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CA´STULO (Κασταλών,, Polyb., Strab. &c., contracted into Κάστλων, Plut. Sert. 3, and VRR. to Strabo; Καστουλών,, Ptol. 2.6.59, and VRR. to Strabo; Καστολῶν, Appian. Hisp. 16: Castulonensis: Cazlona). the chief city of the Oretani, in Hispania Tarraconensis, and one of the most important places in the S. of Spain. (Ptol. l.c.; Artemidor. ap. Steph. Byz.; Strab. iii. p.152, where the words καὶ Ὠρία are supposed by Ukert to be a later addition; see ORETANI: Plutarch, l.c., assigns it to the Celtiberi.) It lay very near the boundary of Baetica (Strab. iii. p.166), on the upper course of the Baetis (Strabo iii. p.152, observes that above Corduba, towards Castulo, ἐπὶ Καστλῶνος, the river was not navigable), and on the great Roman road from Carthago Nova to Corduba. (Strab. p. 160.) It stood at the junction of four roads, one leading to Carthago Nova, from which it was distant 203 M. P.: two others to Corduba, the distances being respectively 99 M. P. and 78 M. P.; and the fourth to Malaca, the distance being 291 M.P. As to the places near it, it was 22 M. P. from MENTESA BASTIA, 20 M. P. from ILITURGIS 32 M. P. from UCIENSIS, and 35 M. P. from TUGIA (Itin. Ant. pp. 396, 402, 403, 404). A further indication of its position is given by the fact, twice stated by Polybius, that BAECULA was in its neighbourhood. (Plb. 10.38, 11.20.) Again, it was near the silver-mines which Strabo mentions as abounding in the mountains along the N. side of the Baetis (Guadalquivir), and the term SALTUS CASTULONENSIS seems to have been the general name of a considerable portion of that chain. (Polyb. ll. cc.; Liv. 22.20, 26.20, 27.20; Cic. Ep. ad Fam. 10.3. 1; Strab. iii. p.142: there were also lead-mines near Castulo, p. 148: Caesar, B.C. 1.38, speaks of the Saltus Castulonensis as dividing the upper valleys of the Anas and the Baetis: it corresponds to the Sierra de Cazorla, or E. part of the Sierra Morena.) All the evidence respecting its site points to the small place still called Cazlona1, about half a league from Linares, on the right bank of the Guadalimar, a little above its junction with the Guadalquivir; and the site is further identified by ruins with inscriptions, and by the mutilated sculptures frequently found there. “At Palazuelos are the supposed ruins of the palace of Himilce, the rich wife of Hannibal,” who was a native of Castulo (Liv. 24.41; Sil. Ital. 3.97); and “the fine fountain of Linares is supposed to be a remnant of the Roman work which was connected with Castulo.” The mines of copper and lead close to the place are still very productive; and in the hills N. of Linares, the ancient silver-mines called Los Pozos de Anibal may not improbably have preserved the memory of the rich mine which Hannibal is known to have possessed in Spain, and which has been conjectured to have come to him through his wife. (Plin. Nat. 33.31; Morales, Antig. pp. 58--62; Florez, Esp. S. vol. vii. p. 136, vol. v. pp.. 4,40; Ford, Handbook, p. 166.)

The valley of Cazlona has also a certain resemblance to that on the side of Parnassus above Delphi, which is evidently referred to in the epithet applied to it by Silius Italicus (3.392, “Fulget praecipuis Parnasia Castulo signis” ), and in the tradition, preserved by the same poet, that its first inhabitants (hence called Castalii) were colonists from Phocis (3.97, foll.: whether the name of the place was derived from the tradition or aided its invention, can hardly be determined). It stands on the slope of a mountain of the Sierra Morena which has two summits, with a narrow valley between, through which the Guadalimar flows, and on the side of the mountain is a spring, like that of Castalia on Parnassus. (Morales, p. 59.)

The close alliance of Castulo with the Carthaginians, implied in the circumstance of Hannibal's marriage, did not prevent its revolt to the Romans, at the time of the successes of P. and Cn. Scipio, in the Second Punic War, B.C. 213 (Liv. 24.41). P. Scipio seems to have made Castulo his headquarters, and was slain under its walls (Appian. Hisp. 16), his brother's fate following only 29 days later, and at no great distance, B.C. 212 (Liv. 25.36). Upon this, Castulo, and its neighbour Illiturgi (maxime insignes et magnitudine et noxa, Liv. 28.19), besides other smaller cities, returned to the Punic alliance; and their punishment was one of young P. Scipio's first acts after the Carthaginians were expelled from Spain, B.C. 206 (that is, as we have a story in Livy's somewhat doubtful version). Illiturgi was sacked with the last extremities of military cruelty; but the Spaniards in Castulo, warned by the example, and less obnoxious for the manner of their revolt, hoped to make their peace by a voluntary surrender of their city and of its Punic garrison, and their submission purchased a fate so little milder than that of Illiturgi that Livy seems to labour in shading off the due gradation. (Liv. 28.19, 20.)

Under the Roman empire, Castulo was a municipium, with the jus Latinum, belonging to the conventus of New Carthage; and its inhabitants were called Caesari. venales. (Plin. Nat. 3.3. s. 4; Inscr. ap. Gruter. pp. 323, no. 12, 325, no. 2.) Its coins all belong to the period of its independence: they resemble those of the ancient cities of Baetica (to which, in fact, the-city naturally belonged, though politically assigned to Tarraconensis): their usual type is a winged sphinx (Florez, Med. de Esp. vol. i. p. 342, vol. iii. p. 44; Mionnet, vol. i. p. 37, Suppl. vol. i. p. 74; Sestini, p. 128 ; Eckhel, vol. i. p. 44.)

It is not quite certain whether the CASTAX (Κάσταξ) of Appian (App. Hisp. 32) is meant for Castulo. (Comp. Liv. 24.41; Steph. B. sub voce Κάσταξ; Wesseling. ad Itin. Ant. p. 403 ; Schweighäuser, ad Appian. p. 242.)


1 Reichard and others, who identify it with Cazorla, E. of Jaen, seem to have been misled by the idea that Strabo (iii. p.142) placed it near the source of the Baetis, whereas his language refers only to the upper course of the river.

hide References (13 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (13):
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 10.3.1
    • Appian, Wars in Spain, 6.32
    • Polybius, Histories, 10.38
    • Polybius, Histories, 11.20
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 33.31
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.3
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 28, 19
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 27, 20
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 24, 41
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 25, 36
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 28, 20
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 22, 20
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 2.6
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