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ASTU´RICA AUGUSTA (Αὐλούστα Ἀστυυρίκα, Ptol.: Ἀστουρικανοί, Asturicani: Astorga, Ru.), the chief city of the ASTURES in Hispania Tarraconensis, belonging to the tribe of the Amaci, stood in a lateral valley of the NW. mountains of Asturia, on the upper course of one of the tributaries of the Astura (Esla). Under the Romans, it was the seat of the convents Asturicanus, one of the seven conventus juridici of Hispania Tarraconensis. Respecting the roads from it see ASTURES It obtained the title Augusta, doubtless, after the Cantabrian war, when the southern Astures first became the subjects of Rome; and from it the people S. of the mountains were called Augustani. Pliny calls it urbs magnifica; and, even in its present wretched state, it bears traces of high antiquity, and “gives a perfect idea of a Roman fortified town.” (Ford, p. 308.) “The walls are singularly curious, and there are two Roman tombs and inscriptions, near the Puerta de Hierro.” (Ibid.) The mythical tradition of the descent of the Astures from Astur, son of Memnon (Sil. Ital. 3.334), is still cherished by the people of Astorga, who make the hero the founder of their city. There are two coins ascribed to Asturica: one, of uncertain application, inscribed COL. AST. AUGUSTA., which may belong to ASTA or ASTIGI; the other, of doubtful genuineness, with the epigraph COL. ASTURICA. AMAKUR. AUGUSTA.

Asturica is one of Ptolemy's points of astronomical observation, being 3 hrs. 25 min. W. of Alexandria, and having 15 hrs. 25 min. for its longest day. (Plin. Nat. 3.3. s. 4; Ptol. 2.6.36, 8.4.5; It. Ant.; Sestini, p. 104; Eckhel, vol. i. p. 35.)


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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.3
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 2.6
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