|Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco|
|Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List|
|UNESCO region||Europe and North America|
|Inscription||2000 (24th Session)|
Tarraco is the ancient name of the current city of Tarragona (Catalonia, Spain). During the Roman Empire, it was one of the major cities of the Iberian Peninsula and capital of the Roman province called Hispania Citerior or Hispania Tarraconensis. The full name of the city at the time of the Roman Republic was Colonia Iulia Urbs Triumphalis Tarraco. In 2000, the archaeological ensemble of Tarraco was declared a World heritage site by UNESCO.
Origins and Second Punic War
The municipality was inhabited in pre-Roman times by Iberians who had commercial contacts with the Greeks and Phoenicians who settled on the coast. The Iberian colonies were present particularly in the valley of Ebro. In the municipality of Tarragona, there are findings of colony since the 5th century B.C.
The sources referred to the presence of Iberians in Tarraco are ambiguous. Livy mentions a oppidum parvum (small colony) called Cissis, Polybius names a polis as Kissa (Κίσσα).(Κίσσα). Shortly after the arrival of Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus to Empúries (Emporion) in 218 B.C. in the Second Punic War, Tarraco is mentioned for first time. Livy writes that the Romans conquered a field of Punic supplies for the troops of Hannibal near Cissis and took the city. A short time later, the Romans were attacked "not far from Tarraco" (haud procul Tarracone).) But it remains unclear whether Cissis and Tarraco was the same city. A coin found in Empúries has the Iberian bears the inscription Tarakon-salir (salir probably means silver). The coin, engraved following models of Empúries at an undisclosed location, is generally dated to 250 BC, for sure before the arrival of the Romans. The name Kesse appears on coins of Iberian origin of 1st and 2nd century BC. Were marked according to Roman weight standards. Kesse should be equated with Cissis, the place of origin of the Cissisians mentioned by Plinio.
In the year 217 B.C. Roman forces arrived by Scipio Africanus at Tarraco. Tarraco was the winter holiday between 211 and 210, and there Publius Cornelius met the tribes of Hispania in conventus. The population was largely loyal to the Romans during the war. Livy called them allies and friends of the Roman people (socii et amici populi Romani) and the fishermen of Tarraco (piscatores Tarraconenses) served with their boats during the siege of Carthago Nova.
The conquest of the Iberian Peninsula by the Romans took over 200 years.
Tarraco during the Roman Republic
During the following centuries Tarraco constitutes a supply and camp base of winter during the wars against the Celtiberians, as occurred during the Second Punic War. So it is a military presence in this period, possibly in the highest area of the current Old Town. In 197 B.C., the conquered areas, even narrow strips along the coast of Spain were divided between the new provinces of Hispania Ulterior and Hispania Citerior. The capital of Hispania Citerior was mainly Carthago Nova. But Strabo says that the governors not only resided in Carthago Nova but also in Tarraco.
It is not entirely clear about the legal status of Tarraco. It was probably organized as conventus civium Romanorum (convent = meeting of Roman citizens of the province) during the republic, with two magistri (civilian directors) in head. Gaius Porciu Cato, consul of the year 114 B.C., chose Tarraco as place of his exile in the year 108. indicating that Tarraco was a free city or perhaps ally at that time.
According to Strabo one of the most recent fighting took place not far from Tarraco. When Caesar beat supporters of Pompey in 49 a. C. in Ilerda (Lleida), Tarraco supported his army with foods. It is not entirely clear whether Tarraco received status of colony by Caesar or Augustus, but current research tends to assume that was the first who gave that status after his victory in Munda.
The period of Caesar Augustus
In the year 27 B.C. Emperor Augustus went to Spain to monitor the campaigns in Cantabria. However, due to his poor health he preferred to stay in Tarraco. Apparently, Augustus had built an altar in the city, and a story of the rhetoric Quintilian mentions that the inhabitants of Tarraco complained to Augustus that a palm tree had grown on the altar He replies that would mean it was not used very often.
Soon after the old he became the via Herculea in Via Augusta. A milestone, found in Plaza del Toros, mentioned that highway between 12 and 6 B.C., leading Barcino to the northeast and Dertosa, Saguntum and (Valentia) to the south.
In the presence of Augustus the Spanish provinces were organized again. The Hispania Ulterior was divided into new provinces Baetica and Lusitania. Tarraco became the capital of Hispania Citerior, also known as Hispania Tarraconensis.
The city flourished under Augustus. The writer Pomponiu Mela it describes in the 1st century as follows: "Tarraco is the richest port on this coast" (Tarraco urbs est en his oris maritimarum opulentissima). Tarraco under Augustus and Tiberius minted own coins with depictions of the imperial cult and the inscription CVT, CVTT o CVTTAR.
After the death of Augustus in the year of 14 D.C., the emperor was officially deified and in 15 D.C. was erected a temple to bless him, probably in the eastern neighborhood or near the forum of the colony, as mentioned by Tacitus in his annales.
The city during the high empire
In 68 D.C. Galba, who lived eight years in Tarraco, was proclaimed emperor in Clunia Sulpicia. Under Vespasian began a reorganization of the precarious finances of the state. According to Pliny this allowed to grant Latin citizenship to the inhabitants of Hispania. The Spanish territory, which since ancient times consisted of urban areas and a land divided by tribal organizations, was transformed in areas that were organized around urban centers of all, whether in colonies or municipalities, facilitating the tax collection. A rapid increase in construction could be due to the reorganization of the province. During this period were probably built the amphitheater, the temple area and the provincial forum on top of the city. Between 70 and 180 D.C. most of the statues were placed at these locations.
