Socio-Political Aspece PareIII Romanisation during che Early Empire

Romanisation ofSpain: Socio-PoliticalAspece
Pare III
Romanisation during che Early Empire
San Petersburgo
The socio-political Romanization of Spain under Augustus was characterized by
a greater conservatism of the princeps’ policies and the veteran nature of Romanization. The close of the Augustian period is not the emperor’s demise, but the year 13
B.C. when supposedly the last Spanish colony was made and the Iberian Peninsula
was relegated to the background of the Roman Empire’s interest. The second important stage of the process was ushered in by the Civil War of 68-69, in the course of
which were swept away the two major social forces hampering the integration of the
provinces into the united Mediterranean state: the Senate nobility and the Roman
plebs were no more. The war results confirmed and sealed the Flavian’s reforms. Vespasian gaye alí the Spanish provinces Latin citizenship whereas Domitian spread the
municipal law to the Senate’s Baetica. Following these events, the Romanization of
Spain, in juridical terms, was over but the real situation in the country was more complex.
During the republic, especially toward its end, the Romanization of Spain
scored considerable success which grew ever more impressive in the period
of the empire. It was the time when Spain as well as other provinces had become an integral part of the Roman state, which is quite natural since the Roman empire was a kind of state vastly different from the Roman republic. The
latter had been a conglomerate of provinces under the polis of Rome, whereas the empire grew to become a unified Mediterranean state with the capital city of Rome. The «upper» strata of the provincial society were included
into the ruling elite while the life of the «lower” walks of the entire state became more or less levelled.
The economic network increasingly pierced the state through and
through thus cementing the power and facilitating the introduction of some
elemlents of the regional division of labor. In the western and the Danube
Cerión, 12.1994 - Editorial Complutense de Madrid.
Ju. B. Tsirkin
areas the Latin Language virtually ousted the vernacular both in official intercourse and in every day communication. The local cults were pushed into the
background, into the fore moved the Romans’ religion bringing in its wake
several oriental cults too. Even the throne appeared to be sometimes occupied by the provincials. It stands to reason, this state of things did not emerge
overnight following Augustus’ victory; it was the result of a prolonged process that started as early as the final years of the republic and culminated in
the year 212 in Caracalla’s edict ‘, at the outset of a formidable crisis which
put an end to the early empire.
The Spanish provinces found themselves among the first regions subjected to an intensive and comprehensive Romanization. No wonder, they were
the first to become incorporated in the entire power. However, even within
Spain proper the rate ané outcomes of the Romanization, in its socio-political aspect too, proved dissimilar in different zones. It was the first princeps
who initiated and made certain efforts to Romanize Spain.
In terms of Romanization the epochs of Caesar and Augustus’ actions in
Spain have often been united into one Caesar-Augustian period 2 We have
already covered the active and determined activities of Caesar in Spain in our
previous article. Ihe dictator’s assassination arrested his far-reaching plans
and their realisation, but they were picked up and furthered by, this successors. For instance, shortly after the March ides was deduced the colony of
Urso (Genitiva Lulia) «by the order of C. Caesar, emperor, dictator and according to Antony’s law” (CIL II, 5439). It was perhaps the time of the deduction by Lepidus of the colony of Victrix Julia Lepida (Celsa) 3; ten years
after G. Norbanus Flaccus founded Norba Caesarina t As has been shown
in our previous paper, in the thirties of the first century B.C. Roman citizenship was given to the Spanish Emporites, i.e. Indicetes.
During the first division of the western part of the Republic carried out
by the triumvires in 43 B.C., Spain was presented to M. Aemilius Lepidus
(App. beL civ. IV, 2, 3), he was obliged to govern the province from Rome
through his legates, but before long Spain felí under Octavian’s authority. It
took place after the end of the Perusine War and was officially sealed by the
treaty of 40 B.C. between Octavian and Antony when the West of the state,
except Africa, bequeathed to Lepidus, was recognized as Octavian’s property
(App. beL civ. V, 51; 65). Rut it was not until the establishment of the empire
H. Bengsson, Rómische Geschichre Mijachen, 1985, 325-326; W. Seyfarth, Rámische Geschicht4 Keiserxeit, Berlin, 1975, 255-256.
2 See, for ex.: 14. Galsterer, Untersuchungen zwn rómischen Stddtewesen auf der Iberischen
Halbinsel Berlín, 1971, 17-30; J.M Blázquez, Nuevos estudios sobre la Romanización, Madrid,
1989, 11-47; F. Vittinhghoff, Rómische Kolonisarion ¿md Bñrgerrechzspolitik unter Caesar und
Augustus, Wiesbaden, 1952.
M. Beltrán Lloris, «La colonia Victrix Inlia Lepida-Celsa”, RSL 45 (1979), 189-190.
C. Callejo Cerrano, <‘La arqueología de Norba Caesarina», AEArq 41 (1968), 121; 14.
Galsterer, op. ci:., 23-24.
Romanisation of Spain: socio-political aspect
that he and his generals devoted themselves wholeheartedly to the Spanish
Ihe consolidation of the Fax Romana after the defeat of Antony and
Cleopatra signified not only the establishment of political stability within the
state but also the defence of its frontiers against the «barbarians’»infringements. The importance of the provinces’ natural and manpower resources for
Rome and Italy grew considerably 5. That is the reason why shortly after the
creation of the principate Augustus completed the subjugation of the Iberian
Peninsula and he had to come to Spain in person in 27-25 B.C. 6• That was
the end of the «outside” wars in Spain, a long spell of peaceful life was in store for the provinces when the political development of the country was channelled within the Roman administrative system
Augustus continued to carry out the policies of Caesar and the generals
who had waged wars in Spain in the forties and thirties. For the benefit of the
veterans of those legions that had fought in this country, some colonies were
deduced, such as Emerita Augusta, Caesaraugusta, Augusta Gemela Tucci
and others. A number of towns, Bilbilis among them, received the status of a
minicipium 8 Most probably it was under Augustus that Gades had become
a fully-fledged municipium and Agrippa seems to have been the most likely
initiator of this, as well as of other Spanish acts of the princeps % Augustus
also gaye Latin law to an entire tribe of Cerretani 10 In the newly acquired
province Augustus built the towns of Asturica Augusta, Bracaraugusta, Lucus
Augusti. Later they became, as well as Caesaraugusta and Emerita, the centres of conventus. Whether they received the privileged status shortly after
their foundation is unknown. The mention in the midfirst century A.D. of some Roman citizens engaged in business (negotiantur) in Bracara Augusta
(CIL II, 2493) speaks rather in favour of the supposition that the rest of Bracaraugustians were not yet Roman citizens.
Augustus found himself faced with exactly the same problems as the late
dictator and he had of necessity to pursue the policy of Caesar. The army had
to be appeased by giving the veterans plots of land which necessitated the acquisition of additional land not only in Italy but in the provinces too. Besides
it was not possible to establish one’s power in the provinces by brute force
only; some political measures were expedient as well, military-strategic consi~.
C. Gen¿eva, «La poli¿ique de Rome dans les territoires du Bas-Danube á l’époque de Auguste, E:udesBalcaniques 1991, 92-94.
A. Montenegro Duque, “La conquista de Hispania por Roma”, in: Historia de España, t.
11.1, Madrid, 1982, 172-189.
7 J. 5. Van Nostrand, «The Reorganisation of Spain by Augustus”, iii Universiiy of California
Publication in Histoy, 1916, y. 4, 83.
H. Gaisterer, op. ci:., 20-30, 65-72; M. Martín Bueno, ‘Bilbilis”, inStadtbild und Ideologig
Miinchen, 1990, 220.
Ju. B. Tsirkin, «The Phoenician civilization in Roman Spain’, Gerión 3 <1985), 263-264.
<» H. Galsterer, op. ci:., 30.
Ju. B. Tsirkin
derations being of small consequence, at least in Spain. Meeting the ardent
desire of the veterans to have land of their own, Augustus as a rule settled
them in more peaceful quarters of the country. In the recently conquered districts of the North-West the towns, built more likely than not on the former
legions’ camping sites (cfr. Flor. II, 33, 59), hardly received a civic status. Augustus, following Caesar’s example, included his new citizens into the tribe of
Galeria 1~. The mention of this tribe may serve as a proof and illustration of
how Roman citizenship spread in Spain during the Caesar-Augustus period.
Placing these mentions on the map we can see that Galeria was most often
(except Gades, Tarraco, Carthago Nova) come across in the Baetis valley,
not quite so often but still often enough in the north-east of the Peninsula, also in the Hiberus valley, in the Upper Duns valley, along the Tader and the
Anas, in the Lower Tagus valley, in the southern part of Lusitania and only
twice in the newly subjugated North-West 12• f~ is clearly seen that the towns
which housed the tribe of Galeria are situated in the most economically important zones, as well as along the most heavily travelled routes 13 (though
not in the strategically important regions). Augustus undoubtedly strove not
to establish himself in the new territories he had just captured but to increase
and enhance his authority in the already pacified and tamed regions of Spain.
lo illustrate the aboye statement, let us study Caesaraugusta founded on
the site of the indigenous town of Salduba (Plin. n.h. III, 24). The first aim of
Augustus was unquestionably to settle the retired soldiers of the IVth Legion
But theMacedonica, the VP” Victrix Legion and the Xt” Gemina Legion
re was another target the emperor was after. The new colony had in no time
eclipsed the nearby Celsa, which, as has been stated, was founded by Lepidus. Augustus deleted from its official name the former triumvir’s name and
replaced it by its ancient title of the native town so that the colony got the name Victrix Julia Celsa 15• That was, however, not the end of his innovations.
Augustus was wary of the disgraced Lepidus even when the latter had no authority whatever. Suetonius related (Aug. 54) that when the senators by the
emperor’s order reviewed and revised the Senate’s lists and had to vote for
each other, one of the senators felí into disgrace as he voted for the banished
Lepidus. In Spain too Augustus never trusted Lepidus’ colonists and he tried
todo his utmost to eclipse their significance and to raise that of his own ones.
And yet, while investigating the Caesar-Augustus period, one will be wise
not to overlook the differences in the two statesmen’s policies. Ihe object of
M. L. Genderson, “Julius Caesar and Latium inSpain”, VDI4(1946), 58, 63, 65, n. 8; F.
Vittinghoff, op. dL, 105.
12 R. Wiegels, Die Tribusinschriften der Rómischen Hispaniens, Berlin, 1985, 164-166; cfr.
C. Castillo, «La tribu Galeria: ciudad y ciudadanos”, in Estudios sobre la Tabula Siarensis, Madrid, 1988, 234-235.
“ Cfr. J. J. Van Nostrand, op. eL, 106-107.
II. Gaisterer, op. ¿tít, 27.
‘~ Ibid 25, 70; M. Beltrán Lloris, op. ¿tít, 193.
Romanisation of Spain: socio-political aspec¡
Caesar’s colonization measures were nut only veterans but also proletarians !6• The unly indisputably veterans’ settlement in Spain to Caesar’s credit was the town of Baetis, emphatically contrasted by Strabo tu the neighbouring town of Hispalis (III, 2, 1). Cunsequently, the Iatter was not
inhabited by veterans. No duubt Baetis was an insignificant settlement, for it
is never more mentioned in written records. It louks quite plausible that by
creating proletarian colunies Caesar sought to appease the Ruman plebs under the cunditions wben grain distribution was diniinishing and the dictator
was pursuing the antidemucratie policy. It must also be borne in mmd that
Caesar fiad just no time to carry out a mass demobilisation of the army: it is
well known that at the time of Caesar’s assassinatiun buth in Italy and Rome
there gathered quite a number of retired soldiers ready to be despatched to
the colunies (App. bel. civ. II, 120).
Augustus’ colonizatiun, though, was exceptionally that of the veterans.
At least diere are neither direct nor oblique proufs testifying tu the princeps’
deduction of rural or urban plebs tu the provinces, tu thuse in Spain in particular. Augustus himself mentions unly the colonies of thuse soldiers wbom
he had deduced himself tu tIxe provinces and Italy (R.g. 3, 3; 28, 1-2). In
Spain colonies were founded in order to huuse whole military regiments that
fiad participated in the latest campaigns in the Iberian Peninsula 17•
The change in the nature of the culonization may be accuunted for by
the situation in Italy proper tou. In our second article it was stated that the
bulk of the colunists came from the peasantry of the Middle and partially
Northern Italy. Italian peasants streamed tu the provinces in the hope to
avoid bankruptcy and tu gain a social status that in their humeland they were
deprived of because they were but alijes, not citizens. Following the Social
War, though, the latter could be ubtained in Italy too. Under Augustus the
process of equalizing in rights de iure of Italians and Romans must have co¡nc tu its end. It is cummun knowledge that after the Social War the problems of allotting new citizens tu the tribes became une of the most urgent of
the current political struggle. Eventually even Sulla, who had at first harboured plain animosity against the Italics fiad tu cunfirm tbe new citizens’ equality. Unfortunately the distance between the proclaimed equality and actual
une de facto tumed uut tu be rather large. The censes of the years following
88 B.C. did not reveal any sliarp increase in the number of citizens. It was
unly in 27 B.C. that their amount grew sharply and reached the record figure
4063 thousand (R.g. 8) as compared with 1500 thuusand in 46-45. The
gruwth in twenty years’ time of the number uf citizens —170 thuusand more
(¡bid)— may be directly associated with the reigning peace and economie
F.Vittinghoff, op. c1., 53;P.A. Brunt, Italian Manpower, 225 BC-A.D. 14, Oxford, 1971,
“ H. Gaisterer, op. cit, 69; J. M. Roldán Hervás, Hispania y el ejército romano, Salamanca,
1974, 181-] 82.
it,. fi. Tsirkin
thriving Thus under Augustus the Italics becarne de jure equal to Romans.
During the seventies to tbirties of the first century B.C. the etbnic and social structure of sorne regions of Italy changed noticeably. Sulla subjected tbe
Italies who had mostly supported the Marians, to the unspeakable repressions, he confiscated their lands and distributed them among bis veterans.
Strabo (y, 4, 11) writes about Samnium’s desolation resultantfrom Sulla’s reprisais. Following those events Samnium practically saw the last of its yemacular 19 The Etruscan civilization was slowly but surely vanishing too, and
the last Etruscan inseription was dated to tbe year 10 B.C., though the Etruscan tongue as a «sacred» one lived to see the epoch of Claudius 20•
The similar measures were ernployed by tbe triurnvirs, too, especially, by
Octavianus. Appian (belciy. V, 12-13) gives a vivid description of soldiers
who impudently and insolently plundered picking the best and even more
than they were authorized, and at the same time he describes tbe desperate
complaints of people coming to Rome from al! over Italy that they were
being driven off their hearths and land as if they lived in a hostile country. After Actium the distribution of lands in Italy to the veterans went on (and not
only to Augustus’ veterans but also to the former soldiers of Antony and Lepidus) 21 True, this time the emperor paid for the confiscated plots (R.g. 16),
but it is immaterial in Uds case since Ihe re-allotment of land did take place
after al!. It is consequently possible to assume tbat a middle peasantry began
to revive, particularly in the Padus valley, in the central region of Italy; villas
of medium size predominated in South Etruria. Latium and Campania 22
Small homesteads of bis time were often mentioned by Horace who himself
became a small Iandowner when he got back bis father’s estate confiscated
previously. Specifically, in the second epode the poet describes an ideal
estate including a field, a vineyard, a pasture, an apiary whicb were worked
by tbe master himself, bis wife and bousebold siaves (vernae).
