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Information about the place (7)

Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities


   more rarely Hispal. The modern Seville, a town of the Turdetani in Hispania Baetica, founded by the Ph?nicians, and situated on the left bank of the Baetis, and in reality a seaport, for, although 500 stadia from the sea, the river is navigable for the largest vessels up to the town. Under the Romans it was an important place, with the name Iulia Romula or Romulensis, and was surpassed in size by Corduba (Cordova) and Gades alone. Under the Goths and Vandals it was the chief town in the south of Spain; and under the Arabs the capital of a separate kingdom.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Local government Web-Sites

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites

Astapa or Ostippo

Astapa or Ostippo (Estepa) Sevilla, Spain.
Situated between Osuna and Puente Genil and mentioned by Pliny (NH 3.12). The modern town surrounds the hill on which Astapa must have stood; but excavation has produced no traces. Livy (28.22; 28.23.5) and Appian (Iber. 33) recount the capture of Astapa by Marcius while Scipio retired to Carthago Nova after taking Castulo and Iliturgi in 206 B.C. Famous for its defense by its inhabitants who, after firing the town and consigning its valuables to the flames, slew their wives and children and one another. Rome gained nothing by its capture. Livy writes of it "ingenia incolarum latrocinio laeta". Its final fate reminds us of Numantia.


Munigua or Municipium Flavium Muniguensium (Mulva) Sevilla, Spain.
In the district of Villanueva del Rio y Minas, ca. 50 km NE of Seville and 15 km NE of Cantillana. Excavations have revealed that there was an Iberian town before the Roman settlement: food and material furnishings have been found in chronological contexts from the 3d to the 1st B.C. During the Romanization of Baetica Munigua developed rapidly; in the mid 1st c. A.D. it received the Latin right from the emperor Vespasian and became a municipium (attested by inscriptions).
  Wealth derived from local mines made possible a number of monuments, the most remarkable of which is the terraced sanctuary on the slope of the hill. Reinforced by buttresses at the rear, it has the appearance of a fortress and later became known as the castle of Mulva. The main facade faced E towards the city and access to the sacred precinct was by two separate roadways ascending to a N and a S gate. Thence two symmetrical ramps led to a terrace, from which in turn two stairways ascended to a higher terrace carrying the apse, cella, and dependencies of the sanctuary. The entire construction measures 35.20 by 54.43 m. The plan seems to have been taken from the temple of Fortuna Primigenia at Praeneste in Italy, or perhaps from a Hellenistic structure. Of its cult nothing certain is known, though it may have been that of Fortuna Crescens Augusta or possibly Hercules Augustus, divinities whose names appear on inscriptions from other parts of the city (now in the archaeological museum of Seville with the other finds from Munigua).
  Other remains of interest include the foundations of a temple at the base of the hill and a rectangular aedicula with a small exedra in front. Its altar, still in situ, was consecrated by a certain Ferronius to a divinity whose name is indecipherable. In front of the temple were found architrave and frieze blocks, a granite column, two capitals, bits of a base, and part of a dedication to Mercury. The monument dates from the first half of the 2d c. B.C. There are also remains of a large portico of the forum, the municipal baths, a large mausoleum, and the necropolis.
  Among the inscriptions on altars, pedestals, cippi, and other blocks are: 1) a bronze tablet recording agreement concluded between a Sextus Curvius Silvinus and the Muniguan authorities, from the first quarter of the 1st c.; 2) a letter from the emperor Titus, on bronze, dictated on the VII Ides of September, A.D. 79, rescinding a fine of 50,000 sesterces imposed by Sempronius Fuscus in a lawsuit between the authorities of Munigua and the collector of municipal taxes, Servilius Pollio. Votive inscriptions, besides those to Fortuna Crescens and Hercules Augustus, refer to Mercury, Bonus Eventus Augustus, Ceres Augusta, Pantheus Augustus, and Dis Pater. Honorary inscriptions mention Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, Nerva, and Hadrian; also for accomplishments on behalf of Munigua, Quintia Flaccina, Lucius Valerius Firmus, and Lucius Aelius Fronto.
  The sculptures found in Munigua are of provincial or general Roman style: 1) a head of Hispania, identified by her resemblance to the Hispania on the obverse of a denarius of Aulus Postumius Severus of 82 B.C.; 2) a head of the deity Bonus Eventus and the pedestal for the statue; 3) a headless statue of the nymph Anchyrrhoe, discovered in a nymphaeum added to the baths. There are also numerous Greek, Iberian, Roman, and Arab vase fragments.
  Munigua flourished under the emperor Hadrian, but declined towards the close of the 3d c. That the city was in ruins in the 4th c. is attested by the incursion of burials into the center of the town. There are traces of the Visigothic period, but none of the Arab phase.