Under the emperor Trajan was appointed patron of the city Senator Lucius Licinius Sura. Sura originated from the Tarraconensis and reached the highest offices of state. Probably in the winter 122-123 D.C. Hadrian visited the city and held in it a conventus for Hispania. In addition, rebuilt the temple of Augustus.
With the end of the 2nd century began in Tarraco clear economic difficulties. Few statues were built in honor of the city, probably due to the lack of financiación. This period also saw the defeat of the struggle against the emperor Clodius Albinus, whose supporters was the governor of the Tarraconensis Novio Lucius Rufo. Disappear from the inscriptions dedicated to Provinciae Concilium and appear increasingly inscriptions dedicated to military personnel. Thereafter there was less influential merchants in the ordo decurionum (civil administration) and more patroni (large landowners and public senior officials). Severus rebuilt the temple of Augustus (Elagabulus) in the amphitheater, as evidenced by an inscription of the fund.
After the imperial administration reforms of Diocletian, the peninsula is a diocese divided into six provinces that were much smaller than before. Tarraco continued being capital, but in a much smaller province. The buildings destroyed during the invasion of the Franks were slowly rebuilt or replaced by new ones. Between Diocletian and Maximian (286 to 293) was built a portico of Jupiter that may be part of a basílica.
In 476, following the collapse of Roman defenses along the Rhine, Tarraco was occupied by the Visigoths and the King Euric. There is no evidence of destruction and apparently the capture of the city was relatively quiet. Is probable that Visigoths took over the existing structures by imposing a thin upper class, which the existence of Christian tombs in this period seems to confirm. The end of the ancient history of the city came with the arrival of the Muslims in 713 or 714.
The archaeological ensemble of Tarraco is one of the largest archaeological sites of Hispania Roman Hispania preserved in Spain today. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. The city of Tarraco is the oldest Roman settlement on the Iberian Peninsula, having become the capital of the province of Hispania Citerior in the 1st century BC.
There are still many important Roman ruins in Tarragona. Part of the foundations of the large Cyclopean walls near the Headquarters of Pilate are believed to be of pre-Roman origins. The building mentioned, a prison in the 19th century, is said to be the palace of Augustus.
Tarraco, like many ancient cities, has remained inhabited, and has been slowly dismantled by its own citizens for building materials. In spite of this, although the amphitheater, near the seashore, was for long used as a quarry, large parts of its structure have survived. It was built above [?] the circus, 45.72 meters long, although some sections of it may continue tracing.
Two ancient monuments, a small distance from the city, have aged well. The first is a magnificent aqueduct, which crosses a valley 1.5 km (0.93 mi) from the gates. It is 21 m (69 ft) long, and its lower arches, of which there are two rows, are almost 3 m (9.8 ft) tall. The other monument, to the northwest of the city, and also about 1.5 km (0.93 mi) from it, is a Roman tomb, which is usually called Torre dels Escipions, although there is no authority that states that the Scipio brothers were buried there.
Criterion ii. The Roman remains of Tarraco are of exceptional importance in the Roman development of planning and urban design and served as model for provincial capitals elsewhere in the world.
Criterion iii. Tarraco provides an eloquent and unparalleled testimony in the history of the Mediterranean lands in the Ancient times.
|875-002||Imperial cult enclosure||Tarragona|
|875-005||The Colonial forum||Tarragona|
|875-006||The Roman theatre||Tarragona|
|875-007||The Amphitheatre, the basilica and romanesque church||Tarragona|
|875-008||Early Christian Cemetery||Tarragona|
|875-009||Aqueduct||4 km north of Tarragona|
|875-010||Torre dels Escipions||5 km east of Tarragona|
|875-011||Quarry of El Mèdol||9 km north of Tarragona|
|875-012||The Mausoleum of Centcelles||4,6 km north-northwest of Tarragona|
|875-013||The villa dels Munts||10 km east of Tarragona|
|875-014||Triumphal Arc de Berà||20 km east of Tarragona|
- Claudius Ptolemy, ii. 6. § 17
- Livy 21, 60; Polybius 3, 76, 5.
- Livy 21, 60, 1ff.
- Plinius: Naturalis historia 3, 21.
- Livy 26, 19 u. 51.
- Livy 27, 42; Livy 26, 45.
- Strabon 3, 4, 7.
- Strabon 3, 4, 9 (160).
- Caesar, De Bello Civili 1, 60.
- AE 1957, 309, AE 1957, 310 = RIT (G. Alföldy: Die Römischen Inschriften von Tarraco. Madrider Forschungen 10, Berlin 1975) 1 y 2.
- Suetonio, Augustus 26, 3.
- Quintilian, Institutio oratoria 6, 3.
- The official name remained as province Hispania citerior. In literary sources the name is common Tarraconensis (p.e., in the naturalis historia by Pliny the Elder, 3,6, Suetonius, Galba 8.
- Mela II 90.
- Burnett, Roman Provincial Coinage I. 218/219.
- Tacito: Annales 1, 78.
- Pliny: Naturalis Historia, 3, 4, 30
- RE, Supl. XV, 598, Tarraco, Géza Alföldy
- RIT 84.
- G. Alföldy in RE Suppl XV Sp. 599 see AE, 1929, 00233, RIT 91 for the inscription.
- Cf. Ford, Handbook, p. 219, seq.; Florez, España Sagrada xxix. p. 68, seq.; Miñano, Diccion. viii. p. 398.
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