Segóbriga: a walk through Roman-Visigothic Spain

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View of the circusView of the circus

Today I am pleased to invite you to a very special trip, through one of the corners of a Spain that someone, possibly enlightened like Miguel de Cervantes when he devised his character, Don Quixote de la Mancha, called with the veteran adjective of Magic.

Ruins of the great Visigothic basilicaRuins of the great Visigothic basilica

A vestige, in effect, of that Magic Spain, which although forgotten refuses to die, as a certain writer of Soria origin rightly said, whose name, at the moment, I don't want to remember either.

Gravestone with Latin charactersGravestone with Latin characters

I do remember, however, and with you I have the pleasure of sharing it, the name of that land, La Mancha, in whose term it is found: Saelices.

A view of the ForumA view of the Forum

From Saelices I will tell you, so that you can locate yourself, that it is a small town in the Cuenca mountains, which is approximately a little more than a hundred kilometers from Madrid, a short distance from the highway that connects the capital with Valencia and that hardly It has a quarter of the interest that had the great ruins of what a millennium ago, at least, was a great city: Segóbriga.

View of the Forum and the TheaterView of the Forum and the Theater

It is true that the ruins that have been discovered so far do little justice to the importance it had in the past of a Hispania that was still very much aware that it was on its soil that Hercules carried out several of the works commissioned by the Gods, as an expiation for that outburst of madness, in which being possessed, even if it is said in a metaphorical way, by the destructive spirit of Saturn, he killed his own children.

Possibly characterizes some anonymous playwrightPossibly characterizes some anonymous playwright

But with what has been uncovered and that wonderful complement that imagination is always, I suggest you a little exercise of intuition and that you think that time and the cruel stupidity of men have mistreated, it was, without a doubt, one of the most important cities, in which Hispanics, Romans, Visigoths, Arabs and later Christians, were carried away by the possibilities of a more or less dignified and refined life.

Rest of the ancient columns of the ForumRest of the ancient columns of the Forum

Of this there is no doubt, if we take into account what the ruins tell us, about the buildings that once were: a great basilica of Visigothic origin, whose remains are among the first that the visitor finds; a forum, where the old leaders developed the old trade of politics, law and rhetoric; a theater, in whose stands, when the wind blows that beats the place on all four sides, you can have the sensation of listening to the most exciting of the ancient tragi-comedies, both Greek and Roman; an amphitheater, with its circus, where beasts and gladiators fought to the death to satisfy that eternal drug of the peoples, which are always violent spectacles and refined baths, which not only speak of the refinement of its people, but also, of the degree so excellent to which his engineers had arrived, both when designing contraptions for the art of war, as well as civil buildings with all the comforts.

Theater bleachersTheater bleachers

A city, strategically located, in that valley formed by the parsimonious flow of the Cigüela river, which back in the 78th century BC. of C., not only lived on the broad benefits of a prosperous trade or the attractiveness of facilities or shows that attracted at that time the most demanding appetites of the travelers of the time, but it was also surrounded by extensive forests of Holm oaks -the popular holm oaks, whose dedication came to be carried by innumerable Romanesque Virgins with a reputation for being very miraculous-, rich vineyards and a product even richer than wine, such as oil, true liquid gold extracted from its no less extensive olive groves .

Another panoramic view of the ancient columns of the ForumAnother panoramic view of the ancient columns of the Forum

A city that knew the formidable epics of the Celtiberian leader Viriato, in his eternal fight against the consul Sertorio and that perhaps, due to its greatness, was the trigger to consider this city as the head of Spanish Celtiberia or Caput Celtiberiae, as Plinio called it in his well-known work 'Natural History'.

A possible allusion to the legions of SartorioA possible allusion to the legions of Sartorio

In short, a city that knew the reigns of different Caesars, such as Augustus - who was precisely predicted to have a Cesarian when he was leading his legionaries in the Picos de Europa, during the famous Cantabrian wars and the incombustible enemy of Julius Caesar- in times and vicissitudes, in which even the famous standard-bearer of German romanticism, Goethe, would have compared them with his immortal character, Mephistopheles, and times, too, where our most famous knight, Don Quixote de la Mancha, did not I would have doubted the existence of true giants at all.

General view of the CircusGeneral view of the Circus

NOTICE: Both the text and the accompanying photographs are my exclusive intellectual property and therefore are subject to my Copyright.

Panoramic view of the Circus standsPanoramic view of the Circus stands

A small photographic collection of Segóbriga

Ruins of the Baths and Christian hermitage in the backgroundRuins of the Baths and Christian hermitage in the background A Christian hermitage rising above the ancient pagan siteA Christian hermitage rising above the ancient pagan site Part of the building that housed the Thermal BathsPart of the building that housed the Thermal Baths Panoramic view of some houses in SaelicesPanoramic view of some houses in Saelices Archaeological worksArchaeological works The hardness of extracting the secrets of the earthThe hardness of extracting the secrets of the earth Bust of Agrippina the GreaterBust of Agrippina the Greater
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Hi @juancar347 ,A very interesting post full of knowledge that you share with us, in this part, (The hardness of extracting the secrets of the earth) people endure a fairly strong climate as observed.

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There are areas that are extreme, as in Castilla-La Mancha, where there are really sweltering summers and really harsh winters. Archeology, after all, is not as fantastic as it is shown in the Indiana Jones movies and it requires a lot of effort and a lot of sacrifice. The land does not always generously offer the treasures it hides.

Hi, @juancar347! Feels like I've just had a pleasant trip, with a marvelous touristic guide. Love your ability to capture reality through that lens :)

XOXO

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Thank you very much, dear @marlyncabrera. It is my way of seeing the world, at least the one that surrounds me and that I love to discover, because it is the inheritance of my ancestors. I don't know if my vision will be the most appropriate, but at least it is respectful and always being carried away by admiration. A hug

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Thank-you very much