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However, the cognomen 'Híspalis' is due to its situation, as it is built on pilings above marshy ground, so as not to yield to a sliding and unstable foundation.
Although this etymology is not accurate, it is likely that the city was considered untenable as a residence by the Romans for its instability, being built on alluvial soil and frequently threatened by flooding of the Guadalquivir River.
Isidore says in his Etymologies, XV 1, 71: Hispalim Caesar Iulius condidit, quae ex suo et Romae urbis vocabulo Iuliam Romulam nuncupavit.
Carthaginians had caused the collapse of Tartessos by 530 BC, either by armed conflict or by cutting off Greek trade in support of the Phoenician colony of Gades (present-day Cádiz).
Carthage also besieged and took over Gades at this time.
The two cities had different characters: Híspalis was a Hispano-Roman town of craftsmen and a regional financial and commercial hub; while Italica, the birthplace of the Roman emperors Trajan and Hadrian, During this period Hispalis was the district capital of the Hispalense, one of the four legal convents (Conventi iuridici, judicial assemblies the governors summoned with some frequency in the major cities) of the imperial province of Baetica.
The Romans Latinised the Iberian name of the city, 'Ispal', and called it Hispalis.
Commercial colonisation activity in the region changed dramatically in the 6th century BC when the Carthaginians achieved dominance of the western Mediterranean after the fall of the Phoenician city-states of Canaan to the Persian empire.