The Carthage Empire occupied Gadir (present day Cádiz) beginning in 500 BC until 206 BC when they were defeated by the Roman Republic in the Second Punic War (218 – 201 BC). In 49 BC, Julius Caesar renamed the city Gades when granting it municipal status. During this prosperous 1st century BC, Lucius Cornelius Balbus the Elder – a rich Roman and Caesar’s personal secretary – built an amphitheater capable of seating an audience of 20,000. The Roman Theater was abandoned in the 4th century and later buried beneath a 13th century fortress. The ruins were discovered in 1980 and are still being excavated.