C. Fernandez-Chicarro, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Jan 2006 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains 2 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.

Urso or Ursone

Urso or Ursone (Osuna) Sevilla, Spain.
Town 24 km SW of Ecija. Pliny (3.12) calls it Colonia Genetiva Urbanorum, under the jurisdiction of Astigi (Ecija). The city mint is shown by its coinage, with the name written Urso or Ursone. In Appian 65 it appears as Orsona. The coin types, although struck during the Roman period of Baetica, continue Iberian traditions, with the bear on the oldest and the sphinx, resembling that of Castulo (Caziona) in Jaen, on the later issues, along with the magistrates' names.
  Appian (Hisp. 16) tells us that in 211 B.C. the brothers Scipio spent the winter between Urso and Castulo, awaiting the outcome of the struggle against the Carthaginians wintering in Turdetania, and Urso was the concentration place for the army of Quintus Fabius Maximus Aemilianus in 145-144 B.C. (App. Hisp. 65). In 139 B.C. Audas, Ditalkes, and Minuros or Nikorontes, natives of Urso, are cited as the most faithful companions of Viriatus, who employed them for peace negotiations with the Romans and then, under Scipio's influence, put them to death (Diod. 33.21; App. Hisp. 71). Finally, when Urso sided with Pompey, it was forced to fight against Caesar, who conquered it in 45 B.C. (Bell. Hisp. 22.1; 26.3; 28.2; 41.2; 42.1). Urso became colonia immunis and appears to have been inscribed in the Galeria or Sergia tribe. Perhaps related to it was a certain Sergius Paulus, who was chosen patron of Urso (CIL II, 1406).
  Many reliefs survive from buildings constructed after Caesar's conquest, also statues, inscriptions, and coins. The theater, portions of the Roman burial ground, remains of villas, mosaics, and parts of the circuit walls (destroyed in 1932) are also known. In 1870 five bronze sheets, of the original nine, containing part of the Lex Ursonensis or Lex Coloniae Genetivae Juliae were found (now in the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid). Although the law was originally codified in Caesar's time, this definitive text must have been engraved and transmitted to Urso in the Flavian period. Approximately a third of the law has survived. It is of extraordinary interest in that it deals with the interior administration of Urso. The whole text is of interest also for the fuller understanding of Roman law in the Iberian peninsula.
  Among archaeological finds was a mosaic (now lost) in which the river Acheloos in the center, labeled in Greek, was surrounded by busts of SIRE(ne), NYMPHE, etc. Roman burials have yielded thin-walled vases, terra sigillata, unguent jars, glass vessels, coins, and fragments of sculpture. Some of this material is in the archaeological museum at Osuna, much of the rest in private collections. There have also been finds from the Early Christian and Visigoth periods, particularly baked clay bricks from the latter, when the city apparently enjoyed considerable prosperity: in the 4th c. a certain Natalis was bishop of Urso and participated in the Council of Iliberri (Granada).
  Other relics from the Roman period, a head possibly of Juno, and a pedestal inscribed with a dedication to the Sacred Tree, are in private collections.

