A war elephant is an elephant, trained and guided by humans for combat. The war elephant's main use was to charge the enemy, instilling terror. Elephantry are military units with elephant-mounted troops. War elephants played a critical role in several key battles in antiquity, but their use declined with the spread of firearms in the early modern period. Military elephants were restricted to non-combat engineering and labour roles, some ceremonial uses. However, they continued to be used in combat in some parts of the world such as Thailand and Vietnam into the 19th century. An elephant trainer, rider, or keeper is called a mahout. Mahouts were responsible for handling elephants. To accomplish this, they utilize metal chains and a specialized hook called an aṅkuśa or'elephant goad'. According to Chanakya as recorded in the Arthashastra, first the mahout would have to get the elephant used to being led; the elephant would have learn. The elephants were taught to run and maneuver around obstacles, move in formation.
These elephants would be fit to learn how to systematically charge enemies. The first elephant species to be tamed was the Asian elephant, for use in agriculture. Elephant taming – not full domestication, as they are still captured in the wild, rather than being bred in captivity – may have begun in any of three different places; the oldest evidence comes from the Indus Valley Civilization, around 4500 BC. Archaeological evidence for the presence of wild elephants in the Yellow River valley in Shang China may suggest that they used elephants in warfare; the wild elephant populations of Mesopotamia and China declined because of deforestation and human population growth: by c. 850 BC the Mesopotamian elephants were extinct, by c. 500 BC the Chinese elephants were reduced in numbers and limited to areas well south of the Yellow River. Capturing elephants from the wild remained a difficult task, but a necessary one given the difficulties of breeding in captivity and the long time required for an elephant to reach sufficient maturity to engage in battle.
Sixty-year-old war elephants were always prized as being at the most suitable age for battle service and gifts of elephants of this age were seen as generous. Today an elephant is considered in its prime and at the height of its power between the ages of 25 to 40, yet elephants as old as 80 are used in tiger hunts for they are more experienced. It is thought that all war elephants were male because of males' greater aggression, but it is rather because a female elephant in battle will run from a male. There is uncertainty as to when elephant warfare first started but it is accepted that it began in ancient India; the early Vedic period did not extensively specify the use of elephants in war. However in the Rigveda the king of Gods and chief Vedic deity Indra is depicted as riding either Airavata, a mythological elephant, or on the horse Uchchaihshravas as his mounts. Elephants were utilized in warfare by the Vedic period by the 6th century BC; the increased conscription of elephants in the military history of India coincides with the expansion of the Vedic Kingdoms into the Indo-Gangetic Plain suggesting its introduction during the intervening period.
The practice of riding on elephants in peace and war was common among Aryans and non-Aryans, royalty or commoner, in the 6th or 5th century BC. This practice is believed to be much older than proper recorded history; the ancient Indian epics Ramayana and Mahābhārata, dating from 5th–4th century BC, elaborately depict elephant warfare. They are recognized as an essential component of military processions. In ancient India the army was fourfold, consisting of infantry, cavalry and chariots. Kings and princes principally ride on chariots, considered the most royal, while ride the back of elephants. Although viewed as secondary to chariots by royalty, elephants were the preferred vehicle of warriors the elite ones. While the chariots fell into disuse, the other three arms continued to be valued. Many characters in the epic Mahābhārata were trained in the art. According to the rules of engagement set for the Kurukshetra War two men were to duel utilizing the same weapon and mount including elephants.
In the Mahābhārata the akshauhini battle formation consists of a ratio of is 1 chariot: 1 elephant: 3 cavalry: 5 infantry soldiers. Many characters in the Mahābhārata were described as skilled in the art of elephant warfare e.g. Duryodhana rides an elephant into battle to bolster the demoralized Kaurava army. Scriptures like the Nikāya and Vinaya Pitaka assign elephants in their proper place in the organization of an army; the Samyutta Nikaya additionally mentions the Gautama Buddha being visited by a'hatthāroho gāmaṇi'. He is the head of a village community bound together by their profession as mercenary soldiers forming an elephant corp. Ancient Indian kings valued the elephant in war, some stating that an army without elephants is as despicable as a forest without a lion, a kingdom without a king, or as valor unaided by weapons; the use of elephants further increased with the rise of the Mahajanapadas. King Bimbisara, who began the expansion of the Magadha kingdom, relied on his war elephants.
