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Hispania, the Roman Spain

Roman Theatre, Merida (Augusta Emerita)

Built in 16 - 15 BC, promoted by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa; scenae frons built in 105 AD and restored between 333 and 335 AD; wide steps conceived for 6'000 of spectators; excavation of the theatre in 1910; since 1933, heart of the Classic Theatre Summer Festival

Roman Theatre, Merida (Augusta Emerita)

Built in 16 - 15 BC, promoted by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa; panoramic view of scenae frons built in 105 AD and restored between 333 and 335 AD; proscenium and orchestra; wide steps conceived for 6'000 of spectators; excavation of the theatre in 1910; since 1933, heart of the Classic Theatre Summer Festival

Roman Theatre, Merida (Augusta Emerita)

Built in 16 - 15 BC, promoted by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa; detail of columns and capitals of the scenae frons built in 105 AD and restored between 333 and 335 AD

Roman Theatre, Merida (Augusta Emerita)

Built in 16 - 15 BC, promoted by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa; low angle view of the scenae frons built in 105 AD and restored between 333 and 335 AD; sculptures of Persephone in the foreground, Ceres on the left distance, Pluto on the right distance (replicas)

Roman Theatre, Merida (Augusta Emerita)

Built in 16 - 15 BC, promoted by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa; low angle view of the scenae frons built in 105 AD and restored between 333 and 335 AD; sculptures of Persephone in the foreground, Ceres on the left distance, Pluto on the right distance (replicas)

Roman Theatre, Merida (Augusta Emerita)

Built in 16 - 15 BC, promoted by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa; low angle view of the central doorway of the scenae frons built in 105 AD and restored between 333 and 335 AD; sculpture of Ceres in the background (replica)

Roman Theatre, Merida (Augusta Emerita)

Built in 16 - 15 BC, promoted by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa; low angle view of Pluto in the scenae frons built in 105 AD and restored between 333 and 335 AD (replica)

Roman Theatre, Merida (Augusta Emerita)

Built in 16 - 15 BC, promoted by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa; Ceres above the central doorway of the scenae frons (replica)

Roman Theatre, Merida (Augusta Emerita)

Built in 16 - 15 BC, promoted by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa; Emperor in military dress in the scenae frons built in 105 AD and restored between 333 and 335 AD (replica)

Roman Theatre, Merida (Augusta Emerita)

Built in 16 - 15 BC, promoted by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa; Persephone in the scenae frons built in 105 AD and restored between 333 and 335 AD (replica)

Roman Amphitheatre, Merida (Augusta Emerita)

8th century BC, capacity of 15.000 spectators

Roman Amphitheatre, Merida (Augusta Emerita)

8th century BC; view of the rising rows of seats from the central arena; capacity of 15.000 spectators

Roman Bridge, Merida (Augusta Emerita)

1st Century BC, on the Guadiana River; length 792 meters; 60 arches, largest ever built in the Antic Hispania

Roman Bridge, Merida (Augusta Emerita)

1st Century BC, on the Guadiana River; length 792 meters; 60 arches

Temple of Diana, Merida (Augusta Emerita)

1st Century BC, identification made by D. Bernabé Moreno de Vargas (local historian)

Roman armies invaded Hispania in 218 BC and used it as a training ground for officers and as a proving ground for tactics during campaigns against the Carthaginians and the nations of Hispania, such as the Iberians, the Lusitanians, the Celtiberians and the Gallaecians. Roman Emperor Augustus (r. 27 BC-14 AD) was able to complete the conquest in 19 BC. Hispania was divided into three separately governed provinces : Hispania Baetica, whose capital was Corduba, presently Córdoba ; Hispania Ulterior Lusitania, whose capital was Emerita Augusta, now Mérida ; Hispania Citerior, whose capital was Tarraco, now Tarragona. Hispania was for 500 years part of a cosmopolitan world empire bound together by law, language, and the Roman road. The emperors Trajan (r. 98-117), Hadrian (r. 117-38), and Marcus Aurelius (r. 161-80) were born in Hispania.