Cardo Maximus of Italica, Spain

Cardo Maximus of Italica, Spain

Augusta Emerita

Augusta Emerita, also called Emerita Augusta, [1] was a Roman Colonia founded in 25 BC in present day Mérida, Spain. The city was founded by Roman Emperor Augustus to resettle Emeriti soldiers from the veteran legions of the Cantabrian Wars, these being Legio V Alaudae, Legio X Gemina, and possibly Legio XX Valeria Victrix. [ citation needed ] The city was the capital of the Roman province of Lusitania, and was one of the largest in Hispania with an area of over 20,000 square kilometres (7,700 sq mi). It had three aqueducts and two fora. [2]

The city was situated at the junction of several important routes. It sat near a crossing of the Guadiana river. Roman roads connected the city west to Felicitas Julia Olisippo (Lisbon), south to Hispalis (Seville), northwest to the gold mining area, and to Corduba (Córdoba) and Toletum (Toledo). [2]

Today the Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida is one of the largest and most extensive archaeological sites in Spain and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993. [3]

Itálica, A Roman city 10 minutes from Seville

Did you know that one step away from Seville you have a Roman city to discover? Itálica was not just any city within the Empire. Italica was an important city that saw the birth of Trajan and Adriano, the two Sevillian emperors of Ancient Rome.

Itálica was the first city that the Roman Empire founded outside of Italian territory, around 206 BC. And its name comes precisely from the origin of its first inhabitants.

Among its main attractions, the mosaics that adorned the floors of the most luxurious houses stand out. Some of them have reached our days in a magnificent state of preservation and are of a impressive artistic quality. You can not leave Itálica without seeing the Mosaic of the Birds, The Neptune Mosaic, and the Planetary Mosaic. The latter shows the seven planetary divinities, coinciding with the Roman days of the week.

Other must-sees are the Traianeum, the House of the Exedra, the hot springs, and without a doubt, the Amphitheater.

From its origin, Itálica was consolidated as one of the first nuclei of aristocratic population in Hispania. Its urban layout and the importance of its buildings are a magnificent example of this beautiful Sevillian watchtower.

The cardo maximus is the main way of Italica. Contemplate it from the top of the Amphitheater!

The Itálica Amphitheater was the fourth in capacity of the Empire and was built in the time of the Emperor Hadrian. It is estimated that its stands could accomodate between 25,000 and 30,000 people.

In the Amphitheater there were mainly gladiator clashes and animal fights.

Recently, The Itálica Amphitheater has been one of the Sevillian stages of the Game of Thrones series.

In the series Game of Thrones, the Italica Amphitheatre became the "Dragonpit" in the outcome of the seventh seaso


The Cardo Maximus. This rectangular peristylium of the House of the Exedra. The big pillars supported a second storey. The domus covered an area of 3,000 square metres and was built entirely of brick-faced concrete. The warm thermal baths in the House of the Neptune.

The House of Neptune with Geometric and figurative mosaics. The domus was named after a mosaic depicting Neptune and aquatic animals. The Neptune Mosaic in the House of Neptune. Neptune, the god of the sea with his trident. The mosaic is surrounded by a wide edge that is decorated with Nilotic scenes with crocodiles, a hippopotamus, a palm tree, and several pygmies fighting ibises. The Labyrinth Mosaic in the House of Neptune.

The House of the Birds is a large residence endowed with a good quantity of mosaics of high quality. One of them, the Bird Mosaic, gave its name to the house. The Bird Mosaic consists of a central panel surrounded by 35 small squares representing different species of birds. Detail of the Bird Mosaic consisting of a central panel surrounded by 35 small squares representing different species of birds. Detail of the Bird Mosaic consisting of a central panel surrounded by 35 small squares representing different species of birds. The House of the Birds. Open patio with a fountain in the House of the Birds. Mosaic detail with head of Medusa in the House of the Birds. The House of Hylas. The centre panel (emblema) of the mosaic depicts Hercules and his companion and lover Hylas which is on display in the Archaeological Museum of Seville. The House of the Planetarium, so called because of the mosaic that paved one of its rooms. Mosaic floors in the House of the Planetarium. Mosaic with busts of the planetary deities who gave their names to the days of the week in the House of the Planetarium. In the center is Venus (Friday). Anticlockwise from bottom center are Jupiter (Thursday), Saturn (Saturday), Helios or Sol (Sunday), Luna or Selene (Monday), Mars (Tuesday), and Mercury (Wednesday). The foundations of the Temple of Trajan (Traianeum). The temple precinct consisted of a quadriporticus around an octastyle Corinthian podium temple and altar. The foundations of the Temple of Trajan (Traianeum).

The Hadrianic Baths located in the midwestern part of the Nova Urbs. The Hadrianic Baths display construction techniques dating to the time of Hadrian and lead pipes that bear stamps mentioning Hadrian. The amphitheatre was one of the largest in the Empire, 160 by 137 m. It was built of large blocks of hewn stone and brick faced with marble and could accommodate some 25,000 spectators. Much of the cavea of the amphitheatre is preserved with its corridors and vomitoria still usable, and the underground service passages of the arena are in perfect condition. The well-preserved corridors of the amphitheatre. Votive plaque with engraved footprints at the entrance of the Roman amphitheatre. The theatre built on the old Roman city, the Vetus Urbs. Construction began during the time of Augustus. It was later modified between 60 and 80 AD. Hadrian enriched it with marble sculptures.

What you can see today

Fortunately the 25,000-seater amphitheatre, which was one of the largest in the Roman Empire, has partly survived (two storeys out of three). The central pit was used for animal cages (bears and wild boar) during gladiatorial combats. In 2016 it was used as a filming location for Game of Thrones (see below).

Beyond this, on and around the wide main avenue or Cardus Maximus, about five large houses of prosperous families have been excavated, some with well-preserved, colourful mosaics, including floors with exquisite design of birds, Neptune, and the planets. These mansions measured up to 15,000m2-

You can also see the remains of the Traianeum, temple of the Emperor Trajan, Termas Menores and Mayores (baths), and the sophisticated sewer system normally seen in larger cities.

Also worth visiting is Cotidiana Vitae, a Roman-themed visitor centre in Santiponce, with a reconstruction of a 2nd century AD Roman house, complete with bedrooms and kitchen, a plan of how Italica would have looked, and an audio-visual presentation showing the construction of the Roman town. Plaza de la Constitucion 11, Santiponce.


Fragment of the Tabula Peutingeriana, with the city of Rome in the middle (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Hofburg, Vienna).

Towards the middle of the second century AD the Roman imperial government had covered the Empire with a perfect network of roads built with polygonal stones. A fairly faithful medieval copy of a map of the Roman Empire is conserved. This map included many of the major cities and even the location of some road hostels. This map is known as the “Peutinger Table” or “Tabula Peutingeriana“.

The great maritime centers of the Empire, like the port of Ostia, had a well developed street system plus granaries or warehouses to store grain, oil, and wine. These port cities also had temples for all the religions practiced in the Empire, as well as places for the entertainment of merchants who lived there, and for foreigners coming from other provinces to trade. Ostia was Rome’s main port and an important trade center specially with Africa Puteoli, on the Gulf of Naples, was in charge of the trade with Alexandria Brindisi, in southern Italy, was rather a military and shipping port for the trade with Greece and the East.

