Celtiberians

The Celtiberians were a group of Celts or Celticized peoples inhabiting the central-eastern Iberian Peninsula during the final centuries BC. They were explicitly mentioned as being Celts by several classic authors (e.g. Strabo[1]). These tribes spoke the Celtiberian language and wrote it by adapting the Iberian alphabet.[2] The numerous inscriptions that have been discovered, some of them extensive, have allowed scholars to classify the Celtiberian language as a Celtic language, one of the Hispano-Celtic (also known as Iberian Celtic) languages that were spoken in pre-Roman and early Roman Iberia. Archaeologically, many elements link Celtiberians with Celts in Central Europe, but also show large differences with both the Hallstatt culture and La Tène culture.

There is no complete agreement on the exact definition of Celtiberians among classical authors, nor modern scholars. The Ebro river clearly divides the Celtiberian areas from non-Indo-European speaking peoples.[3] In other directions, the demarcation is less clear. Most scholars include the Arevaci, Pellendones, Belli, Titti and Lusones as Celtiberian tribes, and occasionally the Berones, Vaccaei, Carpetani, Olcades or Lobetani.[4]

Ethnographic Iberia 200 BCE
Ethnology of the Iberian Peninsula c. 200 BC, based on the map by Portuguese archeologist Luís Fraga

Origin of the term

The term Celtiberi appears in accounts by Diodorus Siculus,[5] Appian[6] and Martial[7] who recognized intermarriage between Celts and Iberians after a period of continuous warfare, though Barry Cunliffe says "this has the ring of guesswork about it."[8] Strabo just saw the Celtiberians as a branch of the Celti.[1] Pliny the Elder thought that the original home of the Celts in Iberia was the territory of the Celtici in the south-west, on the grounds of an identity of sacred rites, language, and the names of cities.[9]

History

Early history

Greek and Phoenician Colonies in The Iberian Peninsula
Main language areas, peoples and tribes in Iberian Peninsula c. 300 BC., according to epigraphy and toponymy, based on the map by Luís Fraga

Strabo cites Ephorus's belief that there were Celts in the Iberian peninsula as far as Cadiz,[10] bringing aspects of Hallstatt culture in the 6th to 5th centuries BC, adopting much of the culture they found. This was a culture of seasonally transhumant cattle-raising pastoralists protected by a warrior elite, similar to those in other areas of Atlantic Europe, centered in the hill-forts, locally termed castros, that controlled small grazing territories. Settlements of circular huts survived until Roman times across the north of Iberia, from Northern Portugal, Asturias and Galicia through Cantabria and northern Leon to the Ebro River.[11]

Celtic presence in Iberia likely dates to as early as the 6th century BC, when the castros evinced a new permanence with stone walls and protective ditches. Archaeologists Martín Almagro Gorbea and Alvarado Lorrio recognize the distinguishing iron tools and extended family social structure of developed Celtiberian culture as evolving from the archaic castro culture which they consider "proto-Celtic".

Archaeological finds identify the culture as continuous with the culture reported by Classical writers from the late 3rd century onwards (Almagro-Gorbea and Lorrio). The ethnic map of Celtiberia was highly localized however, composed of different tribes and nations from the 3rd century centered upon fortified oppida and representing a wide-ranging degree of local assimilation with the autochthonous cultures in a mixed Celtic and Iberian stock.

Mapa celtiberos
Territory of the Celtiberi with possible location of tribes

The cultural stronghold of Celtiberians was the northern area of the central meseta in the upper valleys of the Tagus and Douro east to the Iberus (Ebro) river, in the modern provinces of Soria, Guadalajara, Zaragoza and Teruel. There, when Greek and Roman geographers and historians encountered them, the established Celtiberians were controlled by a military aristocracy that had become a hereditary elite. The dominant tribe were the Arevaci, who dominated their neighbors from powerful strongholds at Okilis (Medinaceli) and who rallied the long Celtiberian resistance to Rome. Other Celtiberians were the Belli and Titti in the Jalón valley, and the Lusones to the east.

