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oppidum


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(pl. oppida)

[MC]

The term used by Julius Caesar to describe fortified tribal centres encountered by him in Gaul in 58–51 bc which did not merit categorization as cities (urbes). In archaeological usage it is applied more generally to fortified sites and large permanent settlements of the late pre‐Roman Iron Age in Europe. These served as centres for administration, trade, craft production, and religion. The word is sometimes, rather misleadingly, applied to any sizable or significant hillfort.

Subjects: Archaeology — Classical Studies.


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