a city of Hispania Citerior, mentioned only by Livy, who gives no explicit account of its site, further than that it was near the Iberus (Ebro
), whence it took its name; but, from the connection of the narrative, we may safely infer that it was not far from the sea.
At the time referred to, namely, in the Second Punic War, it was the wealthiest city in those parts. (Liv. 23.28
The manner in which Livy mentions it seems also to warrant the conclusion that it was still well known under Augustus. Two coins are extant, one with the epigraph MUN. HIBERA JULIA on the one side, and ILERCAVONIA on the other; and the other with the head of Tiberius on the obverse, and on the reverse the epigraph M. H. J. ILERCAVONIA; whence it appears to have been made a municipium by Julius, or by Augustus in his honour, and to have been situated in the territory of the ILERCAONES
The addition DERT. on the latter of these coins led Harduin to identify the place with Dertosa, the site of which, however, on the left bank of the river, does not agree with the probable position of Ibera. Florez supposes the allusion to be to a treaty between Ibera and Dertosa.
The ships with spread sails, on both coins, indicate its maritime site, which modern geographers seek on the S. side of the delta of the Ebro,
at S. Carlos de la Rapita,
Its decay is easily accounted for by its lying out of the great high road, amidst the malaria of the riverdelta, and in a position where its port would be choked by the alluvial deposits of the Ebro.
It seems probable that the port is now represented by the Salinas,
or lagoon, called Puerto de los Alfaques,
which signifies Port of the Jaws,
i. e. of the river (Plin. Nat. 3.3. s. 4
; Harduin, ad loc.;
2.8; Florez, Med. de Esp.
vol. ii. p. 453; Sestini, [p. 2.9]
p. 160; Rasche, Lex. Num. s. v.;
Eckhel, vol. i. pp. 50, 51; Ukert, vol. ii. pt. 1. pp. 416, 417; Ford, Handbook of Spain,