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Italica



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Italica was a city of Hispania Baetica (Andalusia), and a Roman municipium, situate on the river Baetis (Guadalquiver): it is now called Sevilla la Vieja (Old Seville). An inscription of Gruter's refers to this place under the title of COLONIA ITALICENSIS IN PROV BAETICA. It was in the neighbourhood of Hispalis, the native country of Trajan, Hadrian, and Theodosius I. In the year V.C. 654, when Scipio Africanus, after bringing the affairs of Rome with the Carthaginians in Spain to a pacific settlement, comtemplated his return to Italy, he allocated all the Italian soldiers, disabled by wounds and fatigue, in one town, which, from their native country, he called Italica. This is what Appianus Alexandrinus states in his Bellum Hispan. p. 463.

The town had afterwards the title of municipium bestowed upon it; but as the number of citizens became greatly diminished by the wars, it seems to have been re-peopled with legionary veterans sent thither by Augustus. Hence its coins, dedicated to Augustus, Livia, Drusus, and Germanicus, bear the inscription MVN ITAL or MVNIC or MVNICIP ITALIC.

It here deserves the remark that the privilege of coinage granted to the Spanish minicipium by Augustus, is noted on all its coins by the abbreviated word PER or PERM AVG. Permissu Augusti.

The following are among the types of this Roman municipium:

Altar: On a second brass struck by the Italicenses, in memory of Augustus, (whose radiated head appears on its obverse with legend of DIVVS AVGVSTVS PATER) an altar is represented on which is the word PROVIDENT. The rest of the legend is MVN ITAL PERM AVG. Municipium Italica, or Italicense, Permissu Augusti.

After the example of many cities who, after the apotheosis of Augustus, built temples to his honour, the people of this municipium placed on their coins a representation of the altar, which they erected to the Providence of their benefactor - as if in his deified capacity he still, as whilst living, happily administered the affairs and watched over the interests of the Roman world.

A similar reverse appears on a second brass of the same colony, struck in honour of Tiberius, whith the sole difference of the words PROVIDENTIAE AUGUSTI being engraved on the side, instead of at the foot, of the altar. The providence which the coin is meant to commererate is, in the opinion of Vaillant, not that of Tiberius, but of his imperial predeccessor DIVVS AVGVTVS PATER: the august Father, whom by the ceremony of consecration Rome had placed among her Gods!

Woman seated
, holding in her right hand a patera, in her left the hasta. This type appears on the reverse of a rare and elegant coin dedicated to Julia (livia), called in the legend AVGVSTA. The obverse presents a female head (that of Livia herslef) surrounded by the inscription of MVNIC ITALICA PERM AVG. [The seated female figure seems to be the statue of Livia, which is often found represented on coins struck by order of the Senate, in reference to statues raised to her honour. The colony of Italica, mindful of the privileges bestowed upon them by Augustus, and amonst others the right of coinage, placed the statue here depicted, in token of their congratulation, tha Livia his wife had been adopted into the Julia family.] Vaillant, i. 51.

Legionary Eagle and Vexillum
, a second brass, noticed as elegent and very rare by Vaillant (i. 92), bears on its obverse DRVSVS CAESAR TI AVG F with the bare head of Drusus. And on its reverse appear the aquila et vexillum of a legion. [The Druumviri who struck the above coin in honour of Drusus obviously designed by this type to indicate the military origin of this municipium. There is the same reverse and same legend (MVNIC ITALIC PER AVG) on a second brass of Germanicus. Thus the veterans of Italica pay a compliment to each of the two young Caesars: to Drusus, indeed, because, as son of Tiberius by natural right, he stood apparent heir to the empire; and to Germanicus, because being adopted by Tiberius at the desire of Augustus, he became the associate of Drusus].

There are pieces which on one side bear the name Italica, and on the other that of Bilbilis. This circumstance is noticed in Hardouin's Oper. Selec. M. Hennin also mentions it in the nomenclature of his Manuel, as indicating that an alliance subsisted between the two cities.

Itia
, a family of unknown rank; its denarii of a single type; rare, but devoid of both numimatic and historical interest. Winged head of Minerva: X. Rev. L ITIus. The Diocuri on horseback. In the exergue ROMA.

Itinera Hadriani
. Hadrian's travels. See Rasche. IT. 1016.

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