The great Roman roads led to the Germania and Gaul by crossing the Alps, and from there they led to Britain and Spain. In Spain and Gaul many existing modern roads follow the same layout of the Roman roads which generally were traced following straight lines regardless of the rough slopes, swampy areas -which required tremendous engineering effort-, rivers -for which they built big bridges-, and even tunnels.

The Alcántara Bridge, at the Tagus River (Alcántara, Spain), 104-106 AD. The Pont Julien (or Julian Bridge), at the Calavon, south-east of France, 3 BCE.

Many bridges from the Iberian Peninsula are Roman in origin and feature a rounded/circular layout towards the river mouth and a wedged layout towards the upstream side. The Alcantara Bridge has at its entrance a small temple dedicated to the deified bridge. This gigantic bridge shows elegance of lines and is perfectly horizontal unlike most Roman bridges that have an arched profile (from the center they went down to each one of the river banks).

The Pont du Gard (or Gard Bridge), at the Gardon River, Vers-Pont-du-Gard near Remoulins, southern France, ca. 40-60 AD. The Aqueduct of Segovia, (Spain), ca. 1st century AD.

The Roman aqueducts were colossal engineering works similar to bridges. One of them, the Pont-du-Gard aqueduct in Provence, is like a bridge including three levels of arches with the water running on the higher duct. In Spain the three level aqueduct of Segovia is almost intact and there are still colossal remains of what must have been the greatest of all Roman aqueducts: the Merida aqueduct from the fifth century AD. As an example of a two level Roman aqueduct is the aqueduct of Tarragona. Roman aqueducts can also be found in the provinces of Africa.

The Aqueduct of Merida or Acueducto de los Milagros (Aqueduct of the Miracles), Mérida, Spain, ca. 1st century AD. The Zaghouan Aqueduct or Aqueduct of Hadrian, in Tunisia (Africa), 100-199 AD.

In Rome as well as in its provinces, the city gates used to be flanked by two defense towers. These gates were also considered semi-sacred buildings and their locations were precisely indicated in the so called pomerium or wall precinct. In some strategic cities the doors of these walls had colossal dimensions, the famous Porta Nigra in Trier (Germany) has three levels of porticoes. In Spain many cities still have their Roman gates and walls, although modified and embellished during the Middle Ages. The walls were sometimes interrupted by square or round towers as in Lugo. There are also large remains of these Roman walls in Tarragona, Leon, Avila, Toledo, Cordoba, and Merida.

The Porta Nigra (or Black Gate), in Trier, Germany, 186-200 AD. Ancient Roman road “Cardo” in Petra, Jordan.

The interior of a Roman city was generally urbanized according to the old Italic pattern which imposed two main roads: the cardo*(a north–south-oriented street) and the decumanus* (an east-west street) which should cross at right angles. In the crossing of these two main streets was built the Forum or main square often with arcades. The Forum included the basilica, the main temple, and shops surrounded it. The best known example of a Forum from a small Roman city is that of Pompeii. Usually at each end of the Forum was a triumphal arch serving as an entrance door to the great monumental plaza. Timgad, an African city founded by Trajan, has the best preserved remains of a Roman city after Pompeii. Besides the temple of the Forum, a Roman city used to have other temples dedicated to minor divinities: Pompeii had temples for Apollo, Isis, Mercury, and Aesculapius.

Plane of the ancient Roman city of Lucca, showing the main Cardus and Decumanus roads. Forum of Pompeii. Triumphal Arch of Trajan within the ruins of the Roman city of Timgad.

Secondary streets were parallel to both via cardo and via decumanus thus giving the city’s layout a checkered appearance. This grid was also typical in the military camps that gave origin to many cities such as León, in Spain, and English cities whose names end in –cester a corruption for the Latin castra* meaning buildings or plots of land reserved for or constructed to be used as a military defensive position.

Plane of the Roman military camp or castra of Inchtuthil in Scotland.

An indispensable element of a Roman provincial city was the amphitheater. Some amphitheater remains in the African provinces are colossal. There are also ruins of Roman amphitheaters in Nimes and Arles (Provence), Padua and Verona (Italy), Pola (Dalmatia), El-Djem (Africa)…

The Arena of Nîmes, ca. 70 AD. (Southern France).

Of all Roman amphitheaters conserved to this day, the one at Pompeii is undoubtedly the oldest many inscriptions referring to him reveal that it was known with the name of espectaculo (entertainment). The shows played in a Roman amphitheater seemed much like our popular festivities of today but gigantically enlarged and emphasizing its brutal nature. Ancient Romans applauded bloodshed. The ferocity of the gladiatorial combats, enthusiastically celebrated by the crowds, have their origin in the funerary games of the Etruscans.

The Amphitheatre of Pompeii, the oldest surviving Roman amphitheatre, ca. 80 BCE. Interior of the amphitheater of Pompeii.

In addition to the amphitheater most of the Roman cities used to have a theater. As an example of the best preserved Roman theater is that of Orange, in Gaul. There is also the theater of Aspendos, in Asia Minor, that of Bosra, in Syria, those of Timgad and Thugga in Africa, and the theaters of Mérida, Ronda and Sagunto in Spain.

The Theater of Orange, in Orange, southern France, early 1st century AD.

Another important element of a Roman city were the public baths such as those found in Pompeii and Timgad, or the baths of Bath in England which still show ruins of the ancient Roman baths.

The Forum Baths at Pompeii. The Roman Baths, at Bath, Somerset, South West England, ca. 60 AD. The building above the level of the column bases is a later construction, and was not part of the Roman building. Reconstruction of the Trajan Trophy in Adamclisi, (Romania), ca. 109 AD.

A very distinctive type of a Roman town, somewhat different from the provinces, were the fortified camps for the Roman legions which were also urbanized following a fairly regular plan. These towns were more or less square, with pit and walls, and their streets had lodging for soldiers with the bigger rooms reserved for the senior officials of the Praetorium. The legions also had their exclusive artists and showed a predilection for memorial buildings. The most artistically important work from the architects and sculptors working for the Roman military is the big monument near Adam-Kilise in Bessarabia (now within Romania). It was a solid round tower with a frieze of pilasters alternating with metopes and atop had a conical roof and an octagonal construction holding a panoply formed with weapons and an armor. These metopes contained compositions with flat reliefs and many characters that would later inspire the decoration motifs used during the late Middle Ages. The tower of Adam-Kilise sustains the characteristic Roman symbol of the trophy*(trofeo). The trophy is of a very remote Latin origin it was used as early as the period of the Republic and was traditionally employed till the days of the Empire. Originally, the trophy was a tree or pole planted in the place where the army had won a campaign or battle, and was decorated with the panoply of weapons taken from the conquered. It was an offering to the genius loci of the place in gratitude for the victory achieved. At first, the trophies were trees decorated with weapons to which two of the enemy’s chiefs were tied to starve, but soon Romans wanted those testimonies of military success to be more permanent and so they were built with monumental bases to sustain the true trophy carved in stone. Another examples of trophies are Pompey’s trophies at the entrance of Spain in the Summum of the Pyrenees and Augustus’ trophies at the entrance of the Gauls in Nice.

