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Acerra’s agricultural economy has historically been connected to its many canals, the Regi Lagni, which cross the fields and mark out the borders of its territory. Already in the pre-Roman era, the Acerra countryside was crossed by the Clanio, an important river for agriculture in the Campanian plain and essential to irrigation and water supplies throughout the Acerra area. Ancient Roman historians and writers have recounted how the network of waterways created by the Clanio became so branching and disordered that it created many problems. The river had many tributary channels, and because of the floods caused by these waterways, Acerra found itself surrounded by an enormous swamp. The problems caused by the water did not stop agricultural activities; after a long period of crisis following the fall of the Roman Empire and a series of wars between Longobards, Byzantines and Saracens fighting over this fertile plain, cultivation restarted around the 11th century, boosting the area’s economy.
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