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During Augustus' reign, the Romans also built a great theatre; the Cassian Baths (underneath Rua da Prata); temples to Jupiter, Diana, Cybele, Tethys and Idea Phrygiae (an uncommon cult from Asia Minor), in addition to temples to the Emperor; a large necropolis under Praça da Figueira; a large forum and other buildings such as insulae (multi-storied apartment buildings) in the area between the Castle Hill and the historic city core.

Many of these ruins were first unearthed during the mid-18th century (when the recent discovery of Pompeii made Roman archaeology fashionable among Europe's upper classes).

It was later referred to as "Olisippo" by Pliny the Elder and by the Greeks as Olissipo (Ὀλισσιπών) or Olissipona (Ὀλισσιπόνα).

During the Neolithic period, the region was inhabited by Pre-Celtic tribes, who built religious and funerary monuments, megaliths, dolmens and menhirs, which still survive in areas on the periphery of Lisbon.

The Indo-European Celts invaded in the 1st millennium BC, mixing with the Pre-Indo-European population, thus giving rise to Celtic-speaking local tribes such as the Cempsi.

Although the first fortifications on Lisbon's Castelo hill are known to be no older than the 2nd century BC, recent archaeological finds have shown that Iron Age people occupied the site from the 8th to 6th centuries BC.

The city was connected by a broad road to Western Hispania's two other large cities, Bracara Augusta in the province of Tarraconensis (Portuguese Braga), and Emerita Augusta, the capital of Lusitania.

The city was ruled by an oligarchical council dominated by two families, the Julii and the Cassiae, although regional authority was administered by the Roman Governor of Emerita or directly by Emperor Tiberius.

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Lisbon's name was written Ulyssippo in Latin by the geographer Pomponius Mela, a native of Hispania.This indigenous settlement maintained commercial relations with the Phoenicians, which would account for the recent findings of Phoenician pottery and other material objects.Archaeological excavations made near the Castle of São Jorge (Castelo de São Jorge) and Lisbon Cathedral indicate a Phoenician presence at this location since 1200 BC, The Tagus settlement was an important centre of commercial trade with the inland tribes, providing an outlet for the valuable metals, salt and salted-fish they collected, and for the sale of the Lusitanian horses renowned in antiquity.By the time of the Fall of Rome, Olissipo had become a notable Christian centre.Following the disintegration of the Western Roman Empire there were barbarian invasions; between 409 and 429 the city was occupied successively by Sarmatians, Alans and Vandals.

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