The first native settlement in Cordoba was situated in the Parque Cruz Conde area, but all traces of human activity there seem to have ceased abruptly in the 2nd century BC, coinciding with the arrival of the Romans. Soon after this, towards the middle of the century, the city of Cordoba itself was founded by the Roman general Claudius Marcellus. The general belonged to a noble Roman family, was named consul three times, and campaigned in Hispania twice, from 169-168 BC and 152-151 BC respectively.
Either of these is the most likely date for the founding of Roman Corduba, and Claudius Marcellus probably chose it as the most suitable site for a Roman camp, on the basis of tested knowledge about its strategic position and logistic potential.
The founding of Cordoba was one of the first major steps in a Roman programme of the development of cities, as part of the process of “Romanising” Hispania.
Marcus Claudius Marcellus modernised and extended Cordoba towards the east, dividing the city into two parts, one for the native population and the other for Roman families. He built barracks, temples, tribunals, a circus, theatre, and other buildings and offices of the Roman Republic, and surrounded this part with a strong city wall.