Team Spotlight: CD Numancia and its historical name

Team Spotlight: CD Numancia and its historical name

April 14, 2018 Off By Adam Storer

Most football clubs are named after the location they are based in, with Real Madrid situated in the Spanish capital, while FC Barcelona play in the Catalan city.

Yet, CD Numancia is a different story, as if they were to follow their fellow Spanish teams, they would be called CD Soria.

Instead, the origins of their name derive from the ancient town of Numantia (Numancia in Spanish), which was burned down in 133 BC when the Romans invaded.

The Numantine War and Final Siege

Unlike many towns in during that era, the Celtiberian settlement was destroyed by its own people after 20 years of hostilities and a 13-month siege with armies from the Roman Empire.

Trouble had stirred in the area from 153 BC, with the invaders looking to subdue in Hispania, as it was called by the Italians then.

Yet the locals held firm and kept the Romans back for 20 years, until Consul Scipio Aemilianus led the 30,000-strong army, creating fortifications for a lengthy siege to starve out the resistance in Numantia.

Eight months in, most committed suicide, rather than become slaves. Famished and several outnumbered, the remaining few burned the entire settlement before surrendering to the invaders.

This is what remains of the Numantia settlement, after being destroyed by its own people

Numancia honours its roots

The war became celebrated in Spanish and Roman history, for the bravery, determination courage and fighting skills shown by the Iberians.

Over a millennium later, in 1109 AD, the area of Soria became populated by King of Aragon, Alfonso I.

While it does not sit exactly where Numantia was, the city is home to a museum dedicated to the wars and siege, including some pieces discovered from the Roman invasion.

And in a show of remembering the bravery of their ancestors and those from the area, a football club was born in 1945 and naming itself CD Numancia after the former settlement.