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(Semitic gadir, “a hedge,” “stockade”; τὰ Γάδειρα). The modern Cadiz; a very ancient town in Hispania Baetica, founded by the Phœnicians, and one of the chief seats of their commerce in the west of Europe, situated on a small island of the same name (Isla de Leon), separated from the mainland by a narrow channel. Herodotus says (iv. 8) that the island of Erythia was close to Gadeira; whence most later writers supposed the island of Gades to be the same as the mythical island of Erythia, from which Hercules carried off the oxen of Geryon. Its inhabitants received the Roman franchise from Iulius Caesar, and Strabo mentions as a striking proof of its wealth and importance that, in the census taken under Augustus, Gades was the residence of some 500 equites— a number greater than in any town of Italy except Patavium (Padua). Gades was allied with Rome in the Second Punic War (Livy, xxxii. 2). The city was rich, luxurious, and immoral. Its dancing girls with their lascivious dances are often spoken of in Roman literature. See Saltatio.

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