Historical Cities

Historical Cities of the Rome: Total War Campaign map

By Ichbinian


Almost all of the cities on the Rome: Total War campaign map are historical. But over the course of time, the world modernized in all ways of life: militarily, linguistically, and culturally, and consequently the names of the countries and cities changed according to the new languages growing up. This article will tell of the old and new names (and tidbits of history if available) of the cities in ancient Europe/Asia, by the modern day country.

British Isles:

Tara, Hibernia
Modern name: Tara.

This ancient place is not much of a settlement anymore, but is a historical site of Ireland, where the Druids of old used to meet.

Eburacum, Britannia Inferior
Modern name: York

This is quite a famous city in England, being the capital of Yorkshire. Vespasian founded it in A.D. 71.

Deva, Tribus Silurii
Modern name: Chester

The origin of the modern name, "Chester," comes from the Latin "castra" which means "camp." Truly - this town started out as a camp for the XX Legio Valeria Victrix (20th Legion), and later became a fortress for that army. As more people came to Britain, it grew into a town.

Londinium, Britannia Superior
Modern name: London

London is perhaps the most famous city in the world. The Romans founded it in 43 under the Claudian invasion of Britannia, and has since then been conquered by Saxons, Celts, and Normans.

France:

Condate Redonum, Armorica
Modern name: Rennes

Rennes is now the capital of Brittany. The Amoricans inhabited this town, whose name comes from ancient Celtic, "condate" which means "confluent." This town was so named because the Ille and Vilaine rivers meet near the town.

Samarobriva, Belgica
Modern name: Amiens

The Ambiani, a tribe of Gaul, produced coinage here around the 1st century B.C.

Alesia, Central Gaul
Modern name: Alise-Sainte-Reine (not for certain)

Alesia was a place in Gaul where a famous battle was fought between the Romans and a confederation of the Gauls, led by Vercingetorix. This battle ended the Gallic War, and Gaul became a Roman province.

Lugdunum, Lugdinensis
Modern name: Lyon

Munatius Plancus, a lieutenant to Caesar, founded Lugdunum (from the Celtc "Lugus", the Sun god) in 43 BC.

Massilia, Transalpine Gaul
Modern name: Marseille

This city's name comes from the Greek "Μασσαλία" (Massalia). The Greeks founded it circa 600 B.C., and it has become a very important port city, the sea-gate into France.

Narbo Martius, Narbonensis
Modern name: Narbonne

Narbo Martius (or just Narbo) was the first Roman city outside Italy, founded in 118 B.C.

Lemonum, Aquitania
Modern name: Poitiers

This town was founded before the Roman times, by the Pictones tribe of Gaul.

Spain:

Osca, Tarraconensis
Modern name: Huesca

Augustus founded Osca in 30 BC. It was already an establishment, but when it only became a full-fledged town when its forum was built.

Carthago Nova, Hispania
Modern name: Cartagena

Hannibal's brother, Hasdrubal, founded Carthago Nova (Latin for 'New Carthage') I 230 BC during the Punic War. After Scipio Africanus conquered it in 209, it was regarded as one of the wealthiest cities in Europe because of its rich mines.

Corduba, Baetica
Modern name: Córdoba

Corduba (or Cordova) is a city at the bottom of Spain. Surprisingly, the city had more of cultural influence than Rome, and consequently had more cultural buildings. Many centuries after the Roman Empire fell, Corduba became a great center of learning and intellectuality.

Scallabis, Lusitania
Modern name: Santarem

Not much early history is known about this town at all. It is 65 km northeast of Lisbon, Portugal's capital.
Asturica, Gallaecia
Modern name: Astorga

Not much is know about this town, but its official name was Asturica Augusta. The Tuerto River flows through it.

Numantia, Celtiberia
Modern name: Numancia

This town was a real thorn in Rome's side! The Arevaci peoples, who were Celtiberian (mix of Celts and Iberians who lived together near Numantia circa 6 c. BC) settled there and gained victories against the Romans. For one example, in 137 BC, one Roman army of 20,000 surrendered to the town's populus of 8,000. In 134 BC, the town was taken and destroyed after many years of resistance.

