On 30 December 189 BCE, the Romans founded the city of Bononia. The word ‘Bononia’ was also used by the Romans for other cities such as Boulogne in France.
The population of Bononia grew to 30,000 in 187 BCE and it is around this time that work began on Via Aemilia (via Emilia is still used today).
At the beginning of the 100 AD, Bononia was granted Roman citizenship and became a ‘municipium’ of the Roman Empire.
The assassination of Julius Caesar also touched the city of Bononia, as some of Antony’s veterans occupied the city.
Later on Augustus was honoured as father of the city. When Nero was a senator, Bononia was placed under his protection and according to historical writings, Nero paid from his own personal funds to rebuild the city of Bononia after a fire swept the city.
Ancient sources suggest that Bononia prospered becoming renowned for its crafts such as dressmaking, goldsmiths, building and construction, and metal work during the Roman period.
Lawyers such as Rusticelio and comedy writer Pomponio became famous.
Trade with other nations also sees the establishment of pagan cults such as the cult of Isis. The Temple of Isis has been incorporated into the Church of Santo Stefano in Bologna.
In 189BCE, the Romans established a colony and introduced Roman law. This colony was called Bononia – today’s Bologna.
Bologna was an Etruscan city and much of the remains are located under Sala Borsa.