Colonia Romula — A settlement in Baetica
The original core of the city, dates to the 8th century BC. The town was called Spal or Ispal by the Tartessians, the indigenous pre-Roman Iberian people. The Tartessian culture was succeeded by that of the Turdetani (so-called by the Romans) and the Turduli. Commercial colonisation activity in the region changed dramatically in the 6th century BC when the Carthaginians achieved dominance of the western Mediterranean; later Greek sources impute the destruction of Tartessos to Carthaginian military assaults on the Seville of the Cuesta del Rosario.

During the Second Punic War, Roman troops under the command of the general Scipio Africanus achieved a decisive victory in 206 BC over the full Carthaginian levy at Ilipa near Ispal. Hispalis developed into one of the great market and industrial centres of Hispania. During this period Hispalis was the district capital of the Hispalense, one of the four legal convents. The Romans Latinised the Iberian name of the city, 'Ispal', and called it Hispalis. In 45 BC, after the Roman Civil War ended at the Battle of Munda, Híspalis built city walls and a forum, completed in 49 BC, as it grew into one of the preeminent cities of Hispania; the Latin poet Ausonius ranked it tenth among the most important cities of the Roman Empire. Hispalis was a city of great mercantile activity and an important commercial port. In the mid-second century the Moors (Mauri in ancient Latin) twice attempted invasions, and were finally driven back by Roman archers.

In the 5th century Hispalis was taken by a succession of Germanic invaders: the Vandals led by Gunderic in 426, the Suebi King Rechila in 441, and finally the Visigoths, who would control the city until the 8th century, their supremacy challenged for a time by the Byzantine presence on the Mediterranean coast. After the defeat of the Franks in 507, the Visigothic Kingdom abandoned its former capital in Toulouse, north of the Pyrenees, and was gaining ground on the various peoples scattered throughout the Hispanic territory by moving the royal residence to different cities until it was fixed in Toledo. Seville was chosen during the reigns of Amalaric, Theudis and Theudigisel. This last king was assassinated at a banquet for the nobles of Hispalis in an episode known as the 'Supper of Candles' in 549. Under Visigothic rule, Híspalis was known as Spali. After the short reign of Theudigisel, the successor of Theudis, Agila I was elected king in 549. The Visigoths were engaged in internal power struggles when the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I took the opportunity to try to conquer Baetica. After many battles and the defeat of several of their leaders, the Visigoths eventually managed to conquer every corner of the region. In 572, Leuvigild, the designee to reign, obtained the kingdom after the death of his brother Liuva I. In 585, his son Hermenegild, after converting to Catholicism (in contradistinction to the Arianism of former kings) rebelled against his father and proclaimed himself king in the city. Legend tells that in order to force his way, Leuvigild changed the course of the Guadalquivir River, hindering the passage of the inhabitants and causing a drought. In 586, Leuvigild's other son Reccared I acceded to the throne and with Spali itself went on to enjoy a time of great prosperity. After the Muslim invasion of Spain, the city became, next to Cordoba, one of the most important in Western Europe.

Modern location: Seville, Spain
An AE Semis struck 15 BC - 19 AD in Colonia Romula
Obverse: head left; GERMANICVS CAESAR TI AVG F

Reverse: shield within wreath; PERM AVG COL ROM

Diameter: 21 mm
Die Orientation: -
Weight: 6.5 g
No notes for this coin
RPC I 75