Barcino: Barcelona seen 2000 years ago

Posted on 20 August 2009 in Barcelona, always!

While remains of ancient Neolithic peoples from over 4000 years ago have been found in Barcelona, the first viable signs of settlement date back to the 7th century B.C. when ancient tribes settled on the slopes of Montjuïc.

Barcino: Barcelona during the Roman Empire

Barcino: Barcelona during the Roman Empire, with Montjuïc hill and the Mediterranean sea.

The foundation of Barcelona is the subject of two different legends. The first attributes the founding of the city to Hercules 400 years before the building of Rome thus the name Βαρκινών; . The second legend attributes the foundation of the city directly to the Carthaginian Hamilcar Barca, father of Hannibal, who named the city Barcino after his family, in the 3rd century BC.

About 15 BC, the Romans redrew the town as a castrum (Roman military camp) centred on the “Mons Taber”, a little hill near the contemporary city hall (Plaça de Sant Jaume). Under the Romans, it was a colony named Colonia Julia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino. The city expanded and was fortified during the reign of the Roman Empire, when the provincial capital was Tarraco (nowadays Tarragona).

Some important Roman ruins are still visible in Barcelona: remaining fragments of the Roman city wall are incorporated into the Cathedral, the necropolis near Las Ramblas, the ruins incorporated to the Barcelona History Museum in Plaza del Rei or the columns of the Temple of Augustus.

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