Sites & cities that bear the name of Conímbriga


Today in : Portugal
First trace of activity : ca. 9th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 10th century C.E
Recorded names : Coniumbriga

Description : Conímbriga is one of the largest Roman settlements excavated in Portugal, and was classified as a National Monument in 1910. Located in the civil parish of Condeixa-a-Velha e Condeixa-a-Nova, in the municipality of Condeixa-a-Nova, it is situated 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the municipal seat and 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from Coimbra (the Roman town of Aeminium). Conímbriga is a walled urban settlement, encircled by a curtain of stone structures approximately 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) long. Entrance to the settlement is made from vaulted structures consisting of two doors (one on hinges), at one time defended by two towers. The walls are paralleled by two passages, channelled to excavations, that remove water infiltration from the walls. The urban settlement consists of various structures, including a forum, basilica and commercial shops, thermal spas, aqueducts, insulae, homes of various heights (including interior patios) and domus (such as the Casa dos Repuxos and Casa de Cantaber), in addition to a paleo-Christian basilica. Like many archaeological sites, Conímbriga was evolved sequentially and built up by successive layers, with the primary period of occupation beginning in the 9th century BCE; during this period the area was occupied by the Castro culture. Before the Roman occupation, the indigenous Conii peoples (who would later settle in southern Portugal) lived here. The Conímbriga designation came from conim, used by indigenous peoples to designate "the place of rocky eminence," and briga, the Celtic suffix meaning "citadel". This site had become a junction between the road that linked Olisipo to Bracara Augusta, by way of Aeminium (Coimbra). Around 139 BC, Romans began arriving in the area, as a consequence of the expeditionary campaigns of Decimus Junius Brutus. At the time, Conímbriga was already a built-up settlement. The Romans introduced the formal organization of space to the settlement. Owing to the peaceful nature of rural Lusitania, Romanisation of the indigenous population was quick, and Conímbriga became a prosperous town. Between 69 and 79 AD, during the reign of Vespasian, Conímbriga was elevated to the status of municipium. At that time, new urban programs were initiated. Judging by the capacity of the amphitheatre, by this time, the city had an estimated population of approximately 10,600. Many of the new colonists (such as the Lucanus, Murrius, Vitellius and Aponia families) came from the Italian peninsula and intermarried with local inhabitants (such as the Turrania, Valeria, Alios and Maelo families). Construction of the Casa dos Repuxos began in the 2nd century, likely over a pre-existing structure. At the end of the 3rd century, the Augustian walls were replaced by the existing structures. In addition there was a remodelling of the baths and construction of a majority of the larger homes of the town, culminating in the construction of the paleo-Christian basilica in the 4th century. Between 465 and 468, invasions by Sueves caused the destruction of the city, and its inhabitants dispersed, including some taken into slavery.

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