The Arch of Augustus (27 BC)
In 268 BC at the mouth of the Ariminus river, in an area that had previously been inhabited by the Etruscans, the Umbrians, the Greeks and the Gauls, the Romans founded the colony of Ariminum, probably from the name of a nearby river, Ariminus (today, Marecchia). Previously the area had been Gaulish, from the 6th century BC, to that group's final defeat in 283 BC by the Umbri, in whose possession it remained until 263 BC when it became a Latin colony very helpful to the Romans during the late Gallic wars.
The city was involved in the civil wars but remained faithful to the popular party and to its leaders, firstly Marius, and then Caesar. After crossing the Rubicon, the latter made his legendary appeal to the legions in the Forum of Rimini.
Ariminum was seen as a bastion against invaders from Gaul and also as a springboard for conquering the Padana plain. As the terminus of the Via Flaminia, which ended here in the surviving prestigious Arch of Augustus (erected 27 BC), Rimini was a road junction connecting central Italy and northern Italy by the Via Aemilia that led to Piacenza and the Via Popilia that extended northwards; it also opened up trade by sea and river. Remains of the amphitheater that could seat 12000 people, and a five-arched bridge of Istrian stone completed by Tiberius (21 AD) are also still visible. Later Galla Placida built the church of San Stefano.
Crisis in the Roman world was marked by destruction caused by invasions and wars, but also by the testimony of the palaces of the Imperial officers and the first churches, the symbol of the spread of Christianity that held an important Council in Rimini in 359.
Portrait of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta called the Wolf of Rimini, by Piero della Francesca, c. 1450, Louvre
When the Ostrogoths conquered Rimini in 493, Odoacer, besieged in Ravenna, had to capitulate. During the