The Mahajanapadas would be conquered by the Nanda Empire under the reign of Mahapadma Nanda. Pliny the Elder and Plutarch estimated the Nanda Army strength in the east as 200,000 infantry, 80,000 cavalry, 8,000 chariots, 6,000 war elephants. Alex
Shekel or Sheqel is any of several ancient units of weight or of currency used throughout the United kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Judah, Babylonian province of Yehud, Hasmonean dynasty, Herodian kingdom, Herodian Tetrarchy, Roman province of Judea and in the modern State of Israel. The modern currency unit used in the State of Israel today is known as the Israeli new shekel, which replaced the Old Israeli shekel in 1985; the Hebrew word shekel is based on the Semitic verbal root for "weighing", cognate to the Akkadian šiqlu or siqlu, a unit of weight equivalent to the Sumerian gin2. Use of the word was first attested in c. 2150 BC during the Akkadian Empire under the reign of Naram-Sin, in c. 1700 BC in the Code of Hammurabi. The Š-Q-L root is found in the Hebrew words for "to weigh", "weight" and "consideration", is related to the T-Q-L root in Aramaic and the Θ-Q-L root in Arabic, such as the words thiqal or Mithqal; the famous writing on the wall in the Biblical Book of Daniel includes a cryptic use of the word in Aramaic: "Mene, teqel, u-farsin".
The word shekel came into the English language via the Hebrew Bible, where it is first used in the Book of Genesis. The earliest shekels were a unit of weight, used as other units such as grams and troy ounces for trading before the advent of coins; the shekel was common among western Semitic peoples. Moabites and Phoenicians used the shekel, although proper coinage developed late. Carthaginian coinage was based on the shekel and may have preceded its home town of Tyre in issuing proper coins. Coins were used and may have been invented by the early Anatolian traders who stamped their marks to avoid weighing each time used. Herodotus states that the first coinage was issued by Croesus, King of Lydia, spreading to the golden Daric, issued by the Persian Empire and the silver Athenian obol and drachma. Early coins were money stamped with an official seal to certify their weight. Silver ingots, some with markings were issued. Authorities decided who designed coins; as with many ancient units, the shekel had a variety of values depending on era and region.
When used to pay laborers, recorded wages in the ancient world range widely. The Code of Hammurabi sets the value of unskilled labor at ten shekels per year of work. Records within the Persian Empire give ranges from a minimum of two shekels per month for unskilled labor, to as high as seven to ten shekels per month in some records. A survival wage for an urban household during the Persian period would require at least 22 shekels of income per year. Exodus 30:24 notes that the measures of the ingredients for the holy anointing oil were to be calculated using the Shekel of the Sanctuary, suggesting that there were other common measures of shekel in use, or at least that the Temple authorities defined a standard for the shekel to be used for Temple purposes. According to Jewish law, whenever a census of the Jewish people was to be conducted, every person, counted was required to pay the half-Shekel for his atonement; the Aramaic tekel, similar to the Hebrew shekel, used in the writing on the wall during the feast of Belshazzar according to the Book of Daniel and defined as weighed, shares a common root with the word shekel and may additionally attest to its original usage as a weight.
During the Second Temple period, it was customary among Jews to annually offer the half-Shekel into the Temple treasury, for the upkeep and maintenance of the Temple precincts, as used in purchasing public animal-offerings. This practice not only applied to Jews living in the Land of Israel, but to Jews living outside the Land of Israel. Archaeological excavations conducted at Horvat'Ethry in Israel from 1999 to 2001 by Boaz Zissu and Amir Ganor of the Israeli Antiquities Authority have yielded important finds, the most-prized of which being a half-Shekel coin minted in the 2nd century CE, upon which are embossed the words "Half-Shekel" in paleo-Hebrew, which same coin possesses a silver content of 6.87 grams. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, the annual monetary tribute of the half-Shekel to the Temple at Jerusalem was equivalent to two Athenian drachmæ, each Athenian or Attic drachma weighing a little over 4.3 grams. The Jerusalem shekel was issued from AD 66 to 70 amid the First Jewish Revolt as a means of emphasizing the independence of Judaea from Roman rule.