C. Fernandez-Chicarro, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Jan 2006 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Italica (Santi Ponce) Seville, Spain.
City 8 km NW of Seville, settled by Scipio in 206 B.C. with wounded survivors of the battle of Ilipa. It had no special status. Between the time of Julius Caesar and that of Augustus, however, it attained the category of municipium; under Hadrian, at the request of the city itself, it was raised to the rank of colonia, with the title Aelia Augusta Italicensium. It was one of the more urban communities of the Roman world, with a busy port on the Guadalquivir, but the ruins known today are those of a creation ex novo by Hadrian. Damaged by the invasions of the third quarter of the 3d c. A.D., the city continued to exist through the Visigothic period, only to be destroyed during Arab domination in the 9th-lOth c. The village of Santi Ponce was built on its ruins.
  The wall enclosed an area of some 30 ha. The wide streets, intersecting at right angles, paved with large stone blocks, and lined with porticos, sometimes reached a total width of 16 m. A surviving sector of the city wall near the amphitheater, with an entrance gateway and two towers, dates perhaps from the end of the 2d or the beginning of the 3d c. A.D. The amphitheater was one of the largest in the Empire, 160 by 197 m. It was built of large blocks of hewn stone and brick faced with marble and could accommodate some 25,000 spectators. Much of the cavea is preserved with its corridors and vomitoria still usable, and the underground service passages of the arena are in perfect condition. The amphitheater took advantage of a natural slope, although all of it rose above ground. A theater has also been excavated recently, located like the amphitheater outside the city wall.
  There are two baths, the Baths of the Moorish Queen to the W and The Palaces to the E. They are roughly equal in size, date from the same general period, and are very similar in plan. The former includes a swimming pool 21 m long, various rooms (two of them vaulted), and on the N a large underground chamber with three aisles. On the S is a porticoed street, onto which one of the entrances to the baths (presumably the principal one) opens. This entrance had three aisles besides a columned vestibule. The Palaces had a somewhat smaller swimming pool (15 m), various rooms and passageways, and an underground section with vaults of medium size, from which came some of the best sculpture found on the site. Both baths were built of broken rubble coated with brick and sometimes faced with marble. The floors are of opus signinum with large twofoot slabs, and mosaics with tesserae of colored marble.
  The drainage system was admirable, a network of drains and catch basins constructed in accordance with the street plan. Water was brought in by an aqueduct, portions of which are still visible, from Tucci (Escacena del Campo) some 40 km to the W. The elevated portions of the aqueduct were carried on piers and low arches. In addition, 18th c. sources mention a water mill built of rubblework and hewn stone, now vanished.
  Near the cemetery of Santiponce, N of the ancient city, is an interesting group of spacious houses of the domus type, rectangular and of identical plan. They lie in a rectangular area formed by four streets, and most of them have porticos. Axial in plan, they usually have two patios, with a cistern and well, surrounded by covered ways on which the rooms open. Several patios have fountains, and pools with mosaics of fish. Construction is of rubble, faced with brick and ornamental marble or colored stucco. The floors are of mosaic in the main rooms and of opus signinum in the remainder. Noteworthy examples are the House of the Birds, of the Labyrinth, of Hylas, and particularly the House of the Exedra, which covers an area of some 3000 sq. m. It consists of two basic elements: one a mansion or de luxe residence with a porticoed patio in the center; the other formed by two adjacent, parallel walk-ways, the more important one terminating in a large apse.
  The only burial ground yet excavated lies along the N edge of Santiponce, where there was a structure with three aisles terminating in a semicircular apse, perhaps a Christian martyrium. Other monuments include the graves of Antonia Vetia and of Valeria. A great many lead coffins have been found, some with partially ornamented lids, and an enormous number of mosaics; some of these are still in place, the remainder are in the archaeological museum of Seville or in private hands. They have colorful figured or geometric designs, which have inspired names such as the mosaic of the Bird, Bacchus, Hylas and Hercules, the pygmies and cranes, a marine thiasos, Ganymede, and Pan.
  There is a superb collection of sculpture from the excavations in the Archaeological Museum of Seville. Noteworthy are the heads of Alexander the Great, Augustus, Nero, and Galba (?), there is also a bust of Hadrian, and a colossal heroized Trajan, beside individual portraits, reliefs of deities, and mythological themes. The smaller finds, carved gems, glass, and ceramics are dispersed among various museums and private collections, notably the Archaeological Museum of Seville, the Lebrija Collection, and the museum of the Hispanic Society in New York. There is also a new museum m Italica itself, where future finds will be shown.

J.M. Roldan, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Jan 2006 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains 10 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.

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