Germany:

Batavodurum, Germnia Inferior
Modern name: Passau (not exactly known)

Hardly any evidence of a "Batavodurum" is available. There is a town in southeast Germany by the name of Passau, whose ancient name is "Batavis."

Trier, Germania Superior
Modern name: Trier

Augusta Treverorum was Trier's ancient name. The reason why Trier is listed as the modern name is because some cities on the campaign map have their modern, English names, i.e., Rome (Trier being one of them). Trier is Germany's oldest city. The inhabitants were the Treverans who were a Celtic people. Julius Caesar suppressed them in 50 BC.

Moguntiacum, Agri Decumetes
Modern name: Mainz

Moguntiacum started out as a major, permanent camp for Roman legions. Drusus, a Roman general, founded the place in 13 BC. When the Rhine froze, many barbarian tribes crossed it at Moguntiacum. The Allemani tribe sacked the town in 368.

Bordesholm, Tribus Saxones
Modern name: Bordesholm

Belgium:

Damme, Tribus Chatii
Modern name: Damme

Austria:

Iuvavum, Noricum
Modern name: Salzburg

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg.

Czech Republic:

Lovosice, Boihaemum
This town was not a known ancient city. The province is noticeable to be that of Bohemia.

Italy:

Mediolanium, Cisalpine Gaul
Modern name: Milan

Mediolanium is thought to have been founded by Celts in 600 BC. The Romans annexed it in 222 BC. Milan is easily one of the most famous cities in Italy.

Patavium, Venetia
Modern name: Padua

Patavium, according to legend, is a Trojan town founded in 1274 BC. In 45 BC it was made an official town. An interesting and amazing point is that in its golden age, it was able to field an army by itself, consisting of around 200,000 men.

Segesta, Liguria
Modern name: Genoa

This is an important harbour city in northern Italy. Carthaginians, Greeks, and Phoenicians were the probable inhabitants.

Arretium, Etruria
Modern name: Arezzo

Arretium was a very important Etruscan city in the 5th and 4th centuries BC. The Romans conquered it in 311, and it became a military headquarters. In the Roman Civil War, it sided with Marius.

Ariminum, Umbria
Modern name: Rimini

In 268 BC, the Romans formally founded the town of Ariminum. Its name comes from the nearby river, 'Ariminus'. This town attracted such persons as Augustus and Hadrian. An arch (Arch of Augustus), amphitheatre, and bridge (Tiberius' Bridge) were built there.

Rome, Latium
Modern name: Rome

Rome was founded in 753 BC, supposedly by the two brothers, Romulus and Remus, and they were brought up by a she-wolf. Legend tells that Remus crossed Romulus' part of the wall, and was murdered by his brother. Rome became the principal city of the world for a millennium, even though it was sacked twice (once by the Gauls under Brennus, the other time under King Alaric of the Goths).

Capua, Campania
Modern name: Santa Maria Capua Vetere (or, just Capua)

The Etruscans founded Capua circa 600 BC. The Via Appia extends from it to Rome, making it easier to travel between these two once very important cities. For the record, Capua was considered to be right behind Rome and Carthage in terms of economy and military. Capua was able to send out 30,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry at its height of power.

Tarentum, Apulia
Modern name: Taranto

The Spartans founded Tarentum in 706, just 50 years after Rome was. There were various wars with other peoples and tribes. Tarentum supported Sparta against Athens in the Peloponnesian War by sending warships. Tarentum also had wars with Rome, which they won mostly because of their superior navy.

Croton, Bruttium
Modern name: Crotone

The Greeks founded Croton around 710 BC. Croton sent one ship to Salamis to help their allies. Croton fought against the Carthaginians and two tyrants of Syracuse. After many siegies most of the town's population left for Rome. It was once used as Hannibal's winter refuge.