Tbe owners of such estates were for a large part different from those of
the pre-Sullan time. Tbey were, it seems, the veterans of Sulla, triumvirs and
partly of Caesar or tbeir descendants. A number of tbe former land-owners
must have emigrated and, if our conclusions are right, the last impressive wave of tbe Italian peasants’ colonization feil on Sulla’s dictatorsbip period,
which might have exhausted the available human potential of emigration.
‘~ A. B. Egorov, Ronie on the Border-Line of Epochs, Leningrad, 1985, 114 (in Russian);
Ja.Ju. Zaborovski, Essays on the His¡ory of Agra,-ian Relations in ¡he Ronzan Republic, Lvov,
1985, 54-58, 62-63, 194-195 (in Russian).
‘~ E. C. Polomé, «The Lingñistic situation in Éhe Western Provinces of the fornan Empire»,
ANRWII, 29,2(1983), 521.
20 ibid, 520; A. Ratier, TheE=ruscans,
forne, 1989,19-20(111 Russian).
21 E. Ritterling, «Legio”, RE Hbd. 23(1924), 1213; M. Rostovtzeff, The Social and EconomicHistory of¡he Ronzan Empire Oxford, 1926, 498, a. 32.
22 J• Coleado, «Litalia romana: campagna e centri rurali», Storia della societá italiana 1.2,
Milano, 1983,182; P. A. Brunt, op. cit.,345-357.
Romanisation of Spain: socio-política! aspect
Another section of these landholders, especially during the second triumvirate and Augustus, could have left for cities. It was particularly lucrative to settle in Rome where the authorities took extra care of tbem. Augustus regarded
itas bis priority to favour the plebs urbana (Rg. 5; 15), and the richmen of other towns followed his example 23 11w law of Julius (either Caesar or Augustus) stipulated fines for grain speculations. Ihus, even poor people could
easily make some son of living witbout leaving Italy.
Ah this provided, most likely, the foundation of the affluence of Italy
which the students of the Augustus period point out 24 This affluence proved but shortlived and already under Tiberius a crisis was breaking out 25,
since economic laws appear implacable. However, tbis crisis was a fact of
anotber epoch, it operated under different political conditions and did not
result in an increasing Italian emigration, to Spain in particular.
Another salient feature of Augustus’ policies, unhike those of Caesar, was
their greater conservatism. Suetonius (Aug. 40.3) stresses the conservative
nature of both his pohicies and the princeps hiniself: the man would not yield
to the pIcas of bis nearest and dearest to give this or tbat man a Roman citizenship. According to Suetonius, Augustus preferred to pay off rather than
grant Roman citizenship and in this way to dilute Roman blood. It can be
clearly seen from the comparison of privileged towns founded by Augustus in
Spain. Ibe number of municipia seems here more significant than that of colonies, for it is precisely the number of municipia that determines the extent
of the Romanization of the native population, in other words, bow far the indigenes got incorporated into the Roman administrative, political and social
systems. Unfortunately it is not always possible to state the town’s status
exactly, as well as the general amount of such towns. Assuming as a basis the
date of H. Galsterer and taking only those towns whose status of a municipium has been more or less reliably corroborated, we get 19 Caesarian municipia and only 10 Augustian ones
It is difficult to establish the exact date of the deduction of many colonies,
likewise to date the municipium status of this or tbat Spanish town. The last
approximately dated colony in the Peninsula —Caesaraugusta— was deduced
by Augustus at tbe latest in 12 B.C. 27 In the year 13 H.C. according to Dio
23 P. A. Brunt, «Schiavi e classi subalterne adía cornunitá rornano-italico», Storia della societá italiana, 96 a. 3; A. J. B. Sirks, «The Size of the Graja Distribution ja Imperial forne and
Coastantinople>, Arhaeneum 79(1991), 219-236.
24 A. E. Egorov, op. ciÉ, 113-114; N. A. Mashkin, The Principare of Augustus, Moscow,
1949, 457-468 (ja Russiaa); M. fostovtzeft op. ch., 59.
25 E. Lepore, La societá RaUca della par Augusta alla fine del Giulio-Claudii,,, Storia della
societá italiana, 292.
26 H. Gaisterer, op. cit, 17-30, 5-72. Cfr.: J. N. Boaville, R. Etienne, P. Silliéres, P. Rouillard, A. Tranoy, «Les villes rornaines de la Péninsule lbérique», ja Les y/lles dans le monde ibérique; París, 1982, 14-15.
27 H. Galsterer, op. ch., 27, ja J. M. Blázquez’s opiaioa, Caesaraugusta was fouaded arouad
19 B.C. (op. ciÉ, 37). M. Beltráa Lloris believes that the foundation of Caesaraugusta dated to
itt fi,
Cassius (LIV, 25,1), Augustus founded some towns in Gaul and Spain. In his
«Testament» Augustus wrote tbat he had settled bis retired soldiers not only
in colonies but also in municipia, not only in Italy but also in tbe provincies,
emphasising that he had paid for tbe confiscated land (R.g. 16.1). The emperor did not specify what provinces he meant buí the Spanish provinces
should not be ruled out, given the significance and duration of the last Spanish campaigos. Augustus carried out these operations twice: in 30 and 14
B.C. Following the latter date, the municipia mentioned could be considered
native places for the soldiers.
Augustus’ veteran colonization in Spain was brougbt to its end 28 by the
staíe of affairs in Spain and in the entire empire alike. To begin with, there
was a reorganization of the Spanish provinces underway. It is generally believed that in 27 B.C. when alí provinces were divided into imperial and senate
ones, Further Spain was divided into Lusitania and Baetica, and the former
became imperial and the latter —of the Senate 29• Dio Cassius is plainly
unambiguous in bis statement (LIII, 12,4-5) that Baetica was given to te
people and the Senate, while Lusitania and Tarraconensis were to be found
among Caesar’ provinces. Among the «provinces of the people» Strabo
(XVII, 3,25) lists that pan of Further Spain that is situated near the rivers
Baetis and Anas. The geographer had always asserted (III, 4,20) that Baetica
belonged to the people whereas the rest of Iberia- to Caesar.
However, the validity of this statement begins to seem ratber doubtful if
we examine «Ihe Acts of Divine Augustus’>. In his «Testament» Augustus
maintains that he had deduced colonies «into both Spains» (itt.. utraque Hi.spania) (R.g. 28.1). But it is well known that Augustus deduced colonies not
only into Tarraconensis (former Near Spain) and Lusitania, that would justify
his assumption about «both Spains’>, but also into the senate’s Baetica. It is a
known fact that in Baetica there appeared the colonies Astigi Augusta Firma
or Augusta Gemella Tucci (Plin. n. h. III, 12). Ihe epithet «Augusta» unquestionably dates the foundation of these colonies to the time after 27 B.C. 30•
The style of Augustus’ Res gestae is clear, precise and unambiguous, but
not so bis selection of facts, their presentation and interpretation
It should
he borne in mmd, though, that the deduction of colonies into both Spains as
14 B.C.: E! valle medio del Ebro y su monurnenmalizacjón en época republicana y augustea», jn
Stadbildund!deologie; Múnchen, 1990,196.
28 Evidently, dic creation of new rnunicipia also carne lo its ead. P. A. Brual conteads thai
afta the year 14 B.C. Augustus did fol botha to make niunicipia at al!: P. A. Enmní, ¡tallan
Manpower..., 243.
29 E. g., A. H. M. Jones, Augustus, London, 1970, 46; A. Sehulten, «Hispania, RE Ed. 8
(1913), 2037.
3» H. Gaisterer, op. ciÉ, 65. 68; P. A. Brunt, ¡¡a/jan Manpower.., 591; J.M. Blázquez, op. cii.,
3> E. L. Raznge, The Nature and PurposeofAugustus’.Resgestae», Stuttgart, 1987, 34-36; 1.
Burlan, Dje Errichtung des Prinzipats uad der Tateabericht des Augustos”, Kilo 73.2 (1991),
Roinanisation of Spain: socio-política! aspect
well as into other provinces was not at alí a disgraceful deed, Augustus bad
nothing to be ashamed of. Qn the contrary, to bis mmd, it was a feather in his
cap and he did not have to distort the historical facts in order to secure any
political gains or favours. Moreover, it is also commonly known that Augustus’ <‘Testament’> is rather a reliable source, especially in tbose cases when tbe
events described by bim tbere, are in bis favour or to bis credit 32• Augustus
is reponed to have been very panicular about juridical nuances of his authority, it is hard to suppose that be could have made a mistake in calculating bis
Spanish provinces, one of which was given over to tbe Senate and tbe people.
It follows then quite logically tbat at the time when Augustus was deducing
bis colonies to Spain ibere were two provinces tbere, not three, contrary to
Dio Cassius’ allegation.
Dio Cassius was a rather late historian. True, be took great pains to collect sources relating the previous times, including the period of the dawn of
tbe principate whose stauncb and loyal adherent be was. The historian was
quite correct to tbink the that act of the year 27 B.C. was a decisive factor in
the establishment of a political system he held so dear ‘t Qn tbe other hand,
though, it has long since been establisbed that Dio Cassius regarded these
events from bis bistorical distance, from afar. No wonder he sometimes
erred; for instance, he described tbe provinces and tbeir names in the shape
they had in his time, not in ibe time of the events under consideration
bis description of the pre-Augustian period be does not use tbe name «Furtber Spain» but resorts to the names Baetica and Lusitania despite the fact tbat
at that time tbere were surely no provinces under such names (XXX, 52,1;
XLIII, 29,3; XLV, 10,2). So it is not at aH improbable that Dio Cassius uses
an anachronism while listing Baetica among the Senate’s provinces as early as
27 B.C.
As for Strabo, political geography seems tbe least of bis concerns. He devoted himself mostlyto pbysical geography and etbnograpby, wbicb is clearly
seen on the Spanish material. Describing Lusitania Strabo accurately points
out that tbis is a country situated to the north of tbe Tagus (wbich does not
coincide with the emperor’s province including the land both nortb and
south of this river), tben he describes the country, the territory that stretched
as far as tbe present —day Bay of Biscay (III, 3,3-5); by the time the Geography was completed 3~, these regions had already become part of Tarraco~‘.
P. A. Bruat and 3. M. Moore, Res ges¡ae diviAugus¡4 Londoa, 1967, 8.
~ F. A. Millar, Study of Cassius Dio, Oxford, 1964, 99-10 1; V. Fadinger, Die Begrúndung
des Prinzipa¡z Berlia, 1969, 27, 333.
~ E. Rillerling, op. ciÉ, Sp. 1218; A. Bruní aad 1. M. Moore, op. ciÉ, 8;V. Fadinger, op. ciÉ,
‘“ ThaI is, 18 AD.: J. O. Tomsoa, TIte History ofAncient Geography, Moscow, 1953, 320
(ja Russiaa); E. =4.Arsky, Sn-ato, Moscow, 1974, 58 <ja fussiaa); F. Lasserre, «Strabon», ja
Kleine Pauly, Bd. 5, 1979, 383. At least, the third and fourth books were fjaíshed exaclly thaI
yeat or sorne time carijer.
iii. B.
nensis. Dealing with Baetica, the geographer specifies tbat tbis country was
called so after tbe river, but after its residents it bad a different name —Turdetania; bowever, the border-lines Strabo indicates, do not coincide witb tbose
of the province: for example, tbe geograpber includes into t1w territory of
Baetica the coast only from tbe Anas estuary to the Pillars (III, 1,6). Wben
speaking about Turdetania in the second ebapter of his third book, Sírabo
omits its Roman name altogether. It is only in the last pages of bis description
of the Iberian Peninsula (III, 4,20) that Strabo remembers to dwell on the administrative and political factors. Tbe same holds good of the general survey
and division of tbe provinces tbat constitute the end of Strabo’s work (XVII,
3,25). To sum up, Strabo’s Geography makes it plain that in Spain tbere were
tbree provinces, one of them belonged to the Senate al tbe time when tbe
work on the book was completed, tbat is, at tbe beginning of Tiberius’ time 36• But the geograpber throws no light wbatever on the time of the tbree
provinces’ appearance and tbe administrative borders between them.
As is known, tbe most imponaní though not the only consideration in tbe
division of the provínces was the presence or absence of tbe troops in the
province, whicb was conditioned by a tbreal of wars, hostile invasions or inner unrest, in sbortby some danger, menace or insecurity for the Roman authorities (Suet. Aug. 47). By Caesar’s death and in tbe successive years Soutb
Spain bad been one of ihe most anned regions of Ihe state ~‘. Wben Sextus
Pompey left Spain, the menace for tbis most Romanized zone of tbe Peninsula sharply decreased. And yet the unconquered and unlamed tribes in the
nonh and north-west of Spain were still a formidable menace looming over
the whole country, the more so that Spain was traditionally feared as a rather
dangerous region from a military view-point. Tberefore we are inclined lo
think that in 27 B.C., as tbe Roman government saw it, tbere existed no conditions for the disarmament of Soutb Spain.
Augustus is known lo bave twice travelled to Spain. His firsí visit took
place in 27 to 25 D.C. and it was connected with the warfare raging in the
nonh and nortb-west ~. Augustus took particular pride in the fact tbat he
bad managed lo suppress and pacify Ihe Gallian and Spanisb provinces, and
Germany too, whicb were washed by tbe Ocean from Gades up to the Albis
estuary (R.g. 26.2). In another place Auguslus writes: «When in Ihe consulsbip of Tib. Nero and P. Quintilius 1 came from Spain and Gallia, baving successfully done my duty in these provinces, the Senate —to commemorate my
return— decreed that the altar of Augustus’ peace be consecrated in the Mars
fieldo (R.g. 12.2). Ihe aboye mentioned consulsbip dates to Ihe year 13 D.C.
and, consequently, the visit to Spain and Gaul that Augustus bad in mmd,
took place mucb time later iban ihe first. The cause of Ibe departure lo Spain
Lassere, op. ch., 384.
J. Harmand, «Les origines de l’arrnée imperiale», .ANRW, Bd. 11.1 (1974), 282.
A. Montenegro Duqne, op. ciÉ, 178-184.
Ronzan isation of Spain: socio-political aspect
could have been the uprising in 16 B.C. in the north (Caes. Dio LIV, 20,2).
But the uprising does not seem to be so powerful or widespread as to necessitate tbe presence of tbe emperor bimself, in person, on tbe battlefield.
It follows that Augustus’ successes in Spain and Gaul bad nothing to do
with the solution of some internal problems in the already subject country.
