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History of Spain



last ice age.

The two main historical peoples of the peninsula were the Iberians and the Celts. The Iberians inhabited the Mediterranean side from the northeast to the southeast. The Celts inhabited the Atlantic side, in the north, center (Celtiberian), northwest and southwest part of the peninsula. Basques occupied the western area of the Pyrenees mountain range and adjacent areas.

In the south of the peninsula appeared the semi-mythical city of Tartessos (c.1100 BC), whose flourishing trade in items made of gold and silver with the Phoenicians and Greeks is documented by Strabo and the Book of Solomon. Between about 800 BC and 300 BC, the seafaring Phoenicians and Greeks founded trading colonies along the Mediterranean coast. The Carthaginians briefly exerted control over much of the Mediterranean side of the peninsula, until defeated in the Punic Wars by the Romans.

Roman Empire and the Gothic Kingdom

During the Second Punic War, an expanding Roman Empire captured Carthaginian trading colonies along the Mediterranean coast from roughly 210 BC to 205 BC. It took the Romans nearly two centuries to complete the conquest of the Iberian peninsula, though they had control of it for over six centuries.

Roman rule was bound together by law, language, and the Roman road.

The cultures of the Celtic and Iberian populations were gradually romanised (Latinised) at differing rates in different parts of Hispania. Local leaders were admitted into the Roman aristocratic class Hispania served as a granary for the Roman market, and its harbours exported gold, wool, olive oil, and wine. Agricultural production increased with the introduction of irrigation projects, some of which remain in use. Emperors Hadrian, Trajan, Theodosius I, and the philosopher Seneca were born in Hispania. Christianity was introduced into Hispania in the 1st century AD and it became popular in the cities in the 2nd century AD. Most of Spain's present