Province of Frosinone
|Province of Frosinone|
Provincia di Frosinone
Map highlighting the location of the province of Frosinone in Italy
|• President||Antonio Pompeo|
|• Total||3,244 km2 (1,253 sq mi)|
|• Density||150/km2 (400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
The Province of Frosinone (Italian: Provincia di Frosinone) is a province in the Lazio region of Italy, with 91 comuni (singular: comune; see Comuni of the Province of Frosinone). Its capital is the city of Frosinone. It has an area of 3,244 square kilometres (1,253 sq mi) and a total population of 496,420 (2015).
The Province was established by Royal Decree on 6 December 1926 with territories belonging to Lazio and to Campania. The Campania areas were the left valley of the Liri-Garigliano river, the district of Sora, the Comino Valley, the district of Cassino, the Gulf of Formia and Gaeta, the Pontine islands, which until then had been for centuries included in the Province called Terra di Lavoro, of the Kingdom of Naples (or of the Two Sicilies).
The first traces of human presence in the provincial territory date back to prehistoric times: a famous skull of Homo erectus (Homo cepranensis, in the Prehistorical Museum of Pofi), dating from 800,000 years ago, constitutes the most ancient finding of the Homo species in Europe.
In historical times (10th-9th centuries BC), the area, previously occupied by the so-called Pelasgic civilization, was settled by Indo-European colonists. This arrival is echoed in numerous legends, like those of Aeneas and Saturn: the latter, ousted by Olympus, would come to Lazio to help the men and found seven cities whose name begins with "A" (for example, Alatri and Anagni).
In the 7th century BC the area of what is now the province entered the orbit of Rome, which made it the so-called Latium adiectum ("Adjoined Lazio"). However, Rome needed some 300 years to obtain a definitive victory against the Volsci and the Hernici, who became Romanized after the Social and the Samnite Wars.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the northern part of the province (usually referred to as Ciociaria) belonged to the Papal States. In the Middle Ages, the abbey of Monte Cassino was always a major landowner and a politically renowned element of the area. The southeastern part was a frontier area which was long claimed by the other major powers of the time, the Duchies of Benevento and Gaeta and the County of Aversa: annexed to the Kingdom of Naples under the Normans (12th century), from the late 14th century it became part of the county and then, with an independent status, of the Duchy of Sora. Pontecorvo remained a Papal enclave from 1463.
After the unification of Italy, in 1927 the Fascist government made Frosinone the capital of a province which unified different areas which belonged to the Papal and Neapolitan states: this move caused criticism, as they were considered too different in history, language and culture, especially by the Bourbon nostalgic party which maintained a strong position in southern Italy for many decades.