The Goddess of Fortune Italica
The initiation of Italica Romanization was a forced decision. Victorious after of the Battle of Ilipia 206 BC, the final battle ousting Spanish Carthage from the Iberian Peninsula.
General Publius Cornelius Scipio initiated the first military colony in the, history of Andalucia. He had seriously wounded soldiers and veterans in his charge – unswervingly faithful to his compassionate nature - he sought where to leave them to recover, before he returned to Rome.
On a high zone of the Aljarafe in the Baetic valley, there was an old pre-existing Turdetan city (name unknown). It fulfilled elementary Roman garrison requirements.
This particular area commanded the Hispania communications route to Lusitania (Portugal). They could observe whoever travelled up the Guadalquiver River, thus making the city suitable as a nascent Roman Spain military colony. Soon afterwards, more troops were sent from Rome to commence Italica's Romanization process.
Essentially, Roman economy stemmed from farming and its produce.
The abundant supply of fertile river sediment made the Guadalquivir river basin an excellent settlement choice.
The Guadalquivir is Spain's fifth longest river (see. Physical Map of Spain). The Guadalquivir flowed through the whole of Hispania Baetica. During Roman times it was known as the Baetis. Emerging in Cañada de las Fuentes in the Cazorla Sierras, in Jaen, it glides past Cordoba and Sevilla, Andalucia Spain, exiting into the sea in Sanlucar de Barrameda in the bay of Cadiz.
Etymology of the Guadalquivir
Originally, the Phoenicians named the river Baitis which changed later to Betism. From the varied names of the Guadalquivir stemmed the origins of the province: Baetica.
The area of Baetica more or less covers that of today's Andalusia. The Baetica region was planted with an outstanding amount of olive groves. Baetica became the most productive - overland and mined - province in Roman economy.
Map of the Iberian Peninsular in Greek and Roman Times
(Modern Spain and Portugal).
Map copyright 2008, Ancient World Mapping Center (www.unc.edu/awmc),
used by permission.
General Escipion defeated Hannibal in the battle of Zama 19th October 202 BC. Thereafter he was nicknamed as The African: Scipio Arficanus
Reminiscent and in honour of their country of origin, the new residents named the city: Italica. At its debut, the city had the judicial status: colonia Latina (Latin colony).
After Italica Romanization was initiated with General Scipio's arrival, massive plantations of olive trees began in the Baetica valley. Olive groves swept mile-after-mile towards the centre of Spain and all the way to Valencia.
Italica was not given the juridical municipal category of Vicus Civium Romanorum, until Julius Caesar’s last sojourn in Italica, in 45 BC. It was granted, probably as a reward for the city’s support during the civil war against Pompei.
: civilian settlement attached to military base
: title for backup divisions either initially drafted as Roman citizens or, who had been accumulatively bestowed a citizenship-status in recognition for excellent service.
During the reign of Augustus, Itálica became a borough, permitting Itálica thus, the competence to locally mint its own money. Iberian denarii and 2nd century bronze coins of Emperors Augustus 1st and Tiberio have been disinterred. Symbolic military themes are also featured on the coins. It was the capital of Baética during this period of glory.
During the 10th century the ruins were named 'Talica', then during the Middle Ages it was referred to as the 'Campos de Talca' and finally, as 'Sevilla la Vieja'.
Italica Romanization's Situation.
Italica is found in Santiponce, 9 kms from Sevilla, bordering the Autovia de la Plata, (motorway which roughly follows the Romanic Silver Route). It is the oldest and largest Roman archaeological site on the peninsular. It fell into decline when the Guadalquiver began to change its fluvial course and was abandoned when the Moors arrived. see: roman art and architecture
The Cartuja Olympic Stadium covers 5/% of Santiponce's municipal land. Its situation is in the Isla de La Cartuja, where the Monasterio de la Cartuja originated and is close to where the 'Expo '92 was celebrated. It is also close to a famous theme park: Isla Mágica.
There were Four Distinguished Sons of Italica Romanization.
Three Roman Emperors who were born in Italica.
Trajano (97 - 117 AD)
Adriano (117 - 137 AD)
Teodosio 1 (347 – 395 AD)
General Cayo Vallio Maximiano.
The city attained its finest pinnacle of dazzle during the reign of Trajano and Adriano, both were magnanimous with their city of origin. Local economy gained an escalating verve; the city multiplied in consequence.
The Archaeology Site
The Amphitheatre was built north of the Italica settlement, just outside the city wall. Its construction was during Emperor Adriano’s rule and was one of the most spacious in Hispania and the third largest in the Roman Empire. There was room for over 25,000 people. Itálica’s population never exceeded 8,000.
The seating was arranged in three tiers: la inma, media and suma cavea on a slope encircling the gladiators’ pit. Seen from a height, the arena had a cross-shape underneath pit, where the wild beasts were restrained until the gladiator battles began.
There were several areas below the arena, dedicated to the worship of two Greek Goddesses:
Nemesis (Divine Retribution Goddess)
Dea Caelestis (Goddess of the Sky)
The Italica Houses.
The most emblematic houses were built in Ubs Nova during the height of Adriano’s rule. The affluent Italica community probably had Senator-status.
Architecture was similar to customary Roman homes, synonymous
with an interior Hellenistic-style patio, (and now centuries later), has
become an intrinsic feature of Andaluz homes, displaying the
characteristic Andalucian interior patios.
The most outstanding Italica Romanization Homes.
Casa de la Exedra: It had thermal baths and a gymnasium. The
unique attraction of the central patio was its stunning fountain; the porch
had a geometric curve, shaped like a cross.
Casa de Neptuno: Only partially excavated. Thermal baths were
found. The rooms were decorated with extraordinary mosaics.
Casa del Patio Rodio:
Casa de Hilas: This house has the best mosaics in Italica.
La Casa de los Pavos Reales: The building has a spectacular mosaic featuring scenes of peacocks. There is a huge oven in the kitchen.
Casa de los Pajaros: As the name suggests the decoration of the
mosaics feature birds. This was the first house completely excavated.
Casa del Planetario: A huge mosaic renders homage to this
domicile’s particular nomenclature. It is circular, with seven ovals, representing seven planets, symbolically representing the seven days of the week in the Roman calender.
In the centre is:
Venus: Viernes (Friday)
surrounded by the Moon Luna: Lunes (Monday)
Mars: Martes (Tuesday)
Mercury: Miércoles (Wednesday)
Jupiter: Jueves (Thurs)
Saturno: Sábado (Saturday)
Sol sun: Domingo (Sunday)
Emperor Marco Ulpio Trajano
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