Excavations at the Celtiberian strongholds Kontebakom-Bel Botorrita, Sekaisa Segeda, Tiermes[12] complement the grave goods found in Celtiberian cemeteries, where aristocratic tombs of the 6th to 5th centuries BC give way to warrior tombs with a tendency from the 3rd century BC for weapons to disappear from grave goods, either indicating an increased urgency for their distribution among living fighters or, as Almagro-Gorbea and Lorrio think, the increased urbanization of Celtiberian society. Many late Celtiberian oppida are still occupied by modern towns, inhibiting archaeology.

Fíbula celtíbera de Lancia (M.A.N. 22925) 01
Bronze Celtiberian fibula representing a warrior (3rd–2nd century BC)

Metalwork stands out in Celtiberian archaeological finds, partly from its indestructible nature, emphasizing Celtiberian articles of warlike uses, horse trappings and prestige weapons. The two-edged sword adopted by the Romans was previously in use among the Celtiberians, and Latin lancea, a thrown spear, was a Hispanic word, according to Varro. Celtiberian culture was increasingly influenced by Rome in the two final centuries BC.

From the 3rd century, the clan was superseded as the basic Celtiberian political unit by the oppidum, a fortified organized city with a defined territory that included the castros as subsidiary settlements. These civitates as the Roman historians called them, could make and break alliances, as surviving inscribed hospitality pacts attest, and minted coinage. The old clan structures lasted in the formation of the Celtiberian armies, organized along clan-structure lines, with consequent losses of strategic and tactical control.

Late period

The Celtiberians were the most influential ethnic group in Iberia when the Mediterranean powers (Carthage and Rome) started its conquest. In 220 BC, the Punic army was attacked when preparing to cross the Tagus river by a coalition of Vaccei, Carpetani and Olcades. Despite these clashes, during the Second Punic War the Celtiberians served most often as allies or mercenaries of Carthage in its conflict with Rome, and crossed the Alps in the mixed forces under Hannibal's command. Under Scipio, the Romans were able to secure alliances and change the allegiances of many Celtiberian tribes, using these allied warriors against the Carthaginian forces and allies in Spain.

After the conflict, Rome took possession of the Punic empire in Spain, and some Celtiberians soon challenged the new dominant power that loomed in the borders of its territory. Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus spent the years 182 to 179 pacifying the Celtiberians; however, conflicts between various semi-independent bands of Celtiberians continued.

After the city of Numantia was finally taken and destroyed by Scipio Aemilianus Africanus the Younger, after a long and brutal siege that ended the Celtic resistance (154 – 133 BC), Roman cultural influences increased; this is the period of the earliest Botorrita inscribed plaque; later plaques, significantly, are inscribed in Latin. The Sertorian War, 80 – 72 BC, marked the last formal resistance of the Celtiberian cities to Roman domination, which submerged the Celtiberian culture.

Botorrita 1
Botorrita plaque: one of four bronze plates with inscriptions.

The Celtiberian presence remains on the map of Spain in hundreds of Celtic place-names. The archaeological recovery of Celtiberian culture commenced with the excavations of Numantia, published between 1914 and 1931.

