Historical research in Tarraco in recent years Archaeological research has recently provided a great deal of information about Tarraco which has helped us to understand the history and mechanisms of dissemination and socialisation of a past which in certain urban areas still reveals itself in the middle of the contemporary city of Tarragona. E-mail: jmmacias icac.
E-mail: isabel. Even though this document focuses exclusively on the urban nucleus, we cannot understand it without the context of its territory, the ancient ager Tarraconensis. There, another intense transformation has been undertaken, spurred by tourist and industrial activity, which has uncovered numerous archaeological remains, primarily uillae, which clearly reflect the economic wealth of the ancient Roman city.
Another future challenge in the realm of raising increas-. Despite the advances,3 there are still numerous unknowns that are not limited exclusively to strictly archaeological research but that also entail an interaction between the historical data and the urbanistic and material reality — artistic productions, epigraphy, instrumentum This document focuses more on what we do not know yet, although its related bibliography suffices to capture the current state of knowledge about a Catalan city where the discovery of its classic past is a perpetually unfinished process Fig.
Rome saw Tarragona as a good base in relation to the celebrated declaration by Pliny that described it as Scipionum opus iii, The favourable road conditions8 and orography — the availability of a costal hill measuring 82 m at its peak — were compounded by the presence of a rich hydric subsoil and an extensive underground lake that made it even more feasible to set up a military port there. The new encampment was set up near an Iberian settlement which has yielded archaeological evidence since the 6th century BC, although it has not yet been precisely identified.
In recent years, the trend has been to identify the Tarrakon mentioned in the distant work of Pliny the Elder NH, iii, as the Iberian capital of the region of Cessetania, thus situating the mythical battle of Cissa around the military encampment of Tarraco. Even the scant archaeological evidence found in the city leads us to believe that the geopolitical importance of Tarraco in the late Republican era has led to a historical overstatement of the role of the Iberian nucleus on the hill, which was subsequently occupied by the Romans.
And in this context we could once again identify the remains of Iberian housing on the lower part of Tarragona as the Tarrakon from the written and numismatic sources. It is the first wall that Rome built outside Italy, and its Minerva Tower harbours the oldest inscription and sculpture from the western provinces. Figure 1. Educational model of Tarraco in the 2nd century. Re-creation of the suburbium and the port zone photo: J.
The wall shows two different construction techniques and a series of associated ceramological contexts which are not bereft of scientific controversy Fig. The most widespread theory holds that the first stretch of stone would correspond to a wall planned during the Second Punic War, which was later expanded between and BC.
Despite these conclusions, we should note that there is no absolute certainty and that lately the stable existence of the praesidium and the encampment phase in this period has been questioned, while the chronology and phases of its cyclopic-based wall are also being debated. It should be borne in mind that not even in Italy are there remains this monumental in republican cities from the same period. In addition to all of this, we should also bear in mind that while the studies by T. Hauschild have shed light on the constructive features of the walls, there are still many questions remaining about their layout.
The evidence extracted from the Minerva Tower and the Santa Barbara bulwark sketch an initial hypothetical defensive area that was quite small, which poses doubts regarding its capacity to house the large number of troops that travelled through the city during the 2nd century BC. Nor are we aware of the internal structure of the praesidium, which must have hosted numerous assemblies of the allied peoples in the course of the Punic Wars, or the organisation of the port, the veritable leitmotif of Tarraco as the gateway for the military contingents in this process of conquest.
In this regard, a segment of cuniculus has been identified which has been associated with the need to supply water to the Augusti port zone, along with a substantial amount of evidence showing how the ancient Iberian settlement launched a process of urban expansion while adopting Roman construction parameters. We have included the outline of the large wastewater collector and the construc-.
This has been related to the text by Apiano lb. Numerous questions still exist around this process regarding the legal organisation and the forma of the new city.
The interpretative doubts show the difficulty of interpreting an area that was urbanistically highly dynamic yet which at the same time has been heavily affected by the contemporary evolution of Tarragona. We should contextualise the interpretations of the lower perimeter of the wall in the port area within this dynamic. Thus, the location of the auguraculum PAT is coherent with the orthogonality of the adjacent insulae, and the size of the expanded municipal forum matches the sizes of the residential blocks that had previously been appropriated.
Even the construction of the aedes Augusti in the new forum basilica PAT dovetails with the transversal.
Figure 2. Minerva Tower sector; detail of the relief and two building techniques photo: J. Finally, we can observe how the expansion of the Augustan theatre matches the two late-republican insulae and how the adjacent exedra of the nymph retains the longitudinal axis of another block PAT With regard to the northern boundary of this residential project, the known archaeological remains do not enable us to reproduce the model of 1 by 2 actus as far as the upper part of the city.
Museu Comarcal de Cervera, Cervera , pp. Swab Barcelona Art Fair. Factions, banditry and bandits: Similar yet different concepts Since then, a great deal of headway has been made in studies on banditry, either in the diverse concepts that the word harbours or in knowledge of the different document sources. Soci Director de Black Toro Capital, una firma d'assessoria d'inversions enfocada a oferir assessorament i estructurar solucions de capital flexibles per a empreses mitjanes a Europa Occidental. This question was created by:. Bearing in mind the earlier tradition, it is not surprising that the Catalan-speaking lands would be fertile ground for welcoming, adapting and showcasing the prime values of this courtly current, which favoured the stylisation of reality and striking chromatic forms.
