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CARALIS (Cagliari) Sardinia, Italy.

A city in S Sardinia on the gulf of the same name. It is mentioned by Pausanias (10.17.9), by Claudianus (De Bello Gild. 521), in the Itineraries (It. Ant. 80; Rav. Cosm. 5.26), and in the Peutinger Table. From prehistoric times the hills that encircle the gulf were occupied by villages whose economy was based mainly on hunting and fishing in the nearby pools. Little is known of the Phoenician invasion of the area (7th c. B.C.), or of the Punic period. During the Roman domination of Sardinia, Cagliari was at first only a fortified center. Under Sulla it became a municipium, gaining full citizenship under Caesar (Auct. Bell. Afr. 98) when it was inscribed in the Quirina tribe and became the most important city on the island (Floro 1.22.35), a position which it still holds. The city was occupied and partly destroyed by the Vandals, but regained vigor in Christian and Byzantine times.

Evidence of Punic civilization is still visible in the upper part of the city, in the Castello and Stampace districts. There are large cisterns excavated in the rock, and a sanctuary of the Hellenistic age dating to the beginning of the 3d c. B.C. in the Via Malta. The latter is one of the earliest examples of the association of a temple with a theater. That the city's commercial and civic life must have been concentrated around the pool of S. Gilla, which at that time was still navigable and included in the port area, is evidenced by the ruins of Punic houses and Roman houses from the 3d c. B.C. in the Scipione section and by a deposit of terracotta figurines now preserved in the National Museum of Cagliari. The necropoleis, situated to the E and W of the city on the hills of Bonaria and S. Avendrace, contain pit tombs dug into the rock. In the Roman epoch the city spread along the shore from Bonaria to S. Gilla. The acropolis was on the highest level of the upland, now the Castello district. An aqueduct of the 1st c. A.D. still carries drinking water to Cagliari from the mountain above Silliqua, passing through Elmas, Assemini, and Decimo. Late necropoleis have been found between the E slope of the Castello hill and the upland of Bonaria. In this area religious communities were concentrated at the time of the Vandal and Byzantine incursions, and here the nucleus of the basilica of S. Saturno was erected in the 5th c. A.D. Important public monuments have been noted in the region of Bonaria. There is a bath building, of which the caldarium with two pools is visible. It has mosaic pavements in opus vermiculatum and the interior walls are faced with marble. An amphitheater of the 2d c. A.D. is oriented NE-SW and dug into the rocky W flank of the Castello hill.

Other remains include those of a fuller's shop in Viale R. Margherita with a mosaic pavement from the Republican period; a section of the city wall in Via XX Settembre; and cisterns in Via Ospedale, Via Oristano, and Viale Trieste; as well as dwellings. There is a Roman house with a diningroom at Campo Viale, and another (Villa de Tigellio) with a tetrastyle atrium and remains of mosaics and architectural decorations. A large tomb excavated in the limestone bedrock on Viale S. Avendrace is attributed to Atilia Pomptilla and dates to the 1st c. A.D. The objects from the excavations are presently preserved in the National Museum of Cagliari.


A. Lamarmora, Itineraire de l'île de Sardaigne, I (1840) 123; Fiorelli, NSc (1877) 28Sf; (1879) 160f; (1880) 105; A. Taramelli, NSc (1909) 135PI; E. Pais, Storia della Sardegna e della Corsica, I (1923) 351ff; D. Levi, AJA 46 (1942) 1ffPI; G. Lilliu, Studi Sardi 6-7 (1942-47) 252ffI; id., Studi Sardi 9 (1950) 463ff, 474ff; P. Mingazzini, ibid. 10-11 (1950-51) 161ffP; G. Pesce, EAA 2 (1959) 255ffI; J. A. Hanson, Roman Theater-Temples (1959) 32-33.


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