Baelo Claudia is the name of an ancient Roman town, located 15 km outside of Tarifa, near the village of Bolonia, in southern Spain. Lying on the Straits of Gibraltar, the town was originally a fishing village and trade link when it was settled some 2,000 years ago. Although prosperous at the time of Emperor Claudius, it went into a decline hastened by earthquakes, and was abandoned by the 6th century.
The town was born in the end of the 2nd century BC as a result of trade with North Africa (it was a major port for Tangiers, in Morocco, for example). It is possible that Baelo Claudia had some functions of governmental administration, but fishing, pickling, and the production of garum were the primary sources of wealth. The city was eventually successful enough to be granted the title of municipium by Emperor Claudius.
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