The Bar Kochba shekel was issued from AD 132 to 135 amid the Bar Kokhba Revolt for similar reasons. The Carthaginian or Punic shekel was around 7.2 grams in silver and 7.5 grams in gold. They were first developed on Sicily during the mid-4th century BC, they were associated with the payment of Carthage's mercenary armies and were debased over the course of each of the Punic Wars, although the Carthaginian Empire's expansion into Spain under the Barcids before the Second and recovery under Hannibal before the Third permitted improving the amount and quality of the currency. Throughout, it was more common for Carthage's holdings in North Africa to employ bronze or no coinage except when paying mercenary armies and for most of the specie to circulate in Spain and Sicily; the Tyrian shekel began t
Second Punic War
The Second Punic War referred to as The Hannibalic War and by the Romans the War Against Hannibal, was the second of three wars between Carthage and the Roman Republic, with the participation of Greek polities and Numidian and Iberian forces on both sides. It was one of the deadliest human conflicts of ancient times. Fought across the entire Western Mediterranean region for 17 years and regarded by ancient historians as the greatest war in history, it was waged with unparalleled resources and hatred, it saw hundreds of thousands killed, some of the most lethal battles in military history, the destruction of cities, massacres and enslavements of civilian populations and prisoners of war by both sides. The war began with the Carthaginian general Hannibal's conquest of the pro-Roman Iberian city of Saguntum in 219 BC, prompting a Roman declaration of war on Carthage in the spring of 218. Hannibal surprised the Romans by marching his army overland from Iberia to cross the Alps and invade Roman Italy, followed by his reinforcement by Gallic allies and crushing victories over Roman armies at Trebia in 218 and on the shores of Lake Trasimene in 217.
Moving to southern Italy in 216, Hannibal at Cannae annihilated the largest army the Romans had assembled. After the death or imprisonment of 130,000 Roman troops in two years, 40% of Rome's Italian allies defected to Carthage, giving her control over most of southern Italy. Macedon and Syracuse joined the Carthaginian side after Cannae and the conflict spread to Greece and Sicily. From 215–210 the Carthaginian army and navy launched repeated amphibious assaults to capture Roman Sicily and Sardinia but were repulsed. Against Hannibal's skill on the battlefield, the Romans adopted the Fabian strategy – the avoidance of battle against Hannibal and defeating his allies and the other Carthaginian generals instead. Roman armies recaptured all of the great cities that had joined Carthage and defeated a Carthaginian attempt to reinforce Hannibal at Metaurus in 207. Southern Italy was devastated by the combatants, with hundreds of thousands of civilians killed or enslaved. In Iberia, which served as a major source of silver and manpower for the Carthaginian army, a Roman expeditionary force under Publius Cornelius Scipio captured Carthago Nova, Carthage's capital city in Iberia, in 209.
Scipio's destruction of a Carthaginian army at Ilipa in 206 permanently ended Carthaginian rule in Iberia. He invaded Carthaginian Africa in 204, inflicting two severe defeats on Carthage and her allies at Utica and the Great Plains that compelled the Carthaginian senate to recall Hannibal's army from Italy; the final engagement between Scipio and Hannibal took place at Zama in Africa in 202 and resulted in Hannibal's defeat and the imposition of harsh peace conditions on Carthage, which ceased to be a great power and became a Roman client state until its final destruction by the Romans in 146 BC during the Third Punic War. The Second Punic War overthrew the established balance of power of the ancient world and Rome rose to become the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin for the next 600 years. Carthage's defeat in the First Punic War meant the loss of Carthaginian Sicily to Rome under the terms of the Roman-dictated 241 BC Treaty of Lutatius. Rome exploited Carthage's distraction during the Truceless War against rebellious mercenaries and Libyan subjects to break the peace treaty and annex Carthaginian Sardinia and Corsica to Rome in 238 BC.
Under the leadership of Hamilcar Barca and his family, Carthage defeated the rebels and began the Barcid conquest of Hispania from 237 BC onward. Control over Spain gave Carthage the silver mines, agricultural wealth, military facilities such as shipyards and territorial depth to stand up to future Roman demands with confidence; the Second Punic War was ignited by the dispute over the hegemony of Saguntum, a Hellenized Iberian coastal city with diplomatic contacts with Rome. After great tension within the city government, culminating in the assassination of the supporters of Carthage, Hannibal laid siege to the city of Saguntum in 219 BC; the city called for Roman aid. Following a prolonged siege of eight months and a bloody struggle, in which Hannibal himself was wounded, the Carthaginians took control of the city. Many of the Saguntians chose to commit suicide rather than face subjugation by the Carthaginians; the loss of Saguntum as a potential base of operations in Carthaginian Iberia was a serious setback to the main Roman strategic objective in Spain: the eviction of the Carthaginians from the peninsula.