The first problem was to take sorne preventive measures in order to nip
the ghost of an unrest in tbe bud in the future. Florus (II, 59-60) records seyeral sagacious orders Augustus gaye following the ultimate subjugation of
Spain: be dernanded tbat many Asturs should come down from the mountains to the valleys, to the sites where the legions’ camps used to be, that
they should tul land and extract minerais 39. It is self-evident that tbe cmperor could hardly have done tbis during bis first stay in Spain since the
war was still in fulí swing at tbat time. It undeniably occurred during Augustus’ second visit to tbe country. Florus empbatically stresses that tbese
measures rendered the nortbern tribes safe.
This fact enabled Augustus to reduce tbe army quartered in Spain. After the Nonh bad been completely pacified and subjected, tbere was no
need to deploy a buge army in Spain, and Augustus was able to reduce it
first from seven legions to four, and later to three legions 40• Tbe emperor
distributed these legions over Near Spain, each legion having its own duty
and own goal to obtain (Strabo III, 4,20), but tbe principal objective remained the same: they alí had to defend —just in case— tbe nortbern frontier.
Now that tbe nonhern menace bad ah but disappeared, it became possible not to worry about tbe fate of the soutbernm most region of Spain
where tbe majority of Italian colonists and Romanized natives concentrated. Tberefore from tbe province of Further Spain was deduced tbe wealthiest and most Romanized region whicb received tbe name «Haetica», whereas tbe rest of tbe province was called Lusitania after tbe name of its most
significant part. Lusitania, like Baetica, bad no regular army, but its proximity to tbe recently conquered Gallaecia, Asturia and Cantabria made it
imperative to keep it still under the emperor’s sway. Near Spain remained
intact but as the residence of tbe legate of tbe proconsul rank was in Tarraco 48, it gradually acquired tbe name Tarraconensis. AII these considerations and speculations make us agree with tbose scbolars wbo refer tbe
~» Supposedly at the same lime Augustus spread this practice over the long siace subordinaled territories as well. For instance, dic mounlaiaeers ja tite Diaaiuni area were drivea to te
lilloral and from Ihal lime on fishiag and wine-making began to come to Ihe fore la the economy of ibis aad aeighbouring regioas: R. Enguix Alernany y C. Aranegui Gascó, Taller de ánforas romanas de O/iva (Valencia), Valencia, 1977,43-44.
40 J~ M. Roldán Hervás, «La organizacióa mjlitar de la Hispaaia Romana,, ja Historia de
España, t. 11.2, 148.
‘ It is believed thai Tarraco becaine dic proviace’s capital ja 26-25 B.C. («El pas de la vía
Augusta per el mansio de Tarraco”, Butíletí arqueolágig Ayns 1988-1989, a 10 iii, 124), la other words, during ihe first stay of Augustus ja Spain when Ibis town was bis basic resjdcnce.
itt fi. Tsírkin
creation of the three Spanish provinces to about 13 B.C. ratber tban to 27
D.C. 42
If we accept tbis opinion, we must conclude tbat prior to 13 D.C. tbe
whole of Spain must have belonged to te emperor. The legate of Funber
Spain took an active pan in tbe war campaign againsí Gallaics
thus tbat
province must bave been well armed, as was tbe custom in ah tbe emperor’s
provinces. Augustus, as is known, did not leave tbe division of 27 B.C. unaltered. Tbe same Dio Cassius (LIII, 12,5) states that some time afier, Cyprus
and Narbonnensis were given over to people. Tben it is not surprising or out
of the ordinary that Baetica became also singled out of the emperor’s province and made a property of the Senate.
Finally, as has been stated aboye, Dio Cassius ascribes to Augustus the
foundations of towns during this visit to Spain and Gaul. Apparently, this is
tbe time to whicb tbe deduction of tbe last Spanisb colonies must be dated.
After 13 D.C. there was no Italo-Roman colonization of Spain worth
speaking of —either the veteran or any other. Only Oto deduced in 69 AD.
into tbe already existing Emerita Augusta and Hispalis new portions of bis
veterans (Tac. I-f¡st. 1, 78,1) and at some indefinite time appeared a new corps
of veterans in Valentia ~ About a century afíer Otbo’s act Marcus Aurelius
settled a certain number of Italies into Spain (SRA. Marc XI, 7), owing to,
probably, an epidemie 45. Rut alí these were only isolated, rare facts. Naturally, immigrants from Italy continued to trickle into Spain. Wc have already
dwelt on tbe Roman citizens negotiating at Bracara. In other places tbe Romans and Italics could be met too, but tbe bulk of them resided in tbe camp
of tbe VIIth Gemina Legion that bad been stationed in Spain after 70 A.D.,
and even more immigrants carne to settle in Tarraco 46• Those were soldiers
and veterans, natives from Rome and Italy, mercbants, functionaries and artísans. These migrations were quite common aud usual, absolutely unavoidable
in so buge a state as tbe Roman Empire had grown to be. As for massive migrations of peasantry, tbey were no more.
Upon his return to Rome in 13 D.C. Augustus lost bis interest in Spain,
be focussed his attention and energy on his military reform, be could not be
bothered wit the veterans’ well-being, te more so tbat tbe veran colonization now sbifted to tbe newly conquered arcas. Tbe Danube frontier and es~
For example, R. Syme, «Tite Northern Frontiers uader Augustus», in CAH 10 (1934),
A. Montenegro Duque, op. ciÉ, 176-189.
H. Galsterer, op. ciÉ, 53-54; 1. M. Blázquez (op. cit., 16-17) niaintaiasthattbeveteransof
two legions were accomodated at Corduba by Auguslus welt afler 13 B.C.. But so lar titis cvidence (Augustas’ bust represented 011 the city’s coins) seerns to us very slight. A. U. Stylow refers tite veterans deduction lo Corduba to 15-14 B.C.: A. U. Stylow, «Apuntes sobre el urbaaisrno de la Corduba Rornaaa., ja Stadtbild undldeologie 263.
‘~ 3. M. Blázquez, «La economía de la Hispania Rornana, ja Historia deEspaña, t. 11.1,462.
46 A. García y Bellido, «El elemento forastero ea Hispania Romaaa”, Boletín de la Real
Academia de Historia 144.2 (1959), 126.
Romanisation of Spain: socio-political aspect
pecially tbe Rhine frontier became thc emperor’s top priorities both in bis
domestic and foreign policies, tbe totally subjected and obedient Spain ceased to be bis headacbe. Ihe Spanish provinces now occupied but tbc peripbery of tbe imperial government’s attention. Correspondingly, the Roman society shiftcd tbcir intcrcsts and concerus to other territories, too. Ihere are
scarcely any mentions of Spain in the current Roman historiography. Unlike
tbe history of thc republic wberc, beginning with the Second Punic War,
Spain was practically mentioned in every page, Tacitus’ Annais almost kept
silent about Spain ~ Tbus we may surmise tbat approximately 27 years
pr¡or to Augustus’ dcatb, terminated the Caesar-Augustus period of tbe Romanization of Spain. Its new period starts, in the course of wbich those factors tbat provcd to havc been so instrumental in the Italo-Roman colonization, ceased to operate. Tbe internal factors opcrating within tbe
Hispano-Roman society itself, became the decisive driving-force now. Certainly, tbe outside factors are still important too, but they became different in
nature, tbey are connected witb the Spanish links with tbe rest of the Roman
world at large and with tbc policies of thc imperial government.
Insignificant as Spain might bave grown politically for tbe Roman government, bowever, the emperors could ilí afford to ignore it entirely. Tbe Spanisb economic weight permanently grew in the imperial economic system; its
natural wealtb and its manpower played a great role; former residents of
Spain began to occupy very conspicuous posts in the political and cultural
spberes in Rome.
The provincial policies of te Julio-Claudians wcre on tbc wbole very inconsistent. Qn the one band, tbe objective development lcd to the consolidation of thc intcrdcpendcncc of various parts of tbe empire, to the growing significance of tbc provinces so tbat tbe cmpcrors could not belp taking these
factors into account. Besides tbe princepscs strove lo attract tbe provincial
nobility, to win tbeir sympatbies by making their rcprcsentativcs senators and
even consuls because the Roman rulers sougbt to somebow neutralize the influence of the ancient republican aristocracy and to render tbe Senate and the
Senate apparatus morc obcdient and manageable. Qn the other band, tbe emperors themselves hindered and impeded the integration of the provinces into the alí-imperial structurc.
To a certain extent, tbis inconsistency may be explained by the ruler’s
personal quahities. Tiberius was rather a conservative man and, accordingly,
he carried out a conservative policy. He tended to consider provinces to be a
mere source of revenues but precisely for tbat reason, a good administrator
as he was, he took paifis not to go too far and to make tbe provincials pay not
too exorbitant taxes. It we can take Suetonius al bis word (Tib. 32), Tiberius
instructed bis vicegcrents in Ibis way: a good sbepherd sbcars bis sbeep without skinning them. Under tbis emperor tbe process of Romanization and ur~‘
R. Syme, Ten Studies in Tacitus, Oxford, 1970, 20.
Ju. fi. Tsirkin
banization sbarply slowed down ~ Even so the sphere of Roman and Latin
citizensbip in Spain expanded. In alí likelihood it was under bim thaI Clunia
became a municipium and Dertosa, maybe, turned a colony ~%Tbe appearance in Spain of tbe Tiberii Iulii, for alí their small number, testifies to a personal granting of the citizensbip at Times 5O In tbe reign of Tiberius some
former provincials not only made their way up to tbe Senate (there were some senaíors, natives of the provinces, under Augustus loo, althougb 98% of
senators were tben Romans or Italics) but one of them, a certain Valerius
Asiaticus from Gallic Vienna, became in the year 35 a consul-suffecte ~.
The time for the Spaniards to make sucb a spectacular career came some time after.
Tiberius’s successors were different people of different nature but tbey alí
bad one feature in common —tbey longed to enlarge tbe basis of tbeir personal domination at tbe expense of tbe provincials, especially Claudius wbo,
actually, did very little in Spain but indirectly facilitated the consolidation of
Spain’s contacts witb tbe rest of tbe empire. For instance, te annexation of
Mauritania made Baetica’s ties with Ibis country stronger and closer ~ In
the time of Claudius new communities received the privileged status 53. The
number of senators, descendants from the provinces, Spain in panicular,
considerably grew, and L. Pedanius Secundus of Barcino became a consulsuffecte in 43 ~ Already under Caligula began to shine the star of Seneca
who witbstood tbe ravages of time and remained an influential politician,
writer and pbilosopher during three principses’ terms; bis successful career
reacbed its zenitb in the first years of Nero’s reign ~. It sbould be noted,
tbougb, thaI Seneca’s remarkable career did not reflecí tbe political role of
Spain in the empire. Qn tbe whole, his main attention Nero paid to the castern provinces, speciflcally to Achaea, and, perbaps, that caused Ibe displeasure and discontent of tbe Western provincial aristocracy, whicb was manifested in tbe events of Ihe 68-69 Civil War 56
G. Alfñldy, «La politique provinciale de Tibére», Laconnas 34.4(1965), 834-844.
~ H. Galsíerer, op. cit., 3 1-32, 35-36; F. J. Fernández Nieto, “El derecho en la España Romana’, in Historia de España, u 11.2,184.
‘» O. AlféIdy, op. ciÉ, 837.
5’ R. Hanslik, «Valerius. Kaiserzeit 1)’, ja Kleine Pau/y5 (1979), Sp- 1111; cfr. Weynand,
<Valerius 106)», in RE, Hbd. 14A (1948), Sp. 2342.
52 C. Alonso Villalobos, «Aproxírnacion al estudio de las relaciones entre Betjca y Mauritania Tingitana durante el reinado de Claudio», in España y el Norte de Áfri ca, Graaada, 1984,
53 H. Gaisterer, op. ch., 32-36. It looks quite probable Ihal the town of Claudionerium was
founded by Claudius: M. P. Charlesworlh, «Gajus and Claudius’., la C~4H10 (1934), 676.
~ R. Syme, Tacitus, É II, Oxford, 1958, 786; H. Groag, «Pedanjus 9)’, ja RE~ Hbd. 36
(1937), 24.
~ F. J. Presedo Velo, ‘Los escritores hispanos paganos, in Historia de España, t. 11.2, 490500. la general, tite literature on Seneca is immease.
~« M. A. Levi, Limperio romano, Tormo, 1971, 154-155, 166.
Rornanisation of Spain: socio-po/itical aspect
The state of affairs in Rome must bave shaped tbe emperors’ inconsistení
provincial policy even lo a greater extent Iban tbeir characters, or their weaknesses, and partialities. The senators and Ibe noble equestrians, their supporters, took a sbarply conservative stance. In tbe pasí under 11w circumstances
of civil wars and repressions, particularly during the second triumvirate, Ibe
bottom had been knocked out from under Ibe aristocracy’s feet, many aristocrats bad jusí been killed. Rut, baving síabilized bis power, Augustus tried not
only lo make it up with Ihe ancient nobility, but also to raise Ibeir social status. Tbe ruling dynasty belonged lo Ihe upper crust of society and drew the
olber aristocratic families, trying lo become friendly witb those wbo occupied
Ibe higbest officies, thaI of Ibe consul inclusive ‘t Under the Augustian successors tbe relations between Ibe princeps and the senators grew very complicated, buí Ibe senators were able to bold Iheir commanding position in Ibe
Roman society 58
«The golden time», the beyday of the Roman aristocracy was the republic
and many senators professed the oíd Roman ethical values 59, one of whicb
was an awareness of Ibeir superiority over tbe provincials, Ibeir ardent ambition to gel the upper band and lo sbow Ibe provincials their place 60 Even
wben the emperors «diluted» the Senate with Ihe representatives of Ihe Italian
municipia and provinces, Ibe Senate successfully assimilated these people as
it had previously done it with noví hominí during tbe republic. The senator
Seneca, bimself a provincial from Spain, derided and jeered at the late Claudius Ibal the latíer bad made alí provincials —Greeks, and Gauls, and Spaniards, and Britons alike— wear a toga (Apoc. 3.3). For alí its servility, the Senate sometimes mustered alí tbe strengtb to oppose tbe princeps’s attempts to
widen Ibe sphere of citizenship and enlarge Ibe number of senators from
among the new citizens. The mosí striking and bestklown illustration of this is
Claudius’s failure to repnenish the Senate with representatives of tbe aristocracy of tbe whole of Gal//a ~Somatcr~baving mel witb Ibe Senate’s stubborn
resistance, the emperor was compelled to compromise and as a resulí, only
Aedui were ailowed to become senators (Tac. Ann. XI, 23-25).
Ibe plebs too were opposed to the expansion of citizensbip. The píebeians did nol play Ibe political role they used to play in Ibe late republic, but
so far they were still powerful enough lo interfere witb Ihe course of evenís,
as it bappened at Ibe time wben Cahigula’s individual rule was instituted
(Suet. CaL 14.1). The emperors had always taken great pains to feed tbe plebs
and Ibeir primary concern bad always been —to supply Rome witb adequate
foodstuffs. ThaI is wby the p!ebeians did not favour tbe increase of Ihose wbo
f. Syrne, The Augustian Aristocracy, Oxford, 1986,11,56,95,97.
~ J. Gagé, Les classes sociales dans lEmpire Romaine, París, 1964, 84-85; 0. Alfóldy,
TheSocia/HistoryofRomg foutledge, 1988, 115-116.