Messana, Sicilia Romanus
Modern name: Messina

Greeks founded Messana in the 8th century BC. After the First Punic War, it became an ally to Rome. Messana was, and still is, a very important harbour (it is a natural harbour).

Syracuse, Sicilia Graecus
Modern name: Syracuse

Corinthian settlers founded Syracuse in 734 BC. It became the most dominant Greek city on the Mediterranean. Population always grew; the navy and army were always up to speed. Hamilcar of Carthage landed at Syracuse and besieged it, but was defeated. The city gave 3,000 hoplites to the Ten Thousand, which marched into Asia Minor and was lead out by Xenophon, as told in is Anabasis.

Lilybaeum, Sicilia Poeni
Modern name: Marsala

Himilco of Carthage founded the city in 396. It became the most powerful Carthaginian settlement on Sicily. It surrendered to the Romans after Carthage's defeat in the First Punic War.

Caralis, Sardinia
Modern name: Cagliari

Caralis was a Phoenician trading settlement on modern day Sardinia, founded in the 7th century BC. It came under Roman rule in 268 BC when the Romans beat the Carthaginians.

Algeria/Morocco:

Tingi, Mauretania
Modern name: Tangiers

Carthaginians founded this city in the 5th century BC, and it was eventually brought under Roman rule, probably after the Third Punic War. It was one of the main bases of the Berbers. The Vandals defeated Tingi in the 5th century AD.

Dimmidi, Gaetulia
Modern name: Messad

Dimmidi was a small Roman outpost at Messad on the southeastern part of Africa.

Nepte, Sahara
Modern name: Nafta

Cirta, Numidia
Modern name: Constantine

Phoenicians founded this city, but no date is known. Constantine rebuilt the city and named it after himself. It was regarded as the capital of Numidia.

Tunisia:

Carthage, Africa
Modern name: Carthage

Carthage is one of the most famous cities known to mankind. Phoenicians from Tyre founded it in 814 BC. Eventually it spread its armies eastwards and westwards, conquering the northern parts of Africa up just before Spain, and bordered Egypt. It came into conflict with the Romans, and ended up losing all 3 Punic Wars, but not without dealing major blows to the Romans. Its greatest hero was Hannibal who destroyed many Roman armies and conquered half of Spain, and even crossed the Alps with his army (although he did lose his elephants during the process).

Thapsus, Byzacium
Modern name: Bekalta (ruins only)

Phoenicians founded this city, but no date is known. Julius Caesar won the Battle of Thapsus against Metellus Pius Scipio and the Numidian king Juba in 46 BC.

Lybia:

Lepcis Magna, Tripolitania
Modern name: Al-Khums

Again, Phoenicians founded this city, in the twelfth century BC. Septimius Severus was from Lepcis Magna, so he built lots of beautiful buildings, like his arch.

Croatia:

Segestica, Illyria
Modern name: Sisak

Hardly anything is known about Roman times except that St. Quirinus died as a martyr at Segestica, and is now patron of Sisak.

Salona, Dalmatia
Modern name: Solin

Diocletian was born at Salona and built a stronghold just outside of the city's boundaries, and lived there for 8 years. The city had a great sea connection, so it was important for trade, and missionaries of the emerging Christian faith.

Hungary:

Aquincum, Pannonia
Modern name: Budapest

Budapest is the capital of Hungary, founded by the Romans in 89 AD. Aquincum became the capital of Pannonia, and was also the station of the Legio II Adiutrix.

Slovakia:

Campus Iazyges, Tribus Iazyges
Modern name: N/A

The Iazyges were a nomadic tribe that resided mostly in the areas above Dacia and Thrace, and so consequently did not have an established, known city. Campus Iazyges means 'Camp of the Iazyges,' which is appropriate for the tribe's status in the ancient world.

Half the world is still to come, but in another article.

Rome: Total War is a game by the Creative Assembly and is published by Sega/Activision
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