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BAELO (Bolonia) Cáidiz, Spain.

Town near Tarifa which in Roman times belongzd to the juridical district of Gades. Pliny (3.7; 5.2) refers to it as the oppidum of S Baetica nearest Tingi (Tangier). Its name appears variously in the sources (Mela 2.96; Strab. 3.140. 153; Ptol. 2.4.5; Plin. loc.cit.; Solinus 24.1; Ant. It. 407.3; Livy 33.21.8) and as Bailo on its own bilingual coinage. For this the Libyo-Phoenician alphabet was employed, with types of a standing bull on the obverse and an ear of grain on the reverse, and occasionally the head of Hercules. During the main period of romanization it also coined other types on asses, semisses, and quadrantes with the names of magistrates. Under Claudius it was declared a municipium, as shown by the designation Belone Claudia in the Ravenna Cosmographer 305.12 and 344.9, and confirmed by a coin and a recently discovered inscription.

As a community of the Turdetani devoted to the fishing industry, it was noted for its production of garum and other fish sauces. Some salting vats may still be seen. Excavations have revealed the fortified enceinte with its gates, the forum, theater, a nymphaeum, remains of the aqueduct, houses, and Roman, Christian, Visigothic, and Mohammendan cemeteries. Many Latin inscriptions have also been found, sculptures of divinities and humans, a sun-dial, fragments of Arretine ware, terra sigillata (S Gallic and Hispanic) and plain ware. In view of the Libyo-Phoenician characters on its coins, the town was probably founded before the Roman period, but this has not been established. The oldest ceramic finds, however, are of Campanian B and C, with a single example of decorated Iberian.


P. Paris, Fouilles de Belo (1923); E. Romero de Torres, Catálogo Monumental de España. Provincia de Cádiz (1934) 230-42; C. Domergue et al., “Reouverture d'un chantier à fouilles it Bolonia-Baelo (Cádiz),” Mélanges de la Casa de Velázquez III (1967) 507ff.


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