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LUCUS AUGUSTI (Lugo) Lugo, Spain.

Roman city of Tarraconensis, in the NW. It was founded by Augustus at the end of the Cantabrian wars, probably as headquarters for cohorts of veterans. Among other sources, it is referred to in Pliny (HN 3.3.28; 4.34.111), Ptolemy (2.6.24) and often in inscriptions (CIL II, 2570ff). It was the seat of the Conventus Lucensis, one of the three into which Gallaecia was divided. Although the present city is built over the Roman one, the ancient plan, showing traces of a primitive encampment, is recognizable: the cardo and decumanus, and an area of 250 by 350 m capable of lodging five cohorts, or 2500 men. The population gradually clustered around the camp, forming the city enclosed within the walls.

The Roman walls are the most complete and best preserved in Spain, and some of the best in the Empire, although they have undergone several restorations which have partially altered their original appearance. Their strong resemblance to the walls of Aurelian in Rome seems to date them to the 3d c. A.D. Theoretically rectangular in plan, in reality they are in an irregular ellipse because of the terrain. The perimeter is 2130 m, the thickness 6 m, and the height 11-14 m. The walk along the top extends the whole circuit. There are 70 semicylindrical towers. Two of the present gates are Roman and almost intact: they consist of round arches between two towers. All the towers were crowned with three orders of arcades enclosed above by round arches. The construction material is slate and, on the gates, masonry.

The bridge over the Miño river dates from the period of Trajan, but various repairs have destroyed almost all its Roman character. Of the baths there remain only three vaulted rooms built of ashlar and brick. One of the rooms was the apodyterium: a series of niches in the walls covered with round arches must have been used for checking clothes. In several parts of the city there are ruins of water tanks and conduits, made of brick masonry and rip-rap vaults and 1.5 m high. A lost inscription mentioned the existence of a temple to the goddess Celeste, the Carthaginian Venus, which is believed to have been in the present Plaza de Aureliano J. Pereira.

Discoveries of sculpture have been few, but there is a female head in bad condition. Mosaic fragments from the Temple of Diana, patron goddess of the city have been found, and many funeral tablets with reliefs and inscriptions continue to appear in the walls. Most of the discoveries are in the Lugo Provincial Museum.


J. R. Mélida, “Informe sobre las murallas de Lugo,” Boletin de la Academia de Bellas Artes (1921)I; id., Monumentos romanos de España (1925)I; I. A. Richmond, “The Town-walls in Hispania Citerior,” JRS 21 (1931)PI; M. Vazquez Seijas, Lugo bajo el Inperio Romano (1939)I; id., Fortalezas de Lugo y su Provincia (1955)PI; F. Vazquez Saco & id., Inscripciones romanas de Galicia. II. Provincia de Lugo (1954)I.


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    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.3
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