A Roman army auxiliary unit, the Cohors I Celtiberorum, is known from Britain, attested by 2nd century AD discharge diplomas.[13]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Strabo. Geography. Book III Chapter 4 verses 5 and 12.
  2. ^ Cremin, Aedeen (2005). "Celtiberian Language". In Koch, John. Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. Volume I: A–Celti. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. pp. 363–364. ISBN 978-1-85109-440-0.
  3. ^ Roman History, Book XVIII "Cato sailed away and reached Spain, where he learned that all the inhabitants as far as the Iberus (Ebro river) had united in order to wage war against him in a body. After organizing his army he attacked and defeated them and forced them to submit to him, since they feared that otherwise they might lose their cities at a single stroke. At the time he did them no harm, but later, when some of them incurred his suspicion, he deprived them all of their arms and caused the natives themselves to tear down their own walls. For he sent letters in all directions with orders that they should be delivered to everybody on the same day; and in these he commanded the people to raze their walls immediately, threatening the disobedient with death. The officials upon reading the letters thought in each case that message had been written to them alone, and without taking time for deliberation they all threw down their walls. Cato now crossed the Iberus, and though he did not dare to contend with the Celtiberian allies of the enemy on account of their number, yet he handled them in marvellous fashion, now persuading them by a gift of larger pay to change front and join him, now admonishing them to return home, and sometimes even announcing a battle with them for a stated day. The result was that they broke up into separate factions and became so fearful that they no longer ventured to fight with him."
  4. ^ The Celts in Iberia: An Overview, e-Keltoi: Volume 6 https://www4.uwm.edu/celtic/ekeltoi/volumes/vol6/6_4/lorrio_zapatero_6_4.html
  5. ^ Celtiberian manners and customs in Diodorus Siculus v. 33–34; Diodorus relies on lost texts of Posidonius.
  6. ^ Appian of Alexandria, Roman History.
  7. ^ Bilbilis was the birthplace of Martial.
  8. ^ Cunliffe, Barry (2003). The Celts: a very short introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 52. ISBN 0-19-280418-9.
  9. ^ Sir William Smith (1854), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, Volume 2, Boston: Little, Brown and Company.
  10. ^ Strabo (1923). The Geography of Strabo; with an English translation by Horace Leonard Jones. II, book IV, chapter 4 (Loeb Classical Library ed.). London: Heinemann.
  11. ^ Koch, John, ed. (2005). "Iberian Peninsula, Celts on the". Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. Volume I: A–Celti. Santa Barbara, CA: ABL-CLIO. p. 950. ISBN 978-1-85109-440-0. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  12. ^ The Site of Tiermes Archived January 12, 2005, at the Wayback Machine, official website
  13. ^ Guy de la Bédoyère Eagles over Britannia: the Roman Army in Britain. Stroud: Tempus, 2001 ISBN 0-7524-1923-4; p. 241.

References

  • Ángel Montenegro et alii, Historia de España 2 – colonizaciones y formación de los pueblos prerromanos (1200–218 a.C), Editorial Gredos, Madrid (1989) ISBN 84-249-1386-8
  • Antonio Arribas, The Iberians, Thames & Hudson, London (1964)
  • Francisco Burillo Mozota, Los Celtíberos, etnias y estados, Crítica, Barcelona (1998, revised edition 2007) ISBN 84-7423-891-9
  • Barry Cunliffe, "Iberia and the Celtiberians" in The Ancient Celts, Penguin Books, London (1997) ISBN 0-14-025422-6
  • Alberto J. Lorrio, Los Celtíberos, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Murcia (1997) ISBN 84-7908-335-2
  • Alberto J. Lorrio and Gonzalo Ruiz Zapatero, "The Celts in Iberia: an Overview" in e-Keltoi 6
  • J. P. Mallory, In Search of the Indo-Europeans, Thames & Hudson, London (1989) ISBN 0-500-05052-X
  • Jesús Martín-Gil, Gonzalo Palacios-Leblé, Pablo Martín-Ramos and Francisco J. Martín-Gil, "Analysis of a Celtiberian protective paste and its possible use by Arevaci warriors". e-Keltoi 5, pp. 63–76.
  • J. Alberto Arenas Esteban, & Mª Victoria Palacios Tamayo, El origen del mundo celtibérico, Excmº Ayuntamiento de Molina de Aragón (1999) ISBN 84-922929-1-1

External links

Media related to Celtiberians at Wikimedia Commons

Berones

The Berones were a pre-Roman Celtic people of ancient Spain, although they not were part of the Celtiberians, they lived north of the Celtiberians and close to the Cantabrian Conisci in the middle Ebro region between the Tirón and Alhama rivers.

