Hispania was the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula and its provinces. Under the Republic, Hispania was divided into two provinces: Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior. During the Principate, Hispania Ulterior was divided into two new provinces and Lusitania, while Hispania Citerior was renamed Hispania Tarraconensis. Subsequently, the western part of Tarraconensis was split off, first as Hispania Nova renamed "Callaecia". From Diocletian's Tetrarchy onwards, the south of remaining Tarraconensis was again split off as Carthaginensis, then too the Balearic Islands and all the resulting provinces formed one civil diocese under the vicarius for the Hispaniae; the name, was used in the period of Visigothic rule. The modern placenames Hispaniola are both derived from Hispania; the origin of the word Hispania is much disputed and the evidence for the various speculations are based upon what are at best mere resemblances to be accidental, suspect supporting evidence. One theory holds it to be from the Phoenician language of colonizing Carthage.
It may derive from a Punic cognate of Hebrew אי-שפניא meaning "island of the hyrax" or "island of the hare" or "island of the rabbit". Some Roman coins of the Emperor Hadrian, born in Hispania, depict a rabbit. Others derive the word from Phoenician span, meaning "hidden", make it indicate "a hidden", that is, "a remote", or "far-distant land". Another theory, proposed by the etymologist Eric Partridge in his work Origins, is that it is of Iberian derivation and that it is to be found in the pre-Roman name for Seville, which hints at an ancient name for the country of *Hispa, an Iberian or Celtic root whose meaning is now lost. Isidore of Sevilla considered Hispania derived from Hispalis. Hispalis may alternatively derive from Heliopolis. According to Manuel Pellicer Catalán, the name derives from Phoenician Spal "lowland", rendering this explanation of Hispania dubious. Hispania was called Hesperia Ultima, "the last western land" in Greek, by Roman writers, since the name Hesperia had been used by the Greeks to indicate the Italian peninsula.
Another theory holds that the name derives from Ezpanna, the Basque word for "border" or "edge", thus meaning the farthest area or place. During Antiquity and Middle Ages, the literary texts derive the term Hispania from an eponymous hero named Hispan, mentioned for the first time in the work of the Roman historian Gnaeus Pompeius Trogus, in the 1st century BC. Although "Hispania" is the Latin root for the modern name "Spain", substituting Spanish for Hispanicus or Hispanic, or Spain for Hispania, should be done and taking into account the correct context; the Estoria de España written on the initiative of Alfonso X of Castile "El Sabio", between 1260 and 1274, during the Reconquest of Spain, is believed to be the first extended history of Spain in Old Spanish using the words "España" and "Españoles" to refer to Medieval Hispania. The use of Latin "Hispania", Castilian "España", Catalan "Espanya" and French "Espaigne", between others, to refer to Roman Hispania or Visigothic Hispania was common throughout all the Late Middle Ages.
A document dated 1292 mentions the names of foreigners from Medieval Spain as "Gracien d'Espaigne". Latin expressions using "Hispania" or "Hispaniae" like "omnes reges Hispaniae" are used in the Middle Ages at the same time as the emerging Spain Romance languages during the Reconquista use the Romance version interchangeably. In James Ist Chronicle Llibre dels fets, written between 1208 and 1276, there are many instances of this: when it talks about the different Kings, "los V regnes de Espanya"; the Latin term Hispania used during Antiquity and the Low Middle Ages as a geographical name, starts to be used with political connotations, as shown in the expression "Laus Hispaniae" to describe the history of the peoples of the Iberian Peninsula of Isidore of Seville's "Historia de regibus Gothorum, Vandalorum et Suevorum".: You are, Oh Spain and always happy mother of princes and peoples, the most beautiful of all the lands that extend far from the West to India. You, by right, are now the queen of all provinces, from whom the lights are given not only the sunset, but the East.
You are the honor and ornament of the orb and the most illustrious portion of the Earth... And for this reason, long ago, the golden Rome desired you In modern history and Spanish have become associated with the Kingdom of Spain alone, although this process took several centuries. After the union of the central peninsular Kingdom of Castile with the eastern peninsular Kingdom of Aragon in the 15th century under the Catholic Monarchs in 1492, onl
The Arevaci or Aravaci, were a Celtic people who settled in the Meseta Central of northern Hispania and which dominated most of Celtiberia from the 4th to late 2nd centuries BC. The Vaccaei were their allies; the Arevaci were of Celtic part of the Celtiberians. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that the ancestors of the Celtiberian groups were installed in the Meseta area of the Iberian peninsula from at least 1000 BC and much earlier; some think their ancestors were early ‘Q-Celtic’ speakers from Gaul who migrated to the peninsula around the mid-6th century BC, arriving at about the same time as the powerful Vaccaei people of the western meseta. This led some modern historians to state that the Arevaci were an offshoot of the latter, thus their tribal name which means ‘Are-Vaccei’ or ‘eastern’ Vacceians. However, an alternative etymology is given by the Roman geographer Pliny the elder who calls them Celtiberi Arevaci, adding that they borrowed their name from the river Areva and thus their designation could be translated as ‘those who dwell at the Areva’ or ‘on the Areva’.
