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Location of the province in the Roman Empire
Notitia Dignitatum: chapter page of Vicarius Hispaniae , it shows the personifications of three Hispanic provinces: Baetica, Lusitania and Gallaecia. They are depicted with wall crowns on their heads; their tax liability is symbolized by the baskets. The vicarius , like the proconsul in Africa, had jurisdiction, as indicated by the writing utensils shown.
Map of the Baetica

Hispania Baetica or just Baetica is the Latin name of an ancient landscape and Roman province in southern Spain. Its main part formed today's Andalusia , in the north it reached into Extremadura . It is named after the great Baetis river , today's Guadalquivir .

Establishment and boundaries

In the Republican period, the area belonged to the province of Hispania ulterior , which included the south and west of the Iberian Peninsula . Due to the provincial reform under Emperor Augustus , Hispania ulterior was divided into two parts, Hispania Baetica (southeast) and Lusitania (northwest). Thus the Baetica bordered the Lusitania in the west and northwest, the border running roughly along the Anas River (now Guadiana ). To the east it bordered the great province of Hispania citerior ; on the Mediterranean coast, this border was southwest of Carthago Nova ( Cartagena ) and ran from there in a west-northwest direction. In a later step, Emperor Augustus moved the border, whereby the Hispania citerior was enlarged somewhat at the expense of the Baetica; since then the border was on the coast near the present-day city of Almería and ran from there in a north-west direction.

When Augustus established the province is unknown. The oldest evidence is an inscription from the year 2 AD in which it is called Hispania ulterior Baetica . The official name Hispania ulterior Baetica was in use until the time of Emperor Trajan , later the province was only called Hispania Baetica or simply Baetica in the official titles .

Administration and urbanism

Since Augustus the Baetica was the only one of the three Hispanic provinces to be a senate province ; Formally, it was not under the direct supervision of the emperor, but rather a proconsul of praetorical rank determined by the senate, assisted by a proconsular legate and a quaestor . The legate was appointed by the proconsul, the quaestor was given his office either by drawing lots or by the proconsul. The term of office of proconsuls, proconsular legates and quaestors was one year (from July 1 of each year to June 30 of the following year); In principle, extension was possible, but no such case can be proven for Baetica. The proconsulates of the senatorial provinces were distributed in principle by drawing lots; Every senator could take part in this as soon as his praetur was five years ago. However, since a striking number of Baetica proconsuls came from Hispania (mostly from the Baetica itself) or had ties to the Iberian Peninsula before, it can be assumed that there was often no real drawing of lots, but agreements were made. For special situations the emperor reserved the right to subordinate the province to an extraordinary imperial legate, which also happened occasionally.

The capital of the province was Corduba, today's Cordoba . The Baetica was divided into four judicial districts: Corduba, Astigi ( Écija ), Gades ( Cádiz ) and Hispalis ( Seville ). This classification probably goes back to Emperor Claudius . No legion was stationed in the Baetica . The area comprised 175 cities at the time of Augustus and was already completely Romanized at the beginning of the imperial era; it was the richest and most densely populated province on the peninsula. A large number of archaeological finds provide information about the administration of the individual cities.

Under Emperor Vespasian , almost all free residents of the province received Latin citizenship ( ius Latii ); this privilege became obsolete when Emperor Caracalla granted Roman citizenship to all free members of the empire in 212 .

Late antiquity

The new provincial division of the Emperor Diocletian in the late 3rd century apparently did not change anything in the extent of the Baetica. In 409 Germanic tribes crossed the Pyrenees. They first devastated large parts of the peninsula and then settled as federations of the Romans; When the provinces were distributed by lot, the Baetica fell to the Silingen , a sub-tribe of the Vandals . 416–418 the Silings were defeated by the Visigoths and almost completely exterminated. Later, the Asdingen , another sub-tribe of the Vandals, temporarily prevailed in the Baetica . In 429 the Asdingian Vandals withdrew to Africa. It is not known whether after the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula by the Visigoths, which took place in stages in the second half of the 5th century , the Baetica remained as an administrative unit under its old name.

Under Emperor Justinian I , large parts of the area were conquered by the Eastern Romans around 552/53 and for several decades formed the largest part of a new Eastern Roman province of Spania , until the Visigoths succeeded in regaining the last places around 625.

At the latest after the Arab conquest (711) the term Baetica disappeared for good .


  • Géza Alföldy : Fasti Hispanienses. Senatorial officials and officers in the Spanish provinces of the Roman Empire from Augustus to Diocletian , Steiner, Wiesbaden 1969
  • Tilmann Bechert : The provinces of the Roman Empire. Introduction and overview. von Zabern, Mainz 1999, ISBN 3-8053-2399-9 , pp 65-71.
  • Franz Braun: The development of the Spanish provincial borders in Roman times. Weidmann, Berlin 1909 ( sources and research on ancient history and geography 17, ISSN  0259-7055 ).
  • Carmen Castillo Garcia: Cities and People of the Baetica . In: Rise and decline of the Roman world, Vol. II 3, de Gruyter, Berlin 1975, ISBN 3-11-005838-3 , pp. 601-654
  • Rudolf Haensch : Capita provinciarum. Governor's seat and provincial administration in the Roman Empire , Mainz 1997, ISBN 3-8053-1803-0
  • Patrick Le Roux: L'armée romaine et l'organization des provinces ibériques d'Auguste à l'invasion de 409 , Paris 1982, ISBN 2-7018-0002-1
  • Daniel Nony: The Spanish provinces . In: Claude Lepelley (Ed.), Rome and the Empire in the High Imperial Era , Vol. 2: The Regions of the Empire , Munich 2001, ISBN 3-598-77449-4 , pp. 121–150 (overview with good bibliography)
  • Walter Trillmich , Annette Nünnerich-Asmus (ed.): Monuments of the Roman era (= Hispania Antiqua ). von Zabern, Mainz 1993, ISBN 3-8053-1547-3 .


  1. CIL VI 31 267.
  2. ^ Castillo Garcia p. 604.
  3. Alföldy pp. 267-271.
  4. ^ Alföldy p. 267.
  5. On the course of Romanization and on urbanism, see Castillo Garcia, pp. 614–624.

Web links

Commons : Baetica  - collection of images, videos and audio files