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The Roman conquest
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After conquering the whole region of Lazio, the Romans began moving wars to many other cities in Italy; Nequinum was then allied with the Samnites , Etruscans and other peoples of the centre who wanted to maintain their independence. In 309 B.C. the Umbrian people conceived the idea to attack the city of Rome, but the Romans had time to prepare their defence and the consul Fabio forced them to surrender.

In 300 B.C. Nequinum – thanks to its strategic position - was considered an important site by Rome: the consul Quintus Appuleio Pansa tried to conquer it, but he got unsuccessful results , due to its unreachable location . It took over a year to accomplish the conquest, which took place in 299 BC thanks to the treachery of two local people who allowed the Romans to enter the walls . The city thus became a Roman colony with the Latin name of Narnia, from the river Nahar (the present day Nera river ) flowing at his feet, which in the Indo-European language means "river" . We have little news from that period, it is believed , however, that the city could have played a role of some importance during the first and second Punic War . Along the River, near the village of Stifone , archaeologists have recently found evidence of a Roman harbour and a Roman shipyard.

The presence of a harbour here is also testified by Latin texts by Strabo and Tacitus, like the well-known passage in which the consul Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, in 19, decided to embark in Narnia with his wife in order to reach Rome without arousing suspicion.

Narnia became a municipium in 90 BC, and an essential stop along the Via Flaminia: this road might have been the real backbone of the urban streets, from the square Piazza Cavour towards Piazza G. Marzio.

During the renovation of some consular roads, the emperor Augustus paved all the Via Flaminia, fixing old bridges and building new ones, according to many authors also the big bridge over the River Nera was built in this period, and it is actually named after the Emperor: The Augustus Bridge.

In 96 A.D. the Senate and the Roman people elected the local citizen Cocceius Nerva as the new Emperor, under his reign the Roman era saw the return of freedom; according to Tacitus those 16 -month reign was a period of public happiness. Among other things, he put an end to the persecution of Christians, restored the Appian and Valeria roads , built the Forum and the Temple of Minerva.

Revised by fabio Ronci

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