added by archaeologs A former city founded as a Roman colony in 181 BC, now a village in northeastern Italy near the Adriatic coast northwest of Trieste. Founded to prevent barbarian invasions, Aquileia became a trade and commercial center along the route north and east into the Black Sea areas. By the 4th century, it became capital of the regions of Venetia and Istria. The city fell to the Huns and was sacked in 452. It also once served as an episcopal see of the Roman Catholic Church.