Tarragona

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Tarragona (Catalan: [tərəˈɣonə], Spanish: [taraˈɣona]) is a city located in the south of Catalonia on the north-east of Spain, by the Mediterranean. It is the capital of the Spanish province of the same name and the capital of the Catalan comarca Tarragonès. In the medieval and modern times it was the capital of the Vegueria of Tarragona. As of the 2009 census, the city had a population of 155,323, and the population of the entire metropolitan area was estimated to be 675,921.[citation needed]

Contents

History

In Roman times, the city was named Tarraco (Ταρρακών) and was capital of the province of Hispania Tarraconensis (after being capital of Hispania Citerior in the Republican era).[1] The Roman colony founded at Tarraco had the full name of Colonia Iulia Urbs Triumphalis Tarraco.

The city may have begun as an Iberic town called Kesse or Kosse, named for the Iberic tribe of the region, the Cosetans, though the identification of Tarragona with Kesse is not certain.[2] Smith suggests that the city was probably founded by the Phoenicians, who called it 'Tarchon, which, according to Samuel Bochart, means a citadel. This name was probably derived from its situation on a high rock, between 700 and 800 feet above the sea; whence we find it characterised as arce potens Tarraco.[3] It was seated on the river Sulcis or Tulcis (modern Francolí), on a bay of the Mare Internum (Mediterranean), between the Pyrenees and the river Iberus (modern Ebro).[4] Livy mentions a portus Tarraconis;[5] and according to Eratosthenes it had a naval station or roads (Ναύσταθμον);[6] but Artemidorus says with more probability that it had none, and scarcely even an anchoring place; and Strabo himself calls it ἀλίμενος.[7]

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