III. The Full Integration of the Lusitanian Territory

Octavian, called Augustus from 27 B.C., was the mentor of the organization of the provinces and, during his trip to Gaul and Hispania, between 16 and 13 B.C., he decided to create a new province, Hispania Ulterior Lusitania, covering the heir regions of the southern Celts, the Lusitanian and the Vettones. Here he established five settlements of Roman citizens, four of them in already existing cities: Scalabis, Santarém, Metellinum, Medellín, Norba, Cáceres, Pax Iulia, Beja and a new one in 25 B.C., Augusta Emerita, Mérida, which would be its capital. By using the colonies and the municipalities, he promoted the population control and protected the interests of the Roman citizens. Gradually, the political life was developed through the communities’ organization, the local authorities, where the most influent families established the relationship between urban and rural populations, thus adaptating to an “Imperial culture”.

For a better management of such vast territory, an extensive and complex network of roads and bridges was created, such as the one of Mérida, over the river Ana, Guadiana, or the Alcântara one, over the Tagus river. The milestones, which indicated the distances between different locations, show us the work done for the implementation and improvement of these communication routes.

In an article by Patrick Le Roux, in the exhibition catalog, learn more about the creation of the Roman province of Lusitania.

About the road and urban networks of the Imperial Lusitania you can read, in the catalog, the text by Vasco Gil Mantas.

Get to know the capital of this Roman province in the text by José Carlos Sachete Chamizo.

Estatua ecuestre
Equestrian statue
Palacio de Mayoralgo, Cáceres
End of the 1st century B.C.
58 x 55 x 29 cm
Museo de Cáceres