The nucleus of the Arevaci homeland was centered on the modern provinces of Soria and most of Guadalajara up to the Tagus sources, extending to the eastern half of Segovia and the southeastern Burgos, but for a while they dominated parts of neighbouring Zaragoza province. They founded or seized several important city-states in northern Celtiberia, namely: Clunia, Voluce/Veluka, Uxama Argelae, Termantia named Termes or Termesos, Savia Numantia. Other towns mentioned in the sources, such as Segovia, Comfluenta, Lutia, Mallia and Colenda have not yet been located, they shared with the Vaccaei the same social structure of collectivist type which enabled the latter to exploit the wheat- and grass-growing areas of the western plateau, though archeological evidence suggests that the Arevaci were predominantly stock-raisers who practiced transhumance in the grazing lowlands of the upper Ebro valley. They reared sheep and oxen, as attested by the tribute of thirty talents imposed upon Numantia and Termantia by Consul Quintus Aulus Pompeius in 139 BC, for which the numantines and termantines paid in the form of 3,000 ox-hides, 800 horses, 9,000 Sagum woolen cloaks.
They practiced the rite of excarnation by exposing the corpses of warriors slain in battle to the vultures, as described by Silius Italicus and Claudius Aelianus, attested by funerary stelae and painted pottery from Numantia. Regarded by the Greeks and Romans as the most militaristic people of the eastern Meseta, the Arevaci were said by Herodotus to have embarked early on an expansionist policy by taking part in the Celtici migrations of the 5th century BC alongside off-shots of Lusones and Vaccaei peoples to settle in the Iberian southwest. In the late 4th-early 3rd centuries BC however, the Arevaci shifted the direction of their expansion to the east, towards the upper Duero and south into the central Iberian system mountains. Here they displaced the earlier inhabitants the Pellendones, conquering the towns of Savia and Numantia and submitted the Uraci, thus gaining control over the strategic towns of Aregrada, Cortona and Arcobriga. In around the mid-3rd century BC, the Arevaci founded with their neighbours the Lusones and Titii a tribal federation designated the Celtiberian confederacy, with Numantia as federal capital.
During the Second Punic War the confederacy kept itself neutral, though Celtiberian mercenaries are mentioned fighting for both sides on a number of occasions. The first Roman incursion into the Celtiberian heartland occurred around 195 BC under Consul Cato the Elder, who attacked unsuccessfully the towns of Seguntia Celtiberorum and Numantia, where he delivered a speech to the numantines; the Arevaci and the Belli revolted against Roman rule in the Celtiberian War. Upon the fall of Numantia in 134-133 BC, the Romans forcibly disbanded the Celtiberian confederacy and allowed the Pellendones and Uraci to regain their independence from the Arevaci, who were now technically submitted and absorbed into Hispania Citerior province; the remaining Arevacian cities managed to keep much of their military capabilities intact, led by Clunia and Termantia they helped defending Celtiberia from invasion attempts by both the Lusitani in 114 BC and the Cimbri, who poured from the Pyrenees around 104-103 BC.
Emboldened by these successes – and resented by the lack of Roman recognition for their efforts – the Arevaci began secretly hatching plots against Roman rule by stirring up their disgruntled Celtiberian neighbours into the 99-81 BC uprisings. However, not only were the Arevacians ruthlessly quashed by Proconsul Titus Didius in 92 BC, but had to endure the destruction of their new capital, Termantia. In spite of being technically submitted and aggregated to Hispania Citerior after 93 BC, the Arevacians’ own relationship with Rome remained uneasy. During the Sertorian Wars, the Arevaci sided with Quintus Sertorius and provided unspecified troops to his army. In fact, they still continued to resist Roman integration and assimilation policies for decades, a situation coupled by fiscal abuse that led to sporadic outbursts of violence well into the 1st century AD
The Iberian Peninsula known as Iberia, is located in the southwest corner of Europe. The peninsula is principally divided between Portugal, comprising most of their territory, it includes Andorra, small areas of France, the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. With an area of 596,740 square kilometres ), it is both the second largest European peninsula by area, after the Scandinavian Peninsula, by population, after the Balkan Peninsula; the word Iberia is a noun adapted from the Latin word "Hiberia" originated by the Ancient Greek word Ἰβηρία by Greek geographers under the rule of the Roman Empire to refer to what is known today in English as the Iberian Peninsula. At that time, the name did not describe a single political entity or a distinct population of people. Strabo's'Iberia' was delineated from Keltikē by the Pyrenees and included the entire land mass southwest of there. With the fall of the Roman Empire and the establishment of the new Castillian language in Spain, the word "Iberia" appeared for the first time in use as a direct'descendant' of the Greek word "Ἰβηρία" and the Roman word "Hiberia".
