RESEARCH > Military camp
Titus Livius narrated the events of the Roman Conquest of the Balearic Islands in his work Ad urbe condita. Unfortunately, his book LX has not survived and we have only a few quotes from authors that describe, in general terms, the great victory of the Roman General, Quintus Caecilius Metellus, when he reached Rome after conquering the islands which served as his base for a brief period lasting from 123 to 121 B.C. Historians and archaeologists have made efforts to pinpoint the precise moment when Rome decided to incorporate the islands into the Republic and, indeed, as to why.
Around the period of the Roman conquest of the islands, in 123 B.C., Sanitja must have been the best natural port of anchorage on the North coast of Menorca. It was protected from the strong winds from the North (the Tramontana) by a long, curving arm of land which acts as a natural dike, since it projects some 200 meters into the sea from the Cavalleria Cape to the island of Porros, thus creating an underwater natural barrier. In contrast, the other natural bay on the North coast at nearby Fornells had a dangerous access. For this reason, Sanitja has been a favourite amongst sailors until recent times.
The Roman site that was established as a result of Quintus Caecilius Metellus’ military conquest was located on the highest point in the area, on top of a hill with a height ranging from 15 to 20 meters above sea level, at the most strategic place just south of the port. From here, the port and a large area of the northern coast of Menorca can be seen clearly.
More information about the roman military camp.