Hispania Tarraconensis

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Roman Imperial province of Hispania Tarraconensis, 120 AD
Hispania Tarraconensis was one of three Roman provinces in Hispania. It encompassed much of the Mediterranean coast of Spain along with the central plateau and the north coast, and part of northern Portugal. Southern Spain, the region now called Andalucia, was the province of Hispania Baetica. On the Atlantic west lay the province of Lusitania.


The Imperial Roman province called Tarraconensis, supplanted Hispania Citerior, which had been ruled by a consul under the late Republic, in Augustus Caesar's reorganization of 27 BCE. Its capital was at Tarraco (modern Tarragona, Catalonia).

The Cantabrian war (2919 BCE) brought all of Spain under Roman domination, within the Tarraconensis. The Cantabrii in the northwest corner of Iberia (Cantabria) were the last people to be pacified.

Tarraconensis was an Imperial province and separate from the two other Iberian provinces — Lusitania (corresponding to modern Portugal plus Spanish Extremadura) and the senatorial province Baetica, corresponding to the southern part of Spain, or Andalusia.

Servius Sulpicius Galba, who served as Emperor briefly in 68 – 69, was a noble of Tarraconensis, who had governed the province since 61. Pliny the Elder served as procurator in Tarraconensis (73).

The Imperial province of Hispania Tarraconensis lasted until the invasions of the 5th century, beginning in 409, which encouraged the Basques and Cantabrii to revolt, and ended with the establishment of a Visigothic kingdom.


When the Romans arrived in the second century BCE, the indigenous Iberian population (cf Basques) had been intermixed with Celts for centuries, forming the Celtiberian culture typical of pre-Romanized Hispania. Phoenecian/Carthaginians colonized the Mediterranean coast in the 8th to 6th Centuries BCE. Greeks also had established colonies along the coast. Then Romans from the three legions stationed there added to the cultural mix of the Tarraconensis. Jewish artefacts exist from the 3rd century. Germanic tribes and North African "Moors" arrived later.


The most popular deity in Roman Spain was Isis, followed by Magna Mater, the great mother. The Carthaginian-Phoenician deities Melqart (both a solar deity and a sea-god) and Tanit-Caelestis (a mother-queen with possible lunar connections) were also popular. The Roman pantheon quickly absorbed native deities through identification (Melqart became Hercules, for example, having long been taken by the Greeks as a variant of their Heracles). Ba‘al Hammon was the chief god at Carthage and was also important in Hispania. The Egyptian gods Bes and Osiris had a following as well.(1) (


Exports from Tarraconensis included timber, cinnabar, gold, iron, tin, lead, pottery, marble, wine and olive oil.

External links

Template:Roman provinces 120 ADde:Tarraconensis nl:Hispania Tarraconensis no:Hispania Tarraconensis


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