August was the one who understood the maritime oportunities of Ravenna that up to that moment it had been a humble roman colony populated by the people of Umbria(an italian region), and 4 km southwards, Augusto settled down one of the two naval basis of the Empire. In 402 Ravenna was chosen by Onorio as the new capital of the Roman Empire of the West. Onorio had left the defenceless Milan.
In 476, Odoacre laid down the last roman Emperor in Ravenna, and it was also decided his destiny. The brand new barbaric kings were not tempted by the charm of the city: Teodorico established his Court somewhere between 493 and 526.
In 540, and after the war had blown up between goti and byzantine people, the general Belisario took possession of Ravenna. The longobarda invasion in 569 restricted the importance of the city reducing the city only as the capital of the Esarcato (the militar province in which the byzantine resistence concentrated for two centuries ).
In 751 Ravenna fell in the hands of the “longobarda”.
From that moment onwards Ravenna was governed by the archbishops, then by the Aristocratic Town Hall and finally by the courtly power of the families Traversari and Da Polenta. This last seigniory that dominated Ravenna from 1302 to 1441 gave hospitality to Dante.
The Adriatic was almost a Venetian Sea and from the very moment that Ravenna was dominated by Venice, its trade and its production of salt had been controlled long before. The Venetian period lasted from 1441 to 1509. The following centuries in which Ravenna became part of the State of the Church were years of abandonment.
The Industrial Revolution in the 50’s and 60’s after the discovery of the methane caused environmental problems.
The most part of the ancient monuments with the original sunk level reveals with the original sunk level, the millennial land subsidence which has been accelerated with the extraction of water and methane.