Cartagena is a Mediterranean city and naval station in the Region of Murcia, southeast of Spain. Cartagena has been the capital of the Spanish Navy's Maritime Department of the Mediterranean since the arrival of the Spanish Bourbons in the 18th century. As far back as the 16th century it was one of the most important naval ports in Spain, together with Ferrol in the North.
The town was originally named Mastia. Possessing one of the best harbors in the Western Mediterranean, it was re-founded by the Carthaginian general Hasdrubal in 228 BC as Carthago Nova (New Carthage), for the purpose of serving as a stepping-off point for the conquest of Spain. The Roman general Scipio Africanus conquered it in 209 BC. Julius Caesar gave the town Latin Rights, and Octavian renamed it in his honor as the colony Colonia Iulia Victrix N.C.
Cartagena was ruled, after Roman sovereignty, successively by the Vandals (409-425), Visigoths (425-550 and 624-714), Byzantine Empire (551-624), Umayyads (714-756), Caliphate of Córdoba (756-1031), Taifa of Denia (1031-1076), Taifa of Zaragoza (1076-1081), Taifa of Tortosa (1081-1092), Almoravids (1092-1145), Almohads (1145-1229) and Taifa of Murcia (1229-1245) before Aragonese conquest in 1245. At the moment Cartagena comprises part of the autonomous community of the Region of Murcia, and is the seat of the Regional Assembly (Murcia’s parliament).
Cartagena in Agent of Byzantium
By the 14th century, the Roman Empire had regained the province of Ispania and made New Carthage its capital. It was a large, well laid out city but of rather somber appearance due to the grey local stone used in its construction. Its most prominent building was a church dedicated to its patron saint Mouamet, who was its first bishop.
- See e.g. Agent of Byzantium, pg. 126, tpb.