“ O. S. Knabe, Cornelius Tacirus Moscow, 1981, 16-17, 2 1-29 (ja Russiaa).
60 ~ Alféldy, TheSocia/History..., 113.
fi. Tsirkin
would consume ihe provisions at the emperor’s cost. Ibe plebeians were
even more prejudiced againsí non-Romans Iban Ihe enlightened senators 6i~
The altitude of te equestrians lo ihe emperors’ provincial policy was not
uniform. The top horsemen usually sided with ihe senators; some equestrians
bad already been involved mio Ihe imperial administration and, as would be
expected, they were obliged lo implement Ihe government’s policies (for ex.
Tac. Ann~ 3(11, 60). Tbe considerable pan of Ibe borsemen, tbough, were still
engaged in farming, collecting laxes and duties (Tac. Ami. VI, 6; XV, 50-5 1),
tn míning and other lucrative businesses. Their attitude to Ihe growtb of Ibe
provincials’ rigths was probably contradictory. Qn Ibe one hand, te dignity
of ihe Roman citizens facilitated ibeir business transactions in tbe provinces
and mitigated Ibe threat of local competition and rivalry; buí on ibe other,
their common links and common interesis musí have drawn tbem into Ibe
local affairs and promoted teir intimacy with Ihe provincials. It musí be
lastIy stressed tbat Ibe equestrian estate included several provincials who bad
become Roman citizens and bad Ibe required qualification. For instance, according to Sírabo (III, 5,3), Ibere were 500 horsemen in Gades. their presence largely influenced tbe estate’s sentiments 62•
Despite their despotic inclinations ibe emperors could nol fail lo reckon
witb ibe apponionment of forces in Rome, which, naturally enough, modified
ibeir provinciah pohicy and restricíed Ibe provincials’ integration into the Roman power. Certainly, different provinces experienced Ibis process differently. Some of tbem as early as Ibe latíer pan of te firsí century were for ahí
tbat fairly Romanized. They are first and foremosí Baetica and east (panicularly north-east) Tarraconensis.
An important and far-reacbing síage in tbe Romanization of Spain was
the 68-69 Civil War and Ihe ensuing reign of the Flavians.
Tbe Civil War broke ouí in Marcb 68 wben G. Julius Vindex, tbe vicegerent of Lugdunensis rose in arms against Nero’s tyranny. Tbe researchers of
today have refuted tbe interpretation of this revolí as Gaul’s national or separationist movement to liberate Gaul from Rome’s yoke 63 In actual fact,
though, ihe aim of Ihis revolí was not lo oppose Rome as such but to oppose
ihe ruling emperor, lo check his arbitrary and excessive practices 64 It can be
besí seen in Vindex’s appeal to Galba wit the offer to lead ibis movement in
order to injecí strengtb into a body in searcb of the ficad and thus lo become
the liberator and chief of humankind (Plut. Galba 4; Suet. Galba 9.2). And
Galba, upon some hesitations and vacillations, accepted ihe offer.
The appeal lo Galba was no mere accident. He was from the noble clan
Cfr. M. E. Sergeyenko, TheArtisans ofAncient Ronze, Leningrad, 1968, 75 (ja fussiaa).
~ Alfbldy, TIte Social Histo¡y..., 125.
63 R. Syrne, Tacitus, 463-464.
»« P. A. Brunt, «Tite fevolí of Vindex and the Falí of Nero», Latomus 18.3 (1959), 531534, 543-559; M. A. Levi, op. ciÉ, 154; P. A. L. Greenhalgh, TIte Year of the Four Emperors
New York, 1975, 6-7.
Romani,sadon of Spain: socio-political aspect
of te Sulpicii; on his moter’s side be was a kinsman of Ihe Mummii and te
Lutatii Catuli, and besides he was a distant relative of Ibe Augustian family.
His stepmotber Livia Ocellina was related to Livia Augusta and in his childhood Galba used lo visit Augustus’ coun and was Livias favourite, later he
managed lo win Ibe favours of Ibe Augustian successors, whicb then ensured
his spectacular career. He was a praetor, a consul, a vicegerení of a number of
provinces. His wealth was enormous 65• Ahí this gaye Gahba a moral rigbt to
occupy te post of the princeps. Nero bad taken Ibe uprising of Vindex very
ligbt-beartedly buí when be heard tbat Galba bad undenaken generalship, be
gol overwbelmed with despair saying tbat ahí was over (Suet. New 42.1). And
tbis when Galba bad a limited contingení at his disposal 66 His military potential did not noticeably increase when Olbo and Baetica’s questor Caecina
joined him in tbe revolt, since neilher Lusitania nor Baetica had any regular
Galba received tbe proposal lo join tbe anti-Nero movemení al Carthago
Nova; Ihen and there be agreed lo accepí the proposal wilhout proclaiming
himself emperor, tbougb; be jusí called bimself tbe legate of Ibe Senate and
tbe people (Suet. Galba 10.1; Plul. Ca/ha 5). Al this stage be would not miss
an opporlunity to point out Nero’s cruelty and ruthlessness, his injuslice and
abuses; be posed as an avenger for innocent victims, acting very mucb in the
spirit of Ibe republican generals. His coinage fully corresponded lo Ibis programme. Qn Ibe coins miníed by Galba in Spain were represented many figures sucb as Mars, Liberty, Concord, and Victory and Ibe legends MART,
Ihe union wilh Ibe insurgent Gaul was a coin where Spain and Gaul were depicted and te legend read as follows: CQNCORDIA HISPANIARVM ET
GALLIARVM. Tbe horn of plenty represented bebind Ibe figures of Spain
promised 11w fonhcoming era of bappiness and abundance following Ihe
lyrant’s deatb 67• Suetonius telís (Ca/ha 10.1) that Galba when proclaiming
himself legate of Ihe Senate and the people bad by his side a noble aristocratic boy wbom Nero had exiled lo Ihe Balearic Islands and Galba bad specifically delivered to Carlbago Nova. Incidentally, Ibal sbows bow painstakingly
Galba and his headquarters had prepared and arranged tbe ceremony 68,
Wit expressly the same purpose in view did Galba initially reject the emperor’s title. He either sought lo create the impression of his personal disinterestedness in the struggle againsí tbe tyranny or, perbaps, be bonestly meant
lo restore tbe republic 69,
65 Fluss, <Sulpicius 63)», la
Aristocracy, 75, 435.
RE~ Hbd. 17A (1931), Sp. 772-779; R. Syrne, The
0. H. Síevenson, <‘Tite Year of Four Eniperors’, CAH 10(1934)811.
E. Maay Smallwood, Documenis illustraring tIte principates of Gaius, Claudius aná Nero,
Cambridge, 1967, 38-39, n. 72.
68 Cfr. P. A. L. Greenhalgh, op. ciÉ, 7.
69 [<• Wellesley, The long year AB. 69, Bristol, 1989, 5. Tite official propagaada to tite cf66
Ju. B. Tsirkin
Al! these slogans and jestures were undeniably meaní lo impress Ibe Romans and Romanized provincials. But sorne details of Galba’s conduct (as
well as Ibe previous events in Gaul) indicate thaI Ihe reality was much more
complex. Sbortly after Ibe Cartbago Nova episode Galba received an oracle
from a local aristocratic girí (and Ibe oracle was confirmed by Jupiter’s priesí
at Clunia) tbat from Spain the mier of Ibe world would come (Suet. Ca/ha 9).
It is quite possible thaI Ibe ancient oracle originally concerned Scipio Aemilianus (Suetonius gives the time of Ibe ftrst voicing of the oracle —200 years
prior lo Galba, which exactly corresponds to Ibe year 133 WC.). The native
temples could bave acíed as centres of the nalive anti-governmental opposition and Ibeir role in Ihe evenís of Ibe Civil War was considerable 70~ Por
instance, some lime later Vespasian made Ihe most of Ibe temples’ authority
(Tac. Hist. II, 1-4, II, 81; IV, 82). Tbe rise of Clunia in Ibis situation is notewonhy. Ihe town was siluated in Ibe not-yet-Romanized zone with strong indigenous instiluíions and way of life. It was here, lo Clunia Ibal Galba fled for
refuge afíer Ibe defeat of Vindex. Here, to Clunia came Icelus witb the news
íbaí Nero bad died and Galba liad been acknowledged by Rome as emperor.
It was here, in Clunia, thaI tbe new princeps took Ihe title in Ibe presence of
Ibe crowd in front of bis bouse (Suet. Ca/ha 11; Plul. Ca/ha 6-7). Ihe additional proof of Clunia’s weigbí in Gahba’s epopee lies in Ihe fact that, wben already Ibe emperor, Galba struck Ibe coin with the legend Hispaniae C/unia
SuL Evideníly in reward Ibe city was conferred by Galba te dignity of a Roman colony and received the cognomen Sulpicia 78,
Getting ready to marcb againsí Nero Galba raised his army in Spain. To
defend Ibe littorah of Tarraconensis and of Narbonensis be created tbe prefecture of the sea-coasí in these provinces 72 For Ihe march againsí Rome
Galba created the VIIlh Galbiana (later Gemina) legion witb M. Antonius
Primus as its commander ~J. Primus, native of Tolosa, a former senator banished by Nero from Ibe Senate, living eve since in bis native town, was Ihe
most suitable bead of Ibe legion meant as te sbock troops of tbe Galbian
campaign. In ahí hikelibood, in Spain proper people of the scnator’s rank (or
former senators, for tbat malter, for in this case it was of very little consequence, since Ihe expulsion from tbe Senate under Ibose conditions was tantamount to a political persecution) were eitber hard lo come by or Galba did
fecí that Galba was waging tite war not for his sake but for Ihe good of tite síale, never eaded la
tite years to come. For instance, tite iascription of O. Pornpoaous Rufus read thus: bello quod
iniperabor Ca/ha pro republica gessh (A.é., 1948, 3).
70 0. W. Bowersock, «The Mechanics of Subversion ja tite Roman Proviaces», ja Encreciens
surl’antiquitéc/assic33 (1986), 304, 315, 318.
“ H. Galsterer, op. ciÉ, 35; H. Cohen, Description historigne des ,nonnaies frappées sons
lEmpireRomaine, t. 1. París-Loadon, 1859, 232, n. 130.
~‘ D. B. Saddington, ‘Praefecti classie; orae nzaritimae and ripae of tite secoad Triurnvirate
and lite Early Empire, ja Jahrbuch RGZM35 (1988), 304,310.
‘~ 0. AIfóldy, Róniische Heeresgeschichte Arnsterdarn, 1987,415.
Rornanisation of Spain: socio-political aspect
not trusí íbem. Suetonius (Ca/ha 10.2) writes Ibal Ihe legions (in actual fact, a
legion) were recruited by Galba from tbe provinces plebs (e p/ehe quidem provinciae). Were these recrujís all Roman citizens wbo were al the time quite numerous in Spain?. Qr did Galba raise, as Ibe Pompeians liad done during Ibe
war against Caesar, an «indigenous» legion giving his soldiers Ibe Roman citizensbip? Tacitus (Hisr. III, 25) records a slory about a cenain Julius Mansuetus wbo felí al tbe band of his own son in tbe batíle of Cremona. Tbe father
had become some time previously a soldier of Ibe legion Rapax thaI took Ihe side of Vilellius whereas tbe son was mobilized by Galba mio Ibe VIItb legion.
The fact thaI Julius Mansuetus became a legioner in a normal quiet time, as weIl
as bis gentilitius «Julius» testify to bis status of a citizen whereas bis proper name betrays bim as a Romanized aboriginal. Consequently, bis son was also a
Roman citizen of local Spanisb extraction. The name «Mansuetus» (Mansueta)
is to be met in Spain and locahized usually in Saguntum, Italica and in Ibe Barcino area (Vives 5135, 3901, 4200), tbat is in the more Romanized zones, inhabited by Iberians.
Qn the otber hand, it 18 possible to produce oblique evidence lo tbe conlrary. It is a known fact thaI Ibe VIIth legion played a mosí significant pad in Ihe
Civil War, specifically in Ibe batíle of Cremona, and thaI its legale Anlonius Phmus, by bis energy and resolution, as good as sealed Ihe fate of Ibe war. In order
to tbank tbem adequately for ibe services rendered, Vespasian gaye alí the Spaniards tbe Latin cilizensbip. Evidently, Galba’s legion was among Ibose lucky
nalives. If our supposition is corred, the bulk of Ibe legion were non-citizens.
Anotber indirect proof of tbe assumption is tbat among tbe new legion’s tribunes were people from Ibe Quirina tribe ~ —te very tribe to whicb Vespasian
altached Ibose people wbom he wanled to give a citizensbip. The VII Gemina
legion was manned mainly from tbe Spaniards even in Ihe future, and Ihe majority of tbe recruits came from Ihe Ibree conventus in tbe nortb-west of Tarraconensis 76• Whal if it is Ihe continuation of Ihe tradition inaugurated by Galba?.
Of course thaI did not rule oul recruiting conscripts from otber regions as welI.
The legion was officially formed on June 10. 68 7~, thaI is, before Galba got
te word about bis promotion lo the rank of emperor, so thaI Ihe formation of
Ibe legion may be regarded as an extraordinary fact. It was Ibis legion tbat Galba
marched against Rome with, baving left behind in Spain tbe VIth Victrix legion,
previously under bis command. Evidently Ihe emperor trusted Ibe newly recruited legion more tban Ibe oíd one, where Ihere were ratber many Ilalics ~ Besides Galba formed auxiliary regimenís from among Ihe provincials (Suet. Ca/ha
Cir. A. T. Fear, <The Vernacular Legion of Hispania Ulterior>, Latonius 50.4 (t991),
E. Ritterling, «Legio, sp. 1631.
J~ M. Roldán Hervás, Hispania yel ejércita.., 246-248.
E. Ritterling, Legio, Sp. 1029; 0. Alfóldy, «Hispanien uad das rórniscite Heer, Gerión
3(1985), 394.
J~ M. Roldán Hervás, Hispania ye/ ejércita.., 200, 242.
Ju. R. Tsirkin
10.2). Qne of Ihose was Ibe cohon of Ihe Vasconi (Tac. His¡. IV, 33). Actually, auxiliary lroops were normally raised from the inhabitants of Ihe
north-wesl of Ibe Iberian Peninsula.
Ml Ibe steps and measures undertaken by Ibe claimant upon tbe throne,
such as his belief in the Celliberians’ religious culIs and praclices, his likely
conscriptions primarily among Ibe people of Ibe leasí Romanized territories
of Spain, bis preference of Clunia as the chief residence of bis campaign
againsí Rome, the city wbere be received the emperor’s title and where be
firsí síationed his new legion and lasí buí nol leasí, bis marcb on Rome with
this new legion, —al! Ihis spoke volumes aboul Galba’s confidence in the supporl of Ihis zone. It goes wiíhout saying lbat Gaiba made a good use of the
Roman citizens loo. He made several equeslrians his bodyguards (Suet. Calha 10.3). According lo Suetonius (Ca/ha 10.2) Galba crealed son of a senate
(ve/itt instar senatus) made up of noblemen of age and wisdom. For alí his desire lo secure Ibe support of the less Romanized seclion of Ibe Spanish population, Galba, famous for bis conservaíism, could scarcely have recruited bis
so-called senate from among noncitizens. Even Senorius bad in his lime formcd his senate of Roman emigrants ralber Iban of indigenous aristocracy. A
cenlury and a half laler, Ihe situation in Spain was quite differenl, the country
bad already quite a few Roman cilizens. Apparenlly Galba’s senate consisted
of people wbo belonged lo Ibe municipal and colonial élite of Tarraconensis.
