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PALENTIA (Palencia) Palencia, Spain.

Town of the Conventus Cluniensis, belonging to the Arevaci according to Strabo (3.4.13), but actually belonging to the Vaccaei (Plin. HN 3.3.26; Ptol. 2.6.50). With Numantia, the most prosperous town in the interior according to Mela (2.6.4). It has been identified with the town mentioned in the Antonine Itinerary (449.1; 454. 8) and with Peralancia mentioned by the Cosmographer of Ravenna (4.44; 313.4). Cited by Stephanos of Byzantium 497.

The town was involved in the Celtiberian wars (App. Iber. 55, 80, 82-83, 88) when Lucullus besieged it (151 B.C.) at the end of his campaign against the Vaccaei; subsequently Lepidus laid siege to it in 137-136 but abandoned the attack; in 135 Calpurnius Piso devastated its fields but did not dare to attack the town, and Scipio also raided it. In the Sertorian wars (App. BCiv. 1.112) it was besieged by Pompey, who burned the walls but was forced by Sertorius to raise the siege. In the 4th c. its fields were laid waste by the Honoriaci of Constans (Oros. 7.40.5) and it was sacked by the troops of Theodoric II (Hidacius 30.186) from Mérida. It was an episcopal see from 433 on. The modern city lies over the site.

In the 19th c. an extensive Roman cemetery was uncovered near the railway yards, and another on the opposite bank of the Carrión. Other outstanding finds are a gold and silver hoard, including native denarii of the 2d-1st c. B.C. in the Filipenses area, and many inscriptions (CIL II, 2716-24). Soundings in the Cathedral square have revealed superimposed layers from the times of Sertorius, Augustus, and Constantine, and reoccupation in the 9th c. continuing to the 14th c. Mosaics (Medusa in the National Archaeological Museum, Madrid) have also been unearthed.


RE XVIII:3, 229; B. Taracena & F. Simón y Nieto, “La necrópolis romana de Palencia,” ArchEspArq 21 (1948) 144ff; P. de Palol, “Estratigrafias en la ciudad antigua de Palencia,” IX Congreso Nacional de Arqueología, Valladolid (1965) 27ff; A. García y Bellido, “Contribución al plano de la Palencia romana,” ArchEspArq 39 (1966) 146ff.


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