A metope (# 14) of the Trajan Trophy, showing a Roman Legionary with a mail manica* and spear with a Dacian falxman* (Adamclisi Museum). The original remains of the Trajan Trophy (Adamclisi Museum).

Naturally, merchants and farmers living in the provinces received as “Roman art” only the art brought by the legions, and these in turn cultivated a special art somewhat influenced by their contact with the different races living in the frontiers of the Empire. A typical example of this art from the provinces influenced by military art is that of the reliefs of the so called Igelsaule, or Igel column, which is nothing but the grave of a merchant family. It is a square tower with multiple levels of reliefs and a pyramidal top, a very frequent shape in Roman tombs even since the earliest years of the Empire.

The Igel Column, (Igel, Trier, Germany), ca. 250 AD.

The funerary reliefs found in Roman provinces often included daily life scenes which provide some very interesting “pictures” about the Roman customs of the last days of the Empire. From one of these tombs, near Neumagen, came some reliefs now in the Museum of Trier that inform us, with lovely familiarity, of the most intimate things, like a lesson given by the preceptor of a house, or the hairstyle of a noble lady, or the act of presenting a gift, or the payment of a debt.

Relief depicting a school scene, from the “Neumagen” reliefs, 2nd century AD. (Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Trier, Germany). Roman funerary stele showing couples, (Archaeological Museum, Beirut, Lebanon).

The funerary monuments from the Provinces were often reduced to a simple stele, a degeneration of the Greek funerary steles, and had portraits inside a small niche or a medallion. Sometimes several portraits of individuals from one family accumulate in the same memorial tombstone. In Spain it was found a special type of stele with few reliefs and the horseshoe arch* combined with geometric roses. The horseshoe shape was employed by the Visigoth populations of the Iberian Peninsula and later by the Arabs who may have learned it from the Visigoths. It is not believed, however, that this form of the horseshoe arch is originally from Spain, since it did not appear in other Iberian monuments, but instead was very frequent in Syria and Asia Minor. Since most of the steles decorated with the horseshoe arch came from León, where the Roman garrison of Spain was located, it could be accepted that this shape of the horseshoe arch, which later had a huge acceptance in Spain, was originally from Syria and later brought to Spain by the Roman legions.

The Roman military art had certain uniformity and it may be possible that the Romanesque art style that later appeared in the provinces depended more on the military art brought by the legions than on the official art coming from Rome.

Only one of these Roman provinces developed a strong vigorous art, perhaps more monumental than that of Rome itself: the East Roman province. The Roman cities on the desert borders were magnificent they were built with large stones and challenged in wealth and magnitude the ancient royal castles of the Sassanid Persians.

Roman ruins at Palmyra in central Syria.

Almost all cities in Syria were rebuilt in Roman times. To ensure Roman rule in the East borders, the emperors ordered to built two cities in the middle of the desert: Baalbek and Palmyra, with such magnificence that surprised the Asians themselves. These cities were located in places where there had been Semitic shrines dedicated to Baals*. At least this seems to be indicated by the cult practiced there and the shape of their temples which were hypaethral* or with their cella opened like a courtyard, plus other details of their gigantic construction which were completely Oriental in origin.

Temple of Jupiter in Baalbeck (Lebanon). Interior of the Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek.

The layout of Baalbek, a town located between Damascus and Beirut, will give an idea of the general arrangement of the sanctuary. The entrance was a portico with ten columns leading to a first hexagonal patio. Behind this was a huge patio with the altar in the center and two water cisterns. Beyond, erected on a podium, was the great temple of Jupiter Heliopolitanus surrounded by a portico with Corinthian columns and the interior of the cella resembling a courtyard with walls lavishly decorated with pilasters and niches. This building, which has the highest columns in the world (20 meters) was built in the time of Antoninus Pius.

[Below, two reliefs of the Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek]

In addition to the big religious centers of Baalbek and Palmyra, other cities of the Syrian border had some prosperity, and became rich because they were important commercial and shopping centers among Asian cities and the already Romanized provinces. Good examples are Bosra and Petra in Jordan. In Petra, the facades of tombs and houses were carved into the rock. Most had the same semi-classical style: columns attached to walls and architrave with a strange top of staggered battlements. One of these monuments called by the Arabs the treasure of Solomon seems to have been a temple as the so called El Deir or convent.

Facade of Al Khazneh (“The Treasury” also known as the “Treasure of Solomon”‎) in Petra, Jordan, 1st century AD. Ad Deir (or “The Monastery”) in Petra, Jordan, 1st century AD.

In the East, as far as the third century, the peculiarities of the Roman art had the problem of deciding whether a particular province played an important part in the artistic evolution of the old Roman artistic forms or had influenced the evolution of early Christian art. As we assumed that the military art of the western Roman provinces helped create the medieval Romanesque ornamentation, in the same way we also assumed that the combined Roman and Eastern Art from Syria should have greatly influenced the Christian Byzantine art.

Mithraeum in the ruins of Ostia Antica, Italy.

Foreign religious cults were a vehicle for the introduction of artistic styles in Rome, even since the last days of the Republic. From Egypt, Rome imported the cults of Isis and Serapis, brought in by veterans of the civil wars. Serapis, the local god of Alexandria, was later identified with Aesculapius. In the provinces, the legionnaires introduced the cult of the sun god Mithra of Iranian origin. There were Mithraeums*or temples for the worship of Mithra in England, the Rhine, Africa, France, and Spain. The devotion to Mithra arrived in all borderlands where the Roman legions where stationed. The group of Mithras kneeling on the bull and ready to slaughter it (Tauroctony*) was sometimes represented with great beauty. Although there were minor variations, the basic features of the central tauroctony scene were highly uniform. This statue was generally placed at the subterranean altar of the Mithraeum where the religious ceremonies were held, it was a way in which this ancient Persian religion was adapted to the Hellenistic and Roman mentality of those days. Mithraism was very popular with the Roman troops and reached its peak around the 2nd or 3rd centuries AD., though as a rival religion to the nascent Christianity. Mithraism was railed against for its supposed diabolical imitation of Christian rituals and so was suppressed by the 4th century.

Tauroctony or Mithras slaying the bull, ca. 2nd century AD., marble (British Museum).

Baal: A title and honorific meaning “lord” in the Northwest Semitic languages during antiquity. From its use among people, it came to be applied to gods. The name Baʿal was particularly associated with the storm and fertility god Hadad and his local manifestations. T he Hebrew Bible includes a generic use of the term in reference to various Levantine deities, who were ultimately decried as false gods. That use was taken over into Christianity and Islam, sometimes under the form of Beelzebub in demonology.

Cardo: The Latin name given to a north-south street in Ancient Roman cities and military camps as an integral component of city planning. The cardo maximus was the main or central north–south-oriented street.

