The History

The History

Suggestive contents of civilisation Cosenza is a multilayered reality and rich in suggestive civilisation contents whose historical path should have been started just before the middle of the fourth century BC, when Cosentia gained strategic value and a cornerstone function in the Brettian union. Ancient sources confirm the use of the ancient name by defining the city “metropolis of Brettii” or capital of that Brettiian ethnos formed around 356 BC after the Secessionist movement against the Lucanians. Alaric gives his remains and his treasure The period of Roman rule resulted in a work of territorial planning and strengthening of productive activities, and in the imperial age Cosenza assumed the appearance of a well-structured town. In 410 AD Alaric king of the Visigoths, after completing the sack of Rome, died near Cosenza thus tying his legendary reputation to this city, which in the popular imagination is to be seen as the prime custodian of the remains of the barbarian king and hiding place of his treasure.

From the Byzantines to the Normans The sixth century opens the chapter of Byzantine domination, which, however, must deal with the persistent attempts of conquest by the Arabs and Lombards: the latter with their raids manage to diminish the internal unity of the region. The Lombard rule continues at least until the end of the ninth century when Cosenza returned in the sphere of Byzantine sovereignty. The following attestations drive us back to the age of the Normans and the process of conquest of southern Italy by Robert Guiscard. In 1058 Cosenza officially surrenders to the Norman authority.

Henry VII, the gift of Frederick to Cosenza In 1130 with the creation of the kingdom of Sicily the Swabian domination begins and the figure of Frederick II is associated with major events such as the completion of the Cathedral and its consecration which took place on 30th January 1222, with the donation of the precious reliquary commissioned to Sicilian goldsmiths. The sign of the bond that had been established between the emperor Frederick II and the city is expressed in the choice to store the corpse of the eldest son Henry VII in the just consecrated Cathedral, in a Greek marble sarcophagus decorated in relief with scenes of Calydonian Hunt. After Manfredi’s unsuccessful attempts to hold the fate of the kingdom inherited from his father, the Swabians succedeed to the Angevins, led by Charles of Anjou. The following century saw the advent of the Aragonese dynasty, which concludes the medieval period.