Tuesday, June 9, 2009


This morning we visited the Roman ruins of Italica which are a short bus ride outside of Sevilla. We got an early start and arrived before it was open which gave us time for a coffee.

Italica was founded in 206 BC by the General Publius Cornelius Scipio as a settlement for soldiers wounded in the battle of Illipa and also served as an important military outpost. With a population of approximately 50,000, it was also the hometown for two Roman emperors.

As an example of Roman civilization and engineering, it is absolutely amazing. Italica was a complete "planned community" in today's lexicon. Its wide, paved, and curbed streets were laid out in a regular grid. There was a public freshwater distribution system, waste removal system, and public baths and cooking areas.

Italica included a 20,000 seat multilevel amphitheatre with concourses under the seating and wood covered pits in the arena for animal and gladiator sports.

One of the most interesting parts of the community were several of the buildings that still had mosaic floors intact

From an engineering perspective, the intricacy and precision of the construction were extremely impressive for any time period, much less more than 2000 years ago

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