as the inhabitants of the other towns of the Campagnamarker had fled thither.

Main sights

  • Co-cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, built in the early 17th century on the former temple of St. Bruno. The bell tower is from the 11th century. The interior has a painting by Francesco Cozza.
  • Polygonal walls.
  • Ancient acropolis


Twin towns



References

  • G.M. De Rossi Segni (1982).
  • Francesco Maria Cifarelli Il tempio di Giunone Moneta sull'acropoli di Segni: storia, topografia e decorazione architettonica (2003).



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