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Taranto History, Italy

Taranto is known as a city found in the southern part of Italy. However, Taranto History is also one of the reasons why this city is famous. It is important to note that this city had been the backdrop of many historical events in Europe.

Taranto History – Ancient Times

In 706 BC, Taranto was discovered by Partheniae who are sons of unmarried Spartan women, and perioeci who are free men but not of Sparta. These first inhabitants of the place called it Taras, derived from the name of Poseidon’s (Greek Sea God) and Satyrion’s (a nymph) son Taranto. It became the only Spartan colony during the time. The inhabitants of Taranto who were of Spartan descent became Sparta’s soldiers.

After the founding of Taranto, the people created a monarchial type of government based on the Spartan rule. The development of the city was restricted to the shoreline since the residents of inner Apulia resisted the rule of Taras (Taranto). All undertakings of Sparta were fully supported by the city of Taranto. For a period of time, it became one of the most powerful cities, having great wealth and power.

Taranto History – Roman Invasion

The Italian started to invade Taranto at the beginning of the 3rd century BC. For this reason the city started a slow decline. Many neighboring cities and towns fell under the rule of Rome. However, Taranto was quick to defend itself from the invasion of the Romans.

After Taranto broke off discussions with Roman diplomats, the Roman Senate declared war against the city. Roman legions led by Lucius Aemilius Barbula raided the city of Taranto in 281 BC. A series of wars between Taranto and Rome followed this incident. The end result of these wars was pro-Roman because in 272 BC, the Romans finally overpowered the city. The 30,000 Greek residents of Taranto were sold as slaves.

Taranto History – Arab Invasion

Starting in the 9th century AD, Taranto turned out to be under the Arab control when the Lombard rule of the city weakened. For a period of 40 years, the city became the Arab’s harbor. The city was then turned over to the Byzantines after the Arabs were defeated.

Taranto History – From 16th to 19th Century

The Spanish took over the rule of Taranto in 1502. During the time of the Spanish, the city became a harbor of the fleets from Spain. In 1801, the French took over the government of Taranto after Ferdinand IV of Naples was defeated. Napoleon aimed to construct a stronghold in the city. Many French soldiers arrived in the city to strengthen it. After the fall of Napoleon, Southern Italy, including Taranto, was restored to the Bourbon dynasty.

Taranto History – 20th Century

When World War I broke, the city of Taranto became the headquarters for Regia Marina warships. During the World War II, the Italian ships which were docked in Taranto were brutally destroyed by British naval ships.

Taranto History had its own story to tell. Just like Bari History and Rome History, it shares a part of Italy’s historical events.

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