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Bera

Arch of Bera: little honorific arch for the Roman senator Lucius Licinius Sura, erected in the Spanish town of Bera.

Twenty kilometers to the east of Tarragona stands, near a village called El Roc de Sant Gaietà, this simple arch. It indicates the place where the Via Augusta, the Roman road along the coast of Catalonia, entered the territory of the colonia called Tarraco, the capital of the Roman province Hispania Citerior / Hispania Tarraconensis. 

The arch is made of locally hewn stone and 10½ meters high; when the foundation (partly visible) is included, it measures 12¼ meters. The monument may originally have been dedicated to the emperor Augustus. It was repaired by Lucius Licinius Sura, an influential senator from Tarraco, who was consul in 93 (or 97), 102 and 107, and chief of staff during the reign of the emperor Trajan. Pliny the Younger sent him several letters, which have survived. The senator of Tarraco died in 108.

On the entablature, some remains of the inscription are still visible:

EX TESTAMENTO Lvcio LICINIO Lvcii Filio SERGio SVRAE

The arch was restored in the nineteenth century, heavily damaged again during the Spanish Civil war, but restored again.

This page was created in 2003; last modified on 26 March 2014.