It looks possible that some members of Ihis provisional organ were people
from Galbas imnmediate circie, as, for instance, Titas Vinius, the one wbo
had pul an end lo Galba’s hesitations (Plut. Ca/ha 4).
Tacitas records thaI Galba’s march lo Rome was long and bloody (Hist. 1,
6). Suetonius testifies too (Ca/ha 12.1) Ibal tbose towns tbat did not immediately join Galba, suffered severe punisbments al the emperor’s band who
went even as far as to raze Ihe walls and lo execute Ihe loca] aulborities complete with their families. Tbe biographer does not specify wbat lowns he
meaní, be jusí meníions 11w accidení wiíb a wreatb al Tarraco (1 2.1) and Plularch describes Galba’s meeting near Narbo wiíb Ihe Senate’s messengers
(Ca/ha 11). AII Ihis allows us lo unmistakably define Galba’s roule. From
Clunia be musí plainly bave moved along Ihe road cailed per Cantahriam leading from Asturica Augusta via Clunia and Caesaraugusta lo Tarraco and
Ibere joining Ibe Augustian road, Ihe Iben mosí usually used and tbe sIxortesí
land route from Spain lo Italy. Tbe laller road crossed Ibe eastern part of Tarraconensis and Narbonensis, thaI is, it Iraversed across Ihe mosí Romanized
areas of Ibe empire’s western provinces ~9. From al! Ibis it may be assumed
thaI in contrasí lo the leasí Romanized zone with ils largely extaní local institulions, the strongbold of Galba, Ibe more Romanized zones wbicb were under a considerable influence of Ihe colonisís and maintained closer lies witb
Italy and Rome, regarded Galba in a different light.
~» J. M. RoldAn Hervás, Itineraria Hispana, Granada, 1975,45-48,89.
Romanisation of Spain: socio-politica/ aspect
It is also substantialed by the Gaul material. Vindex’s adherenls were Ibe
migbty tribes of Three Gauls, particularly Aedui, Sequani and Ibeir allies
(Tac. Hist 1, 51). As for Narbonensis, the town of Vienna took tbe side of
Vindex and joined in the insurgence (Tac. 111sf. 1, 65) buí the province on Ihe
wbole was ralber pro-Nero, Valens, for insíance, altempled in 69 to reverse
Ibe marcb of the war by landing his troops in Narbonensis (Tac. Hin III, 41)
and it is well known bow deeply and markedly Vitellius revered Ibe memory
of Nero (Suet. Vit. 112). AtIbe same time, Vindex was opposed by the Rhine
tribes of Lingoni and Treveri (Tac. Hist. 1, 51, 57). Tbe social evolution of
tbese tilbes was somewhat relarded, there was no marked stralificalion of Ibe
tribes, tbe tribal elite could not be so easily distinguished Ibere 8t~, and, besides, these tribes were ralber tightly united with Ihe legions síationed there
and atibe momení loyah lo Nero (cfr. Tac. Hist. 1, 57).
The social development of the Aedui, Sequani, Allobrogi (wbose capital
was Vienna) and also of Ibe other tñbes in ibis region of Gaul bad already
gone a long way in Ibe pre-Roman times 8¼But, on the other hand, lbey liad
preserved some pre-Roman institutions, largely based on Ibe original tribes,
now civilates, wbereas in Narbonnensis the municipal system was already in
ful! swing 82 Vindex was aciively supponed by those Gaul aristocrats wbo
bad been involved in Ibe empire’s affairs and even penetrated into tIxe state’s
ruling ecbelon buí at the same time relamed Ibe former levers of influence in
Ibeir tribal communities. It was at the meeting of Ihe Gaul nobilily Ibal Vmdex publicly and resolulely voiced his opposition to Nero (Dio Cass. LXIII,
22) and those nobles rose in arms with bim againsí Nero (los. BeUud IV,
8,1). According to Plutarcb (Ca/ha 4), Vindex had 100.000 soldiers at bis
disposal. Considering the fact that the Roman legions quarlered on Ihe Rhine
were opposed lo bim and Ihere were no other regular troops in Gaul, Ihose
soldiers could base been only Ibe army of the Gaul magnates, recruited from
Ibeir clients.
In ah likelihood, Ihe same pattern of torces was in evidence in Spain too.
True, we do not know anytbing about the síance of Ihe more backward tribes
in the norih; it is quite possible lhat lbey were keeping aloof in Ihe conflicí
(Ibe Vasconi conscripted by Galba, al leasí those wbo lived in tbe valley, were somewhai more advanced 83 As for Ibe rest of Spain tbe situation there
was to an extení Ibe same as it had been during the Sertorian War when the
more or less Romanized regions of Ibe country bad risen againsí Ibe mutinous general and Ibe little Romanized areas had given hm a wbole-hearled
~» A. G. Bokshaain, TIte Social Crisis in ¡he Ronzan Empire in che ¡st Century AD., Moscow,
1954, 212 (ja fussian).
~> N. 5. Sitirokova, Ancient Celtsat che Turn oftite New Era, Leniagrad, 1989,11 t-215 (ja
82 0. Alfóldy, TIte social His¡o’y..., 105; A. Pellelier, «La societé urbaiae en Gaule Narbonnaise á l’époque dAugusle, Lacomus 50.3 (1991), 645-647.
83 J~ M. Blázquez, Nuevos estudios..., 233.
Ji,. fi. Tsirkin
suppon. Galba’s actions at large resembled those of Serlorius but his issues
turned out lo be mucb more advantageous.
Tbe provinces musí bave hiitle suifered from Nero’s mad atrocilies ~
Tacitus related (A nn. XVI, 5) thai Ibe municipals and provincials coming lo
Rome were amazed at ihe life and bappenings in Ibe capital; evidenlly back
al bome, a long way from Ibe slate’s centre lhey liad seen noíbing of Ibis kind
and little did they care about the capital. But lhey bigbly valued Ibeir social
position in tbeir sociely and did nol feel like running a risk by laking pan in
Ibe civil war. Besides, in the provinces Nero enjoyed a tangible popularily. It
is known as a fact thaI in Ibe year 58 be had pul forward an inilialive to abolish duties (vectiga/ia), customs duties (portoria) among tbem, buí the Senate’s
opposition prevented him from translating Ibis project mío life (Tac. Annt
XIII, 50). Yei ihe emperor bad succeeded in adopiing a number of measures
aimed al cbecking ibe tax-farmers’ abuse in collecting ihe oblique duties.
Thus be abolished tbe 1/40 and 1/50 levy from any bargain concluded, be
made public ahí ibe hilberlo secrel regulations for Ibe Iax-farmers; be ordered
the provincial vicegerents to consider top-prioriiy cases against ihe tax-farmers (Tac. 4nn. 13.51) «~. AII these proved effeclive exactly bere, in ibe
mosí Romanized zone wilh ils more active economic, commercial inclusive,
life and wiíb its closer trade lies witb Ilaly. So lbat tbe inhabitanis of the most
Romanized areas of Spain and Gaul saw no special reason lo actively supporl
the advocate and to a cerlain extent Ibe protege of the «evil’> Senale that rose
againsí ibe ¿<good» emperor.
Buí what seems to be even of greater consequence is an objective opposition lo Ibe less Romanized territories with a different way of life and its differení organization. Tbe colonists are known lo base come chiefly from Italy,
nol from Rome, and lo have kepí tbeir bonds wilb Italy. In Italy tbe síate of
affairs, as will be shown later, turned out lo be different, buí the similar situalion liad been very mucb in evidence during Sertorius and it may be accounted for by the specific conditions of Ihe co-existence in Ihe provinces of Ibe
Ilalo-Roman and indigenous worlds, which necessilaied ibe unification and
consolidation of 11w former (unlike Italy, where for a long time Ibe opposition of Ibe Roman and Italian worlds bad been felt). Probably Ixere lies t1w
explanalion of a more loyal altitude lo Nero on the parí of Ibe Romanized regions of the provincial wesl.
Galba’s victory was tbe victory of the Senate’s aristocracy, tbal is, of tlie
republican elemenis of Ibe principale 86 Perhaps, thai is also Ihe reason of
Galba’s attilude to 11w army, to Ihe praetorians in panicular, in whom he
J~ Muñiz Coello, «La política municipal de los Flavios en 1-lispaaia, SHHA 2-3 (1984-
1985), 151.
S.J. De Laet, Portorium, Brugge, 1949, 120-121.
A. B. Egorov, op. ck, 192, 203: M. A. Levi, <>1 Flavio, ~4NRW 11.2, 180, 183. Cfr.: F. 5.
Kleiner, Tite Arch of Galba al Tarragona aud Dynastic Portrajture on fornan Arches’, MM3O
(1989), 251-252.
Romanisation of Spain: socio-po/it/cal aspecí
jusíly saw the material base of the monarcby. He made efforls lo restore ibe
anciení republican atiitude to Ibe soldiers, whom he said be was «recruiiing’>
buí not «buying» (Tac. Hist 1, 5). However, despite his conservatism the new
emperor could nol help underslanding Ihe significance of Ihe provinces, Ihe
more so thaI ibe revolt in them had made him emperor. Actually, Galba revived tbe former practice of Ihe era of civil strifes al Ibe end of Ihe republic
when the provincials’ support was paid for by various privileges, including a
citizensbip. He gaye ibe citizenship to Ihose Gaul communities tbat took sides with Vindex; be also reduced laxes and mncreased Ihese communities’
lands (Tac. Hist. 1, 8).
Spain was nol exempí from bis benevolence either. Spain gol her laxes reduced loo, and then Vespasian, in spite of bis avance and stinginess, confirmed Ibis ací of Galba. In alí probability, wbat was meaní is ibe customs dulies
which diminisbed from 2’5 per cení lo 2 per cení
Clunia —ihe town tbat
bad proclaimed him emperor and that bad rendered hm support al the decisive momení—, was raised by Galba lo ihe rank of a Roman colony and given
Ihe cognomen «Sulpicia» 88 Tbis act was mosí likely passed well after Galba’s arrival in Rome. Tbe coin legend with Ihe mention of Clunia Sulpicia
coníains also Ibe mention of the Senate’s decision (SC.) 89 ~ is mosí unlikely thaI such a decision could base been made in the emperor’s absence. In
Baelica Galba created Ihe municipium of Anlicaria taking
account the
strategic position of Ibe lown towering over ibe road from Corduba lo Ihe
Medilerranean pons, especially lo Malaca 90• The lalter was closely tied with
Ibe African litioral (Sirabo III, 4,2) and Galba could nol afford lo ignore Ibe
evenís on Ibe soutbern coast of Ibe Mediterranean Sea. Tbe Africa vicegerení
Clodius Macer was doubtlessly lrying lo play his own game, wbich evenlually
led lo bis assassination by Galba’s order (Tac. Hist. 1, 7).
Galba’s murder meaní 11w defeal of dic Senate and the oíd Roman ansiocracy’s faction. His successor Qtho leaned pnimanily upon the praetorians
and some of bis loyal troops for support. Thougb his reign was exceedingly
short, jusí for Ibree odd montbs, from 15 January to 17 April 69 A.D., and
one of the ibree montbs was spent by him in Ibe campaigns under bis personal generalship, ihe new emperor did nol fail lo lake good care of tbe provinces, Ibose in Spain loo. Before be had jomned in ihe anli-Nero movemení, QI~
87 J~ M. Blázquez, La econonna..., 422; E. Eticane, «Quadragesima ou quinquagesima Hispaniarunl?, REJA 53 (1951), 62-70; A. Bali!, “El Imperio Romano hasta la crisis del siglo iii’, in
Historia económica y social de España!. Madrid, 1973, 274-284; F. 5. Kleiner, op. ch., 241. Titis
act of Galba rnay be iltustrated and confirmed by the coja bearing dic Iegend REMISSA, whicit,
in De Laet’s opinion, arnply testifies to tite reduction of tite custorns duties: op. ciÉ, 171. F. Vittingitofí holds, titougit, that such a legead could only signify a complete abolition of duties: F.
Vittinghoff, >Portoriuai, ja RE~ Hbd. 43 (1953), Sp. 379.
88 H. Galsterer, op.cit., 35.
»~ lbid.,35,Annt5O.
9» Ibidl, 36.
itt fi. Tsirkin
bo had been Lusitania’s vicegerení and be only too well realized the imporlance of Spain in bis slruggle for power. He initialed a fresb deduction lo
Emerila (Tac. FI/st. 1, 78) and ibe new colonisís’ slrips were nol inferior lo tbe
earlier ones 9~. Ihe deduclion of new colonisis to ihis lown was nothing oul
of ibe ordinary, since it had been Qlho’s residence. Buí it was nol enougb for
Qibo. He made up bis mmd lo draw lo bis side ibe Senale’s Baelica loo. With
Ihis aim in view, new colonisís were also deduced lo Hispalis and some
towns in Mauretania were annexed lo Ihe province (Yac. FI/st. 1, 78), which
was apparently lo increase Baetica’s mncome. By Ibese measures Qíbo no
doubt iníended lo sírengíben his position in Ihis mosí imponaní bolb economically and síraíegical¡y, counlry during 11w war against Vilellius 92~ Tbe
grealer musí have been Qtbo’s disappoinímenl wben Spain sided wilh Vilellius (Tac. FI/st. 1, 76).
Vitellius’s principate was a sborl buí speclacular episode in Ihe Roman
history. Vilellius sougbí lo rally different eslales buí was aclively supporled
only by Ihe urban plebs (lo say nothing, of course, of Ibe German army). According lo Tacitus (1, 4), many plebeians liad al one time bemoaned Nero.
Ihe latler’s feasts, his construction aclivities carried out on a large scale, Ibus
giving many a plebeians chance lo earn good money, altracled people, even
Ibe absence of Senate’s gravitas appealed lo many people ~. Galba’s bundling managemení, unresí accompanying Qtho’s overthrow, Ihe hardships of
Ihe civil war daily growing more and more palpable and painful (cfr. Yac.
Hist. 1 ,89), —al! Ibis mulliplied ihe number of those nostalgic for Nero’s limes. Therefore Vitellius arrived al a certain conclusion— be markedly and
publicly emphasized bis respecí for Nero’s memory, be commilled in Ibe
Mars field memorable offerings in honour of Ibe late emperor (Suel. V/t.
11.2). Tbus he paved his way lo the hearts of many plebeians.
Tbe towns-people bad once proved vastly instrumental in Ihe eslablisbmenl of Caligula’s individual rule by rusbing mio the curiam (Suel. Cal.
