1) Who You’ll Meet
Italica was founded by the legendary Roman General Scipio Africanus as a settlement for his wounded veterans during the Second Punic War. As a Roman veteran colony Italica was mostly populated by people from Rome and her allied cities. During the Second Punic War the armies sent by the Roman Senate to fight the Carthaginians were composed of Half citizen Roman legions and half allied legions. In addition to the Roman and Italian colonists Italica was home to romanized Celt-Iberian tribesmen, many who had served in Roman armies as auxiliary troops. Italica was the home city of the Emperors Trajan and Hadrian.
2) How You’ll Get There
Italica was located in the Roman Province of Baetica Felix. Italic was built along the river Baetis which gave great access to the sea and to the interior of Spain. Many Roman military roads connected Italica to other Roman cities in Spain such as Gades and Corduba. To reach reach Italica from Rome one would have to sail to one of the cities located along the Spanish coast. Cities such as Saguntum, Tarraco, or Cartago Nova in the Roman Province of Hispania Terraconensis linked to Italica via roads. It was also possible to sail to the city of Gades along the coast of Baetica and then take a river boat on the Baetis river to Italica.
3) Why You’d Go There
Italica was a prosperous city in Spain. The countryside around the city had many Latifundia owned by wealthy citizens. The hinterland produced many products for export to Rome. Italica produced grain, olive oil, and wine in vast quantities. In addition to this Italica contained many Garum vats. Italica was well treated by the Emerors it produced. The Emperor Trajan built an Amphitheater that could hold as many as 25,000 spectators,half as many as the Flavian Amphitheater in Rome. Hadrian built many temples in Italica. The Largest was dedicated to his predecessor Trajan and housed a colossal statue of the deceased Emperor. The citizens of Italica were great patrons of the arts. Many homes housed exquisite statues and mosaics. The theaters of Italica were always busy withever popular mime shows and dance performances.
4) What Was Italica Like
Italica was like many Roman colonies that began as military camps. The streets were arranges in a standard grid. There were forums for business and many wine shops were a citizen could eat. There were many baths and temples as in other Roman cities. Life in Italica was typically Roman with clients hurrying to secure audiences with their patrons. Farmers brought their produce to market. There were many festivals and holidays celebrated throughout the year. Italica had a very strong cultural link to Italy due to the many colinists that had arrived after the Second Punic war. Italica was like Rome away from Rome. Its people enjoyed full Roman citizenship and was one of the most romanized areas in the empire. Italica was a bustling city in Roman Spain until the late third century CE. This was due to the river Baetis changing course. Most of its people moved to the newly founded city of Seville or Corduba.
Blazquez, Jose Maria. Espana Romana. Madrid: Catedra Historia Serie Mayor, 1996. Print.
Keay, S.J. Roman Spain. University of California Press, 1988. Print.
Richardson, J.S. The Romans in Spain. Oxford: T.J. Press Limited, 1996. Print.