The modular projection of the insulae does not match, and the northernmost segment of the known cardo dates from the late 1st century BC PAT For this reason, two urban expansion phases inside the city have been hypothesised between the late 2nd century and late 1st century, the latter being when the legal evolution of Tarraco led to the end of residential occupation within the walls. For these reasons, we still do.
The landscape studies underway show the ritual relationship between the founding, urbanisation and modulation of the surrounding land. Thus, the republican city planning dovetails with the cadastral Tarraco-III module and the calculations of the topographic visuals between the auguraculum and the centuria-based layout of the land have also been established via GIS. Likewise, the unitary nature of the urban and territorial planning has been considered based upon the symbolic and topographic role of the auguraculum, and this has also been related to the Caesarean colonial deductio.
Figure 3. Archaeological Planimetry of Tarraco, theatre and public baths sector Macias et al. All of this activity reflects the importance of the city in the incipient Roman provincial organisation as a whole. Tarraco was not sheltered from the instability at the end of the republic, and we know that before 71 BC it dedicated an inscription to Pompeius Magnus which attests to the use and exploitation of the stone from Alcover in that period Fig.
This seems to be when Caesar granted Tarraco the legal category of colonia whose deductor was Mucius Scaevola. Tarraco: The mirror of Rome. Augustus in Tarraco With the new imperial regime there was an intense process of restructuring the Peninsula; the new administrative division turned the city into the capital of the largest province in the entire Roman Empire,29 launching a period of splendour which was sustained until the late 2nd century AD.
Based on the provincial division at the start of the Empire, Tarraco was the seat of the governor who bore the title of legatus Augusti pro praetore prouinciae Hispaniae citerioris, who was assisted by several legati iuridici.
Thanks to the epigraphic sources, we are familiar with around 50 of them. At the beginning of the empire, the soldiers came from the units that had put an end to the second phase of the Cantabrian Wars31 under the command of Agrippa in 19 BC. From Tarragona, the governor ruled over a vast province that encompassed more than half of the Iberian Peninsula. It was known by the name of Hispania citerior, the Hispania that was closer to Rome, as it appears in the epigraphic sources; later it would be split and part of it would become the Tarraconensis.
During the early Empire, the adjective Tarraconensis corresponded to the conventus, the administrative region of which Tarraco was the capital; its neighbours were Caesaraugustanus to the west and Carthaginensis to the south. The honorific pedestals that filled the forums provide us with a large amount of information on the governing system and the magistrates that held the top posts in the provincial administration.
The written sources tell us of the diplomatic missions from many lands which he welcomed in Tarraco, just as the fragmentary inscription from Mytilene tells us about the delegation of citizens from this polis devoted to the figure of the emperor. This can be seen in an anecdote reported by Quintilian Inst. This altar is most likely the one that is depicted on the coins minted in the city.
Initially it was believed to be located near the forum coloniae,37 although lately it has been proposed that it was situated in the upper part of the city, precisely in the centre of what would later become the large administrative square in the Flavian period. A theoretical calculation of what the extensive reforms of the Flavian period might have cost has been set forth. What is more, between the supposed location of this altar and the residential area, in the site where the circus was later built, there was a non-urbanised area where we are aware of the presence of a figlina PAT This does not seem like the ideal transitional area to enter the altar enclosure.
Indeed, the latest archaeological studies and surprising epigraphic discoveries, such as the Bierzo Edict from 15 BC, make it clear that it was actually after the end of the second phase of the Cantabrian Wars, in 19 BC, when the political map of Hispania was finally formed, with trials and rectifications, at a time when there were also quite a few changes in Gallia as well.
The number of inhabitants is unknown, although it could be pinpointed at between 15, and 20, bearing in mind its constant ties with the inhabitants of the region and the high demographic mobility stemming from its status as both port and capital. The area inside the city walls occupied around hectares, 19 of which were in the upper part of the city, which presumably remained public property until the empire disappeared. This was joined by extensive port areas hectares and suburbs hectares , primarily on the southwest side of the hill because of its proximity to water resources. In addition to its status as a capital, the activity of the portus Tarraconis was a prime urban and economic factor in the development of the city and its region.
After Augustus, the exploitation of natural resources increased, as did the appearance of residential and productive settlements imitating Italic villages, along with the spread of vineyards.
The grapevine production in these lands can be seen by studying the amphorae. The Augustan and Julio-Claudian periods equipped Tarraco with the means befitting a large provincial city, and within this framework the monumentalisation around the figure of the emperor, which would later become the provincial imperial cult, entered its early phase. After Augustus, we can detect an intense reform of the periurban roadway network, new entrances and the urban development of the suburbs and the port zone. A process of monumentalisation of the seafront got underway with the construction of the theatre, the nearby public baths and a forum adiectum next to the old republican forum.
Domestic architecture also shows evolutionary features particularly based on mosaic decoration, and the official statuary shows the development of an iconographic programme from the Julio-Claudian dynasty in the local forum. During the Augustan and Julio-Claudian period, the theatre had imposing sculptural decorations, the oldest element of which is the large marble vessel.