Tomás Cordero Ruiz

On the Periphery but in the Center of Lusitania: The Evolution of the City of Egitania and its territory between the 4th and 8th centuries (pdf)

(*En Portugués aquí; En Español aquí; En français ici)

Abstract:

The Suevic-Visigothic episcopal city of Egitania (Idanha-a-Velha, Portugal), erected over the Roman city of Civitas Igaeditanorum, is located in the heart of the old Roman province of Lusitania. This space is considered as secondary in the general context of the Iberian Peninsula during the Roman and the Suevic-Visigothic periods. Both the textual and archaeological records let us restore the evolution of this city between the Roman period and the Islamic conquest of 711. However, this work can only be developed in general lines and with unanswered question due to the poor knowledge about the urban and rural inhabitants of Egitania. This historiographical issue disallows the better understanding of social, economic and cultural dynamics of the city and its territory, poorly studied together so far. This research focuses on the analysis of these themes by merging both as a single reality.

This research is twofold. On the one hand, we want to obtain a solid basis of knowledge by analyzing the main lines of evolution and interaction of the urban community of Egitania. In the other hand, the study of the rural communities will follow the same procedure, although we will pay special attention to the analysis of how they relate to the city and to each other. This procedure is based on the research carried out on Emerita (Mérida, España), capital of the Roman province of Lusitania and, later, of the Diocesis Hispaniarum. In this case, the landscape between the fourth and the eighth centuries was structured by the superposition of administrative, economic, ecclesiastical and social networks that would unite the city with its territory. Thus, although recognizing that the city-territory relationship would be variable in each region of the Iberian Peninsula, it seems adequate to start from this epistemological model for the analysis proposed.

 

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