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CLUNIA (Peñalba de Castro) Burgos, Spain.

Site on the Arandilla river near Coruña del Conde, ca. 30 km N of Aranda de Duero. Chief town of the Conventus iuridicus Cluniensis, province of Tarraconensis in Hispania Citerior, and a Celtiberian town of the Arevaci, mentioned during the Sertorian wars. Livy (Per. 72) says that Pompey besieged Sertorius in Clunia in 75 B.C., but according to Sallust (Hist. 2.93) Clunia hesitated between Sertorius and Pompey. It fell into the hands of Perpenna (Exuperantius 8; Florus 2.10.9), and is mentioned at the end of the Celtiberian wars when the Vaccaei were defeated by Metellus who attacked Clunia. Winter imposed an armistice in 56 (Dio Cass. 39.54). Afranius, a legate of Pompey during the triumvirate, finally subdued the Arevaci and the Vaccaei.

There is no further information about the town until the time of Galba. It was the chief town of the Conventus Tarraconensis, established by Augustus and Claudius in A.D. 41-54 (Plin. HN) and a large, fortified town during Galba's revolt against Nero; Galba took refuge there after the defeat of Vindex. It was undoubtedly in Clunia that Galba gave the standard to the new Legio VII Gemina on 10 June 68 (Tac., Hist. 2.11.1; 3.22.4; Dio Cass. 55.24; Suet., Galba 10). On Nero's death Galba took the title of Emperor in Clunia, as evidenced by the inscription on the sestercius minted by him with the legend HISPANIA CLUNIA SUL(picia) (s. Jucker) and the representation of Hispania or Clunia standing before the enthroned monarch offering him the pallium. The town is mentioned by Pliny (HN 3 and 4) in 77 B.C. and also in the Antonine Itinerary and by the Cosmographer of Ravenna, but Pliny does not mention it in the list of colonies in Hispania Citerior founded by Augustus. It bears the title of colony in an inscription (CIL II, 2780) from the time of Adrianus, A.D. 137, in the Burgos Archaeological Museum, and in the mention in Ptolemy. The presence of the quattuorviri and the aediles on the asses and the semisses from its mint in the time of Tiberius indicate that it was a municipium of free men.

The town must have been destroyed in the 3d c. during the invasions of the Franks and the Alamanni, as evidenced by the coin hoard from House 1, with mintings from the time of Galienus, Aurelianus, Florianus, Probus, Carus, Numerianus, Carinus, and Magna Urbica, up to 284. But it was rebuilt in the 4th c., as evidenced by House 1 and the forum. Nothing is known about Clunia under the Visigoths, but it must have been occupied by the Moors on their way to Amaya (Tarif) and was relieved and resettled by Gonzalo Fernández in 912 (Anales Complutenses). In 920 Abderramán II found it abandoned and undefended. In the 17th c. Clunia was finally located on the Alto de Castro, on a star-shaped meseta 1023 in above sea level, with an area of 130 ha. The Antonine Itinerary places it on the road from Caesaraugusta to Asturica. Nearby in Coruña del Conde are the remains of two small Roman bridges.

Excavations have been carried out in three stages. In the center of the town is a large forum of Imperial times; it has a rectangular basilica with two rows of columns and a small tribunal to the E perpendicular to the forum on the N side, shops on the E side and, in the corner, the entrance into the forum of a paved decumanus with a gateway that leads into the square. All the E side of the forum is known, as is the SE corner with the boundary line towards the temenos of the temple of Jupiter (not yet excavated). Near the forum on the E is a large rectangular public building ending in an exedra, with an aisle covered by a barrel vault and two triangular end rooms towards the N. The building is constructed over houses of the 1st c., one of which has been excavated. Entrance to the forum, on the N, is through a cardo which runs into the upper corner of the basilica, the line of which has deviated to the E in relation to the rectangular plan of the Augustan town indicated by House 1. This house was built during the Augustan age (Arretine pottery in the deepest levels) and lasted until the 4th c., with gardens and post-Constantine mosaics. Other urban houses recently identified include the large House of the Arches, with an extensive hypocaust and cryptoporticus. A house of the Italic type with an impluvium has been found in the Cuevas Ciegas area.

The theater, with the upper and middle rows of the cavea hewn out of the bedrock, is much damaged. Part of the frons scaenae remains but is devoid of any ornamentation, also half of the middle and upper rows of the cavea; the lowest section (ima), built of masonry, has disappeared. Excavation is now uncovering part of the substructure of the orchestra, the whole plan, and ornamental remains of the Corinthian order of the three tiers of the frons scaenae. The drainage system included an underground collector sewer, the Cueva de Roman, with an outlet to the N. The ruins have been heavily pillaged for building material and damaged by cultivation.

Among the finds are a group of freestanding statues, including a fine statue of Isis (Burgos Museum), a seated Jupiter (whereabouts unknown), and other sculpture and fragments. Other finds include stelai, inscriptions, and a tropheum in fragments.

Clunia minted native silver and bronze coins from the time of Sertorius on, as well as Hispano-Roman asses and semisses under Tiberius, and there is an unbroken series of imperial coins down to Honorius. Roman intaglios have been found, perhaps from a local workshop, and much of the pottery is Hispanic terra sigillata dating from the 1st c. on; the late types of the 4th and 5th c. are interesting. A 1st c. native potter has been identified, “the potter of birds and hares,” who painted his vases in the last survival of pre-Roman ceramics. There is a museum on the site.


CIL III, 2772-2813; P. de Palol, Clunia Sulpicia, ciudad romana (1959); id., “Excavaciones en el foro de Clunia,” Homenaje a Vicens Vives (1965); id., “Notas en torno al teatro de Clunia,” Arquivo de Beja 22-24 (1966-67); id., Guía de Clunia (3d ed. 1974); M. Trapote & M. Martín Valls, “Hallazgos monetarios en Clunia de 1958 a 1962,” Monografaías Clunienses 1 (1964); id., “Los capiteles de Clunia,” ibid. 2; for sculpture see A. García y Bellido, Esculturas romanas de España y Portugal (1949) geographic index; coins, Vives, La Moneda Hispanica IV,


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