Regina Turdulorum

Regina Turdulorum is a former Roman city located in southern Extremadura, in the province of Badajoz, just outside Casas de Reina. Pliny (Plin. Nat. 3.14) mentions this town among the ‘oppida non ignobilia’ located in Baeturia Turdulorum, the region extending from the Guadiana and Guadalquivir rivers, which used to be occupied by the Turduli. The city was founded in the 1st century AD along the Roman road that ran from Augusta Emerita (now Mérida) to Corduba (now Córdoba).

Among the reasons for the city’s founding was the mineral wreath of the area and the control of the territory of the Turduli people. The region also had good land for cultivation and was rich in water.

In the beginning, Regina was an oppidum stipendiarium (tributary), which paid tribute to Rome, but under the Flavians, the city was promoted to the status of municipium and was ruled by Roman citizens. It reached the height of its splendour during this time, with the construction of various public buildings. Despite being founded in times of prosperity, archaeological research studies show that Regina was a significant walled city flanked by defensive towers. Within the walls, streets crossing at right angles and flanked by porticoes delimited the blocks or insulae of the monumental centre of the town, with the cardo and the decumanus crossing the forum.

The city’s buildings included houses, several religious temples and civic buildings, an extensive sewage system and at least two necropoleis. The first archaeological exactions took place in the 1970s when the remains of the small theatre were unearthed. The theatre, built in the age of the Flavian emperors, is relatively small (diameter 55 m, wall of the scaena 38 m long) and could accommodate an audience of about 1000 people. Today it is one of the four venues in Extremadura hosting plays during Mérida’s Classic Theatre Festival, which takes place in summer. In 2008, a marble Head of Trajan was discovered inside a well located in the forum (see image here).

Coordinates: 38°12’11.1″N 5°57’13.0″W


The theatre was built in the second half of the 1st century AD into the slope of a hill in the northwest sector of the town.
The scaenae frons was flanked on either side by the proscaenium and the basilica. On the left is the aditus, an arched entrance corridor leading to the Orchestra.
The cavea originally had ten rows of seats, of which the first three, part of the fourth and some of the fifth tier in the central area are preserved. The Orchestra had an almost semicircular diameter (16,40 m).
The theatre.
The ruins of the Macellum, the city’s great commercial centre, covered over 3,000 square meters. To date, only 50% of the building has been excavated.
The ruins of the so-called Building C located in the forum area. It had a small courtyard and could be accessed from the decumanus maximus via a portico. This building was built in the first half of the 1st century AD.
The Temple dedicated to Pietas Augusta was built at the end of the 1st century AD and is located next to the decumanus maximus. An inscription mentioning this temple’s repairs and the emperor Titus gives suggests that this building was dedicated to the imperial cult.

The main part of the Templum Pietatis was the sacred room surrounded by a colonnaded portico.
The Decumanus Maximus.
The foundations of the Capitolium, the three temples dedicated to the Capitoline triad (Jupiter, Juno and Minerva).

The three temples were erected on a podium with a staircase leading to the pronaos, originally surrounded by six marble columns. The statue of the deity would be placed inside the cella.
The foundations of the capitolium.
The foundations of the religious building occupied a prominent place in the sacred area of ​​the city.

The so-called Religious Building had a square floor plan (45×45), a central courtyard and porticoed galleries. The main area of the building was occupied by three rooms open to a courtyard. The central room was the largest where religious meetings and ceremonies were taking place.


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