Carpetani

The Carpetani (Greek: Karpetanoi) were one of the Celtic pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula (the Roman Hispania, modern Spain and Portugal), akin to the Celtiberians, dwelling in the central part of the meseta - the high central upland plain of the Iberian Peninsula.

Celtiberian Wars

The First Celtiberian War (181–179 BC) and Second Celtiberian War (154–151 BC) were two of the three major rebellions by the Celtiberians (a loose alliance of Celtic tribes living in east central Hispania, among which we can name the Pellendones, the Arevaci, the Lusones, the Titti and the Belli) against the presence of the Romans in Hispania.

When the Second Punic War ended, the Carthaginians relinquished the control of its Hispanic territories to Rome. The Celtiberians shared a border with this new Roman province. They started to confront the Roman army acting in the areas around Celtiberia and this led to the First Celtiberian War. The Roman victory in this war and the peace treaties established by the Roman praetor Gracchus with several tribes led to 24 years of relative peace.

In 154 BC, the Roman senate objected to the Belli town of Segeda building a circuit of walls, and declared war. Thus, the Second Celtiberian War (154–152 BC) started. At least three tribes of Celtiberians were involved in the war: the Titti, the Belli (towns of Segeda and Nertobriga) and the Arevaci (towns of Numantia, Axinum and Ocilis). After some initial Celtiberian victories, the consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus inflicted some defeats and made peace with the Celtiberians. The next consul, Lucius Licinius Lucullus, attacked the Vaccaei, a tribe living in the central Duero valley which was not at war with Rome. He did so without the authorisation of the senate, with the excuse that the Vaccaei had mistreated the Carpetani. The Second Celtiberian War overlapped with the Lusitanian War of (154–150 BC).

The third major rebellion following the Celtiberian Wars was the Numantine War (143–133 BC), sometimes considered as the Third Celtiberian War.

Celtic mythology

Celtic mythology is the mythology of Celtic polytheism, the religion of the Iron Age Celts. Like other Iron Age Europeans, the early Celts maintained a polytheistic mythology and religious structure. For Celts in close contact with Ancient Rome, such as the Gauls and Celtiberians, their mythology did not survive the Roman Empire, their subsequent conversion to Christianity and the loss of their Celtic languages. It is mostly through contemporary Roman and Christian sources that their mythology has been preserved. The Celtic peoples who maintained either political or linguistic identities (such as the Gaels in Ireland and Scotland, the Welsh in Wales, and the Celtic Britons of southern Great Britain and Brittany) left vestigial remnants of their ancestral mythologies that were put into written form during the Middle Ages.

Celtici

The Celtici (in Portuguese, Spanish, and Galician languages, Célticos) were a Celtic tribe or group of tribes of the Iberian peninsula, inhabiting three definite areas: in what today are the regions of Alentejo and the Algarve in Portugal; in the Province of Badajoz and north of Province of Huelva in Spain, in the ancient Baeturia; and along the coastal areas of Galicia. Classical authors give various accounts of the Celtici's relationships with the Gallaeci, Celtiberians and Turdetani.

