Sites & cities that bear the name of Reccopolis


Today in : Spain
First trace of activity : 578 C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 10th century C.E
Recorded names : Recópolis

Description : Reccopolis (Spanish: Recópolis; Latin: Reccopolis), located near the tiny modern village of Zorita de los Canes in the province of Guadalajara, Castile-La Mancha, Spain, is an archaeological site of one of at least four cities founded in Hispania by the Visigoths. It is one of the only cities in Western Europe known to have been founded between the fifth and eighth centuries. Reccopolis was founded in the year 578. The date is given in chronicle of John of Biclaro: Luivigildus rex extinctis undique tyrannis, et pervasoribus Hispaniae superatis sortitus requiem propiam cum plebe resedit civitatem in Celtiberia ex nomine filii condidit, quae Recopolis nuncupatur: quam miro opere et in moenibus et suburbanis adornans privilegia populo novae Urbis instituit. A cache of coins was discovered in the city's palace, fixing the date of construction between 580–83. Coin variety indicated cultural reach, with gold coins of the Merovingian series, Suevic coins from Galicia and of Justinian II, as well as from Visigothic Hispania itself. Reccopolis had an active mint, coins from which have been found dating to the reign of Wittiza, in the early eighth century. The city was named by the Visigothic king Liuvigild to honor his son Reccared I and to serve as Reccared's seat as co-king in the Visigothic province of Celtiberia, to the west of Carpetania, where the main capital, Toledo, lay. As a post-Roman royal foundation the city's only European rival in the sixth century was Ravenna. In the eighth century the Visigoths at Reccopolis welcomed Muslim over-lordship in return for Muslim protection. The Moors conserved the city as Madinät Raqquba and though they reused building materials to construct a fortification on a hill facing the city, the city declined and was burned, looted, razed, and incrementally abandoned in the tenth century. It lay forgotten until the twentieth century.

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