Castrum: (pl. Castra). In the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, the Latin word castrum was a building, or plot of land, used as a fortified military camp. Castrum was the term used for different sizes of camps including a large legionary fortress, smaller auxiliary forts, temporary encampments, and “marching” forts. The diminutive form castellum was used for fortlets.

Decumanus: In Roman city planning, a decumanus was an east-west-oriented road in a Roman city, castrum (military camp), or colonia. The main decumanus was the Decumanus Maximus, which normally connected the Porta Praetoria (in a military camp, closest to the enemy) to the Porta Decumana (away from the enemy). In the middle, or groma, the Decumanus Maximus crosses the perpendicular Cardo Maximus, the primary north-south road that was the usual main street. The Forum was normally located close to this intersection of the Decumanus Maximus and the Cardo Maximus.

Falx: A weapon with a curved blade that was sharp on the inside edge used by the Thracians and Dacians – and, later, a siege hook used by the Romans.

Horseshoe arch: The horseshoe arch (Spanish: arco de herradura), also called the Moorish arch and the Keyhole arch, is the emblematic arch of Islamic architecture. Horseshoe arches can take rounded, pointed or lobed form. Horseshoe arches are known from pre-Islamic Syria, where the form was used as far as the fourth century AD. However, it was in Spain and North Africa (where it went from Spain) that horseshoe arches developed their characteristic form. Prior to the Muslim invasion of Spain, the Visigoths used them as one of their main architectural features. The Mozarabs also adopted this style of arch into their architecture and illuminated manuscripts.

Hypaethral: (From the Latin hypaethrus, from Ancient Greek hupaithros, hupo- “under” and aither “sky, air”). An ancient temple with no roof.

Manica: (Latin: manica , “sleeve” ). A type of iron or bronze arm guard, with curved and overlapping metal segments or plates, fastened to leather straps, worn by Roman gladiators called crupellarii, and later by soldiers.

Mithraeum: (from the Latin, pl. Mithraea). A large or small Mithraic temple, erected in classical antiquity by the worshippers of Mithras. Most Mithraea can be dated between 100 BCE and AD 300, mostly in the Roman Empire. The Mithraeum was either an adapted natural cave or cavern, or a building imitating a cave. When possible, the Mithraeum was constructed within or below an existing building. While a majority of Mithraea are underground, some feature open holes in the ceiling to allow some light in, perhaps to relate to the connection of the universe and the passing of time. The site of a Mithraeum may also be identified by its singular entrance or vestibule, which stands opposite from an apse-shaped wall in which a pedestal altar at the back stood, often in a recess. Its “cave”had raised benches along the side walls for the ritual meal.

Tauroctony: A modern name given to the central cult reliefs of the Roman Mithraic Mysteries. The imagery depicts Mithras killing a bull, hence the name tauroctony after the Greek word tauroktonos (ταυροκτόνος, “bull killing”). It is distinct from the cultic slaughter of a bull in ancient Rome and known as a Taurobolium, which was an actual bull-killing cult act performed by initiates of the Mysteries of Magna Mater or Cybele.

Trophy: A tropaion (Greek: τρόπαιον, Latin: tropaeum), from where the English “trophy” is derived, is an ancient Greek and later Roman monument set up to commemorate a victory over one’s foes. Typically this takes the shape of a tree, sometimes with a pair of arm-like branches (or, in later times, a pair of stakes set crosswise) upon which is hung the armour of a defeated and dead foe. The tropaion is then dedicated to a god in thanksgiving for the victory.

Cardo Maximus of Italica, Spain - History

The fifth-largest Roman Amphitheatre is found in the province of Sevilla, Spain. Its building dimensions are 156.5 × 134 meters and its arena dimensions are 71. 2 × 46.2 meters. Built in the reign of Adrian’s Empire, 117-138 AD, the Italica amphitheatre could hold up to 25,000 people and still stands today. The Italica Amphitheater was built in the north of what was the first Roman city in Hispania, Itálica, located in the current municipality of Santiponce (province of Seville), in Andalusia (Spain), which was founded in 206 BC. C.

Roman amphitheatres are amphitheatres – large, circular or oval open-air venues with raised seating – built by the ancient Romans. They were used for events such as gladiator combats, venationes (animal slayings) and executions. About 230 Roman amphitheatres have been found across the area of the Roman Empire. Early amphitheatres date from the republican period, though they became more monumental during the imperial era.

Italica north of modern-day Santiponce, 9 km northwest of Seville in southern Spain, was an Italic settlement founded by the Roman general Scipio in the province of Hispania Baetica. It was the birthplace of Roman Emperors Trajan, Hadrian (likely), and Theodosius (possibly). It flourished under the reign of Hadrian, becoming an elaborate urban centre and obtaining the highest status of Roman city. The modern town of Santiponce overlies the pre-Roman Iberian settlement and part of the well-preserved Roman city.

It was built at the time of Emperor Hadrian, approximately between the years 117-138 and was one of the largest in the entire Roman Empire.

Early amphitheatres
It is uncertain when and where the first amphitheatres were built. There are records attesting to temporary wooden amphitheatres built in the Forum Romanum for gladiatorial games from the second century BC onwards, and these may be the origin of the architectural form later expressed in stone. In his Historia Naturalis, Pliny the Elder claims that the amphitheatre was invented during the spectacles of Gaius Scribonius Curio in 53 BC, where two wooden semicircular theatres were rotated towards each other to form one circular amphitheatre, while spectators were still seated in the two halves. But while this may be the origin of the architectural term amphitheatrum, it cannot be the origin of the architectural concept, since earlier stone amphitheatres, known as spectacula or amphitheatera, have been found.

According to Jean-Claude Golvin, the earliest known stone amphitheatres are found in Campania, at Capua, Cumae and Liternum, where such venues were built towards the end of the second century BC. The next-oldest amphitheatre known, as well as one of the best-researched, is the amphitheatre of Pompeii, securely dated to be built shortly after 70 BC. There are relatively few other known early amphitheatres: those at Abella, Teanum and Cales date to the Sullan era (until 78 BC), those at Puteoli and Telesia from the Augustan (27 BC–14 AD). The amphitheatres at Sutrium, Carmo and Ucubi were built around 40–30 BC, those at Antioch and Phaestum (Phase I) in the mid-first century BC.

Imperial era
In the Imperial era, amphitheatres became an integral part of the Roman urban landscape. As cities vied with each other for preeminence in civic buildings, amphitheatres became ever more monumental in scale and ornamentation. Imperial amphitheatres comfortably accommodated 40,000–60,000 spectators, or up to 100,000 in the largest venues, and were only outdone by the hippodromes in seating capacity. They featured multi-storeyed, arcaded façades and were elaborately decorated with marble and stucco cladding, statues and reliefs, or even partially made of marble.

As the Empire grew, most of its amphitheatres remained concentrated in the Latin-speaking western half, while in the East spectacles were mostly staged in other venues such as theatres or stadia. In the West, Amphitheatres were built as part of Romanization efforts by providing a focus for the Imperial cult, by private benefactors, or by the local government of colonies or provincial capitals as an attribute of Roman municipal status. A large number of modest arenas were built in Roman North Africa, where most of the architectural expertise was provided by the Roman military.