Celts

The Celts (, see pronunciation of Celt for different usages) are an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group of Europe identified by their use of Celtic languages and cultural similarities.The history of pre-Celtic Europe and the exact relationship between ethnic, linguistic and cultural factors in the Celtic world remains uncertain and controversial. The exact geographic spread of the ancient Celts is disputed; in particular, the ways in which the Iron Age inhabitants of Great Britain and Ireland should be regarded as Celts have become a subject of controversy. According to one theory, the common root of the Celtic languages, the Proto-Celtic language, arose in the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture of Central Europe, which flourished from around 1200 BC. According to a theory proposed in the 19th century, the first people to adopt cultural characteristics regarded as Celtic were the people of the Iron Age Hallstatt culture in central Europe (c. 800–450 BC), named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria. Thus this area is sometimes called the "Celtic homeland". By or during the later La Tène period (c. 450 BC to the Roman conquest), this Celtic culture was supposed to have expanded by trans-cultural diffusion or migration to the British Isles (Insular Celts), France and the Low Countries (Gauls), Bohemia, Poland and much of Central Europe, the Iberian Peninsula (Celtiberians, Celtici, Lusitanians and Gallaeci) and northern Italy (Golasecca culture and Cisalpine Gauls) and, following the Celtic settlement of Eastern Europe beginning in 279 BC, as far east as central Anatolia (Galatians) in modern-day Turkey.The earliest undisputed direct examples of a Celtic language are the Lepontic inscriptions beginning in the 6th century BC. Continental Celtic languages are attested almost exclusively through inscriptions and place-names. Insular Celtic languages are attested beginning around the 4th century in Ogham inscriptions, although it was clearly being spoken much earlier. Celtic literary tradition begins with Old Irish texts around the 8th century CE. Coherent texts of Early Irish literature, such as the Táin Bó Cúailnge ("Cattle Raid of Cooley"), survive in 12th-century recensions.

By the mid-1st millennium, with the expansion of the Roman Empire and migrating Germanic tribes, Celtic culture and Insular Celtic languages had become restricted to Ireland, the western and northern parts of Great Britain (Wales, Scotland, and Cornwall), the Isle of Man, and Brittany. Between the 5th and 8th centuries, the Celtic-speaking communities in these Atlantic regions emerged as a reasonably cohesive cultural entity. They had a common linguistic, religious and artistic heritage that distinguished them from the culture of the surrounding polities. By the 6th century, however, the Continental Celtic languages were no longer in wide use.

Insular Celtic culture diversified into that of the Gaels (Irish, Scottish and Manx) and the Celtic Britons (Welsh, Cornish, and Bretons) of the medieval and modern periods. A modern Celtic identity was constructed as part of the Romanticist Celtic Revival in Great Britain, Ireland, and other European territories, such as Portugal and Spanish Galicia. Today, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, and Breton are still spoken in parts of their historical territories, and Cornish and Manx are undergoing a revival.

Cernunnos

Cernunnos is the conventional name given in Celtic studies to depictions of the "horned god" of Celtic polytheism. Cernunnos was a Celtic god of fertility, life, animals, wealth, and the underworld. The name itself is only attested once, on the 1st-century Pillar of the Boatmen, but he appears all over Gaul, and among the Celtiberians. Cernunnos is depicted with the antlers of a stag, seated cross-legged, associated with animals, and holding or wearing torcs. This deity is known from over 50 examples in the Gallo-Roman period, mostly in north-eastern Gaul.Not much is known about the god from literary sources, and details about his name, his followers or his significance in Celtic religion are unknown. Speculative interpretations identify him as a god of nature, life or fertility.

First Celtiberian War

The First Celtiberian (181-179 BC) was the first of three major rebellions by the Celtiberians against the Roman presence in Hispania. The other two were the Second Celtiberian War (154-151 BC) and the Numantine War (143-133 BC). Hispania was the name the Romans gave to the Iberian Peninsula. The peninsula was inhabited by various ethnic groups and numerous tribes. The Celtiberians were a confederation of five tribes which lived in a large area of east central Hispania, to the west of Hispania Citerior. The eastern part of their territory shared a stretch of the border of this Roman province. The Celtiberian tribes were the Pellendones, the Arevaci, the Lusones, the Titti and the Belli.

