previous next

EBORA (Évora) Alentejo, Portugal.

Mentioned by Ptolemy (2.5), Mela (3.1), Pliny (HN 4.22), and in the Antonine Itinerary. It was also called Liberalitas Iulia, a name received from Julius Caesar or Octavian before 27 B.C. The name Ebora is Celtic, but nothing is known of the prehistoric town. According to one tradition Sertorius established his base of operations in the peninsula here. From Caesar or Octavian it received the Latium vetus and from Vespasian the status of municipium.

In the center of the town and on one of its two highest points stands one of the best-preserved temples in the peninsula, the so-called Temple of Diana. It is peripteral and hexastyle, and a temple of the imperial cult. The foundations of opus incertum measure 25 by 15 m and are 3.5 m high. On the N side are preserved six original granite columns 7.68 m high, with capitals of local marble. The colonnades of the W and E sides are incomplete, and the facade has disappeared completely. Some stones with bucrania and paterae, in the museum of the city, perhaps belong to the frieze.

At Praça do Giraldo there appears to have been a triumphal arch (perhaps the only one in Portuguese Lusitania), demolished in 1570. The circuit of the fortifications, erected at the end of the 3d c. A.D., can be entirely reconstructed. Many sections are still visible, especially on the Largo das Portas de Moura, the Largo dos Colegiais, and the streets of Menino Jesus and of Alcárcova. This Roman city had the largest number of families of Roman origin: Julia, Calpurnia, Canidia, and Catinia. The Julian family at the beginning of the 3d c. had a rich villa ca. 15 km from the city in a place now called Nossa Senhora da Tourega.


Túlio Espanca, Inventário Artístico de Portugal. VII. Concelho de Évora (1966)PI; A. Gracía y Bellido, “El recinto mural romano de Évora (Liberalitas Iulia),” Conimbriga 10 (1971) 85-92PI.


hide References (1 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (1):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 4.22
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: