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CALAGURRIS (Calagorris, Calaguris, Κλάγουρις, Strab. iii. p.161; Κλάγυρος, Appian. B.C. 1.112: Eth. Calagurritani: Calahorra), a city of the Vascones, in Hispania Tarraconensis, stood upon a rocky hill near the right bank of the Iberus (Auson. Epist. 25.57, haerens scopulis Calogorris), on the high road from Caesaraugusta (Zaragoza) to Legio VII. Gemina (Leon), 49 M. P. above the former city (Itin. Ant. p. 393). It is first mentioned in the Celtiberian War (B.C. 186: Liv. 39.21); but it obtained a horrible celebrity in the war with Sertorius, by whom it was successfully defended against Pompey. It was one of the last cities which remained faithful to Sertorius; and, after his death, the people of Calagurris resolved to share his fate. Besieged by Pompey's legate Afranius, they added to an heroic obstinacy like that of Saguntum, Numantia, and Zaragoza, a feature of horror which has scarcely a parallel in history: in the extremity of famine, the citizens slaughtered their wives and children, and, after satisfying present hunger, salted the remainder of the flesh for future use! The capture and destruction of the city put an end to the Sertorian War (Strab. l.c.; Liv. Fr. xci., Epit. xciii.; Appian. B.C. 1.112; Flor. 3.23; V. Max. 7.6, ext. 3; Juv. 15.93; Oros. 5.23).

Under the empire, Calagurris was a municipium with the civitas Romana, and belonged to the conventus of Caesaraugusta (Plin. Nat. 3.3. s. 4). It was surnamed NASSICA in contra-distinction to CALAGURIIS FIBULAIRIA, a stipendiary town in the same neighbourhood (Liv. Fr. xci.; Plin. l.c. calls the peoples respectively Calaguritani Nassici and Calaguritani Fibularenses). The latter place seems to be the Calagurris mentioned by Caesar as forming [p. 1.476]one community with Osca (B.C. 1.60: Calaguritani, qui erant cum Oscensibus contributi), and must be looked for near Osca, in all probability at Loarre, NW. of Huesca; but several writers take Loarre for Calagurris Nassica and Calahorra for the other. (See Ukert, vol. ii. pt. 1, p. 447.)

Whichever way the question of name be decided, there still remains some doubt whether the city N. of the Ebro (Loarre), ought not to be regarded, on account of its close connection with Osca, as the one so renowned in the Sertorian War. A similar doubt affects the numerous coins which bear the name of Calagurris; but the best numismatists regard them as belonging all to Calagurris Nassica. They are all of the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius, and the various epigraphs give the city the surnames, sometimes of NASSICA, sometimes of JULIA, and testify to its having been a municipium. (Florez, Med. de Esp. vol. i. p. 255, vol. iii. p. 22; Mionnet, vol. i. p. 34, Suppl. vol. i. p. 67; Sestini, Med. Isp. p. 119; Eckhel, vol. i. pp. 39--41; Rasche, s. v.) The favour it enjoyed under Augustus is shown by the fact that he had a body-guard of its people (Suet. Octav. 49).

Calagurris (Calahorra, in this case, without doubt) is celebrated in literary history as the birthplace of the rhetorician Quinctilian, and, according to some, of the first Christian poet, Prudentius, whom others make a native of CAESAIAUGUSTA. (Auson. de Prof. 1.7; Prudent. Hymn. 4.31, Peristeph. 1.117).


hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.3
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 39, 21
    • Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, 7.6
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