The Romans took over the territories of the Carthaginians in southern Hispania when they defeated them at the Battle of Ilipa in 206 BC during the Second Punic War (218-201 BC). After the war they remained and in 197 BC they established two Roman colonies: Hispania Citerior (Nearer Spain) along most of the east coast, an area roughly corresponding to the modern autonomous communities of Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia, and Hispania Ulterior (Further Spain) in the south, roughly corresponding to modern Andalusia. There were numerous rebellions by many tribes of Hispania, including tribes both inside and outside Roman territory, in most years for a period of 98 years, until the end of the First Celtiberian War in 179 BC. For details of these rebellions see the Roman conquest of Hispania article.

Hispania Citerior

Hispania Citerior (English: "Hither Iberia", or "Nearer Iberia") was a Roman Province in Hispania during the Roman Republic. It was on the eastern coast of Iberia down to the town of Cartago Nova, today's Cartagena in the autonomous community of Murcia, Spain. It roughly covered today's Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia and Valencia. Further south there was the Roman Province of Hispania Ulterior ("Further Iberia"), being further away from Rome. The two provinces were formed in 197 BC, four years after the end of the Second Punic War (218-201 BC). During this war Scipio Africanus defeated the Carthaginians at the Battle of Ilipa (near Seville) in 206 BC. This led to the Romans taking over the Carthaginian possessions in southern Spain and on the east coast up to the River Ebro. Several governors of Hispania Citerior commanded wars against the Celtiberians who lived to the west of this province. In the late first century BC Augustus reorganised the Roman provinces in Hispania and Hispania Citerior was replaced by the larger province of Hispania Tarraconensis, which included the territories the Romans had conquered in central, northern and north-western Hispania. Augustus also renamed Hispania Ulterior Hispania Baetica and created a third province, Hispania Lusitania.

Iberians

The Iberians (Latin: Hibērī, from Greek: Ίβηρες, Iberes) were a set of peoples that Greek and Roman sources (among others, Hecataeus of Miletus, Avienus, Herodotus and Strabo) identified with that name in the eastern and southern coasts of the Iberian peninsula, at least from the 6th century BC. The Roman sources also use the term Hispani to refer to the Iberians.

The term Iberian, as used by the ancient authors, had two distinct meanings. One, more general, referred to all the populations of the Iberian peninsula without regard to ethnic differences (Pre-Indo-European, Celts and non-Celtic Indo-Europeans). The other, more restricted ethnic sense, refers to the people living in the eastern and southern coasts of the Iberian Peninsula, which by the 6th century BC had absorbed cultural influences from the Phoenicians and the Greeks. This pre-Indo-European cultural group spoke the Iberian language from the 7th to the 1st century BC.

Other peoples possibly related to the Iberians are the Vascones, though more related to the Aquitani than to the Iberians. The rest of the peninsula, in the northern, central, northwestern, western and southwestern areas, was inhabited by Celts or Celtiberians groups and the possibly Pre-Celtic or Proto-Celtic Indo-European Lusitanians, Vettones, and the Turdetani.

Lusitanian War

The Lusitanian War, called in Greek Pyrinos Polemos ("the Fiery War"), was a war of resistance fought by the Lusitanian tribes of Hispania Ulterior against the advancing legions of the Roman Republic from 155 to 139 BC. The Lusitanians revolted on two separate occasions (155 BC, and again in 146 BC) and were pacified. In 154 BC, a long war in Hispania Citerior, known as the Numantine War, was begun by the Celtiberians. It lasted until 133 and is an important event in the integration of what would become Portugal into the Roman and Latin-speaking world.

In 194 BC, war first broke out between the Romans and the Lusitanians, who were an autonomous people. By 179 BC, the Romans had mostly succeeded in pacifying the region and signed a peace treaty. In 155, a major revolt was reignited under the leadership of Punicus, who allied with the Vettones. Caesarus succeeded after Punicus's death. Another warlord, Caucenus, made war against the Romans in the region south of Tagus down to North Africa.

