THE INFLUENCE OF THE AUGUSTAN REGIO I ON THE ITALIAN REGIONALIZATION DEBATE
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The Augustan Regio I was a territorial aggregate of Latium (vetus et adiectum) and Campania. Although it is accepted that these territorial contexts are different, as it is suggested also by place names, the relationship between Rome and important urban center of Phlegrean Fields (Misenum, Baiae, Puteoli) gave a unitary profile to this territorial division. Many cities of Campania hinterland and coastline played a strategical rule for Rome, as pointed out from the high frequency in affairs by sea and by land. The territorial asset of Regio I does not result from ethnic criteria but, more probably, it is due to an infrastructural network between Rome and the Southern Italy. The Appian Way and the Latin Way were certainly the most important routes to travel and trade.
In view of the current situation, is it possible to consider the value and the persistence of Augustan regionalist model for this area? During the scientific and political debate on Italian administrative reorganization, are still relevant the principles of “Augustan discriptio”, especially for Regio I? It is not easy to answer these questions but this research tries to do this. We have reinterpreted the geo-historical approach using new geographical methodologies like, for instance, the georeference of historical maps in a GIS (Geographical Information System) data structure. In particular, we consider the border of the Augustan Regio I versus main hypotheses of the Italian Risorgimento in the 1880s; then we consider the different phases of the administrative organization until the early 1900s. Since the nineteenth century, the area comparable to the ancient Regio I was involved in a series of regional models. We would also underline as several criteria of regionalization (hydrogeological features, historical experiences and sense of identity, economic and functional forces) were chosen in order to create regions. The matter has taken off again and it is due to the current territorial changes. Therefore, the Augustan perspective on Regio I has been examined in order to consider its potentialities for a new territorial asset based on the socio-economic dynamics between Lazio and Campania.