The Celtiberians of central Iberia fought as mercenaries in the Punic Wars (264–146 BCE), supporting Carthage against the Roman incursion into Carthaginian Iberia. The Carthaginian hold on Iberia was broken after the Roman victory at IIipa in 206 BCE. The southern and eastern Iberian Peninsula became a Roman province and, alarmed at the Roman presence on their border, the Celtiberi joined forces with other Celtic tribes within the region, provoking the first of many wars with the Roman colonizers. The result was a Roman victory and peace for 24 years. Subsequent Celtiberian wars erupted, with a particularly bloody conflict in Numantia, where besieged citizens committed mass-suicide rather than surrender to the Romans. As the Romans encroached on Celtiberian lands, they were met with bravery and fierce resistance: Celtiberian rebels sang victory hymns while being crucified. The Battle of Astures in 19 BCE was the last major conflict and ended in Roman victory.
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