The praetor Servius Sulpicius Galba and the proconsul Lucius Licinius Lucullus arrived in 151 and began the process of subduing the local population. Galba betrayed the Lusitanian people he had invited to peace talks and had roughly 10,000 massacred in 150, thus ending the first phase of the war. This would be later proven to have been a costly mistake as the Lusitanians became embittered and began open warfare against Rome and its allies. Not only that, but future Lusitanian leader Viriathus had escaped alive from the massacre, having now developed a vendetta against Rome.

In 146 BC, the Lusitanians elected Viriathus leader, after he rescued a great number of Lusitanian warriors pinned down by a Roman Legion after reminding them of Rome's betrayal three years prior and convincing them not to accept any Roman offers. Preying upon the Legions' unwillingness to break formation, he succeeded in saving the entire band from massacre or capture, an incredible feat. Viriathus was to gain renown throughout the Roman world as a guerrilla fighter. In the words of Theodor Mommsen, "It seemed as if, in that thoroughly prosaic age, one of the Homeric heroes had reappeared." In 145, the general Quintus Fabius Maximus Aemilianus campaigned successfully against the Lusitanians, but failed in his attempts to arrest Viriathus. In 143 BC, Viriathus formed a league against Rome with several Celtic tribes, for resisting the Romans and getting revenge against them for the betrayal and massacre three years previously.

In 139 BC, Viriathus was killed in his sleep by three of his companions (they were Tartessians, Lusitanian allies), Audax, Ditalcus and Minurus. The three men had escaped by the time the Lusitanians discovered the death of their leader. Unable to avenge him they instead held feasts, gladiator battles and a grand funeral. These three men who had been sent as emissaries to the Romans had been bribed by Marcus Popillius Laenas into betraying their mission. The popular story of their fate has Roman general Servilius Caepio having them executed, declaring "Rome does not pay traitors."

Neto (deity)

Neto or Mars Neto is the name of one of the deities of ancient Iberia, revered by the Lusitanians and Celtiberians. He was probably a god of war.

Oretani

The Oretani or Oretanii (Greek: Orissioi) were a pre-Roman ancient Iberian people (in the geographical sense) of the Iberian Peninsula (the Roman Hispania), that lived in today's northeastern Andalusia, in the high Baetis (Guadalquivir) river valley, eastern Marianus Mons (Sierra Morena), and the southern area of today's La Mancha.

They could have been an Iberian tribe, a Celtic one, or a mixed Celtic and Iberian tribe or tribal confederacy (and hence related to the Celtiberians).

The Mantesani/Mentesani/Mantasani of today's La Mancha and the Germani (of Oretania) in eastern Marianus Mons (Sierra Morena) and west Jabalón river valley are sometimes included in the Oretani but it is not certain if they were Oretani tribes.

Province of Guadalajara

Guadalajara (pronounced [ɡwaðalaˈxaɾa] from Arabic وادي الحجارة wādi al-ħajāra, "streambed/valley of stones") is a province of central/north-central Spain, in the northern part of the autonomous community of Castilla–La Mancha. As of 2013 it had a population of 257,723 people. The population of the province has grown in the last 10 years.

Roman conquest of the Iberian peninsula

The Roman conquest of the Iberian peninsula was a process by which the Roman Republic seized territories in the Iberian peninsula that were previously under the control of native Celtiberian tribes and the Carthaginian Empire. The Carthaginian territories in the south and east of the peninsula were conquered in 206 BC during the Second Punic War. Control was gradually extended over most of the Iberian peninsula without annexations. It was completed after the fall of the Republic (27 BC), by Augustus, the first Roman emperor, who annexed the whole of the peninsula to the Roman Empire in 19 BC. The peninsula had various ethnic groups and a large number of tribes.

This process started with the Roman acquisition of the former Carthaginian territories in southern Hispania and along the east coast as a result of defeating the Carthaginians (206 BC) during the Second Punic War (218–201 BC), leading to them leaving the peninsula. This established Roman territorial presence in Hispania. Four years after the end of this war, in 197 BC, the Romans established two Roman provinces. They were Hispania Citerior (Nearer Spain) along most of the east coast (an area roughly corresponding to the modern Spanish autonomous communities of Valencia, Catalonia and part of Aragon) and Hispania Ulterior (Further Spain) in the south, roughly corresponding to modern Andalusia.

