Sites & cities that bear the name of San Severino Marche

San Severino Marche

Today in : Italy
First trace of activity : ca. 6th century C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Castellum Severinum Sanctum

Description : San Severino Marche is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Macerata in the Italian region Marche, located about 50 kilometres (31 mi) southwest of Ancona and about 25 kilometres (16 mi) southwest of Macerata. The oldest remains of human presence in San Severino date back to the Palaeolithic and their provenance is from the area of Stigliano. But there are other remains, found in many localities of the communal territory, documenting several settlements in the area in different ages. In the Serralta territory, 10 kilometres (6 mi) north of San Severino, characteristic remains from the medium Palaeolithic and High Palaeolithic have been found whereas human presence in Pitino, located 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) north-east of the town, goes back to the medium Musterianum Palaeolithic.Metallic remains with a symbolic function were found in many areas of the communal territory, documenting the uninterrupted settlement and the existence of a complex social hierarchy of the whole prehistoric era. The first significant civilization can be traced back to the Piceni, concentrated in the vicinity of Pitino. Excavations since 1932 have brought to light a residential area on top of the hill and three necropolis in the vicinity, all dating back to a period between the 7th and 5th century BC. Remains of funerary sets, with presents from other areas, highlight the high social levels of the populations living in the area. At the foot of the Monte Nero there was a sacred temple, a unique one in the region, devoted to the cult of the goddess Feronia, divinity of Sabine origin to which the Liberti were consecrated. This suggests that the town of Septempeda (ancient name of uncertain origins of San Severino in the Roman age) had a pre-Roman origin. During the period of the persecutions of the Christians, the temple of Feronia was used as a catacomb and place for prayers. The Roman municipality of Septempeda gradually fell into ruin in early Middle Ages, surviving until the late Middle Ages. Its territory was elevated to Gastaldato, a civil and military Lombard jurisdiction, testifying that the town was still important at that time. This confutes the legend of the destruction inflicted by Totila in 545 during the Gothic Wars. Incursions of both Germanic and Byzantine troops by the 6th century, forced the inhabitants to find shelter in near high grounds, and in particular on Monte Nero (the hill that overlooks the present day town) where existed perhaps since Roman ages, a military organization called “Castrum reale”. The Roman city, or its remains, continued to be inhabited, especially during peaceful periods, due to its ease of communication through Roman roads, keeping the name of Septempeda. According to tradition, St. Severinus, from whom the city takes its present name, was consecrated as a Bishop by Pope Vigilius in 540. Severinus died in 545, the same year of the passage of the Goths towards Rome. The remains of the saint were hidden in the Cathedral of St. Maria in Septempeda to protect them from looting; found in 590 during the restoration of the cathedral, they were carried to Monte Nero. With Charlemagne's conquest of northern Italy in 773, San Severino swore loyalty to Pope Adrian I, following the entire region of Pentapolis. The first reliable document concerning the existence of this new centre dates back to 944, year of foundation of a larger church to accommodate the faithful and the relics of Saint Severino that was placed in the hamlet of the "Castellum Severinum Sanctum". Documents from the 11th and 12th centuries show that the Castle of San Severino was part of the diocese and the Camerino March before being transferred in 1119 to the Marquis Werner II of Spoleto, who had come from Germany to fight for the Pope against the Normans. The dynasty of Werner rule the Marche and San Severino’s territories until about 1170, when the establishment of the Commune of San Severino can be traced back. The first consuls of the commune were Petrino and Offroduccio, appointed by Frederick Barbarossa in 1177.

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