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The 20th century in Seville saw the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, decisive cultural milestones such as the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 and Expo'92, and the city's election as the capital of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia.
The town was called Spal or Ispal by the Tartessians, the indigenous pre-Roman Iberian people of Tartessos (the name given to their kingdom by the Greeks); they controlled the Guadalquivir Valley and were important trading partners of the neighbouring Phoenician trading colonies on the coast, which later passed to the Carthaginians.
They were both imprisoned, tortured and killed by the Roman authorities.
In the 5th century Hispalis was taken by a succession of Germanic invaders: the Vandals led by Gunderic in 426, the Suebi King Rechila in 441, and finally the Visigoths, who would control the city until the 8th century, their supremacy challenged for a time by the Byzantine presence on the Mediterranean coast.
What was formerly the eastern part of the Decumanus Maximus is modern-day Calle Aguilas, while the northern section of the Cardus Maximus coincides with Calle Alhondiga.
This leads to the conclusion that what is today La Plaza del Alfalfa, at the junction of these two streets, may have been the location of the Imperial Forum, and were finally driven back by Roman archers.
The Late Middle Ages found the city, its port, and its colony of active Genoese merchants in a peripheral but nonetheless important position in European international trade, while its economy suffered severe demographic and social shocks such as the Black Death of 1348 and the anti-Jewish revolt of 1391.
After the Reconquista, Seville was resettled by the Castilian aristocracy; as capital of the kingdom it was one of the Spanish cities with a vote in the Castilian Cortes, and on numerous occasions served as the seat of the itinerant court.Coinciding with the Baroque period of European history, the 17th century in Seville represented the most brilliant flowering of the city's culture; then began a gradual economic and demographic decline as navigation of the Guadalquivir River became increasingly difficult until finally the trade monopoly and its institutions were transferred to Cádiz.The city was revitalised in the 19th century with rapid industrialisation and the building of rail connections, and as in the rest of Europe, the artistic, literary, and intellectual Romantic movement found its expression here in reaction to the Industrial Revolution.In 45 BC, after the Roman Civil War ended at the Battle of Munda, Híspalis built city walls and a forum, completed in 49 BC, as it grew into one of the preeminent cities of Hispania; the Latin poet Ausonius ranked it tenth among the most important cities of the Roman Empire.Hispalis was a city of great mercantile activity and an important commercial port.