Agrippa, Marcus Vipsanius

Mérida has been populated since prehistoric times as demonstrated by a prestigious hoard of gold jewellery that was excavated from a girl’s grave in 1870. The town was founded in 25 BC, with the name of Emerita Augusta (meaning the veterans of the army of Augustus, who founded the city; the name Mérida is an evolution of this) by order of Emperor Augustus, to protect a pass and a bridge over the Guadiana river. The city became the capital of Lusitania province, and one of the most important cities in the Roman empire. Mérida preserves more important ancient Roman monuments than any other city in Spain, including a triumphal arch of the age of Trajan.

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