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Roman around: Why Spain is celebrating its Ancient history Save
02 September 2019 @ 14:51

WE KNOW it wasn't built in a day, that all roads lead to it and that when you're there, you should do as its people do. But otherwise, it's hard to believe that once, Rome was the seat of Europe's most powerful empire and that almost anyone born in the wider continent hails from a country that was once under its influence, or that most of us probably share DNA with the Ancient Romans.

But it's actually obvious pretty much wherever you go in Europe – aside from famous monuments, settlements and ruins, any building featuring columns and arches is based upon Roman architecture, even if it wasn't built until the 21st century; likewise straight roads and irrigation pipes.

Ancient Rome is everywhere, and its legacy in Spain is roughly equal to that of the country's other most powerful ancestors, the Moors, or Arab settlers from North Africa who lived on Spanish soil for the best part of 700 years.

Last year, for the first time, parts of Spain began to commemorate the date of the fall of the Roman Empire, and this year, the celebrations have expanded so rapidly that Día de la Romanidad ('Romanhood' or 'Romanness' Day) are now scheduled across cities from north to south, and even outside Spain, having stretched to the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.

The main events will be this coming Wednesday, September 4, although other acts will be scheduled across the country over the rest of the month.


Why September 4?

“Back in the year 476 AD, Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustulus and formally liquidated what little was left of the Roman Empire in the west,” says Pedro Villanueva, political scientist and spokesman for the association which started Día de la Romanidad.

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