Festival of Carthaginians & Romans

Around Spain, especially on the coast, are Roman remains. In Cartagina (Murcia, on the South East coast), there is a festival that commemorates the taking of the city in the year 209 A.D. by the Roman troops of Escipión, led by Scipio Africanus. As you may have guessed from the name, it’s a city founded by the Carthaginians (227 BC by Hasdrubal the Fair, fact fans). Due to its location it was an important strategic port, and became vital to both the Carthaginian and Roman conquest of Iberia.

As the city has been conquered by – and has remnants of – both cultures, it holds a festive week in which alternate days are dedicated to both Carthaginians and Romans. There’s a re-enactment of marriage between Hannibal and Himilce (an Iberian Princess who was married to Hannibal – the General of the elephants and alps fame – for alliance purposes), and a Roman style Circus forms the basis of a huge parade which takes place on Saturday. This is the most important day of the festival, when the troops and legions march through the city, culminating in the usual fiesta.

Taking place at the end of September each year, it’s a chance for history buffs to revel in re-enactments amidst the impressive surroundings, noting the legacy of Hasdrubal the Fair’s decision all those years ago to use the city as a stopping off point to expand the Punic Empire.

Saludos

Juan Piedra

 

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