The Roman Empire was the post-Republican phase of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean. The term is used to describe the Roman state during and after the time of the first emperor, Augustus. The Roman Republic, which preceded it, had been weakened and subverted through several civil wars.
The Roman Republic was the phase of the ancient Roman civilization characterized by a republican form of government. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, c. 509 BC, and lasted over 450 years until its subversion, through a series of civil wars, into the Principate form of government and the Imperial period. The Roman Republic was governed by a complex constitution, which centered on the principles of a separation of powers and checks and balances.
The Papal State(s), State(s) of the Church or Pontifical States were one of the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia (after which the Papal States, in less territorially extensive form, continued to exist until 1870).
Modena is a city and comune on the south side of the Po valley, in the Province of Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. An ancient town, it is the seat of an archbishop, but is now best known as "the capital of engines", since the factories of the famous Italian sports car makers Ferrari, De Tomaso, Lamborghini, Pagani and Maserati are, or were, located here and all, except Lamborghini, have headquarters in the city or nearby.
Etruria — usually referred to in Greek and Latin source texts as Tyrrhenia — was a region of Central Italy, located in an area that covered part of what now are Tuscany, Latium, Emilia-Romagna and Umbria. A particularly noteworthy work dealing with Etruscan locations is D. H. Lawrence's Sketches of Etruscan Places and other Italian essays.
The Kingdom of Tavolara was a small independent state existing in the 19th and 20th centuries in Tavolara island, off the northeast coast of Sardinia. Ruled by the Bertoleoni family, it was one of the smallest kingdoms in the world. It is now de facto part of Italy, although it was never formally annexed. In 1836, King Charles Albert of Sardinia visited the island and acknowledged Giuseppe Bertoleoni as an independent sovereign monarch.
The Free Territory of Trieste was to be a city-state situated in Central Europe between northern Italy and Yugoslavia, created by the United Nations Security Council and provisionally administered by an appointed military governor commanding the peacekeeping forces stationed there. The Free Territory was decided on 15 September 1947 by a protocol of the Italian Peace Treaty in order to accommodate an ethnically and culturally mixed population in a neutral independent country.
The Italian Social Republic was a puppet state of Nazi Germany led by the "Duce of the Nation" and "Minister of Foreign Affairs" Benito Mussolini and his Republican Fascist Party. The RSI exercised official sovereignty in northern Italy but was largely dependent on the Wehrmacht (German military) to maintain control.
The Roman Republic was a state declared on on February 9, 1849, when the government of Papal States was temporarily substituted by a republican government due by the pope's flight to Gaeta. The republic was led by Carlo Armellini, Giuseppe Mazzini and Aurelio Saffi. Together they formed a triumvirate, a reflection of a form of government seen in the ancient Roman Republic.
The Western Roman Empire was the western half of the Roman Empire, from its division by Diocletian in 285; the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, today widely known as the Byzantine Empire. The Western Empire existed intermittently in several periods between the 3rd century and 5th century, after Diocletian's Tetrarchy and the reunifications associated with Constantine the Great and Julian the Apostate (324–363).
The Most Serene Republic of Genoa was an independent state in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast from 1005 to 1797, when it was invaded by armies of Revolutionary France under Napoleon. It was then succeeded by the Ligurian Republic, which existed until 1805 before being annexed by the French Empire. Its restoration was briefly proclaimed in 1814, following the defeat of Napoleon, but it was short-lived, and the Republic was ultimately annexed by the Kingdom of Sardinia.
The giudicati (singular giudicato) were the indigenous kingdoms of Sardinia from about 900 until 1410, when the last fell to the Aragonese. The rulers of the giudicati were giudici (singular giudice), from the Latin iudice (pl. iudices), often translates as "judge". The Latin for giudicato (judgeship) was iudicatus (pl. iudicati), sometimes spelled with a "j", as in judicatus. The Latin terms were corrupted over time into judike/judikes (iudike/iudikes).
The Most Serene Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century AD until the year 1797. It is often referred to as La Serenissima, in reference to its title in Venetian, the Most Serene Republic.
The Kingdom of Sicily was a state that existed in the south of Italy from its founding by Roger II in 1130 until 1861. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of southern Italy. The Kingdom covered not only the island of Sicily itself, but also the whole Mezzogiorno region of southern Italy. The island was divided into three regions; Val di Mazara, Val Demone and Val di Noto.
Montferrat is part of the region of Piedmont in Northern Italy. It comprises roughly (and its extent has varied over time) the modern provinces of Alessandria and Asti. Montferrat is one of the most important wine districts of Italy. It also has a strong literary tradition, including the 18th century Asti-born poet and dramatist Vittorio Alfieri and the Alessandrian Umberto Eco. The territory is cut in two by the river Tanaro.
The Duchy of Milan was a state in northern Italy from 1395 to 1797. It was part of the Holy Roman Empire, by then a decentralised entity, and was ruled by several dynasties, most of them major powers from outside Italy. Although the Duchy's territory varied over the centuries, it generally covered much of Lombardy, including both Milan and Pavia, the traditional centers of the old Kingdom of Italy. Parma was also a part of the Duchy until it was split off into its own Duchy in the 16th century.
The Duchy of Modena (in full, the Duchies of Modena and Reggio) was a small Italian state that existed from 1452 to 1859, with a break between 1796 and 1814. The Duchy was originally created for the Este family, who also ruled Ferrara until 1597. In 1796, the Duchy was occupied by the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte, who created the Cispadane Republic out of its territory. The last Este Duke became ruler of former Austrian territories in southwestern Germany, and died in 1803.
The Duchy of Parma was created in 1545 from that part of the Duchy of Milan south of the Po River, as a fief for Pope Paul III's illegitimate son, Pier Luigi Farnese, centered on the city of Parma. In 1556, the second Duke, Ottavio Farnese, was given the city of Piacenza, becoming thus also Duke of Piacenza, and so the state was thereafter properly known as the Duchies of Parma and Piacenza.
The Grand Duchy of Tuscany was a central Italian monarchy that existed, with interruptions, from 1569 to 1859, replacing the Duchy of Florence. The grand duchy's capital was Florence. Until the advent of the House of Lorraine, Tuscany was nominally a state of the Holy Roman Empire until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The grand duchy, initially, was ruled by the House of Medici until its extinction in 1737.
The Roman Republic was proclaimed on February 15, 1798 after Louis Alexandre Berthier, a general of Napoleon, had invaded the city of Rome on February 10. The Roman Republic was a client republic under the French Directory composed of territory conquered from the Papal States. Pope Pius VI was exiled to France and died there in 1799. It immediately took the control of the other two former-papal revolutionary administrations, the Tiberina Republic and the Republic of Ancona.
A prisoner in the Vatican or prisoner of the Vatican is how Pope Pius IX described himself following the capture of Rome by the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy on 20 September 1870. Part of the process of Italian unification, the city's capture ended the millennial temporal rule of the popes over central Italy and allowed Rome to be designated the capital of the new nation. The appellation is also applied to Pius's successors through Pius XI.
Italy, until the present era, was a conglomeration of city-states and small independent nations. The following is a list of the various states that made up what we now know as Italy during the past. (rounded up to a year significant to Italian history in each case).