Sabine Panzram

Living like a Cosmopolitan? A Tale of Port Cities from the Iberian Peninsula

It is generally assumed that port cities are „cosmopolitan“. They are called “gates to the world”, at which traders from far away regions meet, some of them staying longer than intended, and thereby importing their “way of life” and their cults, building ties with the indigenous population and in the end settling for good. This paper intends to question these assumptions by analyzing the social structure of three cities on the Iberian Peninsula – Tarraco (Tarragona), Carthago Nova (Cartagena) and Gades (Cádiz). The focus will be also on urban aspects of the cities’ history: When can we see an influx of foreigners? Do they come continuously or are there certain phases in which the city was particularly attractive? Is it possible to define the reasons for migration? How does the so called “cosmopolitan life” manifest itself? Is it – from a topographic point of view – limited to the docklands or does it give a “cosmopolitan flair” to the whole city? In conclusion, by comparing the results with the social structure of other cities, the question will be answered, if port cities on the Iberian Peninsula really have a society sui generis.