Friuli by Johannes Revet (1860-1908)

The city of Friuli, in the Friuli–Venezia Giulia regione of North Eastern Italy is situated on the Natisone River to the orth East of Venice. It was founded by the Romans and called the Julian Forum (Forum Julii) probably after Julius Caesar and it became the capital of, and gave it's name to, The Duchy of Friuliunder the Lombards and the first such one to be formed in Italy. From it was the residence of The patriarchs of Aquileia had their seats here from 730 to 1238. Venice took it 1n 1419/20 together with the rest of Friuli. In the 8th Century the celebrated poet Paul the Deacon was born here, as was the actress Adelaide Ristori in the 19th Century.

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Parts of the city of Friuli date back to the 8th Century and some of the old buildings that are worthy of a visit include the eight-sided baptistery, the Santa Maria nunnery chapel of Santa Maria in Valle, and the altar in the San Martino church. Other 'must sees' include the cathedral which was rebuilt in 1458 and again in 1502, the Bridge of the Devil which was built in 1442, the Nnational Archaeological Museum which holds Lombard and Gothic items, and there are several medieval palaces and churches. The city is a commercial centre with a little light manufacture and tourism is an important part of it's economy.

No pauper was Paul the Deacon; his family was rich and aristocratic so it was no surprise that became a councillor to the Lombard King Desiderius at his court in Pavia. After Charlemagne defeated the Lombards Paul and his brother plotted against the Franks and were arrested; they lost everything they owned, his brother was imprisoned in France and Paul managed to escape to the protection of Duke Arichis II who was married to Adalberga, Desiderius' daughter and Paul's one-time pupil, at his Southern Italian Court at Benevento who had married Desiderius' daughter Adalberga, once Paul's pupil. Ever a realist, though, he eventually accepted Charlemagne's rule and wrote to him in verse asking the emperor to give him a pardon and set his brother free which Charlemagne agreed to provided that Paul joined his Aachen court at Aachen as a scolar and teacher. When Charlemagne returned to Italy Paul went with him and settled at the Abbey of Monte Cassino, where he spent the rest of his days writing wrote his history of the Lombards, which was based mainly on oral tradition and fragmented manuscripts, and other works which included histories and comments upon such luminaries as the bishops of Metz, and St. Benedict, and his celebrated History of Rome (Historia Romana).

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