Roman Empire in Istria: "Lucio Calpurchio Pisone or Cesonino - the Caesar’s father-in-law"
Two Roman officials were sent in the middle of the 1st century BC by Rome to lead the settlers with the aim of establishing a colony in the bay of Pula. They were: Lucio Cassio Longino and Lucio Calpurchio Pisone or Cesonino.
The first one was probably the brother of Caio Crasso and the second one was the Caesar’s father-in-law.
During the civil war, after Ceaser’s violent death, Pula sided with Ceaser’s killers Brutus and Cassius and was heavy damaged by the military forces of the triumphant triumvir of Octavius, the future Emperor Augustus.
In the battle of Actium in 31 BC Octavius Augustus, future Emperor Augustus, obtained the victory. In honour to Sergi and other two members of his family the Triumphal Arch of Sergi was built by his wife and her own money.
Another interesting fact related with this story is that at the time Pula was also named Pola Pietas Julia.
It is assumed that Pula got this name from Octavius, later on Emperor Augustus, when he donated the town to his soldiers. Pietas was the sign of mercy towards the town that sided Ceaser’s killers and Julia was in honour to Ceaser’s family name.
During the Roman Empire Pula was home to many important Roman families like: Sergi, Crassi, Flavi, Costantini. Cenide, the Emperor Vespasianus’ girlfriend, was also from Pula.
It seems that Emperor Traiano chose Pula as his headquarters for the military expeditions towards east. It is also known that during the Emperor Traiano time members of the Sergi family were duoviri.
It is also known that in the 1st century the mother of the Emperor Claudio and the daughter of Marc Antonio came to live in Pula. Also the son of the Emperor Costantino the Great, Crispo, was living in Medulin at the beginning of the 4th century. The names of the personalities of the time can prove the importance of Istria for the Romans.
Pula’s development started during the Emperor Augustus rule and Romans created Pula as beautiful town; full of luxury houses, temples, squares, arches, gates, theatres and also the Arena was built.
Arena was completed at the same time as the famous Colosseum in Rome.
It is one of the six largest Roman amphitheatres in the World and has the form of an ellipse: 132,5 meters long - 105,1 meters wide and 32,5 meters high. Today Arena is the Roman amphitheatre with the best preserved external mantel in the World.
The building of Arena started in the time of the Emperor Augustus (from 2 BC till14 AD). It was expanded by the Emperor Claudious during the mid of the 1st century (from 41 till 56 AD) and was finished in the eighties of the 1st century AD (from 79 till 81 AD) by the Emperor Vespasianus.
According to the tradition Vespansianus built the Arena following the advice of his loved Cenide.
Livia Drusilla was probably one of the most influent women in the Roman Empire. She was the wife of the Emperor Augustus and his personal advisor and was also the mother of Emperor Tiberius.