(Lisbon) Estremadura, Portugal.
Mentioned by Ptolemy (2.5), Strabo (3.3.1
(3.1), and Pliny (HN 4.22
). Isidore of Seville and the
Ravenna Cosmographer call the city Ulyssipona and
Olisipona respectively, from which the name Lisbon is
derived. A settlement existed here in the Late Palaeolithic Age. Of the topography and history of the Roman
city little is known. The site was occupied by the Romans
in 138 B.C. The tradition according to which Cato the
Censor was in Olisipo in 195 B.C. rests on an inscription
now considered unreliable. According to Strabo, in 138
B.C. the consul Decimus Junius Brutus fortified the city,
but it is not clear whether he encircled the existing village with fortifications or simply built a permanent
castrum beside it. Pliny calls Olisipo Felicitas Julia and
is uncertain whether it received this designation from
Julius Caesar or Octavian. Also uncertain is the date
when Olisipo was granted the status of municipium, mentioned by Pliny and confirmed by inscriptions.
No traces of the network of streets or the circuit of
fortifications has been found, but it is likely that Olisipo,
like Ebora, Pax Iulia, Egitania, Conimbriga, and other
cities of Lusitania, was fortified at least by the end of
the 3d or the beginning of the 4th c. The Roman city
occupied the S and W slopes of the mountain where the
Castelo de S. Jorge was later erected. On the S it certainly extended to the Tejo, and on the W at least to the present-day Rua da Prata, where there were some baths and a temple. The only remains of Roman public buildings are those of a theater and of the baths of the Augustales. The theater lies between Saudade and S. Mamede (Caldas) streets and was built in the time of Nero.
Gaius Heius Primus, flamen augustalis, erected the proscenium and orchestra at his own expense. To judge from the representation of Lisbon on the royal pendent seal of 1352, the theater was then still well preserved, but
it had disappeared by the time of Renaissance descriptions of Lisbon. In 1798 the proscenium, orchestra, and first seats of the cavea were discovered and a plan was published in 1815. Building again covered the site until
recently, and the remains have not yet been completely excavated.
The baths under the Rua da Prata were built in the
time of Tiberius, but no traces have been found of the
other bath, reconstructed in A.D. 336, on the Rua das
Olisipo was supplied with water by an aqueduct about
10 km long which ran from below a dam, the dike of
which is preserved. The dike is 50 m long and 7 m thick
and is reinforced; part of it still stands 8 m high. The
3d c. A.D. date for its construction is uncertain.
A. Vieira da Silva, Epigrafia de Olisipo
(1944); F. de Almeida, “Notícias sobre o teatro de Nero,
em Lisboa,” Lucerna