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colonia

in Roman antiquity, a Roman settlement in conquered territory. The earliest colonies were coast-guard communities, each containing about 300 Roman citizens and their families. By 200 BC a system of such Roman maritime colonies maintained guard over the coasts throughout Italy. The Romans preferred this form of coastal defense to the use of a fleet. The colonists kept their Roman citizenship, with all the rights thereof.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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