Baelo Claudia and Pollentia: new evidence on the economic fluctuations in Roman Spain during the first and second centuries AD
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Pascual Izquierdo-Egeaespañol
Abstract. The chronological review of the southeast necropolis from Baelo Claudia (Bolonia-Tarifa, Cadiz) and the Can Fanals cemetery in Pollentia (Alcudia, Majorca), has expanded the understanding of economic fluctuations in Roman Spain during the first and second centuries AD, and of social changes associated with them. A further confirmation of the impact of Tiberius’ crisis has been obtained from the mortuary record of Baelo Claudia and Pollentia, previously detected in Emporiae (Ampurias, Gerona). The prosperity of Claudius’ reign is more apparent in Baelo Claudia than in Emporiae. Coincidence in economic evolution breaks throughout the second half of the first century AD, in particular during the period between Nero and the early Flavians. Then, compared with a decadent Ampurias, a thriving Pollentia follows in the footsteps of an opulent Baelo showing its greatest prosperity. However, these three cities of Roman Spain maintained a common bond based on the display of maximum social complexity during that period. There is always a direct proportion between the economic accumulation amortized in grave goods and the differentiation between individuals, except for two cases. One, already known, refers to the Ampurias of the second half of the first century AD, where the impoverishment that characterizes this period is associated with a increase of social distance. The other is the strange phenomenon documented in Pollentia during the second century AD. Here, funerary expenditure continues growing but social differentiation falls along the first half until abruptly descending in the second half of this century. At this point, the most important thing is to have detected the same trend of social differentiation in Emporiae, Baelo Claudia and Pollentia from the time of Tiberius to the first half of the second century AD, at least. As for the monetary economy, singular events have been isolated, such as the revaluation of the second half of the first century AD in Pollentia, before documented in Emporiae, or the devaluation of Commodus’ reign evidenced in Pollentia during the second half of the second century AD.
Keywords: Baelo Claudia, Pollentia, economic fluctuations, Roman Spain, early imperial, Rome.
Izquierdo-Egea, P. 2012. Baelo Claudia y Pollentia: nuevas evidencias sobre las fluctuaciones económicas en la Hispania romana de los siglos I-II d. C. Arqueología Iberoamericana 14: 3-16.
Publication date: 30-6-2012.
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