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CO´RDUBA (Κόρδυβα, Κορδύβη, Κορδούβα: Eth. and Adj. Cordubensis: Cordoba or Cordova), one of the chief cities of Hispania, in the territory of the Turduli. It stood on the right bank of the Baetis (Guadalquivir), a little below the spot where the navigation of the river commenced, at the distance of 1200 stadia from the sea. [BAETIS] Its foundation was ascribed to Marcellus, whom we find making it his head-quarters in the Celtiberian War. (Strab. iii. p.141; Plb. 35.2.) It was occupied from the first by a chosen mixt population of Romans and natives of the surrounding country; and it was the first colony of the Romans in those parts. Strabo's language implies that it was a colony from its very foundation, that is, from B.C. 152. It was regarded as the capital of the extensive and fertile district of Baeturia, comprising the country between the Anas and the Baetis, the richness of which combined with its position on a great navigable river, and on the great high road connecting the E. and NE. parts of the peninsula with the S., to raise it to a position only second to Gades as a commercial city. (Strab. l.c., and p. 160 )

In the great Civil War Corduba suffered severely on several occasions, and was at last taken by Caesar, soon after the battle of Munda, when 22,000 of its inhabitants were put to the sword, B.C. 45. (Caes. B.C. 2.19; Hirt. Bell. Alex. 49, 57, 59, 60, Bell. Hisp. 32--34; Appian, App. BC 2.104, 105; D. C. 43.32.)

Corduba was the seat of one of the four convents juridici of the province of Baetica, and the usual residence of the praetor; hence it was generally regarded as the capital of the province. (Plin. Nat. 3.1. s. 3; Appian, App. Hisp. 65.) It bore the surname of PATRICIA (Plin. l.c.; Mela, 2.6.4), on account, as is said, of the number of patricians who were among the colonists; and, to the present day, Cordova is so conspicuous, even among Spanish cities, for the pride of its nobles in their “azure blood” that the Great Captain, Gonzalo de Cordova, used to say that “other towns might be better to live in, but none was better to be born in.” (Ford, Handbook, p. 73.)

In the annals of Roman literature Corduba is conspicuous as the birthplace of Lucan and the two Senecas, besides others, whose works justified the epithet of “facunda,” applied to it by Martial (Mart. 1.62. 8):--“Duosque Senecas, unicumque Lucanum Facunda loquitur Corduba.”

(Comp. 9.61, and the beautiful epigram of Seneca, ap. Wernsdorf, Poet. Lat. Min. vol. v. pt. 3, p. 1364.)

Numerous coins of the city are extant, bearing the names of CORDUBA, PATRICIA, and COLONIA PATRICIA. (Florez, Med. de Esp. vol. i. p. 373, vol. ii. p. 536; Mionnet, vol. i. p. 11, Suppl. vol. i. p. 23; Sestini, p. 46; Eckhel, vol, i. p. 18.) There are now scarcely any remains of the Roman city, except a ruined building, which the people dignify with the title of Seneca's House. (Florez, Esp. Sagr. vol. x. p. 132; Miñano, Diccion. vol. iii. p. 170.) The city is one of Ptolemy's places of recorded astronomical observations, having 14 hrs. 25 min. for its longest day, and being distant 3 2/5 hrs. W. of Alexandria. (Ptol. 2.4.11, 8.4.4.)


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