14.1). Similarly Ihe Roman plebs rose al ibe crucial momení lo defend Vitellius. After Ibe defeal near Cremona Ibe people demanded arms (Tac. FI/st. 1,
58). Wben Vilellius losí his bead on accouní of bis persisíení defeals and
treasons and decided lo lay down bis authority, ihe plebs gathered and resolutely demanded thaI be shou¡d come back lo Ibe Palatine Hill. And wben tbe
rumors of bis abdication seemed, bowever, lo bave been confirmed, nol only
his soldiers buí also Ibe vulgar (vu/gus) rose in opposition lo Ihe Flavians
(Yac. FI/st. III, 68-69). The re¡atively insignificaní viclory of Vilellius’s soldiers over Petelius Cerialis’s cavalry so inspired ibe people (studia populi
»‘ Die Schrifren der rómisciten Feldmesser, Berlin,
92 Tacitus stressed ja plain terrns that titose and
1948, 51-52.
other similar measures of Otito (cg. giving
a citizenship to tite Lingoni and the introduction of new laws at Cappadocia and in Africa) pursued only ene aad sole aim for tite emperor so win bis subjects’ popularity.
<3 Z. Yavetz, Plebs and Princeps, Oxford, 1969, 126-129.
Roman/sation of Spain: socio-po/itica/ aspect
aucta) thaI even ihe urban mob took lo arms (Tac. FI/st. III, 80). True, Ibe
inexperienced volunleers soon found themselves scatlercd by Ihe altacking
borsemen (Tac. H/st. III, 80) buí wbat matters here is Ibeir enlhusiasm and
readiness lo fight even a losing fighl, Iheir loyally lo Vilellius even under hopeless and desperale circumslances. Cenainly, tbe popular supporl sbould
nol be exaggeraled. Tbe bulk of Ihe population in Rome belonged lo thaI «silení majority» ibal even al Ibe mosí crucial and key momenís went on with
Ibeir daily cbores and cares, as can be seen from Tacitus’ slory (FI/st III, 83)
aboul the conducí of many Romans during the street fighling in the capital;
moveover, anoíber pan of Ihe residenís went so far as lo pledge Iheir loyalty
lo Ibe new governmení and oulraged Ibe deposed princeps (Tac. FI/st. 111,
85). Yel ibe active section of ihe plebs turned out lo be a slauncb adberenl of
Tbis conducí of Ibe Roman plebs seems al firsí sigbt baffling. Qne migbt
bave thougbí Ibal tbe excesses committed by ihe soldiers who trealed Rome
as a war city sbould bave avened Ibe Romans from the commander-in-chief
of ibis demoralized and corrupled army. Buí, perhaps, Ibe majority of Ibe
people did not base lo suffer so mucb from tbese oulrages since lbcy had so
very little for tbe marauders lo lake away from tbem?. Besides, Ihe Romans
mighl have anticipaled Ihe disiribution of grain from Ihe military camps; of
course, tbey feared Vespasian wbo bad resolved to síarve the city lo deaíh ~
Tbe plelis mighl bave been pleased by tbe fact lhat Vitellius adopted Ibe name «Germanicus» in bonour of Ihe popular ido! Ibe memory of whom was
slill alive even fifíy, years afler bis deatb.
Buí Ibe main tbing is, in our opinion, as follows. Tacilus (FI/st II, 91) writes Ibal Vilellius during comilia consulum with his candidales sougbi, as befits a citizen, lo secure the plebs’ approval. Yo strive lo ensure Ibe plebs’ approval of his candidates would bave been senseless if ihe consuls bad been
elected, as in previous times, al leasí formally, by Ibe Senale. It follows thai
Vilellius had abrogated Tiberius’ reform Ibal bad deprived the people of Ihe
rigbl lo cboose Ihe magistrales (Tac. Ann. 1,15). Wben he made an alíempí lo
lay down bis power, he, perbaps, imitating Sulla, convened a popular meeting
(contio) lo explain Ihe reasons of bis abdication (Tac. FI/st III, 68). It lestifies
lo a sbarp increase of ihe plebs’ polilical weighl. Tbe common people could
well remember tbe evenís of ibe last century of Ibe republic wben differcní
polilical figures had tried lo curry favour wilb the plebs. Tbe olber jestures
and sleps of Vilellius bad Ibe same largel in view: be altended Ibeatrical performances as a common speclator, he applauded in Ibe circus, he look Ihe
people’s opinion mío accouní. Tacitus (FI/st. II, 91) poinís oul thai such a bebaviour of Ihe emperor could base become popular and won blm gratitude
buí for ihe memory of bis former dishonourable and base way of life. Leí us
~ Idem, ‘Vitellius aad tite Fickleness of tite Moho, Historia 18.4 (1969), 557-569; R. F. Newbold, «Vitellius and the fornan plebso, Historia 21.2 (1972), 308-319.
fi. Tsirkin
leave Ibe reservalions on Ihe hislorian’s conscience. Tbe facis show thai afler
alí Vitellius’ populisí actions had won bim political dividends. Even al Ihe
momení of his abortive abdicalion be was offering Ibe populace bis cbild, beseeching lbem lo defend the infant’s life, wbich, no doubl, appealed lo Ihe
crowd loo. It was Ibis crowd ibal stood by Ibeir own emperor.
The defeal and murder of Vilellius signified ibe defeal of Rome’s urban
plelis, likewise ibe defeat of Galba was Senale’s defeal. Yhus were beaten Ibe
lwo principal conservalive forces impeding tbe praclicah formalion of a more
or less unified Mediterranean empire. Qne íbing more seems lo be noteworíhy. Qn Ibe lasí leg of Ihe civil war wben Ihe war Iheatre sbifted lo Middle
IIaly and Rome was in Ibe main on Vitellius’ side, Ilaly gaye preference lo
Vespasian. Ihe uprising of Ihe Misenian fleet pul Ihe municipia and colonies
mío molion (Yac. 1-1/st II, 57). Vespasian’s supporlers became Samniti, Peligni and Marsi (Tac. FI/st. II, 59), tbat is, Ibal pan of Ilaly wbich a century and a
balf ago had initiated and actively panicipated in ihe Social War (App.
hel civ. 1, 39). In Campania, Capua where, under Nero, a veleran colony was
deduced (Tac. Ann. XIII, 31), remained faithful lo Vitellius, unlike iis rival
Puleolae, thaI sided witb Ihe Flavians (Tac. FI/st III, 57). We should remember thai Puleolae were one of Ibe major Ilalian pons, particularly in ils links
witb the western provinces (Sírabo V, 4,6; cfr. II, 3,4; III, 2,6). Yhe supporí of
Middle Italy, even if nol the decisive factor, contributed enough to Ibe success of Ibe Flavians. Tbe latler’s viclory was Ibe decisive defeal of Rome —Ihe
polis. Vespasian’s reforms sealed ihe resulís of Ibe Civil War.
According lo Suelonius (Vesp. 92), Ibe new emperor «liad purified and
replenished the higlier estales, exhausled by numerous murders and disgraced by previous negligence’>. Aurelius Victor (Caes. 9.9) bolds that as the resulí of ibe tyrants’ cruelly, thaI is, the cruelly of Ibe emperors of ibe JulioClaudian dynasly, there were by thai time only lwo hundred senalors.
Probably, Ihis number is exceedingly undersiated
buí in any case ihe reduclion of ibe number of senators seems indisputable, and ibe process wenl
at Ihe sacrifice of more ancient and distinguished famihies, Ihe principIe vicíims of ihe Julio-Claudians, and besides, Ibe senalors’ families seem lo bave
liad few or no children 96• Making Ibe mosí of Ihe anciení censorship (censu
more veterum excercito), Vespasian increased ihe number of the senaiors up
lo one tbousand people, recruiting for thaI purpose Ihe besí people from alí
parts of te empire (undique) (Aur. Vid. Caes. 9»). Suetonius specif¡es, ihal
be included bolh mío senaiors and equestrians tbe worlhiesl and Ibe mosí
bonesí of Ibe Ilalics and provincials, discarding tbe ignoble and Ibe dishonest
ones (Suel. Vesp. 9.2). AII ibis led lo an abrupí change in ihe correlalion of
forces in ibe upper sírala in ihe empire. In the pasí times ibe senators bad
~ H. Bengtson, Dic E/av/es Miiaciten, 1979, 90.
96 M. Harnmond, «Compositioa of the Seaate, A.D. 68-235», 1RS47 (1957), 75-76; 0. Alféldy, TIte Social H/story .., 118.
Ronzanisation of Spain: socio-po/icical aspect
more or less successfully assimilaled Ihe bomines novi from Ibe municipia
and provinces; now the representalives of Ibe oíd Roman aristocracy became
liíerally dissolved in ibe newcomers. Ihe mling class of tbe empire bad undergone dramalic cbanges loo ~.
Apparently it is possible lo síate Ibe completion of a wbole long epocb
beralded by Ibe Social War. Tben a decisive and principal blow had been delivered against Rome ibe polis. The process of giving Ibe Itahics Ibe civil
rigbts bad aclually come lo its end, lo alí appearances, under Augustus, as has
been shown previously in ihe paper, buí Iheir represenlalives musí base píayed an immaterial role and, whcn integraled mío bodies of power, they became assimilaíed and absorbed by Ibe Roman nobilily. Now lhey began lo come mio Ibe fore, lhough.
And it had a far reacbing consequence for Ibe whole of Rome’s history.
In ibe bistorical perspective Ihe barrier between Rome and Ilaly was by far
more imponant tbantm belween Ilaly and provinces. The eventual collapse
of ihis barrier lransformed Rome from Ibe polis slanding al Ibe bead of an
enormous empire mío ibe capital of a territorial síale. Privileged in Ihis síale
were for Ibe times bcing Ibe Ilalies wbo constitaled tbe bulk of the ruling
eslales (among Ihe senalors witb Ibe identified background, 83.2 per cern were, under Vespasian, Iíalians and Romans 98). But Ibe road lo a more active
inclusion of Ibe provincial élile mío Ibe síate governmental institulions was
open and ihe share of ihe provincials in Ibe Senate stcadily grew. Ybe provinces were slowly buí surely becoming pan and parcel of the territorial síale.
It is precisely in Ibis lighl thai one musí consider Ihe Latium given by
Vespasian lo al! Ibe Spaniards who bad hilberto had neither Roman nor Laun cilizenship. Tbis fact is reponed by Pliny (n.h. III, 30). Tbere are two opínions concerning ibe date of ibis ací of Vespasian. Mosí scbolars Iend lo date
Ibis ací lo 73-74, lhat is, lo the censorship of Vespasian and Tilus ~ wbereas oíhers refer it lo 70-71, Ibal is, lo Ihe period immedialcly following ibe
civil war 100 ~I is facilitaled by the varianis of Ibe word’s spelling: iaclalum
(-us, -ae) in sorne manuscripís of ibe Natura/ f-f/stozy and Ibe adoption of this
or Ibal varianí of Ibe spelling determines Ihe inlerprelalion of Ihe lexí and Ihe
daiing of Ibe evení. Leaving aside alí Ihe hisiorical and linguislic argumenís of
the champions of Ibis or lhat dale, leí us carefully examine Pliny’s lexí.
Al Ibe beginning of Book III (6-30) Pliny presents a political geograpby
»~ H. Bengtson, Die Fía vier, 88-92, 113-120.
98 M. Hamrnond, op. ciÉ, 77.
»» R. K. McEldery, “Vespasiaa’s Recoastruction of Spaia, JRS8 (1918); H. Galsterer, op.
ciÉ, 37; H. Beagtsoa, Dic Flavier, 129; J. Gage, op. c/É, 186; Weynand, «Flavius 206)”, RE~ Hbd.
12 (1909), Sp. 2659-2660; R. Wiegels, “Daturn der Verleihuag der luis Latii an dic Hispaajada, Hermes 106.t (1978), 213; N. Mackie, Local Adminiscration in Ronzan Spain AD. 14212? Oxford, 1983, 215-216.
lO» J~ Muujiz Coello, op. ciÉ, 154-155; A. Montenegro Duque, “Hispania durante el Imperio», ja Historia de España, t. 11.1, 209.
Ja. B. Tsirkin
of Baetica and a greal pan of Tarraconensis in order lo come back in Book
IV lo Spain describing now ibe Qcean’s litioral of Tarraconensis and Lusitania (110-120). And there al Ibe very end of Ibe firsí «Spanish passage» before
meníioning Pyrenees separating Spain from Gaul did ihe aulbor repon Vespasian’s deed. This information seems alien in Ibis texí, somewhat oul of place, as a reference nested at Ibe very ¡así momení mío the well arranged
lexí “~‘. It has been universally recognized Ibal Pliny made use of Agrippa’s
map and of some olber documenís of the Auguslian epoch to describe Spain.
Pliny musí have iniroduced mio Ihese lexís sorne necessary allerations and
corrections lo mirror te evenís and practices of Ihe posí-Auguslian time. For
insíance, as territorial subdivisions of te provinces be pointed oul Ihe conventus, wiíhin Ihe framework of wbich he enumerated towns and communilies. Convenlus sbaped up as territorial subdivisions of Ibe Spanish provínces, mosí likely, in ibe reign of Claudius 802 And yet, Ihere were nol so many
changes in Ibe polilical geography of Spain, for Ibe contribulion of tbe JulioClaudian dynasly mio it was practically immalerial.
Qn Ihe olber hand, Pliny was well familiar witb Spain. He himself bad Iived in ibe counlry in Ihe capacily of Ibe procurator (Plin. Mm. ¡Sp. III, 5,17).
As he had been procuralor simullancously with Larcius Licinius, wbo died al
Caríhago Nova in ibe course of bis vicegerentsbip (Plin. XIiX, 35) Ihe hislorians believe thaI Ibe aulbor of te Natura/ lvi /story occupied Ibis office in Tarraconensis in 73 IO3~ No wonder Ibal Pliny does nol jusí enumerale the Spanish towns and elhnics as he did describing mosí of Ibe olber countries and
provinces (excepí tbe African provinces —V. 29), buí be also provides a statistical survey of Ibe legal status of various Spanisb communilies. Incidenlally,
Ihis division mío colonies, municipia, Latin lowns and primarily stipendiary
towns was lo become invahid afler Vespasian’s reform 104 It goes wilhout saying thai ihe status of sorne separate communities did nol change overnighi.
Pliny can be expecied lo bave laken mío consideralion ihe reforms’ aflermalh, even if tbey did nol make tbemselves manifesí during bis stay in Ihe
couniry, and, consequenlly, ihis could base been mirrored in Ibe descriplion
of Spain. Alas, it was nol so. It follows Ihen Ibal as early as 73 ibe procuralor
Pliny had no knowledge of Vespasian’s ací. Pliny completed ibis book in 77,
and he gaye it lo Titus in Ihe same year during his sixih consulship (Plin.
T. A. Lapina, «Some Source-Book Problems of Pliny tite Elder’s Books on Geography”,
VDI4 (1987), 137 (la Russian); R. Wiegels, op. ciÉ, 209.
>02 3M. Roldáa Hervás, “La organización político-administrativa y judicial de la Hispania
Romana, ja Historia de España, t. 11.2, 104; cfr. itowever, O. Pereira Menaut, in Bonner iahrbíicher, 191 (1991),810.
