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Photographer's Note

The city was originally founded as Gadir (Phoenician גדר "walled city") by the Phoenicians, who used it in their trade with Tartessos, a city-state believed by archζologists to be somewhere near the mouth of the Guadalquivir River, about thirty kilometres northwest of Cαdiz. (Its exact location has never been firmly established.)


Phoenician sarcophagus found in Cadiz, now in the Archaeological Museum of Cαdiz. The sarcophagus is thought to have been designed and paid for by a Phoenician merchant and made in GreeceCαdiz is regarded as the most ancient city still standing in western Europe. Traditionally, its founding is dated to 1104 BCE (Velleius Paterculus' Hist. Rom. I.2.1-3), although no archaeological strata on the site can be dated earlier than the 9th century BCE. One resolution for this discrepancy has been to assume that Gadir was merely a small seasonal trading post in its earliest days.

Later, the Greeks would know the city as Gadira or Gadeira. According to Greek legend, Gadir was founded by Hercules after performing his fabled tenth labor, the slaying of Geryon, a monstrous warrior-titan with three heads and three torsos joined to a single pair of legs. As late as the early third century BCE, a tumulus (a large earthen mound) near Cαdiz was associated with Geryon's final resting-place.[1]


Votive statues of Melqert-Hercules from the Islote de Sancti PetriOne of the city's notable features during antiquity was the temple dedicated to the Phoenician god Melqart. (Melqart was associated with Hercules by the Greeks.) According to the Life of Apollonius of Tyana, the temple was still standing at the beginning of the third century CE. Some historians, based in part on this source, believe that the columns of this temple were the origin of the myth of the pillars of Hercules.[2]

Around 500 BCE, the city fell under the sway of Carthage. Cαdiz became a base of operations for Hannibal's[citation needed] conquest of southern Iberia. However, in 206 BC, the city fell to Roman forces under Scipio Africanus. The people of Cαdiz welcomed the victors. Under the Romans, the city was renamed Gades and flourished as a Roman naval base. By the time of Augustus, Cαdiz was home to more than five hundred equites (members of one of the two upper social classes), a concentration of notable citizens rivaled only by Padua and Rome itself. It was the principal city of a Roman colony, Augusta Urbs Julia Gaditana. However, with the decline of the Roman Empire, Gades's commercial importance began to fade.

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Additional Photos by Elias Castillo (manatee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 905 W: 5 N: 1376] (4668)
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