Introduction of Emilia-Romagna
Region in N central Italy, now included in the regionof Emilia-Romagna and parts of the Marches. It wasthe seat of Byzantine rule in Italy from a.d. 540 to751, with the exarchs residing at Ravenna. Althoughit was a province of the Papal States from the eighthcentury, several factions vied for control of the region.It became largely independent in the later MiddleAges as urban communes shook off papal and feudalcontrol. Bologna, Imola, Ravenna, Rimini,Faenza, ForlР�?, and Cesena were among these. TheMaletesta, Montefeltro, and the Gonzaga were amongthe condottieri, or mercenary captains, who at timesserved the papacy, at times their own interests, insubduing the region in the early Renaissance. It wastaken by Cesare Borgia in 1501 as a personal principality,but Pope Julius II soon after brought it directlyunder the papacy, and papal rule continued until1860, broken only by the French occupation between1797 and 1814.