Carthago Nova

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Remains of the city's Roman theater

Carthago Nova was an ancient city in what is now Spain . The city is located in an area rich in silver and iron and had an excellent port, which brought it advantages from an early age. It is today's Cartagena .


The city is from the Carthaginian Hasdrubal around 230 BC. BC in place of an Iberian settlement and was named Qart-ḥadašt ( Carthage ). In the 20 years of its existence as a Carthaginian city, it developed into the most important city on the Iberian Peninsula. The Carthaginian city is known in part from excavations and descriptions. After Appian there was a citadel and an agora. Polybius reports that 2000 artists were captured during the Roman conquest of the city. Excavations show that the Punic city was built on a chessboard-like city map, with irregularities due to the terrain. During excavations, massive city walls, workshops and warehouses in particular were found, while hardly any residential buildings have come to light so far. The city was founded in 210/209 BC. Taken by Scipio Africanus .

Since the end of the 2nd century BC The city was repopulated by the Romans and was given the name Carthago Nova . Silver mines in the area in particular have evidently aroused interest in repopulation, so that it quickly regained importance. The city was conquered by Sextus Pompey in the civil war and shortly afterwards received the status of a colony by Caesar . Augustus renamed it Colonia Victrix Iulia Nova Carthago . Under Diocletian it became the capital of the newly established province of Hispania Carthaginiensis . In 425 the city was destroyed by the Vandals , around 475 it became Visigothic . In 551 it was recaptured by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian , who made it the capital of the province of Spania . In 625 it became Visigoth again.

The Roman city was laid out on a chessboard-like plan, with irregularities. The forum with a capitol stood in the center of the city. A large theater was located in the south of the city and an amphitheater to the east .


  1. Livy 26:47, 6.
  2. Appian?,?.
  3. Polybios 10, 17, 9.


  • Sebastián F. Ramallo Asensio: Carthago Nova: urbs opulentissima omnium in Hispania. In: Abad Casal, S. Keay, S. Ramallo Asensio (eds.): Early Roman Towns in Hispania Tarraconensis. Portsmouth, Rhode Island 2006, ISBN 1-887829-62-8 , pp. 91-104.

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Coordinates: 37 ° 36 ′ 0 ″  N , 0 ° 59 ′ 0 ″  W.

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