The late Empire and the decline of the amphitheatre tradition
Several factors caused the eventual extinction of the tradition of amphitheatre construction. Gladiatorial munera began to disappear from public life during the 3rd century, due to economic pressure, philosophical disapproval and opposition by the increasingly predominant new religion of Christianity, whose adherents considered such games an abomination and a waste of money. Spectacles involving animals, venationes, survived until the sixth century, but became costlier and rarer. The spread of Christianity also changed the patterns of public beneficence: where a pagan Roman would often have seen himself as a homo civicus, who gave benefits to the public in exchange for status and honor, a Christian would more often be a new type of citizen, a homo interior, who sought to attain a divine reward in heaven and directed his beneficence to alms and charity rather than public works and games.

These changes meant that there were ever fewer uses for amphitheatres, and ever fewer funds to build and maintain them. The last construction of an amphitheatre is recorded in 523 in Pavia under Theoderic. After the end of venationes, the only remaining purpose of amphitheatres was to be the place of public executions and punishments. After even this purpose dwindled away, many amphitheatres fell into disrepair and were gradually dismantled for building material, razed to make way for newer buildings, or vandalized. Others were transformed into fortifications or fortified settlements, such as at Leptis Magna, Sabratha, Arles and Pola, and in the 12th century the Frangipani fortified even the Colosseum to help them in Roman power struggles. Yet others were repurposed as Christian churches, including the arenas at Arles, Nîmes, Tarragona and Salona the Colosseum became a Christian shrine in the 18th century.

Of the surviving amphitheatres, many are now protected as historic monuments several are tourist attractions.

Architecture of the amphitheater
With a capacity of 25,000 spectators, it was one of the empire’s largest amphitheaters with three levels of stands. Under the level of the old wooden floor of the amphitheater there is a service pit for the different spectacles of gladiators and wild beasts.

The grandstand, cavea was divided into three sections, the ima, media and summa cavea, separated by annular corridors called praecinctiones. The first, the ima cavea, had 6 tiers, with 8 access doors, and was reserved for a ruling class. The second, the half cavea, was intended for the humblest population, had 12 tiers and 14 access doors. The summa cavea, covered by an awning, was reserved only to house children and women.

The amphitheater also had several rooms dedicated to the cult of Nemesis and Dea Caelestis.

General plan
Amphitheatres are distinguished from circuses, hippodromes, which were usually rectangular and built mainly for racing events and stadia, built for athletics. But several of these terms have at times been used for one and the same venue. The word amphitheatrum means “theatre all around”. Thus an amphitheatre is distinguished from the traditional semicircular Roman theatres by being circular or oval in shape.

The Roman amphitheatre consists of three main parts the cavea, the arena, and the vomitorium. The seating area is called the cavea (enclosure). The cavea is formed of concentric rows of stands which are either supported by arches built into the framework of the building, or simply dug out of the hillside or built up using excavated material extracted during the excavation of the fighting area (the arena).

The cavea is traditionally organised in three horizontal sections, corresponding to the social class of the spectators:

The ima cavea is the lowest part of the cavea and the one directly surrounding the arena. It was usually reserved for the upper echelons of society.
The media cavea directly follows the ima cavea and was open to the general public, though mostly reserved for men.
The summa cavea is the highest section and was usually open to women and children.

Similarly the front row was called the prima cavea and the last row was called the cavea ultima. The cavea was further divided vertically into cunei. A cuneus (Latin for wedge plural, cunei) was a wedge-shaped division separated by the scalae or stairways.

The arched entrances both at the arena level and within the cavea are called the vomitoria (Latin “to spew forth” singular, vomitorium) and were designed to allow rapid dispersal of large crowds.

The ellipse as a general rule
Jean-Claude Golvin, in 2008, explains that in reality a certain number of Roman amphitheatres do not describe a perfect ellipse, but a pseudo-ellipsoidal form composed of a succession of connected arcs of circles. This provision is guided by the need for a cavea same width regardless of the point of the amphitheater considered that the stands are all of similar size. The observed dimensional or returned from several arenas of the Roman Empire, including that of Capua, seem to confirm this theory, modeled by Gerard Parysz.

Rare amphitheatres do not follow the overall plan of an ellipsoidal building, like that of Leptis Magna. This building, entirely dug in an old quarry and inaugurated in 56, gives the impression of being composed of two adjoining theaters and its arena like its cavea have the form of two semicircles connected by very short segments of right. This configuration would have allowed him to host shows of a new genre wanted by Nero, combining fighting, equestrian demonstrations and musical competitions.

Massive Amphitheater and Amphitheater with Radiant Walls
A first type of amphitheater is qualified as solid or massive as in Samarobriva (Amiens, France), Octodurus (Martigny, Switzerland), Emerita Augusta (Merida, Spain) or Syracusae (Syracuse, Italy) in these constructions, the cavea is not carried by radiant walls and vaults, but by an embankment which descends from the outside of the amphitheater towards the arena this embankment may be partly made up of arena excavation lands inside a small hill at the top of which the amphitheater is built this is the case in Tours (Caesarodunum).

Spectators must then sit directly on the grassy slope, but the embankment can also accommodate wooden stands whose discovery of the remains, if they ever existed, would be exceptional. The masonry is reduced to a minimum: the outer wall, the arena wall, access galleries orvomitoires, also included in the embankment, some radiating retaining walls delimiting caissons to receive embankments, as well as the cages stair. External staircases pressed against the facade of the amphitheater, as in Pompeii, provide access to the upper part of the cavea.

The second type of amphitheater, which represents most of those identified in the Roman world, is the amphitheater with walls and radiant vaults. The cavea is then supported by a set of masonry opus caementicium which draw a set of fairly light seats on which the stands rest. An annular circulation gallery – there are two at the Colosseum and the Capua amphitheater – allows spectators to win the vomitories and stairs accessing the arena. The oldest of these monuments seems to be the amphitheater of Statilius Taurus in Rome, inaugurated in 29 AD and destroyed in great fire of Rome in 64, under Nero. The precise details of its architecture – as well as its exact size and location – remain unknown, but it is clear that this is a hollow structure building and that the upper part of the cavea has wooden steps.. Theaters had used earlier this hollow architecture, such as the theater Teanum Sidicinum from the end of ii th century BC. or the Pompey Theater in Rome, completed in 55 AD.

Finally, in several cases, the construction of the amphitheater combines the two types of architecture it is most often to reduce the masonry parts by taking advantage of the support of the monument on the side of a natural relief the part of the cavea which rests there is massive, the vaults and the radiating walls reserved for the bet built “in the free air”. This is the case of the amphitheater of Saintes whose long sides of the cavea are supported on both flanks in valley arena being established at the bottom of the valley, closed on both sides by radiant walls and arcades.

