, and rarely Εἰλέρδα;
Hilerda, Auson. Epist
. 25.59: Eth. Ἰλερδίται
, Eth. Ilerdenses
), the chief city of the ILERGETES
in Hispania Tarraconensis, is a place of considerable importance, historically as well as geographically.
It stood upon an eminence, on the right (W.) batik of the river SICORIS
), the principal tributary of the Ebro,
and some distance above its confluence with the CINGA
); thus commanding the country between those rivers, as well as the great road from Tarraco to the NW. of Spain, which here crossed the Sicoris. (Itin. Ant.
pp. 391, 452.) Its situation (propter ipsius loci opportunitatem,
1.38) induced the legates of Pompey in Spain to make it the key of their defence against Caesar, in the first year of the Civil War (B.C. 49). Afranius and Petreius threw themselves into the place with five legions; and their siege by Caesar himself, as narrated in his own words, forms one of the most interesting passages of military history.
The resources exhibited by the great general, in a contest where the formation of the district and the very elements of nature seemed in league with his enemies, have been compared to those displayed by the great Duke before Badajoz;
but no epitome can do justice to the campaign.
It ended by the capitulation of Afranius and Petreius, who were conquered as much by Caesar's generosity as by his strategy. (Caes. B.C.
1.38, et seq.; Flor. 4.12
; Appian, App. BC 2.42
; Vell. 2.42
; Suet. Jul. 34
; Lucan, Pharsal.
4.11, 144.) Under the empire, Ilerda was a very flourishing city, and a municipium.
It had a fine stone bridge over the Sicoris, on the foundations of which the existing bridge is built.
In the time of Ausonius the city had fallen into decay; but it rose again into importance in the middle ages. (Strab. iii. p.161
; Hor. Ep. 1.20. 13
; coins, ap. Florez, Med.
ii. pp. 451, 646, iii. p. 73; Mionnet, vol. i. p. 44, Suppl. vol. i. p. 89; Sestini, pp. 161, 166; Eckhel, vol. i. p. 51.)
|COIN OF ILERDA.|