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ARCHDIOCESE OF BOLOGNA Bologna is the principal city in the province of the same name, Italy, and contains about 150,000 inhabitants.It was founded by the Etruscans, who called it Felsina.During the persecution of Diocletian, Bologna was the scene of the martyrdoms of Sts.Vitalis and Agricola, whose bodies were interred in a Jewish cemetery and only discovered in the time of St.Faustinianus, Basil and Eusebius, in the fourth century. His relics are preserved in the church of San Stefano.
The only sources for the history of the beginnings of Christianity in Bologna are legendary accounts, according to which St. Peter and first Bishop of Ravenna, was the first to preach the Gospel in Bologna. Zama, who is supposed to have been ordained by Pope St. However, it may be maintained with certainty that Christianity, and likewise the episcopate, in Bologna dates back to a more remote period.
At the beginning of the ninth century it was laid waste during the incursions of the Hungarians.
Otto I did much to restore the city to its former condition giving it the privilege of enacting its own laws and making it directly dependent on the imperial authority. During the struggles between the empire and the popes, the city took the part of the latter and was enable to assert its independence, which was definitely recognized by Henry V in 1122.
He remained in captivity until his death, eleven years later, although for the rest he was always treated with the greatest consideration.
In 1276, in order more thoroughly to safeguard their communal liberty, the inhabitants of Bologna placed themselves under the protection of the Holy See, and Pope Nicholas III sent them as legate his nephew, Berotoldo Orsini, whom he also commissioned to reconcile the opposing factions.