The foundation of Augusta Emerita

Acueducto llamado de “Los Milagros” de Mérida. Archivo MNAR.

Aqueduct of “Los Milagros” of Mérida. Archive of the MNAR.

Coin of the mint mark representing the town gate. (MNAR, Nº Inv. CE31611). Archive of the MNAR.

Teatro Romano de Mérida. Archivo MNAR.

Roman Theatre of Mérida. Archive of the MNAR.


When one of the most significant war actions which Augustus held against Cantabrians and Asturians finished, the Princeps decided to found in 25 B.C a colony in the Lusitanian area which was named Augusta Emerita due to the name of the Emperor and because a large number of veterans from his legions were going to settle down in it. His idea was concentrating in this new colony all the administration of a geographical area which in his Hispanic territorial reorganization programme was going to become a new province. Its location, in the centre of the Vegas del Guadiana, determined a fundamental change in the communication system, with the centre in the new colony and as a link between the Southern areas and the rich metal deposits of Cáceres, la Beira, Salamanca and “Las Médulas”.

*Texts taken from the temporary exhibition Roman Lusitania. Origin of Peoples, curated by J. M. Álvarez, Antonio Carvalho and C. Fabiao.