Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 27(1): 109-132

DOI: 10.47743/saa-2021-27-1-5



One of the most notable features of ancient Sagunto (Valencia) is its toponymic duality, especially
remarkable in coin legends from the 130s BCE onwards, which is an exceptional fact for Hispania Citerior, in both
qualitative and quantitative terms. Both toponyms, Arse and Saguntum, are not simultaneously attested in other
sources: they are virtually absent in Republican epigraphy and literature only mentions the second one, in diverse
variants. This paper analyses the data relative to this double toponymy in order to historically contextualize this
phenomenon, linking it with the Latinization of the city and its explicit movements towards Rome during the 2nd
and 1st centuries BCE, a process that we propose to articulate in four main milestones, according to the preserved
documents. Besides, this paper offers an explanation to the prevalence of the toponym Saguntum (of local origin
and possibly referred to the port) regarding Arse (also local and referred to the city), independent from the
elaboration of the foundational myth that links the Iberian settlement with the Ionian island of Zacynthos, since it
is very likely that this legend was not created until the 1st century BCE.



Saguntum, Toponymy, Iberian language, Roman Hispania, Romanization, Latinization,
Ancient Coinage of the Iberian Peninsula



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