03 W.Kroll, ‘Plinius, 5), RE, Hbd. 41(1951), Sp. 276; H.-G. Pflaum, Les ca rr/ers procuratoriennes equestres sons le Haut-Empir4 Paris, 1960, t. 1, 110. Pliny’s close familiarity with tite
Spanish life is amply evidenced by bis detailed description of the pits that, as the recent researches have sitowa, exactly corresponds to the real facts: J. Isager, Pl/ny on Art aná Society, Odease, 1991, 65.
‘04 TA. Lapina, op. ch., 137.
Romanisation of Spain: socio-polirical aspect
praef 3). It looks quite probable Ibal by Ihis time author Ibe bad come back
lo Rome after having lived in different provinces ~05, only lo learn about
Vespasian’s reform, wbicb made him introduce tbe information of ibe reform
mío bis practicaily completed book.
Vespasian’s censorsbip, thai he bad adopled in conjunclion wilb Titus,
was a remarkable landmark in bis míe JQ6~ He had undoubtedly prepared
himself in advance lo be able lo accepí and fulfil Ibis office, judging from frequení mentions of him as censor designatus 107 ~ was al thai lime, as has
been síaled previously, thai he bad carried out bis radical alleralions in 11w
composilion of ihe Senate. In ibe capacity of ibe censor Vespasian rearranged the lerrilory of Rome ilself and Pliny in bis recording of this evení (III,
66) gives ibe exací dale —AD. 74 and regards it as Ihe second landmark in
Ibe cily’s bislory afler ibe foundation by Romulus. AII Ihis enables us lo join
Ibose scbolars who dale Vespasian’s reform in Spain lo Ihe time of Ihe censorship of Vespasian and Titus, lo ihe year 74, lo be precise, thai is, lo Ibe period wben Pliny had already Ieft Spain 808
Spain musí base eníered Ibe sphere of Ibe imperial atienlion even earlier
Iban Ibal. Pliny (IV, 100) lisIs among tbe cilies of Ibe Tarraco Bay liltoral,
thaI is, Ibe Spanish coasí of Ibe modern Bay of Biscay, Ihe pon of Amanum,
wbere al Pliny’s time Ibere was Ihe colony of Flaviobriga. Tbis mention of Ibe
colony seems absolulely natural in 11w lexí of Pliny’s siory and does nol slrike
as an addilional reference introduced al Ibe lasí momení, unlike tbe mention
of ihe Vespasian reform. Flaviobriga was one of Ibe twelve colonies of Tarraconensis Plmny described a bit earlier in his book (III, 18) JO». Tbe menlion of
Ibe pon wbicb was nol al al! widely known may bear wilness lo its recení
promotion lo Ibe rank of a colony perbaps, even during ibe procuralorship
of Pliny bimself. It is nol known if Flaviobriga was a <titular» colony or Ibe
formation of ibe colony was accompanied by a deduction itO. Pliny is silení
on Ihe deduclion buí it is no ground lo deny it. In our view, it is noteworthy
Kroll, op. ciÉ, 277; K. Salímana, «Plinius 1)’, la K/eineFauly4 (1979); U-O. Pflaurn,
op. ch., 109-110.
06 Weynaad, op. ciÉ, Sp. 2655; A. Torrent, ‘Para una interpretación de la potestas censoria
de los emperadores Flavios, Emerha 36(1968), 225-226; M. A. Levi, Limperio romano, 187188; H. Bengtson, DieFlavier, 89.
»‘ A. Torrent, op. ciÉ, 222.
a»» Cfr. H. Galsterer, op. ciÉ, 48. No matter how you rnay iaterpret Pliny’s phrase Iactatum
(-us, -ae) proce//is rel pub/icae Latium tr/bui4 tlierc is no denyiag tite connection betweea titis
deed of Vespasian and the uaresc irl the state, i. e. tite Civil War of 68-69. It does aot irnply a
citronological affinity of lite Civil War and Vespasian’s reforrn, though. Oae of tite rernedies lo
cure these disturbances was undeniably the chaage in the composition of Ihe Senate, buí, as we
have already seca, it íook place during and as dic result of the censorsitip of Vespasian and Titus. Peritaps, tite new ernperor’s hectic activities ja Rorne were meaní to e!iminate tite aftermath
of street fighting ja December 69, but even thesc eveats, as we itave already seen, Pliny refers to
the activities of Vespasiaa tite censor.
‘»» E. Húbaer, Flaviobriga», ja RE, Hbd. 12(1909), Sp. 2515.
<o Cfr. U. Galsterer, op. ciÉ, 48, especially Bern. 87; f. K. McElde¡y, op. ciÉ, 99.
Ji,. fi.
thai Ihe very name of Ihe colony «Flaviobriga» is builí wilh Ihe local stem
«briga», very common in Ibe Celíic region of Spain. However, if on Ibe site of
ihe indigenous Amanum a new lown wilh a new populalion (Ilalians, among
olber elhnics) had been builí, il would base been logical lo give it a Lalin name, as was Ibe case with Caesaraugusla builí on te place of Salduba (Plin.
III, 24). Tberefore we deem it more plausible lo mainlain Ibal Ihe lown’s síatus was raised and no new residents were deduced Ibere. Now Ihe town received tbe name of Ibe emperor Flavius buí in ibe native habitual form.
The grounds of Vespasian’s choice of Ibis very lown are nol clear. Possibly, in Ibis way be sougbi lo reinforce his control over Ibe nearby pits ~ or
over Ihe harbour, so suitable for Ibe communication wilb Ibe Atlanlic coasí
of Europe 112 Anyway, Vespasian’s inleresí in Ihis as-yet-very-liítle-Romanized zone speaks volumes.
Evidently already in the firsí years of his reign Vespasian confirmed Galba’s reduction of cusloms laxes for Spain from 2.5 per cent lo 2 per cení ~
Firsí Vespasian also kepí Ihe minI al Tarraco ibal had resumed its work under Galba. II was nol unlil 73 thaI Ibe Tarraco coinage ceased 114
Afler Galba’s departure Spain found ilself far removed from Ibe balílefield. It is no accidení thai Ibe Isí legion of Ibe marines was dispalched for
resí and rehabililalion lo Spain (Tac. fi/st. II, 67). And ihougb ihe Spanisb legions recognized Vitellius and even took pains lo prevení Ihe bostile forces
from Maurelania from landing (Tac. fi/st. II, 58), on Ihe whole lbey remained
neutral during Ihe Civil War (Tac. FI/st. II, 97). Afier te batile of Cremona
ibe lroops síationed in Ihe Iberian Peninsula recognized Vespasian, lhougb
(Tac. FI/st. II, 44). Shortly afler bis viclory, Ibe new emperor, in order lo reinforce his army in Gaul, Ihen in Ihe grip of Civilis’s raging insurgence, or, maybe, wary of another upbeaval in Ibis remate, buí so importaní land, withdrew
from Spain alí legions quartered ihere 115 By cajoling Spain, on Ibe one hand
and depriving it of its mililary forces on Ibe olber, Vespasian fonified his posilions in Ihe empire’s extreme wesl.
AII Ihese measures were on te wbole wilbin Ibe framework of Ihe previous Roman policies. In 73 and 74 afier lis decisive lriumpb in Ihe Judean
War and Ihe suppression of Civilis’s uprising, Vespasian underlook some
síeps lo dramatically reorganize his síale and Ibus be carried oul some absoluiely new measures as regards Spain. To begin with he sent back lo Spain
A. Monteaegro Duque, «Hispania durante cl lrnperio»,215; R. K. McEldery, op. ciÉ, 99.
E. Húbaer, op. ciÉ, Sp. 2515.
J. M. Blázquez, La economía..., 422; A. Balil, op. ciÉ, 274; S.J. De Laet op. ciÉ, t22, 293.
Wc sitalí point out titat Vespasian repealed Galba’s analogous act concerning Gaul: 5. 3. De
Laet, op. ciÉ, 171-173. Howevcr, F. Vittinghoff doubts the existence of quinquagesirna Hispaniarum: F. Vittiaghoff, «Portorium’, Sp. 371.
“‘ 1-1. Mattiagly, Co/ns of tite Ronzan Empire incite British Museum, y. U, London, 1930, p.
‘5 J. M. Roldán Hervás, Hispania yelejércico romano..., t87.
Roman/sa¡ion of Spain: socio-political aspect
ibe VIIth legion raised by Galba. Ibe movemení of the Iroops as such was
nol unusual in Ibe Roman Empire, buí it musí be borne in mmd thaI Ibis legion was originally raised in Spain and tbough now it was manned nol only
by Spaniards, Ihe coincidence of Ibe place of origin and Ihe place of billeling
of Ibe legion crealed a new silualion, much more conducive lo Ihe collaboration of Ihe military and Ibe lay inbabitanls. Besides it is imporlaní thaI Spain
al ibal lime was ralber far from Ibe imperial frontiers and ibe legion had police, ralber tban military duties lo perform in order lo provide law and order in
ibe vitally importaní imperial regions. The legion was billeled, mosí interestingly, in Ihe noríh-wesí of Ibe peninsula so thaI it could control aboye al! Ibe
region’s ricb pits 116
Vespasian granted ihe Spanish peregrines ibe Lalin cilizenship, for he
was compelled lo reckon witb Ibe significance of Spain in ihe imperial economy 1 17 And, secondly, be sírove lo integrate Ibe Spanisb elite mío Ibe ruhing síraíum of Ibe empire. Vespasian bimself bad never had anytbing lo do
wilb Ibis counlry. He participated in Ibe conquesí of Britain, was Ihe vecegerení in Africa, Ihe commander-mn chief in Judea, buí Spain bad never siood
on bis way. Tbe sagacious emperor could appreciate Ibe advaníages of Ihe
Spaniards’ coníribution lo Ihe empire’s affairs. It sbould be stressed, tbough,
thaI in Ibis respecí Spain was nol so very differenl from olber counlries of ibe
weslern pad of ihe Roman power. South and East Spain were rather Romanized, buí so was also Soulb Gaul (true, it had by Ihen received ibe Lalin and
Roman cilizenship). Yhe inland and especially norlbwest territories of Spain
were by far less Romanized, and in Ibis, Spain was like Gaul. lo effeclively
exploil ihe interna! minera! and manpower resources of Ibis counlry it was
nol so imperative lo give its inliabilanís Ibe citizenship.
It seems it was Ihe conducí of Ihe VIIlb legion ibal compelled Vespasian
lo lake Ibis decision in Ibis matíer. As bas already been said, Galba bad parlicularly trusted Ibis legion, he bad laken Ibis legion lo marcb againsí Rome.
Ybe legion had been very active in Ibe balíle of Bedriacum and afler it had
been sení lo camp al Panonia (Tac. FI/st II, 67; 86). Qn Ihe news of Vespasian being proclaimed emperor, ibe legion promplly sided wilb bim. Ibe decisive role in ihe comeover of Ibe wbole of Moesian, Pannonian and Dalmahan armies lo Ibe side of Vespasian was played by ihe VIIIb Galban legion
legale Anlonius Primus, and Ibis look place contrary lo Ibe will of Ibe corresponding provinces’ vicegerenís (Tac. FI/sr II, 66). Wben ihe generais of Ihe
Flavian army were undecided, bided Ibeir time and many commanders were
prepared lo cboose Ibe varianí of a more protracted campaign (and Vespasian loo was inclined lo do so), Primus managed lo persuade bis colleagues
lo immediaíely invade Ilaly, and in Ibis intention be enjoyed absolule support
of bis soldiers and centurions (Tac. FI/st. II, 2-3). Tbe legion was among Ihe
R. K. McEldery, op. ciÉ, 59-61.
J. Muñiz Coello, op. ciÉ, 151-154.
it,. R Tsirkin
firsí lo break mío Iíaly and ensured ihe success of Ihe war in ihe nonh of ihe
country. Likewise during tbe balíle of Cremona, as slresses Tacilus (FI/st. II,
29), the VIIth Legion alongside ibe IIIrd Legion bore the bruní, competing
in bravery and courage. Certainly, some olber legions took pad in Ibe war on
Ihe side of the Flavians, buí Ihis one slood out, occupying a place al! ils own:
nol only was it raised less ihan a year and a half ago, buí it was also raised in
ibe province. Ihis, as would be expected, could not fail lo win Ihe corresponding province (or, lo be more precise, provmnces) the grateful viclor’s favours and special attitude. No doubl, this special feeling of a eboice between
various counlries for ihe reorganizalion and consolidation of Ihe state, an incentive ¡ike Ibis miglil prove a decisive factor in ihe choice iíself.
Qne more factor is wortb menlioning. Spain, and especially, as we see u,
iís less Romanized region, was originally Ihe base of Galbas anli-Nero moyemení, wbereas Vespasian and his adberents made a poiní lo emphasize
Iheir marked respecí for Ihe late emperor’s memory. So, wben Primus came
lo Ilaly, be ordered thaI ihe images of Galba sbould be restored everywbere
and, according lo Tacitus (FI/st. III, 7), he did ihal expressly to render aid lo
ihe Flavians and lo convince Ibe people lo revive Galba’s cause. And Galba
proved to be dic only emperor of tbe Civil War period, menlioned in Ihe Irnilan Law (XIX, 20; XX, 35; VA, 13).
Tbe reform of Vespasian was sbaped by Ibe emperor’s special edicí, buí
lo be able lo implemení it, be liad lo lake Ihe census. Wilh Ibis purpose in
view, L. lunius Qu. Vibius Crispus was delegated lo Tarraconensís. He was
appomnted legate of the propraelor rank and deputy of ihe provinces vicegerent exactly in order lo lake Ihe census (adiutor in censibus acc/piend/s H/span/ae citer/or/s). The cliolce of ihis man of ahí people was far from accidental.
A notable orator and informer of Ibe Nero time, be managed nol only lo
keep oafloat» under Vespasian, buí also lo enter Ibe immediate eníourage of
Ihe new emperor (Tac. Oit 8). Being a consul for the firsí lime back during
Neros rule, al ihe dawn of Vespasian’s reign, Crispus became Ibe proconsul
of Africa; from March lo May 74 be again became a consul, Titus being his
colleague ~. The lasí-mentioned fact leaves no margin for a doubt bow far
and deeply dic new government confided in Crispus. This plainly lestifies lo
Ibe greal store Vespasian set by Ibe reorganizalion of Spain.
Big and small fragmenís of the municipal laws have come down lo us
from whicb we learn about ibe system of governing new municipia crealed in
ihe wake of Vespasian’s aclions. And it is for over a bundred years now thai
ihe bisíorians bave been trying lo answer Ibe question: wby is Ibere a lenyear gap between ihe lime of Ihe creation of Ihese laws and Vespasian’s
edicí?. Some scbolars mainlain thaI Vespasian bad given ibe Spaniards Ibe
personal rigbt ahone, whereas Ibe municipal righi was created as late as DoR. Hanslik, «Vibius, 28)», la RE, Hbd. 8A (1958), Sp. 1968-1970; W. Eck, «Vibius,
28)», ja RE, SptBd. 14(1974), Sp. 852; H. Bengtsoa, Die Flavier, 257-258.
