Iberian Celts – Languages and Peoples c. 200 BCE


Map Code: Ax02088

The Celtic migration into Spain was more infiltration than invasion, either a steady trickle or a series of waves. As a result, pre-existing populations were not necessarily overwhelmed, and the main concentrations of Celtic settlements were spatially separated in the northwest (their tribes lending their names to modern Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria) and centre. Their predecessors, the Iberians, retained the southeast, and the two cultures intermixed in the borderlands, creating the ‘Celtiberi’. The Aquitani and Vascones were ancestors to the Basques. The Turditani were ‘the least warlike of the Iberian peoples’, employing the bellicose Celts as mercenaries, but they managed to supplant the Tartessians, whose ancient trading enclave ‘beyond the Pillars of Hercules’ is a possible Atlantis candidate. Rich reserves of tin, silver and copper rendered the Iberians prosperous, but also attracted colonists. The Phoenicians were content to trade, but the Carthaginians wanted control, and the Romans (from 197 BCE) – subjugation

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