The ancient Greeks reached the Iberian Peninsula, of which they had heard from the Phoenicians, by voyaging westward on the Mediterranean. Hecataeus of Miletus was the first known to use the term Iberia, which he wrote about circa 500 BC. Herodotus of Halicarnassus says of the Phocaeans that "it was they who made the Greeks acquainted with... Iberia." According to Strabo, prior historians used Iberia to mean the country "this side of the Ἶβηρος" as far north as the river Rhône in France, but they set the Pyrenees as the limit. Polybius respects that limit, but identifies Iberia as the Mediterranean side as far south as Gibraltar, with the Atlantic side having no name. Elsewhere he says that Saguntum is "on the seaward foot of the range of hills connecting Iberia and Celtiberia." Strabo refers to the Carretanians as people "of the Iberian stock" living in the Pyrenees, who are distinct from either Celts or Celtiberians. According to Charles Ebel, the ancient sources in both Latin and Greek use Hispania and Hiberia as synonyms.
The confusion of the words was because of an overlapping in geographic perspectives. The Latin word Hiberia, similar to the Greek Iberia translates to "land of the Hiberians"; this word was derived from the river Ebro. Hiber was thus used as a term for peoples living near the river Ebro; the first mention in Roman literature was by the annalist poet Ennius in 200 BC. Virgil refers to the Ipacatos Hiberos in his Georgics; the Roman geographers and other prose writers from the time of the late Roman Republic called the entire peninsula Hispania. As they became politically interested in the former Carthaginian territories, the Romans began to use the names Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior for'near' and'far' Hispania. At the time Hispania was made up of three Roman provinces: Hispania Baetica, Hispania Tarraconensis, Hispania Lusitania. Strabo says that the Romans use Hispania and Iberia synonymously, distinguishing between the near northern and the far southern provinces. Whatever language may have been spoken on the peninsula soon gave way to Latin, except for that of the Vascones, preserved as a language isolate by the barrier of the Pyrenees.
The Iberian Peninsula has always been associated with the Ebro, Ibēros in ancient Greek and Ibērus or Hibērus in Latin. The association was so well known. Pliny goes so far as to assert that the Greeks had called "the whole of Spain" Hiberia because of the Hiberus River; the river appears in the Ebro Treaty of 226 BC between Rome and Carthage, setting the limit of Carthaginian interest at the Ebro. The fullest description of the treaty, stated in Appian, uses Ibērus. With reference to this border, Polybius states that the "native name" is Ibēr the original word, stripped of its Greek or Latin -os or -us termination; the early range of these natives, which geographers and historians place from today's southern Spain to today's southern France along the Mediterranean coast, is marked by instances of a readable script expressing a yet unknown language, dubbed "Iberian." Whether this was the native name or was given to them by the Greeks for their residence on the Ebro remains unknown. Credence in Polybius imposes certain limitations on etymologizing: if the language remains unknown, the meanings of the words, including Iber, must remain unknown.
