1 - AntiquityAll in Naples, the buildings, the museums and even the spoken language carries traces of all the periods of its history, from its Greek birth, until today.
The first colonists were some Greek sailors coming from Rhodos, on the small island of Megaride (the one where is now the castle of the egg) and in the hills close to Pizzofalcone, the commercial colony on the small island was called Parthenope.
Towards the 8th century before JC, the hamlet of Pizzofalcone was occupied by inhabitants of the Greek colony of Cumes: it will be the place of the future Neapolis.
In 680 b JC, Partenope was already a flourishing city, which caused the desire of the inhabitants of Cumes, and who destroyed it. A few years later, Partenope was again rested by Cumes colonists of the island of Eubea who fled a terrible epidemic which had fallen down on the Greek Colony of Cumes.
In 475 before JC, colonists of Cumes founded a city in the east of the old town of Partenope; for this reason it was called néa- Pólis, "city new", nevertheless very near to Partenope. Towards 400, the walls of Naples will resist at the seat of Samnites, which had conquered the grounds cumes, of "Capo Miseno" in Cumes, to the port of Dicearchia (Pozzuoli).
There was a strong enclosure of walls, in front of which the invader phenician Hannibal had to beat a retreat, when the city was allied with the Romans.
At that time, the city was already an important trading and agricultural centre. In 326, following the Samnites wars, the Roman consul Quinto Publilio Filone entered in Naples and made it a Roman colony.
In 476 after JC, Romulus Augustus, the last of the Roman emperors, was deposited and injailed close to the Manor house dell' Ovo (castle of the egg), which at that time was a strengthened Roman villa.
Many Roman emperors - Claudius, Tiberus, Neron - passed in Naples their stays in elegant villas from which there remain only ruins today.
Other constructions were an odeon and a theatre, as well as the temple of Dioscures, the gods of the city. Although conquered by the Romans in the 4th century before JC, Naples maintained a long time its greek culture. During the Roman era, the city was a center of blooming of hellenistic culture which attracted many Romans eager to improve their Greek culture.
Its pleasant climate made a famous resource of pleasure, like known by Virgile and attested by the number of luxurious villas which extend all along the coast, from the Gulf of Pozzuoli to the peninsula of Sorrentine. The famous zone of the catches of Posillipo is named ruins of the Pausilypon villa, whose significance in Greek is "a pause of care".
The Romans connected the city to the rest of Italy with their famous roads, excavated galleries to bind Naples to Pozzuoli, increased the port, the baths and the aqueducts public.
It improved considerably the quality of the life in Naples. The city was also celebrated for its many treats. According to the legend Peter and Paul themselves had come to preach in the city.
The Christians had a role starting from the end of the years of the Roman empire.
The underground areas of Naples include some catacombs, particularly in the northern part of the city. The first basilicas of paleo-Christian women were built beside the entries of the catacombs. The considerably popular owner of the city, San Gennaro, was decapitated here in 305, and since the 5th century he is commemorated in the basilica of San Gennaro Moenia.
It is in the villa of Lucullus, maintaining the manor house dell' Ovo (castle of the egg), that Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of the Western Roman empire, was imprisoned after being deposited in 476. Naples suffered during the Gothic wars between Ostrogoths and Byzantines at the sixth century.