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An Italic tribe with their own distinctive language who inhabited north-east Italy from the 1st millennium bc. Always in need of protection against major invasions of Italy by the Gauls and by Hannibal, they remained loyal to the Roman empire. Under the later Roman empire their territory became the province of Venetia. Their geographical position put their cities (for example, Aquileia and Padua) in the path of Goth and Hun invasions of Italy. A gradual migration took place towards the barely inhabited islands, marshes, and sandbanks of the coastal estuaries. The area grew in prosperity largely through trade. In the 9th century, the Republic of St Mark, better known as Venice, was established.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).

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