The nature, full or hollow, amphitheaters, can not be an absolute criterion of dating. If the Pompeii amphitheater, partially massive is built between 80 and 70 BC AD, that of Taurus, hollow, towards 30 AD, Lecture halls found in Gaul totally or partially massive built much later, as those of Holy (over about 50) or towers, in the second half of the i st century, the latter being even is expanded according to the same principle hundred years later. It seems that, region by region and as the geographical spread of these monuments, architects seek, as a first step and as much as possible, to take advantage of the natural relief to lean against the amphitheatres they propose to to build. In a second step, and when the technique of construction of the radiating walls and the arcades is locally well controlled, they build hollow amphitheatres, of which it is possible to choose the location by freeing the constraints of the relief.

Choice of site and development of surroundings
When the site does not meet specific topographical requirements, such as the use of a natural relief to back the cavea, amphitheatres are often built on the outskirts of urbanized areas. Several explanations can be advanced. Amphitheatres are often built in cities already built for several decades or more to build them in the middle of the city would impose important works of demolition of the existing building. Amphitheatres are monuments with a capacity often exceeding 10 000 people, whether it is the population of the city stricto sensuor inhabitants of a wider geographical area Before and after the shows, crowds of this size require a large clearance around the building to smooth the flow. The amphitheater is a symbol of Roman power, the power of the city where it is built or Roman acculturation in conquered territories this monumental effect is more easily obtained by clearing the amphitheater of the existing building. Once dissociated from the ritual character they originally had, the fights that take place in the amphitheatres become pagan spectacles incompatible with the sacredness of the urban pomerium the amphitheaters can not be built at the.

There are, however, situations where the amphitheater was built in the heart of the city. The Colosseum is the most demonstrative example. This is also the case in Amiens where the amphitheater is built against the forum and its temple, built before him, so as to compose a large monumental ensemble for this purpose, a whole residential area is razed to make room for the amphitheater.

Sometimes there is a district specifically devoted to the monuments of the spectacle such as Augustodunum – Autun -, Merida or Pozzuoli (amphitheater and theater), Lugdunum – Lyon – (Theater and Odeon) or Leptis Magna (amphitheater and circus).

Access to the amphitheater is generally studied to allow the good movement of people. In Capua, a path directly connects the main axis of the amphitheater to Via Appia in Tours, it is the small axis which is in the prolongation of the decumanus maximus. In this same city, a circulation space whose use is attested is located on the outskirts of the amphitheater. A painting representing the amphitheater of Pompeii in59 av. AD shows barques of food merchants established around the amphitheater – the shows for more than a day, it is necessary for the spectators to be able to restore themselves.

The facade of the amphitheater, the only part immediately visible from the monument to the eyes of the public outside, is the subject of special care it must be, even more than the monument as a whole, a showcase of the wealth of the sponsor or sponsors of the construction of the know-how of its architects and workers and a symbol of the power of the city. This is why an architectural technique different from that used for the structural work of the amphitheater is applied to it.

Traditionally – although there are exceptions to this pattern – the facade is composed of one or more series of superimposed arcades, of gradually decreasing height, surmounted by a row of penthouses. It is built in blocks of large apparatus that use the most noble stones available locally, unless it is, as in Capua, only a veneer on a superstructure (masonry bricks in this case). The keystones of the arcades can be carved, the arcades can compose niches garnished with statues.

If the facade is composed of a more common apparatus, only the doors are decorated in a special way, according to the techniques and materials available locally. The Colosseum even offers numbered doors by engraving in their keystone, facilitating spectator access.

The last level of the facade often has holes for embedding the masts that support the velum, large sail stretched over the amphitheater and to shad all or part.

The functional limits of human sight fix the maximum dimensions of amphitheatres: beyond 60 m, accomodation is less rapid, causing eyestrain. This maximum distance separating the spectator from the show is approached but respected at the Colosseum, which, according to this criterion, would be the largest amphitheater that it was possible to build.

Examination of the remains of the cavea of the amphitheater of El Jem shows that the angle of the stands with the horizontal is 34 ° 12 ‘ for the rows closest to the arena, but 36 ° for the bleachers located at the top of the cavea. This difference aims to clear the view of the arena for the spectators who are thus less bothered by the heads of those placed just below them. In the particular case of some massive amphitheatres whose slope of the cavea constitutes itself the seat of the spectators, it is not possible to reach the same angles under pain of collapse of the embankment.

Auguste sets up a very precise and immutable code governing the placement of the spectators in all the monuments of spectacle: the soldiers do not rub shoulders with the civilians, the people dressed in dark are gathered in the middle part of the cavea, the married men are separated from the single, but their wives are relegated to the highest tiers, as are the modest people, and so on.. These dispositions are accompanied by a physical partition of the cavea the terraces are divided horizontally by precedences defining maeniana and vertically by radiating stairs limiting cunei. Near the arena take place the box of honor and the podium reserved for notables. It is also in this same part of the cavea that is the sacellum, small temple probably for the use of gladiators.

While the construction of the facade of the amphitheater is the object of all the attention of the architects, the realization of the cavea implements more common materials and of local origin this is the case in Verona where the masonry is composed of a concrete of pebbles of the Adige linked to the mortar of sand and lime in Pula, only wood forms part of the internal structures of the amphitheater.

The elliptical or pseudo-elliptical arena is the place where the shows take place. It is usually covered with sand avoiding gladiators to slide during the fighting this sand also helps to absorb any spilled blood.

The layout of the arena varies according to the shows it hosts. In the first amphitheatres, only battles between gladiators take place there the presence of these professionals poses no risk to the public and the wall separating the arena from the cavea is of reduced height. After the introduction of venationes with animals sometimes wild, it is important to ensure the protection of the spectators, by means of a podium wall of a height often higher than 1.50 m. This wall is often pierced with doors or grilles giving access to boxes housing animals. Some amphitheatres have an arena dug out of a basin (Merida) to present aquatic shows, but only the Colosseum of Rome has an arena specially designed for naumachies to take place there.

If the amphitheater built in Rome under Caesar is the first to have a basement, this device will expand to many monuments built later. The increasing prestige of the performances given in the arenas, their increasing complexity with successive sets of sets, the use of more and more numerous gladiators and animals require such facilities. The basement of the arena is therefore dug galleries that are connected cages for animals, carceresfor gladiators, while a system of hatches and hoists raises all actors in the arena and the scenery elements to the arena level. These converted basements can be in direct communication with nearby gladiator schools, such as the Coliseum. They can also house an elaborate system of gutters and gutters to collect runoff from the cavea before they are stored in a cistern, as in Capua.

These converted basements are attested in many amphitheatres in Italy, but also in the Roman provinces such as Arles or Nimes (France), Merida (Spain), Leptis Magna (Libya) or El Jem (Tunisia) and perhaps Pula (Croatia).

Financing of the amphitheater
The dedications for the inauguration of Roman monuments very often mention the names of local notables who participated in the financing of their construction. This évergétisme can simply mark the power and the wealth of the donor. It can also have a more direct meaning: the Arles amphitheater was built with funds of Caius Junius Priscus, former candidate for duumvir juridicundo in fulfillment of a promise made in an election. The status of the evergreen is sometimes quoted: Caius Julius Rufus, who participated in the financing of the amphitheater of the Three Gauls in Lyon is a priest of Rome and Augustus at the Federal Shrine of the Three Gauls.

