New perspectives on Byzantine Spain: the Discriptio Hispaniae

Journal of Ancient History 6 (2):278-308 (2018)


The Discriptio Hispaniae is a passage from the Geometry of Gisemundus, also entitled Ars Gromatica Gisemundi, a medieval treatise of agrimensura written by an unknown author, probably a monk known as Gisemundus who had some agrimensorial experience. The work was compiled around AD 800 by collecting passages of a range of sizes, from just a few words to several pages, extracted from ancient and medieval sources. Although modern research into Roman agrimensorial texts has admitted the importance of the AGG, its corrupt condition has not invited sustained analysis. The passage now known as the Discriptio Hispaniae, a short section from chapter three of the second book of the AGG entitled III De segregatione provinciarum ab Augustalibus terminis, is particularly interesting for the information that it provides concerning the territorial division of Hispania in Late Antiquity. This article presents an edition and English translation of the Discriptio Hispaniae and argues that the most likely point of origin for the Discriptio Hispaniae is during the Byzantine occupation of parts of southern Spain during the second half of the sixth century and the first quarter of the seventh century. We suggest that the Discriptio Hispaniae was preserved because the Byzantine authorities were keen to keep on record information about the borders of the province of Carthaginensis, perhaps the main theme in the text.

Download options


    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,805

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

7 (#1,076,119)

6 months
1 (#386,031)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Hispaniae. [REVIEW]Nicola Mackie - 1988 - The Classical Review 38 (2):318-319.
Byzantine Philosophy as a Contemporary Historiographical Project.Michele Trizio - 2007 - Recherches de Theologie Et Philosophie Medievales 74 (1):247-294.
The Byzantine Liar.Stamatios Gerogiorgakis - 2009 - History and Philosophy of Logic 30 (4):313-330.