Itinerarium Gaditanum. CIL (Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum) XI 3281-3284 ed. Academia Litterarum Borussica, Leipzig/Berlin 1862-1943.
The short text of the Itinerarium Gaditanum is most likely a simple transcription of an official political and administrative document that was inscribed on four silver cups.
We have no information about its context, the reason for its construction, or the individual who commissioned it (in all likelihood at Cádiz). It is only possible to say that the cups, after they had been produced, were dedicated ex voto at the hot spring of Apollo and other divinities at Lake Bracciano. This was presumably done by a rich client who will have come from - or at least had close ties to - the objects’ region of origin, and who was perhaps related to the family of the emperor Domitian.
The itinerarium Gaditanum takes its name from an itinerary a Gades Romam, i.e. the route from Cádiz - terminal point of the via Augusta in Baetica (Spain) on the Atlantic coast, at the far western edge of the known world - to Rome, the political capital of the Empire.
The legs of this route are inscribed on four silver goblets, the so-called “Vicarello Cups” (CIL XI 3282-3284), which can be dated on the basis of decorative motifs to c. 50-150 AD. These finds were discovered in the votive deposit of a hot spring near Lake Bracciano that had been rebuilt in the Age of Domitian and dedicated to Apollo and other divinities. Nonetheless, a deeper examination of the textual features of the goblets made by Manfred G. Schmidt and the word itinerarium suggests to assign these works to late Antiquity (IVth century AD). This was also the same period of other two Itineraria, Antonini and Burdigalense.
The itinerary described on each cup is the same, but with some variations in the list of legs. The outside of the cup is decorated with four columns that have Corinthian plinths and capitals; these divide the space into four rectangular areas, each of which is framed at top and bottom by a line inscribed in letters that are larger than the rest: the upper reports a quasi-title, while the lower provides the total distance.
The distance between the resting places identified in the itinerarium vary between 8 and 24 miles. These coincide with well-known urban centers of the Roman era, as well as lesser places that were adequately equipped to welcome travellers. From Cádiz, on the Atlantic, the route follows the Via Augusta to Córdoba, Valencia, and Tarragona; then, after having crossed the Pyrenees, it takes the Via Domitia to Narbonne and Arles on its way - via the pass at Montgenevre and Susa - to Turin and Pavia. It subsequently follows the Po, then takes the Via Aemilia as far as Rimini, from which point it proceeds along the Via Flaminia until it reaches Rome.
The described route crosses throughout the western part of Roman empire, starting from Gades, at the extreme limits of the known world, where the mythical journey of Hercules (the via Herculis, on which insists Manfred G. Schmidt) was commemorated by a temple dedicated to the hero and the neighboring columns bearing his name. [M. Calzolari; tr. C. L. Caterine].