Between the 2nd century B.C. and the 1st century A.D. the town is shaped according to a coherent project that will mark its landscape until its abandonment. This new urban configuration organizes the road network with blocks and buildings typical of a Roman town, built mainly during the war between Octavian and Mark Antony and in the time of the Principate of Augustus. An inscription mentions the patronage that Egnazia granted to Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, lieutenant and son-in-law to the Emperor, most likely for the support offered in the construction of strategic military facilities, such as the port, which still preserves, although partly submerged, the mooring structures of the dock immediately north of the acropolis.
In the middle of the acropolis, in a previously frequented sacred area, a temple is built, which is probably the most ancient of the town and dedicated to Venus. In the area between the acropolis and the route of the Via Minucia—the later Via Traiana—the main monuments are lined up, all of them served by the decumanus of the town: the market square and the area of the forum, heart of the public life, which includes the civil basilica, seat of the court, the thermal baths and a recently discovered building, characterised by an imposing longitudinal plan closed by a quadrangular apse.
On the opposite side of the road, large blocks are intended for houses and production facilities, such as the dyers’ facility, upon which, in the late Roman period, the episcopal basilica is built.
Again in the southern area of the town, a wide underground portico with four arms is what remains of an imposing public complex, in all likelihood a religious one; on the surface it was probably characterised by a portico of the same shape with a temple in the middle.
At the beginning of the 2nd century A.D. the construction of the Via Traiana leads to an increase in the mobility of goods and troops and in the standard of living of the town, fostering a further redevelopment of the urban fabric. The buildings facing onto the road are renovated, the sanctuary of the acropolis gains monumentality and an area sacred to the Oriental gods is created in the heart of the public space, sign of the broad spread of new cults coming from the sea. The sanctuary consists of the temple of Cybele, of the sacellum dedicated to Attis and of the large elliptical enclosure, the so-called “amphitheatre”, for the performances enlivening the sacred rites.
Only the western and southern necropolises, already in use outside the walls, are intended for the funerary practices.