Over the next 170 years, the Roman Republic slowly expanded its control over Hispania. This was a gradual process of pacification, rather than the result of a policy of conquest. Roman actions in Hispania were reactive. They responded to rebellions to suppress them, rather than seek annexation. It was driven by numerous rebellions by the local tribes. The Romans had to fight countless battles and lost a very large number of men. On one occasion, a Roman commander conducted a sweeping counterinsurgency operation in the west of the peninsula. Pacification and retention and extension of control over the local tribes was the priority. The Romans turned some of the native cities outside their provinces into tributary cities and established outposts and Roman colonies (settlements) to expand their control. There was little interest in Hispania on the part of the Roman senate. Governors who were sent there acted quite independently from the senate due to the great distance from Rome, and were interested mainly in military action for the political gains that came with victory. To Rome, Hispania was a faraway land, remote from her main interests—Italy and the eastern Mediterranean. Administrative arrangements were ad hoc measures undertaken by men on the spot. In the later part of this period, the Roman senate attempted to exercise more control in Hispania, but this was to try to curb abuse and extortion by the unsupervised officials in the peninsula. Hence, in this period, conquest was a process of assimilation of the local tribes into the Roman world and its economic system after pacification.

This changed after the fall of the Roman Republic and the establishment of rule by emperors in Rome. After the Roman victory in the Cantabrian Wars in the north of the peninsula (the last rebellion against the Romans in Hispania), Augustus conquered the north of Hispania, annexed the whole peninsula to the Roman Empire and carried out an administrative reorganisation. This was in 19 BC, 187 years after the expulsion of the Carthaginians from Hispania.

The Roman province of Hispania Citerior was significantly expanded and came to include the eastern part of central Hispania and northern Hispania. It was renamed Hispania Tarraconensis. Due to the sheer size of the annexed territory, a third province was established in the west of the peninsula and the western part of central Hispania. This was Hispania Lusitania, which covered present day Portugal up to the River Durius (Douro), the present autonomous community of Extremadura and a small part of the province of Salamanca in today's Spain. Hispania Citerior was renamed Hispania Baetica and it borders were expanded inland only marginally.

Segobriga

Segóbriga was an important Celtic and Roman city, and is today an impressive site located on a hill near the present town of Saelices.

Archaeology has revealed the remains of important buildings which have been conserved and are visible today in the Archaeological Park. Bien de Interés Cultural declared National Monument on June 3, 1931.Although the city is in ruins, its state of conservation is more than acceptable, compared to other remains located on the peninsula. Your visit provides an idea of how everyday life developed in a city of antiquity.

Spanish mythology

Spanish mythology refers to the sacred myths of the cultures of Spain. They include Galician mythology, Asturian mythology, Cantabrian mythology, Catalan mythology, Lusitanian mythology and Basque mythology. They also include the myths and religions of the Celts, Celtiberians, Iberians, Milesians, Carthaginians, Suebi, Visigoths, Spaniards, Moors of Spain, and some Roman and Greek mythology.

Vaccaei

The Vaccaei or Vaccei were a pre-Roman Celtic people of Spain, who inhabited the sedimentary plains of the central Duero valley, in the Meseta Central of northern Hispania (specifically in Castile and León). Its capital was Intercatia in Paredes de Nava.

Varduli

The Varduli were a pre-Roman tribe settled in the north of the Iberian Peninsula, in what today is the eastern region of the autonomous community of the Basque Country and western Navarre, in northern Spain. Their historical territory corresponds with current Basque-speaking areas, however it is debated whether the Varduli were actually Aquitanians, related to the Vascones, or if they were Celts, related to tribes such as the Cantabri and Celtiberians and which later underwent Basquisation.

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