This évergétisme can manifest itself as a contribution to the overall financing of the building (Périgueux) or by a participation, partial or total, in the construction of one of its elements (podium in Lyon, podium, doors and statues in silver with Arles).

This practice is also part of a context of prestige rivalry between city halls. It results in the desire to build very large at lower cost, which is an explanation for the use, sometimes massive, wood for the stands and other structures of the amphitheater. This also provides quick access to a resource and local know-how and ensure a pace of construction and commissioning period compatible with the holding of election promises.

The amphitheater is primarily intended to host gladiator fights. The day before the fighting was organized the cena libera, a large banquet free that could be shared with spectators who wanted to see the value of the fighters. Gladiator combat is a highly codified show. Gladiators represent well-defined types of fighters easily recognizable to the public by their armament, their clothing, but also by the postures adopted during the fight. The fights, which are attended by referees, are most often duels between a slightly armed but very mobile (retiair, scissor) gladiator to another, less swift but powerfully armed and battleship (mirmillon, secutor). The death of one of the protagonists at the end of the fight is not a rule and the fight can end when the opponents are injured or exhausted: a professional gladiator is an “investment” for his laniste. It seems that at certain periods, under Auguste for example, the killings in the arena were prohibited.

Naval battles (naumachiae) can be organized inside certain buildings, but their existence is actually attested only for the Colosseum the size of the arena must be sufficient and the height of the water filling it must be important for ships, even those with a shallow draft, to be able to evolve there. Of aqueducts are sometimes specially built to bring water needed to fill the arena. These naval battles are of course very popular with the public because they are rare. In addition, they often become technically impossible after the development of basements in arenas of some amphitheatres (Colosseum, Merida, Pula).

As for the hunts (venationes), they consisted of fighting animals against animals, or men against animals. This show did not take place in a bare arena, but through the trap doors of the basement, a real landscape of vegetation and rocks was installed in the arena.

Also in the amphitheater were death executions (” noxii ” in Latin), called ” meridiani ” (those of noon), because this type of show took place during midday breaks. Particularly under Nero, Christians were burned alive. The death of the condemned was staged, sometimes in the form of mythological tales: still under Nero, according to Suetonius, we reconstructed for example the myth of Icarus, who crashed on the floor of the arena and covered the emperor of blood. Clement I reported meanwhile that Christian had suffered the fate Dirce. It could also be of historical episodes like the one where Mucius Scaevola is burning hand.

Diffusion territory
According to Jean-Claude Golvin, the first stone amphitheaters are known in Campania in Capua, to Cuma and Liternum where such places were built at the end of the ii th century BC. J.-C.. One of the oldest and most studied amphitheatres is the Pompeii Amphitheater, which is dated 70 BC. J.-C. The first few amphitheatres are known: those of Abella, Teanum and Cales dating from the time of Sylla, and those of Pozzuoliand Telese Terme for the Augustan era. The amphitheatres of Sutri, Carmona and Ucubi were built around 40 – 30 BC. AD, and those of Antioch and Paestum (phase I) in the middle of 1 century BC. J.-C..

In the imperial period, the amphitheatres became part of the Roman cityscape. While cities compete for the prominence of constructions in the field of civic buildings, the construction of amphitheatres is increasingly monumental in the occupied space and in ornamentation. The imperial amphitheaters could comfortably accommodate between 40,000 and 60,000 spectators, or up to 100,000 for larger buildings. For the number of seats, they were exceeded only by racetracks. They are built on several floors, with arches, are usually richly decorated with marble and covered with stucco, and have many statues.

With the expansion of the empire, most of the amphitheatres remain concentrated in the western part, that is to say that of Latin language, while in the eastern part, the shows are often staged in other venues such as theaters or stages. In the west of the empire, amphitheatres are built as part of Romanization and to provide a center for imperial worship. The funds for construction come from private benefactors, the local government of the colony or provincial capital. A significant number of small arenas were built in the province of Africa, with the support of the Roman army and its expertise in architecture.

One of the later built amphitheatres seems to be that of Bordeaux at the end of the ii th century or early iii th century. The dating of the El Jem, sometimes considered very late, is controversial in the absence of decisive evidence. The second amphitheater Metz, building a mixed character, appears to date back to the end of the iii th century or the beginning of the iv th century.

Architectural evolutions
The monuments of the show, including the amphitheatres, are not buildings built once and for all without any modification, sometimes substantial, being made to the structure, while they are still used.

Thus, the cavea of the amphitheater of Toulouse, initially built out of wood, profits in a second time of bearing structures masonry. The facade of the Pula amphitheater, which has stood the test of time, perhaps reflects the complete resumption and enlargement of an old Augustinian building. The expansion of the amphitheater in Avenches, in the second half of the ii th century is attested, like that of the amphitheater of Tours about the same time, the estimated capacity from 14 000 to 34 000 spectators. The amphitheater of the Three Gauls of Lyon, originally intended to accommodate delegates from the three Roman provinces of Gaul, is enlarged so that the population of Lyon too can attendshows.

The redevelopment sometimes only affects part of the monument, as in Mérida and perhaps Pula, where the arena is dug to allow the installation of a basement with cages, corridors and accessory stores.

Several factors lead to the completion of amphitheater construction. The first is the gradual end of gladiator fights, which begin disappearing from public life during the iii th century, because of the economic crisis, philosophical disapproval and opposition of the new religion increasingly dominant what is Christianity, whose followers consider these games as an abomination and a waste of money. The shows involving animals (venationes) survived until the vi th centurybut they become more expensive and rarer. The spread of Christianity has also changed the habits of public beneficence: previously a pagan Roman is considered a homo civicus who finances public performances in exchange for obtaining a status and obtaining honor, a Christian him considers himself a homo interior who seeks a divine reward in heaven and directs his efforts to charity and charity rather than to public spectacles andgames.

These changes show that amphitheatres are less and less used and that a lack of funds does not allow to build new ones, nor to maintain those already built. The last construction of an amphitheater took place in 523 in Pavia under Theodoric. After the end of the venationes, the remaining amphitheatres are only used for public executions and punishments. After this short re-use, many amphitheatres have fallen into disrepair and are being progressively dismantled for building materials, or razed to make room for newer buildings, or vandalized. Others are transformed into fortifications or fortified villages, like Leptis Magna, Sabratha, Arles and Pola, and the xii th century, the family Frangipani even strengthens the Colosseum to help them in their struggle to gain control of Rome. Other amphitheatres are reoriented as Christian churches, including the arenas of Arles, Nîmes, Tarragona and Salone. The Coliseum is a Christian church in the xviii th century.

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Cardo Maximus of Italica, Spain - History

Decumanus (Latin for 'tenth') may refer to:

In Roman Gadara, present-day Umm Qais in Jordan, the Decumanus runs east-west for approximately one kilometre with its ancient flagstones extant.