Roman/sation of Spain: socio-political aspect
milian 119, Qther researchers claim Ibal Ibe complex mosaic of polilical and
social relaiions in Spain had required a lengtby and tedious work of special
commillees wbich had lo lake mío account in Ihe process of working out Ibe
native municipal law alí Ibe peculiarities of a concrete communily 120 5h11
otbers conlend that a cerlain exaggeration liad crepí mío Plmny’s accounl of
ibe Lalin cilizensbip given lo al! Spaniards; lbey believe Ibal in actual fact
vast areas of Ibe country, particularly in Ihe west and northwest, bappened lo
be left beyond Ihejurisdiction of Vespasian’s edicí 82¼
Buí 11w argumenís of Ibe champions of Ibese sialemenís doní seem panicularly welI-founded. In poiní of fact we have no olber insíances al our disposal of Ibe people of a whole counlry (or Ibree provinces) baving received Ibe
personal Latin rigbl wbile ibe communities remained al Ibe same lime peregrine. Qn Ibe conlrary: Ihe available precedenís ralber bear wilness lo Ibe
very opposile. For insíance, Nero granted Maritime Alps Ihe Latmn rigbl (Tac.
Ann XV, 32), and what was meant was precisely ihe Lalin citizensbip for Ibe
wbole province. Tbe extaní lexis of Ihe municipal laws display iheir relalive
uniformity and monotony, they undeniably followed Ihe same pallern, which
means thaI ihere was no special need lo correlate tbe laws wilh local condilions 122 ~I is bard lo sbare ibe opinion lhat Pliny exaggeraled tbe effects of
Vespasian’s ací. Tbe vesliges of bis activities can be found nol only in Ihe
soulb and easl of Spain, buí also in olber regions, nortbwesl inclusive. For
example, on Ibe nortbern coasí Ihere were Iowns of Flaviolambris (FbI. II,
6,26), Flavionavia (Pío!. II, 6,5) and Flavium Briganlium (Plol. 2Á4). Qn the
site of Ihe firsí-mentioned town, Mela (III, 10) poinled oul, ibere was about
Ibe year 43 Ihe iown of Lambriaca 123 Qn becoming a Flavian municipium
of Ihe Lalin law Ibe town relamed ibe indigenous toponym as Ibe second elemení of its new name.
Irrespective of Ibe volume of Ihe Latin law granted by Vespasian, on receiving it, the municipal elite received Ihe Roman citizenship loo. Under
Vespasian, sucb people were included mío Ibe Quirmna tribe. Judging from
bbc malerial sysíematized by R. Wiegels, Ibis tribe was lo be found in Baetica,
moslly in tbe mountainous regions, nol yet affecled by Ihe politico-administralive measures of Ihe previous rulers, in Lusitania, on Ibe Balearie Islands
and in tbe inland and norlbweslern areas of Tarraconensis 124 WbaI with Ihe
relative fortuily of epigrapbic finds it is possible lo assume thaI Ibe laller fact
119 H. Braunert, «lus Latii ja den Stadtrechten von Salpensa und Malaca, in Coro/la mamoriae Erich Swoboda dedicaca, Graz-Kóln, 1966, 75-81.
120 J, Muñiz Coello, op. ciÉ, 157-158; H. Galsterer, op. ciÉ, 50.
121 H. Galsterer, op. ciÉ, 38-50.
22 M. Zahmt, Em
itadrianiscite Muaizipiurn ja der Hispaaia Tarraconensis?», ZPE 79
<1989), 174.
‘23 E. Húbaer, «Flaviolanibris», ja RE, Hbd. 12(1909), Sp. 2515; ident «Flavionavia, ibid,
Sp. 2515-2516.
124 R. Wiegels, Die Tribusinschr,ften..., 166-167.
Ja. fi. Tsirkin
corroborales tbe opinion thaI Ihe Lalin law was given lo ihe whole of Spain.
Let us advance anoiher bypotbesis.
Pliny’s plirase FI/spaniae itniversae unambiguously implies Ibal bbc Lalin
right was given lo Ibe counlry at large, nol lo its individual residenís. Ibis imperial edict musí base esíablisbed ibe fact of giving Ihe rigbl as sucb, buí it
was evidently a sufficient basis for turning bbc communiíies mío municipia of
tbe Latin law. And, contrary lo Ihe common opinion 125, it was nol at al!
obligalory lo lake ihe Flavian cognomen. In his lelter lo bbc townsfolk of Sabora (CIL II, 1423) Vespasian —as a special favour— allowed lhem lo calI
Ibeir iown after bim. Al Ihe same lime Ibe bown aulborities of Sabora were already lermed quattuorviri and decur/ones which signifies thaI Sabora had already had the status of a municipium well before it received ibe emperor’s
letíer 126 Quattuorviri have been found lo exisí in a number of municipia,
for ex. in Munigua wbicb received a lelter from Titus in Ibe year 81 (A.é
1962, 288). Qn te olber band, thougb, Ihe bigbesl magistrales of Ibe same
lowns were later called duumviri, as well as in Ihe town laws of Salpensa, Malaca and Irni. It looks probable Ibal under quatluorviri, ibe amalgamation of
duumviri and aediles was meant 127, buí it mustn’l be ruled oul thaI some
lransilory period 828 is meaní wben in ibe absence of a law specifying Ibe details of Ihe urban síruclure of new municipia, Ibe residents crealed a magistrate syslem alí ibeir own as lhey saw flí and consequenlly they elecled magistrales.
From Ihe laws of Salpensa and Irni ib becomes apparent thai ibe menlion
of Ihe emperor’s edicí concerns Ibe powers of Ihe magistrales (aediles and
questors —La A-ti. XIX, XX, buí, presumably, duumviri, loo in Ihe lost pan
of bbc law) or te granling Ibe Lalin municipals of ibe Roman citizenship
(La Sa/p. XXII, XXIII; Lex ini XXII, XXIII). True enougb, far from complete texís of ihe municipia’s laws have come down lo us; even bbc besí preserved texí of ihe Irni law coníains abouí 80 per cení of Ihe original lexí 129
Thai is wby we can bardly be confidení whal Ihe firsí cbaplers of Ibe laws
comprised buí unlil more complete and betíer preserved lexís (or documenís
complementing Ibe known ones) are found, it seems safe lo presume tbat Ibe
edicis of Vespasian, Tilus and Domilian under consideration proceeded
from Ibe fail accompli: al! Ihe Spaniards bad received Ibe Latin cilizenship.
Tbe census laken afier Ibis ací by Crispus and bis colleagues bad lo divide tbe new Latin citizens according lo Ibeir eslales and single oui those who
in accordance witb Ibeir properíy could become decurions and magistrales
and, probably, also lo find out which nalive communilies were legible lo re125
H. Gaisterer, op. ciÉ, 46; f. K. McEldery, op. ciÉ, 68.
Cfr. 1-1. Galsterer, op. ciÉ, 42.
F. J. Fernández Nieto, ‘El derecho en la España Romana, ja Historia de España, t. 11.2,
Cfr. R. K. McEldery, op. ciÉ, 79.
J~ Muñiz Coello, op. ch. 166.
Romanisation of Spain: socio-po/itical aspect
ceive the status of a municipium. A municipium, as is known, had lo possess
some lerrilory and during Ihe census sorne insignificaní townlebs could have
been annexed lo more imporlaní and larger towns. For example, Carbula was
lisled by Pliny (III, 10) among separale oppida, buí in Ihe year 74, thai is, in
Ibe course of the census, it was already a pagus (CIL II, 2322) and its inbabilanis are plainly thankful lo the emperor for the Lalin citizensbip 131\ Qn Ihe
other hand, bowever, ibis quite possible ibal tbe seillemení (now called San
Esteban de Gormos) became pan of bbc lJxama territory when Uxama gol
bbc status of a municipium under Tiberius, buí under ibe Flavians, owing lo
ibe patronage of Qu. Calvius Sabinus, it lurned mio a municipium 13¼
It stands lo reason thaI tbe administralive and polilical map of Spain
could nol remain unchanged aher ibe Flavian reform. Por some reason or olher, sometimes due lo Ibe increased significance of Ibis or Ibal Iown, Ihe
lown’s status could be allered. II is known Ibal Hadrian gaye bis nalive Ilalica
tbe status of a colony 132• Ilurgo migbl have become a municipium under bbc
very same Hadrian. Before thaI lime Ilurgo bad been an insignificaní bown.
Al any rale Pliny did nol as mucb as mention ib, whereas Ihe reconstrucled
inseriplion from ibis bown allegedly calís Hadrian the founder of Ibis municipium 133
Hoth in bbc Lex Salpensana and in Ihe Lex Irnilana in ibe descriplion of
Ibe edicís of Vespasian, Titus and Domitian, the firsí lwo names are joined
with ibe help of Ihe posíposilive conjunction —«ve»; whereas ibe third name
is admixed lo Ihe two by Ihe conjunclion «aul» (La Irn. XIX-XX, XXII,
5(5(111; La Salp. 5<5(11, XXIII) ~. II is incredible thaI Ibe different conjunclions sbould have been used just for bbc sake of slylislic colouring. No doubb,
síylistic nuances were Ihe leasí of Ibe law-givers’ concerns anyway several
identical conjunctions are lo be come across in Ihe legal lexís in order to connecí the homogeneous members standing nexí lo each olher (for example,
La Irn. XX, 34-35; XXVII, 53 etc.). Tbc law-givers (or the model law’s aulhor) bad possibly had in mmd two groups of edicis: ibose by Vespasian and
Titus on bbc one hand, and of Domilian on Ihe olber.
As A. d’Ors has observed, in alí the available small and big fragmenis of
the municipia’s laws (Leges Irnilana, Malacitana, Salpensana, Basiliponensis,
Italicensis) a relalivcly small area of Baelica and a sbort span of lime are
dealt wilb. Tbe scbolar tends lo accounl for ibe fact by a cerlain fasbion current al ihe time and by bbc municipia’s rivalry 135 However, a different cxplanalion seems feasible loo.
H. Galsterer, op. ciÉ, 40.
J~ M. Abascal Palazón, «O. Calvinus Sabinus y un posible Municipio Flavio en San
Esteban de Gormos (Soria)>, SHHA 2-3 (1984-1985), 141-149.
J. M. Blázquez, Nuevos estudios..., 321.
M.Zahmt, op. ch., 175-176.
J. Goazález, The La Irnitana”, JRS76 (1986), 201.
A. d’Ors, <La ley municipal de Basilipo’, Enterita 53 (1983), 39-40.
Ja. fi. Tsirkin
Vespasian’s edicí envisaged Ihe Latin law for tbe whole of Spain in mosí vague and general terms. Afler Ihe census had been taken, perhaps Vespasian
bimself or, maybe, Tilus extended bbc government and interna! life of the
newly-tledged municipia by some new edicís. Probably, Tibus divided Ibe origi¡ial qualbuorvirale mio duumviraie and aedilsbip and iniliated a questorsbip.
Anyway, wbile Titus as well as bis falber addressed on Ihe seventh of September 79 ibe quattuorviri and decurions, in Ibe bowns laws of Ibe Domilian epoch
Ihere are no meniions of quatbuorviri, only menuioned are duumviri, aediles and
questors alone; Ihe laws made references lo Ihe edicís of Vespasian, Titas and
Domitian wben oullining ihe plenary powers of Ibe lowns’ magistrales. And, anxious lo keep good relaíions wiib Ihe reformed Senale, Vespasian and Tilus
conlained tbemselves with Ibe reslructuring of ibose lowns and provinces thai
from tbe time of Augustus onwards liad been governed by Ibe princeps, Ibal is,
of Tarraconensis and Lusitania.
As for Domitian, tbough al Ibe time of bis ascenlion lo Ihe Ibrone be reaffirmed ahí Ibe privileges guaranleed by bis father and brolber (among Ihe privileges were, possibly, tbe edicts as regards Spain), his policies in general were opposile lo Ibose of ihe elder Flavians. Ibis nol by chance Ibal as early as Ibe dawn
of bis reiga be did bis ulmosí lo prevení Ibe law on tbe inadmissibilily of ihe senalors’ execulion from being passed 136 By adopting Ibe tilles of masler and
god Domilian began lo pursue a course of creating an absolute monarcby afler
Ibe Hellenisbie patbern 137
Qn tbe oíher hand, Domitian Iried lo regulale llie adminisiralion of Ibe provinces (Suel. Dom. 81). Under such circumslances it is only loo natural to allempt al a more active interference mío Ihe affairs of Ihe senatorial provinces.
In ah likelibood, ib was under Domilian, not under Vespasian, as was Ibe common belief previously, thaI a provincial culí of Ihe emperor appeared in Ihe senale’s provinces in Ibe wesb: Narbonnensis, Africa and Baelica l3~. Then in bbc
higbl of Ibese events it becomes easy lo explain how and wby ibis emperor —al
Ibe outseb of bis míe— established bbc municipal government and Ihe míes of
ibe internal life of bbc Baelica Lalin municipia. It cannot be ruled oul cilber,
thai a special law —/a Flavia— was created, Ibal adapled lo Ihe new times and
new conditions Ihe oíd law of Julius on tbe municipia in Ilaly: perbaps Ibe extaní fragmenís are none oíher Iban tbe copies of tbis law of Flavius 139• More Iikely Iban nol, Ibese circumstances urged ibe oíd Roman colonies lo emphasize
Iheir superiorily ayer Ihe new Latin cilizens. Tbis may be considered Ibe reason wby Ibe oíd law of Antony was copied and exhibibed al Urso 14Q
Weynaad, «Flavius, 77)’>, ja RE, HM. 12(1909), Sp. 2552, 2581.
H. Bengtson poiats out that this little exactly corresponds to tbe titularity of the lasí
Plolernies: H. Bengtson, DieFlavier, 185.
>36 J.-M. Pailler, «Dominitien, la lo/ des Narbonnais et le cutte irnperiat dans les provinces
sénatoriales d’Occideat, Revue archéo/ogiquede Narbonnaise 22(1989), 171-189.
‘39 A. d’Ors, op. cit., 33.
Tite found copy of the law belongs to tite Flavian tirnes: R. K. EcEldery, op. ciÉ, 81.
Romanisarion of Spain: socio-po/itical aspect
After Ihe Flavians bbc situation in Spain underweni radical changes. Wbile earlier Ibere exisbed Roman, Latin, free and slipendiary communities, now
diere were only Ibe firsí two categories left. AII the people of bbc country,
aparí from, naturally enougb, migranis from olher provinces, became cilber
Roman or Latin cilizens. The receplion of bbc latter paved Ibe way lo Ihe former and, ihus, gaye an opportunity for ibe nalive elite lo enter Ibe governing
chíe of bbc empire. Tbe official elimination of Ibe local polilical siruclures ai
ihe level of towns and «populi» signifted, from purely judicial viewpomnt, Ihe
complebion of ihe counlry’s Romanizabion. Buí in aclual fact Ibe sibuabion
was more complex ihan Ibal.
Transíated from bbc Russian by L. Cbislonogova.