History of Don Bruno Navarra
"I dedicate this work to my fellow citizens in the name of the Segninità that unites us, so that everyone may grow in love and respect for the heritage of their fathers".
The ancient Signia faces the limelight of history around 513 B.C., when Tarquinio the Superb leads the Roman army on the mountain lepine. From the encampment built with the comforts of a city, as Dionisio expresses, Signia would have arisen. If a previous human settlement has populated Mount Lepino, what was its lineage and what the name, are open problems. Segni already existed before the arrival of Tarquinius the Superb? See ☛ from 20,000 to 753 a.c. In 495 Sesto Tarquinio deduced a second colony to Segni. In the foundation of the federal squares, or of the so-called Latin colonies, they usually employed a good number of Roman settlers. In 493 Spurio Cassio, during the second consulate, sedated the sedition of the Latin cities, renews with them the covenant of alliance that goes under the name of Foedus Cassianum. The Segnini are one of the thirty peoples adhering to that covenant. In that time and during the course of the V and IV centuries, Signia is so thriving that, unique in all of Lazio, coins silver coins with the inscription -SEIC-, trains its own militias with which, on various occasions, It offers help in Rome, and is surrounded by megalithic walls with various gates: characteristic that towards the IX century AD it will take its name from the repeated raids by the Saracens (Porta Saracena). Signia is governed by magistrates, two for legislation and two for city government. It always remains faithful to Rome, especially in the most difficult moments of Rome, as in the time of the Hannibal wars, during which it was chosen for the custody of the Punic prisoners. The battle of Sacriporto, fought near the right castle of Piombinara, between Silla and Mario the young, saw the latter defeated and fleeing towards Palestrina. The Segnini, who had sided with Mario, suffered severe humiliation and cruel retaliation by the winner. After 89 a.C. as a result of the "marsica" or "social" war, he obtained the condition of "Municipio" and, like the other municipalities, he was governed by the "quattroviri". Proof of this are some lapidary inscriptions existing in Segni. As a free city he used the acronym S.P.Q.S. For the interpretation of the name Signia hypotheses are proposed that derive from the insignia of the army of Tarquinius the Superb or from the statue (signum) of the deity; think of the temple erected on the acropolis towards the V century and dedicated to the Italic triad: Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, or only to Jupiter (Capitolium) or only to Juno, as a votive lamella found there and kept at Villa Giulia. However, considering the SEIC carved under the head of the boar in the small coin, that name could derive from this sacred animal or totem of the primitive markings. During the republic and the empire, Signia was enriched by the forum (piazza S. Maria and largo Marconi), of temples to the god Ercole and the Bona goddess, adorned with monuments raised to various deities, to the emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Caracalla ) and suburban villas. It was famous in antiquity for a particular plaster called "Opus Signinum", for the sparkling wine with astringent properties, for the cauliflowers whose peaks resist cold and for a quality of pears, called marked markers. Christianity penetrated Segni very early. The first evangelizers went to the Jewish colony settled in the area known as "La Giudea" in the S. Stefano district as early as the 1st century BC. The place of worship was dedicated to the first Christian martyr, the Jew Stefano. The catacomb of S. Ilario, excavated near the station "Ad Bivium", between Valmontone and Artena, testifies to a Christian presence dating back to the fourth century. Penetrated through that station, Christianity, spread to nearby cities. In the fifth century the process of penetration had to be sufficiently advanced if in 495 the presence of the bishop is documented in Segni, which supposes the ecclesial organization with a cathedral church. For this purpose the pagan temple of the acropolis was used which, after the repeated decrees of Theodosius against pagan worship, was Christianized and dedicated to St. Peter the Apostle. Segnini suffered the serious discomforts of the Greek-Gothic war that forced them to abandon the cultivation of the Sacco valley and to lock themselves inside the city walls. Between the end of the sixth century and the beginning of the next he was born in Segni Vitaliano, who was pope from 657 to 672. During his pontificate, I sought a rapprochement with the Byzantine Empire and the church of Constantinople, he sent missionaries to England and the Gregorian chant spread. In Byzantine times Segni, according to the statute, was divided into seven "decarcie", each of which had to offer ten armed men, part on foot and part on horseback, for the city army. Around the eighth century the cult of St. Lucia and St. Agatha was introduced to Segni. The first was built a church, destroyed by the bombing of 7 March 1944 and subsequently rebuilt a short distance: the other was dedicated to an area of the city, still commonly called Santavàti, toponym deriving from Sant'Agàte .. Towards the middle of the 11th century, the church of S. Maria was built in Romanesque style, with the bell tower next to it. This church became a cathedral. Inserted in the Roman Duchy and in the "Patrimony of St. Peter", Segni developed under the dominion of the Holy See, reaching the height of his fame and municipal autonomy in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, when he hosted the popes: Pasquale II on June 4, 1109 Peter the bishop of Anagni, Eugene III, who built a palace for the summer (current bishop's seminary - 1150), Alexander III, who sanctified Tommaso Becket and Lucio III, who on 18 July 1183 