Within the city of Split in present-day Croatia is the UNESCO Roman monument, Diocletian's Palace. This city, built by the Emperor Diocletian, exhibits the characteristic Roman orthogonal street system with the Decumanus Maximus connecting the west Iron Gate to the east Silver Gate.

In Roman city planning, a decumanus was an east-west-oriented road in a Roman city, castrum (military camp), or colonia. The main decumanus was the Decumanus Maximus, which normally connected the Porta Praetoria (in a military camp, closest to the enemy) to the Porta Decumana (away from the enemy).

In the ancient Roman city of Barcino (present day Barcelona, Spain), the Decumanus Maximus started at the late-Roman gate (which still stands) in front of the current Plaça Nova square.

The Cardo and Decumanus Maximus were the main colonnaded streets of Roman Berytus.

In the middle, or groma, the Decumanus Maximus crosses the perpendicular Cardo Maximus, the primary north-south road that was the usual main street. The Forum is normally located close to this intersection of the Decumanus Maximus and the Cardo Maximus.

In Florence, the Decumanus is preserved as the streets Via Strozzi, Via Speziali, and Via del Corso in the city's old centre. Although these streets have different names they form a continuous line with a split between the Via Strozzi and Via Speziali by the Palazzo Strozzi. Roman times, these three streets formed the Decumanus of Florentina, the name of the Roman colonia. The Via Roma and the Via Calimala are formed from the ancient Cardo, and what was once the Forum in ancient Florence is now the Piazza della Repubblica.

Cardo Decumanus Crossing was in the heart of Roman Berytus (actual Beirut, Lebanon).

Today five re-erected columns mark the crossing of the Cardo and Decumanus Maximus, the two main colonnaded streets of Roman Berytus. The Cardo Maximus connected the Roman Forum to a large complex, that was the center of the old Roman city. The Decumanus Maximus ran parallel to Emir Bashir Street, following the line of the earlier Romano-Hellenistic city wall.

Today, five erected columns mark the crossing of the Cardo and the Decumanus Maximus, the two main colonnaded streets of Roman Berytus. The Cardo Maximus connected the Roman Forum to a large complex, extending from the al-Azariyeh building to Riad Al Solh Square. The Decumanus Maximus ran parallel to Emir Bashir Street. Salvaged material from these colonnaded streets was used since the Umayyad period to build a new city wall and a water reservoir near the Roman crossing.

The Roman urban plan was based on a layout of streets forming a symmetrical grid, with those that ran northwest-southeast and northeast-southwest intersecting the two main axes of the city, the Cardo Maximus and the Decumanus Maximus. The streets were paved with large irregular slabs of slate, with the sewers flowing beneath them.

The upper Decumanus started at the Moron Gate and followed a path still not well defined as of 2012, crossing the current Plaza de Arriba to the northwest gate near the Postigo.

The forum has rectangular shape, close to the shape of a square, with dimensions: 143 m in north-southern direction and 136 m in east-western direction. A complex of public buildings was built to the North, dominating over the rest of the buildings at the square. Three entrances, situated along the axes of the eastern, southern and western edge, provide access to the streets, located at the sides of the Forum. The main streets cardo maximus and decumanus maximus intersect outside the eastern entrance of the complex.

The theatre was enlarged in the period AD 311-13. This involved building above the Decumanus Maximus which was taken through a tunnel 5 m wide and 55 m long. An inscription which was at the entrance to the tunnel dates this enlargement. The original architecture can be dated back to the founding of the colony or may go back to the Hellenistic age. Further excavation is needed.

The street dates back to Roman times, when it was the city's Decumanus Maximus. During the Middle Ages it was home to many artists who painted heraldic coats of arms, whence the street's name (Schilder means signs or escutcheons). Among today's landmarks on Schildergasse are the Atoniterkirche, the oldest Protestant church in Cologne, and Peek & Cloppenburg's Weltstadthaus, designed by Renzo Piano.

First mentioned in AD 966, the church was built atop the stylobate of a Roman temple, from which a pietra serena pillar was incorporated into the church's north wall. There is also a Roman decumanus running north–south that flanks the church. Moreover, findings of nearby Lombard sepulchres indicates that the church was once an early Christian site. The church occupies a prominent position in Piazza Mino, near the Fiesole Cathedral. Due to an image inside of the Virgin Mary it appears that the church is the site of the oldest instance of veneration of the Madonna in the Diocese of Fiesole, which would form the basis for "Primerana" in the church's name.

The city ruins cover 114,000 square meters and are surrounded by large, fortified stone walls over two meters thick and seven meters high. The rectangular city design of 370 m by 310 m is based on Roman city planning and architecture with stonework borrowed from the Byzantines. Two large avenues, the Cardo maximum, running north to south, and the Decumanus Maximus, running east to west, divide the city into four quadrants. The two main avenues, decorated with colonnades and flanked by about 600 shops, intersect under a tetrapylon. The plinths, shafts and capitals of the tetrapylon are spolia reused in the Umayyad period. Smaller streets subdivide the western half of the city in quarters of different size.

To accommodate the growth of Ferrara, in 1492 the Duke Ercole I d'Este demolished the medieval walls of the city on the north, and had the court architect, Biagio Rossetti, design an urban expansion known as the Addizione Erculea. Rosetti was commissioned by Sigismondo d'Este, brother of the Duke Ercole I, to build this palace at the prestigious intersection of what was to be the Decumanus Maximus (now encompassing Corsi Porta Po, Biagio Rossetti, and Porta Mare) and Cardo Maximus (Corso Ercole I d'Este) of the "urban addition". It was built between 1493 and 1503. Used as a residential home by the Este family and, starting in 1641, by the Villa marquis, in 1832 the palace was acquired by the municipality of Ferrara to house the National Gallery of Art and the Civic University.

In the 1st century BC (probably 28 BC), the Romans founded Augusta Taurinorum. The typical Roman street grid can still be seen in the modern city, especially in the neighbourhood known as the Quadrilatero Romano (Roman Quadrilateral). Via Garibaldi traces the exact path of the Roman city's decumanus which began at the Porta Decumani, later incorporated into the Castello or Palazzo Madama. The Porta Palatina, on the north side of the current city centre, is still preserved in a park near the Cathedral. Remains of the Roman-period theatre are preserved in the area of the Manica Nuova. Turin reached about 5,000 inhabitants at the time, all living inside the high city walls.

Baelo Claudia Municipality

Baelo Claudia, as with most towns, developed over a period of time. Archaeologists have determined that the first buildings were those used for fish salting just behind the beach. They were built between 100 BC and 50 – 30 BC. The workforce probably lived at Silla del Papa. The salting bays were demolished around 30 BC and larger bays were built in their place. At the same time a few houses were built in the vicinity of the factory, spreading back towards the hills. This phase lasted until the start of the reign of Claudius in 41 AD. The town then grew rapidly and between 41 AD and the middle of the 2nd Century the main public buildings were built. The forum, market, shops, basilica and the temple were constructed during the Flavian dynasty, between 69 and 96 AD. During this period the town was given the status of municipium which conferred the rights of Roman citizens on the occupants.

Watch the video: Emperor Trajans home town of Italica, Spain