Friuli derives its name from the Roman city of Forum Iulii (modern Cividale del Friuli). Occupied by the Romans (2d cent. BC), it became a Lombard duchy (6th–8th cent.) and a Frankish march (8th cent.). Before AD 1000 it was divided into the counties of Gorizia (east) and Friuli (west). The western county passed (11th cent.) to the patriarchs of Aquileia , who made Udine their capital. In 1420 it went to Venice, and the name Friuli lost its political connotation. After the counts of Gorizia became extinct (1500), Emperor Maximilian I incorporated the eastern county into the Hapsburg possessions; attempts by Venice to acquire it were unsuccessful.
By the treaties of Campo Formio (1797) and Paris (1814, 1815) all Friuli became Austrian. After the Austro-Prussian War, Austria ceded (1866) W Friuli (i.e., Udine prov.) to Italy. During World War I, Friuli was a battlefield. In 1919, E Friuli was also awarded to Italy; with Istria and Trieste it formed the region of Venezia Giulia . The Italian peace treaty of 1947 gave E Friuli (but not Gorizia) to Yugoslavia, and it became part of the Yugoslav republic of Slovenia (now independent). The name Friuli was officially revived when Friuli–Venezia Giulia was formed as a region of Italy.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Italian Political Geography