In modern Basque, the word ibar means "valley" or "watered meadow", while ibai means "river", but there is no proof relating the etymology of the Ebro River with these Basque names. The Iberian Peninsula has been inhabited for at least 1.2 million years as remains found in the sites in the Atapuerca Mountains demonstrate. Among these sites is the cave of Gran Dolina, where six hominin skeletons, dated between 780,000 and one million years ago, were found in 1994. Experts have debated whether these skeletons belong to the species Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, or a new species called Homo antecessor. Around 200,000 BP, during the Lower Paleolithic period, Neanderthals first entered the Iberian Peninsula. Around 70,000 BP, during the Middle Paleolithic period, the last glacial event began and the Neanderthal Mousterian culture was established. Around 37,000 BP, during the Upper Paleolithic, the Neanderthal Châtelperronian cultural period began. Emanating from Southern France, this culture extended into the north of the p
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
The Gallaeci, Callaeci or Callaici were a large Celtic tribal federation who inhabited Gallaecia, the north-western corner of Iberia, a region corresponding to what is now northern Portugal, western Asturias and western Castile and León in Spain and during the Roman period. They spoke a Q-Celtic language related to Northeastern Hispano-Celtic called Gallaic, Gallaecian, or Northwestern Hispano-Celtic; the region was annexed by the Romans in the time of Caesar Augustus during the Cantabrian Wars, a war which initiated the assimilation of the Gallaeci into Latin culture. The fact that the Gallaeci did not adopt writing until contact with the Romans constrains the study of their earlier history. However, early allusions to this people are present in ancient Greek and Latin authors prior to the conquest, which allows the reconstruction of a few historical events of this people since the second century BC. Thanks to Silius Italicus, it is known that between the years 218 and 201 BC, during the Second Punic War, some Gallaecian troops were involved in the fight in the ranks of Carthaginian Hannibal against the Roman army of Scipio Africanus.
Silius Italicus added a short description of the Gallaecian contingent and their curious military tactics: The first known military conflict between Gallaeci and Romans is mentioned in Appian of Alexandria's book Iberiké, narrating events during the Lusitanian War. In 139 BC, after being cheated by the Lusitanian chief, Quintus Servilius Caepio's army devastated few Gallaecian and Vettonian regions; the attack on these Southern Gallaecian peoples, near the border with Vettones, was punishment for Gallaecian support to Lusitanians. Orosius mentioned that Brutus surrounded the Gallaeci, who were unaware, crushed sixty thousand of them who had come to the assistance of the Lusitani; the Romans were victorious only after a desperate and difficult battle and fifty thousand of them were slain in that battle, six thousand were captured, only some escaped. The legates Antistius and Firmius fought appalling battles and subdued the further parts of Gallaecia and mountainous and bordering the Atlantic.
Archaeologically, the Gallaeci were a local Atlantic Bronze Age people. During the Iron Age they received several influences, including from other Iberian cultures, from central-western Europe, from the Mediterranean; the Gallaeci dwelt in hill forts, the archaeological culture they developed is known by archaeologists as "Castro culture", a hill-fort culture with round houses. The Gallaecian way of life was based in land occupation by fortified settlements that are known in Latin language as "castrum" or oppida, being able to vary its size from a small village of less than one hectare, great walled citadels with more than 10 hectares denominated oppida being these latter more common in the Southern half of their traditional settlement around the Ave river; this livelihood in hillforts was common throughout Europe during the Bronze and Iron Ages, getting in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, the name of'Castro culture" or "hillfort's culture", which alludes to this type of settlement prior to the Roman conquest.
However, several Gallaecian hillforts continued to be inhabited until the 5th century AD. These fortified villages or cities tended to be located in the hills, rocky promontories and peninsulas near the seashore, as it improved visibility and control over territory; these settlements were strategically located for a better control of natural resources, including mineral ores such as iron. The Gallaecian hillforts and oppidas maintained a great homogeneity and presented clear commonalities; the citadels, functioned as city-states and could have specific cultural traits. The Gallaecian political organization is not known with certainty, but it is probable that they were divided into small independent states that comprised in its interior a great number of small hillforts, these stated were ruled by local petty kings, which the Romans called princeps as in other parts of Europe. Commonalities, including political ones, were effective and support between the cities that attempted to halt the Roman conquest of the Gallaecian lands and an successful attempt by Gallaecian warriors to drive the Romans out of Lusitania through the destruction of Roman settlements reaching the south of the Iberian Peninsula.
