or Salduba (Zaragoza) Spain.
A Roman tribute-exempt colony on the right
bank of the Ebro, where the oppidum of Salduie (Salluie,
Salduba of Pliny) formerly stood, in Sedetania (Plin.
3.24) and not in Edetania, a mistake arising from
a misreading of the Leyden Codex. It was founded by
veterans of legiones IV Macedonica, VI Victrix, and X
Gemina, discharged after the wars against the Cantabri,
ca. 24 B.C., as is shown by the coins. It was the chief
town of an extensive Conventus luridicus and was of
great importance during the time of Pomponius Mela,
who stated (3.88) that the most important towns of the
interior were Palantia and Numantia in Tarraconensis
and, in its time, Caesaraugusta; Strabo (3.4.10, 13
that it was on the banks of the Ebro, about 800 stadia
from Numantia. Ptolemy calls it Kaisareia Augusta.
The colony was founded as a bridgehead and remains
of the stone bridge are preserved in the mediaeval and
modern one. The town stood at the intersection of the
roads of the Ebro (Hiberus), Gállego (Gallicus, through
which passed the C. Benearnum road), Huerva (Orbia),
and Salo (Jalón), 20 km away. It was also a river port,
as is confirmed by finds of amphorae near the confluence
of the Huerva and the Ebro. Its foundation date is controversial: 25, 19, or 15 B.C. The oppidum has also been
located at Zaragoza la Vieja (El Burgo, 10 km away)
and at Juslibol, on the left bank of the Ebro, but these
claims are not soundly based.
The town minted Iberian bronze coins, patterned on
Roman coins, and gave its name to a cavalry unit which
served under Cn. Pompeius Strabo, son of Sextus and
father of the triumvir. Members of the unit were granted
Roman citizenship in 89 B.C. during the siege of Ascoli.
Their names and the award are preserved on a copper
tablet; four of them were from the town.
The plan of the Roman town is preserved in the ancient part of Zaragoza: the entire perimeter or cursum
in the Coso, the decumanus maximus in the Calles de
Manifestación, Mendez Nuñez, and Mayor; the Calle
Don Jaime I approximates the cardo maximus, the forum was at the intersection of the two, and remains of
the cloaca maxima are in the N part of the cardo. The
rectangular plan had four gateways, preserved until the
19th c., the gates of Toledo and Valencia at the ends of
the decumanus, that of El Angel straddling the bridge,
and the supposed Cineraria, on the Coso. The wall, still
visible in a few curtains flanked by fortified towers, must
be a 3d c. reconstruction necessitated by the barbarian
invasions; the perimeter of the town was reduced, and
many shafts and bases of columns were probably reused
in this wall.
There are no other remains in situ; but a number of
monuments appear on coins: a statue of Augustus between Gaius and Lucius (4 B.C.), perhaps Livia seated
(A.D. 15-16), and a fine hexastyle temple dedicated to
the cult of Augustus (28-29), an equestrian statue of
Tiberius (31), and another tetrastyle temple dedicated to
the cult of Augustus (33). A number of shafts and Corinthian capitals are housed in the museum.
The mosaics of the Plaza de Santa Engracia and the
Plaza del Pilar date from the 2d c. and include the triumph of Bacchus and that of Orpheus; there are also
statues, one of a man from the Plaza de la Seo, a group
of hetairas making music, a drunken faun from a suburban villa, and architectural fragments from the place
called Piedras de Coso, almost certainly the site of ancient temples. Inscriptions are rare and of little importance.
Hispano-Roman coins are not continuous with the
Iberian coins from Salduie and are the most abundant
series in the Peninsula; still unknown are the coins struck
when the colony was founded, ca. 24 B.C., on which must
have appeared the legate responsible for the deductio
and the duoviri quinquennales who conducted the census.
Coins of the first series bear the head of Augustus, first
bare and later with a laurel wreath, before and after 27
June, 23 B.C., the yoke of oxen led by a priest (on the
asses), and a standard, a type also alluding to the foundation (on the semisses). They all bear the names of the
duoviri and range from the dupondius to the sextans. The
issues continued in the time of Tiberius and Caius Caesar, but other types were added, bearing the standards of
the legions with the numbers of the founder legions, the
bull, the abbreviated name of the town, CCA, and the
statues and temples already mentioned.
Finds are in the Zaragoza Museum, the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid, and a few private collections.
M. Risco, España Sagrada; Santa Iglesia
(2d ed. 1859) passim; A. Beltrán, “Los
monumentos en las monedas hispano-romanas,” ArchEspArq
8 (1935) 63; id., “Las monedas antiguas de
6 (1956) 9ff; A. García y Bellido,
“Las colonias romanas de Hispania,” Anuario de Historia del Derecho Espanol
29 (1959) 484ff; J. Caro
Baroja, “Sobre la fecha de la fundación de Caesar Augusta,” Boletin de la Real Academia de la Historia
(1971) 621ff; G. Fatás, La Sedetania y las tierras zaragozanas hasta la fundación de Caesaraugusta