(Peñalba de Castro) Burgos, Spain.
Site on the Arandilla river near Coruña del Conde, ca.
30 km N of Aranda de Duero. Chief town of the Conventus iuridicus Cluniensis, province of Tarraconensis
in Hispania Citerior, and a Celtiberian town of the Arevaci, mentioned during the Sertorian wars. Livy (Per.
) says that Pompey besieged Sertorius in Clunia in
75 B.C., but according to Sallust (Hist
. 2.93) Clunia hesitated between Sertorius and Pompey. It fell into the
hands of Perpenna (Exuperantius 8; Florus 2.10.9), and
is mentioned at the end of the Celtiberian wars when the
Vaccaei were defeated by Metellus who attacked Clunia.
Winter imposed an armistice in 56 (Dio Cass. 39.54).
Afranius, a legate of Pompey during the triumvirate,
finally subdued the Arevaci and the Vaccaei.
There is no further information about the town until
the time of Galba. It was the chief town of the Conventus Tarraconensis, established by Augustus and Claudius in A.D. 41-54 (Plin. HN
) and a large, fortified town
during Galba's revolt against Nero; Galba took refuge
there after the defeat of Vindex. It was undoubtedly in
Clunia that Galba gave the standard to the new Legio
VII Gemina on 10 June 68 (Tac., Hist
. 2.11.1; 3.22.4;
Dio Cass. 55.24; Suet., Galba
10). On Nero's death
Galba took the title of Emperor in Clunia, as evidenced
by the inscription on the sestercius minted by him with
the legend HISPANIA CLUNIA SUL(picia) (s. Jucker) and
the representation of Hispania or Clunia standing before the enthroned monarch offering him the pallium.
The town is mentioned by Pliny (HN 3 and 4
) in 77 B.C.
and also in the Antonine Itinerary
and by the Cosmographer of Ravenna, but Pliny does not mention it in
the list of colonies in Hispania Citerior founded by Augustus. It bears the title of colony in an inscription (CIL
II, 2780) from the time of Adrianus, A.D. 137, in the Burgos Archaeological Museum, and in the mention in
Ptolemy. The presence of the quattuorviri and the aediles
on the asses and the semisses from its mint in the time
of Tiberius indicate that it was a municipium of free
The town must have been destroyed in the 3d c. during the invasions of the Franks and the Alamanni, as
evidenced by the coin hoard from House 1, with mintings
from the time of Galienus, Aurelianus, Florianus, Probus, Carus, Numerianus, Carinus, and Magna Urbica, up
to 284. But it was rebuilt in the 4th c., as evidenced
by House 1 and the forum. Nothing is known about
Clunia under the Visigoths, but it must have been occupied by the Moors on their way to Amaya (Tarif) and
was relieved and resettled by Gonzalo Fernández in 912
). In 920 Abderramán II found it
abandoned and undefended. In the 17th c. Clunia was
finally located on the Alto de Castro, on a star-shaped
meseta 1023 in above sea level, with an area of 130 ha.
The Antonine Itinerary
places it on the road from
Caesaraugusta to Asturica. Nearby in Coruña del Conde
are the remains of two small Roman bridges.
Excavations have been carried out in three stages. In
the center of the town is a large forum of Imperial times;
it has a rectangular basilica with two rows of columns
and a small tribunal to the E perpendicular to the forum
on the N side, shops on the E side and, in the corner, the
entrance into the forum of a paved decumanus with a
gateway that leads into the square. All the E side of the
forum is known, as is the SE corner with the boundary
line towards the temenos of the temple of Jupiter (not
yet excavated). Near the forum on the E is a large
rectangular public building ending in an exedra, with
an aisle covered by a barrel vault and two triangular end
rooms towards the N. The building is constructed over
houses of the 1st c., one of which has been excavated.
Entrance to the forum, on the N, is through a cardo
which runs into the upper corner of the basilica, the line
of which has deviated to the E in relation to the rectangular plan of the Augustan town indicated by House 1.
This house was built during the Augustan age (Arretine
pottery in the deepest levels) and lasted until the 4th c.,
with gardens and post-Constantine mosaics. Other urban
houses recently identified include the large House of the
Arches, with an extensive hypocaust and cryptoporticus.
A house of the Italic type with an impluvium has been
found in the Cuevas Ciegas area.
The theater, with the upper and middle rows of the
cavea hewn out of the bedrock, is much damaged. Part
of the frons scaenae remains but is devoid of any ornamentation, also half of the middle and upper rows of
the cavea; the lowest section (ima), built of masonry,
has disappeared. Excavation is now uncovering part of
the substructure of the orchestra, the whole plan, and
ornamental remains of the Corinthian order of the three
tiers of the frons scaenae. The drainage system included
an underground collector sewer, the Cueva de Roman,
with an outlet to the N. The ruins have been heavily pillaged for building material and damaged by cultivation.
Among the finds are a group of freestanding statues,
including a fine statue of Isis (Burgos Museum), a seated
Jupiter (whereabouts unknown), and other sculpture
and fragments. Other finds include stelai, inscriptions,
and a tropheum in fragments.
Clunia minted native silver and bronze coins from the
time of Sertorius on, as well as Hispano-Roman asses
and semisses under Tiberius, and there is an unbroken
series of imperial coins down to Honorius. Roman intaglios have been found, perhaps from a local workshop,
and much of the pottery is Hispanic terra sigillata dating from the 1st c. on; the late types of the 4th and 5th c.
are interesting. A 1st c. native potter has been identified,
“the potter of birds and hares,” who painted his vases in
the last survival of pre-Roman ceramics. There is a museum on the site.
III, 2772-2813; P. de Palol, Clunia
Sulpicia, ciudad romana
(1959); id., “Excavaciones en
el foro de Clunia,” Homenaje a Vicens Vives
id., “Notas en torno al teatro de Clunia,” Arquivo de
22-24 (1966-67); id., Guía de Clunia
(3d ed. 1974);
M. Trapote & M. Martín Valls, “Hallazgos monetarios
en Clunia de 1958 a 1962,” Monografaías Clunienses
(1964); id., “Los capiteles de Clunia,” ibid. 2; for sculpture see A. García y Bellido, Esculturas romanas de
España y Portugal
(1949) geographic index; coins, Vives,
La Moneda Hispanica
III. P. DE PALOL