Roman military forces established a permanent camp west of Neapolis during the late 3rd or early 2nd century BCE (Aquilué et al. 1984; 1986; Livy 34.8.7; id. 34.9.10; App. Hisp. 6.40; Polyb. 3.75.2). A town soon sprang up around the camp and grew in a haphazard fashion.
Around 100 BCE a new orthogonal street plan was imposed on the area with a new forum in the centre and a wall to enclose the entire Roman city (Mar and Ruiz 1993, 216-18) (Fig. 4). New immigrants arrived from Italy creating a population that was both Roman and Romanised (Livy 34.9). At the time of Augustus (31 BCE-14 CE) the Roman city and Neapolis were legally joined and came to share the same laws and municipal government. Walls were also built linking the cities, and the portions of the walls separating them were demolished (Mar and Ruiz 1993, 280-82). During the 1st century CE there was much new construction, particularly in Neapolis, of structures typically found in the Roman cities of Italy and in the western Roman colonies including a market building, a bath, at least two temples, and a number of atrium and peristyle houses. The Roman city forum also saw much new building, including the addition of a basilica as well as eight temples in a row at the northern end (Aquilué et al. 1984; 1986). During the Flavian era (69-96 CE) the city went into a sharp decline for reasons that are not completely clear. By 100 CE only the island settlement of Palaiapolis continued to be occupied (Nolla 1993). There was little construction at the site in the late antique, medieval and modern periods, with the exception of Palaiapolis, which continued to be occupied and is known today as Sant Martí de Empúries (Almagro 1964; Aquilué 1998). Today, as a result of the silting of Fluvià, the area where the ancient harbour was located is dry land and the island of Palaiapolis/Sant Martí is a landlocked hill (Mar and Ruiz 1993, 108-11).
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Last updated: Thu Jun 12 2003