Some of the most famous cities were the wealthy and famously resistant city of Cinania, the notable city of Avobriga and its neighboring citadel, which allied with Rome, but became the leader for the Gallaeci resistance. The ruins of these cities may still exist today in Northern Portugal, although the location of each is still not attributed with certainty to some of the main Castro culture ruins; each Gallaecian considered himself a member of the hillfort where lived and the state / people to whom they belonged, that the Romans called populus, among all some of them left us their names: Arrotrebae, Praestamarici, etc. Gallaeci tribes: The Romans named the entire region north of the Douro, where the Castro culture existed, in honour of the castro people that settled in the area of Calle — the Callaeci; the Romans established a port in the south of the region which they called Portus Calle, today's Porto, in northern Portugal. When the Romans first conquered the Callaeci they ruled them as part of the province of Lusitania but created a new province of Callaecia or Ga
The Albiones or Albioni were a Gallaecian people living the north coast of modern Spain in western Asturias and eastern Galicia mentioned by Pliny. They are included in maps of Roman Spain; the name Albiones is attested on the "stele of Nicer Clutosi" found near Vegadeo, which has the inscription: ☧ NICER CLUTOSI C CARIACA PRINCIPIS ALBIONUM AN LXXV HI S EST, which can be translated as " Nicer, of Clutoso from the house of Cariaca, prince of the Albions, 75 years, lies here." This same area was settled by a group of Britons in the post-Roman period, from whom the region took the name Britonia or Bretoña, mentioned in ecclesiastical sources as Britonensis ecclesia and an episcopal see called the sedes Britonarum - see the History of Galicia. Detailed map of the Pre-Roman Peoples of Iberia Stone of Nicer prince of the albions. From "People of Asturias Museum" Oviedo
The Astures or Asturs named Astyrs, were the Hispano-Celtic inhabitants of the northwest area of Hispania that now comprises the entire modern autonomous community of Principality of Asturias, the modern province of León, the northern part of the modern province of Zamora, east of Trás os Montes in Portugal. They were a horse-riding highland cattle-raising people who lived in circular huts of stone drywall construction; the Albiones were a major tribe from western Asturias. Isidore of Seville gave an etymology as coming from a river Asturia, identified by David Magie with Órbigo river in the plain of León, by others the modern Esla river; the Asturian homeland encompassed the modern autonomous community of Asturias and the León, eastern Lugo and northern Zamora provinces, along with the northeastern tip of the Portuguese region of Trás-os-Montes. Here they held the towns of Lancia, Mons Medullius, Bedunia, Curunda, Lucus Asturum and Nemetobriga, the religious center; the Astures may have been part of the early Hallstatt expansion that left the Bavarian-Bohemian homeland and migrated into Gaul, some continuing over the mountains into Spain and Portugal.
By the 6th century BC, they occupied castros, such as Coanna and Mohias near Navia on the coast of the Bay of Biscay. From the Roman point-of-view, expressed in the brief remarks of the historians Florus, epitomising Livy, Orosius, the Astures were divided into two factions, following the natural division made by the alpine karst mountains of the Picos de Europa range: the Transmontani and Cismontani; the Transmontani, placed between the Navia River and the central massif of the Picos de Europa, comprised the Cabarci, Luggones, Paenii, Vinciani, Viromenici and Baedunienses. Prior to the Roman conquest in the late 1st century BC, they were united into a tribal federation with the mountain-top citadel of Asturica as their capital. Recent epigraphic studies suggest that they spoke a ‘Q-Celtic’ language akin to the neighbouring Gallaeci Lucenses and Braccarenses. Although the Celtic language was lost during the Low Middle Ages it still endures in many names of villages and geographical features associated to Celtic deities: the parish of Taranes and the villages of Tereñes, Táranu, Tarañu and Torañu related to the god Taranis, the parish of Lugones related to the god Lugus or the parish of Beleño related to the god Belenus, just to name a few.
According to classic authors, their family structure was matrilineal, whereby the woman inherits the ownership of property. The Astures lived in hill forts, established in strategic areas and built with round walls in today's Asturias and the mountainous areas of León, with rectangular walls in flatter areas to their fellow Galicians, their warrior class consisted of men and women and both sexes were considered fierce fighters. Most of their tribes, like the Lugones, worshipped the Celtic god Lugh, references to other Celtic deities like Taranis or Belenos still remain in the toponomy of the places inhabited by the Astures, they may have venerated the deity Busgosu. The Astures were vigorous hunter-gatherer highlanders, they reared sheep, goats, a few oxen and a local breed of mountain horse famed in Antiquity, the Asturcon, which still exists today. According to Pliny the Elder, these were small-stature saddle horses larger than ponies, of graceful walk and fast, being trained for both hunting and mountain warfare.
During a large part of the year they used acorns as a staple food source and powdering them and using the flour for a type of preserved bread. Due to the scarcity of their agricultural production, as well as their strong war-like character, they made frequent incursions into the lands of the Vaccaei, who had a much more developed agriculture. Lucan calls them "Pale seekers after gold"; the Astures entered the historical record in the late 3rd century BC, being listed amongst the Iberian Peninsula mercenaries of Hasdrubal Barca’s army at the battle of Metaurus River in 207 BC. After the 2nd Punic War, their history is less clear. Mentioned in the sources regarding the Lusitanian, Celtiberian or Roman Civil Wars of the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, they re-emerged from a relative obscurity just prior to the outbreak of the first Astur-Cantabrian war in the late 1st century BC. Led by the ex-mercenary General Gausón, the Astures joined forces with the Cantabri in an effort to forestall Emperor Augustus’ all-out offensive to