sanctified it Bruno sanctified it, bishop of the city from 1079 to 1123. Innocent III (Lotario di conti di Segni) stayed there, under whose pontificate, in 1216, the bell tower of the church of S. Pietro, Onorio III, which on 16 July 1223 consecrated the altar of S. was erected with a large ogival arch. Bruno and finally Gregorio IX, belonging to the family of the Counts. Towards the XIII century the bell tower of S.Stefano was built in Romanesque style with an Arabic influence. In order to obtain protection against the arrogance of the barons of the Campagna, Segni in 1353 relied on the lordship of Giovanni Conti, becoming in this way, as a free commune, a fief of the Conti family who dominated it until 1575, when Giovan Battista Conti passed to Mario Sforza , husband of Fulvia Conti, the only daughter heir of Giovan Battista. In August 1557, during the war of Campagna, he suffered fire and destruction. On 4 July 1585 Sixtus V raised Segni to a duchy; the first to bear the title was Alessandro Conti Sforza whose name is carved on the upper facade of the architrave of the portal of the Conti palace, which he restored. Required by the Congregation of the Barons and removed to Mario II Conti Sforza because of its debts, the duchy was placed in auction in 1639. At auction the Sforza, relatives of Mario, and the Barberini, relatives of Pope Urban VIII. Segni was awarded to the latter. However, between the two families a judicial process was lit. Alfine, the Sforza was right, Livia Cesarini, wife of Federico Sforza, on March 17, 1695, bought back Segni, giving rise to the Sforza Cesarini During the seventeenth century, when the old cathedral was demolished because it was badly damaged by the fire of 1557, it was rebuilt on the same place by the foundations, in baroque style and with a Greek cross. To decorate it were called Pietro da Cortona, the Pomarancio, Giovan Battista Gaulli, Lazzaro Baldi, Francesco Cozza and the Cortese brothers, particularly Antonio and Guglielmo; the façade of local stone was erected in 1817 in a style reminiscent of the neoclassic of Valadier. Entered into the Kingdom of Italy on 20 September 1870, Segni had Girolamo Cleti Meni as the first mayor from 25-1- 1875 to 16-3-1877. Numerous social works followed. In 1862 the via ferrata for Ceprano was inaugurated with the railway stations of Velletri, Valmontone, Segni, Anagni, Ferentino and Frosinone; in 1870 the hospital was erected with the contribution of the priests segnini don Leandro Milani and don Gaetano Rossi and entrusted to the Daughters of Charities of San Vincenzo de 'Paoli; in 1876 the City Council, left the old medieval palace, located near the cathedral, took possession of the former convent of the Doctrinaires, attached to the church of the Gesù and confiscated by Italian laws; in 1887 the munificence of our countryman, Leo XIII, allowed the erection of the Istituto San Gioacchino for the education of childhood and youth, entrusting it to the nuns of the Charity of St. Jeanne Antide. All the parish cemeteries were closed for hygienic reasons; the municipal cemetery was built in 1884, based on a draft by the engineer. Angelo Maria Fagiolo. To eradicate the scourge of usury, mgr. Giuseppe Sagnori and Ing. Angelo Maria Fagiolo founded the Cassa Rurale in 1894. The industrial plants, which began to rise around the Segni-Paliano railway station at the end of the 19th century, interrupted the migratory flow of our workers to America. Generous contributions of blood offered many homelands to the homeland in the Libyan war of 1911 and the world war of 1915-18. Particularly cruel and destructive, Segni recalls the Second World War (1939-1945). During the thirties of our century the school building for the elementary school was built in Segni, completely restored and renovated in 1990-91; in the second half of our century, those for middle school, for technical commercial institute and for surveyors, for kindergartens, while in the 1989-90 school year the high school gymnasium was opened in the seminary rooms. The magisterial institute, managed by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, flourished for half a century, from 1930 to 1980. Significant events for the life and customs of the signpost community were: in 1912, the use of electricity for lighting public places and private homes and the construction of the Simbrivio aqueduct that began to supply the precious liquid in 1933. Connected until 1950 by the only road - La Traiana - with Colleferro, afterwards Segni connected through other driveways with Roccamassima and the one that, bifurcating in the middle of the course, leads to the Carpinetana below Gavignano and Montelanico. Among the various medieval and modern buildings, the Palazzo Cremona of the XVIII century, the medieval Loggetta rebuilt after the sack of Segni with materials from the monastery of S. Gregorio, documented until 1300 and destroyed in 1557, the Convent of the Cappuccini, built at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the church of S. Maria degli Angeli from the fifteenth-century portal, became parish of the new area of Segni in 1929, the church of Jesus-early eighteenth century- which houses the miraculous image of Our Lady of Sorrows, painted on canvas by an artist from the Reni school. Among the many walks inside the village and in the mountains covered with chestnut and beech forests, the most striking and scenic is that of Pianillo, which, on the top of the mountain with a large iron cross (1933), dominates the Valle del Sacco and looks , in a wide circle, dozens of cities and towns, from Palestrina to Frosinone.
"SIGNS - Guide to the visit of the historic center" by Don Bruno Navarra Ed. Cassa Rurale and Artigiana di Segni with the patronage of the Municipality of Segni - Provincial Agency Turismo Roma - Ass. Pro-Loco, 1992
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Inserted by the Itinesegni Cultural Association, -Segni- Italia -Lazio-Roma