Fiesole

Fiesole is a town and comune of the province of Florence in the Italian region of Tuscany, on a famously scenic height above Florence, 8 km (5 mi) NE of that city.

The Romans conquered Faesulae, as Fiesole was then known, in 283 BC. Under Roman rule, it became the seat of a famous school of augurs, and every year twelve young men were sent here from Rome to study the art of divination. Rome typically drew heavily on the Etruscans for priests and augurs. A considerable number of interesting finds from the Etruscan period - urns, bucchero, clay and bronze statues - together with other objects from Roman times are to be found in the Museum near the archaeological zone.

Christianity was introduced to Fiesole by St. Romulus, a disciple of St. Peter. The fact that the ancient cathedral (now the Abbazia Fiesolana) stands outside the city is a evidence that the Christian origins of Fiesole date from the period of the persecutions. The earliest mention of a Bishop of Fiesole is in a letter of Gelasius I (492-496). A little later, under Vigilius (537-55), a Bishop Rusticus is mentioned as papal legate at one of the Councils of Constantinople. The legendary St. Alexander is said by some to belong to the time of the Lombard King Autari (end of the sixth century), but the Bollandists assign him to the reign of Lothair (middle of the ninth century).

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