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ILERDA (Lérida) Léridu, Spain.

Town on the W bank of the Sicoris (Segre) river in Tarraconensis, named for the Ilergetes. It was the most important pre-Roman town N of the Iber (Ebro). Its silver coins, imitating Massalian oboli and the drachmas of Emporion, were inscribed in Iberian letters. Allied with the Carthaginians, Ilerda tenaciously opposed the Romans under the leadership of its chiefs, Indibil and Mandonius, until they were captured in 205 B.C. According to Pliny the town was inhabited by the Surdaones and had Roman rights (HN 3.24), and nearby Julius Caesar won a famous tactical victory over Pompey's forces in 49 B.C. (BCiv 1.38; App. 2.42). Under the Romans it minted coins according to the Roman system (denarii and asses) during the 2d and 1st c. B.C.

Situated on the Roman road from Tarraco to Osca, it always retained its importance (Ant.It. 391.2; Auson. 23.4): it was a municipium attached to the Conventus Caesaraugustanus and an Islamic center during the late Middle Ages. No Roman monuments are visible but Roman inscriptions, marbles, pottery, and glassware are frequently found. Excavation in the cellars of the town hall has produced strata covering 2000 years.


E. Hübner, Monumenta Linguae Ibericae (1893) no. 30a; G. Hill, Notes on the Ancient Coinage of Hispania Citerior (1931); Fontes Hispaniae Antiquae V (1940).


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