Roman Cividale

Informations about the history, administrative life and organization of Forum Iulii, one of the four Roman towns of Friuli Venezia Giulia, may be evinced mainly by the epigraphical Roman documents in the museum lapidarium. It was municipium since the forties of the first century B.C. and the dimensions of the territory of its competence are still under discussion.

During the late period of the Roman Empire because of the danger coming from the barbaric invasions, the strategic importance of the town grew up. The town was part of the Alpine defensive system  and after the descend of Attila (mid-5th century) probably became the seat of the Corrector (Governor) of Venetia et Histria, and for its important role, was chosen as the capital of the first Longobard duchy in Italy, after their descent in 568.

Information on its urban organization is rather scarce: it is in fact still uncertain the location of the main public buildings, in particular of the Forum.

The archaeological finds were discovered in the early 19th century and then moved into the museum. They are mainly relative to private houses (fine mosaic floors, dating back mostly to the First Imperial age), necropolis (burial monuments, urns and objects) and sacred buildings (inscriptions and dedications to Jupiter and to Fortuna Augusta). Inscriptions, bronze statues, a thesaurus lid are all related to the cult of Hercules, venerated in a sanctuary located on a hilltop just south of the city and probably founded in pre-Roman times.