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BA´RCINO (Βαρκινών, Ptol. 2.6.8), BA´RCENO (Itin. Ant. pp. 390, 398), in the later writers BA´RCELO (Avien. Or. Mar. 520) and BARCELONA (Geogr. Rav. 4.42, 5.3; Aeth. Cosmogr. p. 50, ed. Basil. 1575), which name it still preserves, was a city of the Laletani, on the E. coast of Hispania Tarraconensis, a little N. of the river Rubricatus (Llobregat), and about half way between the Iberus (Ebro) and the Pyrenees. The only information respecting its early history consists in some native traditions referred to by the later Roman writers, to the effect that it was founded by Hercules 400 years before the building of Rome, and that it was rebuilt by Hamilcar Barcas, who gave it the name of his family. (Oros. 7.143; Miñano, Diccion. vol. i. p. 391; Auson. Epist. 24.68, 69, Punica Barcino.) Under the Romans it was a colony, with the surname of Faventia (Plin. Nat. 3.3. s. 4), or, in full, Colonia Faventia Julia Augusta Pia Barcino. (Inscr. ap. Gruter, p. 426, nos. 5, 6.) [p. 1.379]Mela (2.6) mentions it among the small towns of the district, probably as it was eclipsed by its neigh-bour Tarraco; but it may be gathered from later writers that it gradually grew in wealth and consequence, favoured as it was with a beautiful situation and an excellent harbour. (Avien. Or. Mar. l.c.; “Et Barcilonum amoena sedes ditium.” ) It enjoyed immunity from imperial burthens. (Paul. Dig. 1. tit. 15, de Cens.) In modern times it has entirely supplanted TARRACO in importance, owing to its submitting to the Moors when they destroyed the latter city.

As the land has gained upon the sea along this coast, the modern city stands for the most part E. of the ancient one, only a portion of the site being common to the two. The ruins of the ancient city are inconsiderable; they are described by Laborde (Itin. de l'Espagne, vol. ii. p. 41, 3rd ed.), Miñano (Diccion. l.c.), and Ford (Handbook of Spain, p. 229).

There is a coin of Galba, with the epigraph, COL. BARCINO. FAVENTIA. (Rasche, Lex. Rei Num. s. v.)


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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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