The Roman Senate sent an embassy to the Carthaginian Senate that declared war on Carthage in early 218 BC over the attack on Rome's Saguntine ally. Before the war and Hasdrubal the Fair had made a treaty. Livy reports that it was agreed that the Iber should be the boundary between the two empires and that the liberty of the Saguntines should be preserved; the highest priority in Carthaginian strategy was to keep the war away from Carthage's agricultural heartland in Africa and protect the property of the wealthy Carthaginian landowners who controlled Carthaginian politics. Spanish mines and sources of manpower comprised the second pillar of the Carthaginian power base and their protection was essential to maintaining Carthage's status as an independent continental great power. Hannibal's invasion of Italy forced the Romans to abandon their intended invasion of Africa and de-prioritize the reinforcement of Roman armies in Spain. Most Roman troops during the war fought in Italy, which became the main theater of the war as a result of Hannibal's offensive.
Africa remained undisturbed by a Roman invasion army until 204 BC and the Roman military presence in Spain was confined to its northeastern corn
Battle of the Trebia
The Battle of the Trebia was the first major battle of the Second Punic War, fought between the Carthaginian forces of Hannibal and the Roman Republic in December of 218 BC, on or around the winter solstice. It was a resounding Roman defeat with heavy losses, with only about 10,000 out of 40,000 Romans surviving and retreating to Placentia. In this battle, Hannibal got the better of the Romans by exercising the careful and innovative planning for which he was famous; the impetuous and short-sighted opposing general, the consul Tiberius Sempronius Longus, allowed himself to be provoked into a frontal assault under physically difficult circumstances and failed to see that he was being led into a trap. The battle took place in the flat country of the Province of Piacenza on the left bank of the Trebbia River, a shallow, braided stream, not far south from its confluence with the Po river; the battle is named for the river. Although the precise location is not known, it is accepted as being visible from the Via Emilia, now paralleled by highway A21/E70 and a railroad trunk line, all of which come from Piacenza, a contemporaneously placed Roman colony, cross the river north of where the Romans died in the battle.
The area is in the comune of Rottofreno at its main settlement, San Nicolò a Trebbia, in the vicinity of the coordinates given at the head of this article. The two main sources on the battle are the History of Rome by Histories of Polybius; the two vary in some of the geographical details and are ambiguous about some key points whether the Romans were camped on the left bank or the right bank of the Trebbia and in which direction they crossed the river. Reconstruction of the disposition is the major scholarly concern regarding the battle; the sources all agree on the outcome. Contending views stem from the confusion of real and hypothetical events, beginning with the supposed "union" of the two consular armies, which Sempronius had been ordered to effect, he was advancing "with all speed to join Publius". From the evidence, the supposed union amounted only to Sempronius having conferences with Publius Cornelius Scipio, updating him on the situation. Whether the union went any further is questionable.
The two consuls maintained separated camps. Polybius assumes a union of troops would have been effected and Sempronius would be commanding four legions, he explains how after the defeat, Sempronius' army fell back on Placentia but neglects to say what happened to the wounded Scipio and how he got to Placentia. Livy, on the other hand, although repeating Polybius' numbers, states that, after the battle, Scipio marched his army into Placentia and went on to Cremona so that there would not be two armies wintering in Placentia. If Scipio's army were intact and marched into Placentia, it is unlikely that either consul commanded any of the troops of the other nor did they assist one another in any way, he is reported to have asked Scipio his advice on whether to attack and was advised against it. There is no account at all of Scipio handing over any troops. If, as many authors suppose, Hannibal was trying to prevent a union, he seems singularly unaware of it, he made no move to stop Sempronius coming up from the east.
The consuls themselves, each jealously guarded his own authority. Starting with Polybius, some military writers throughout the centuries have assumed that because union was intended it was effected: this assumption leads to the problem known as "the Roman Camp". In fact there was not one camp, but two — Scipio's camp in the hills on the left bank and Sempronius' camp in the plains on the right bank. Neglect of this duality leaves the writers free to select either as "the Roman Camp". Hannibal began the Second Punic War in 219 BC by attacking the Roman-allied city of Saguntum just north of what is now Valencia in Spain. After destroying the city, he marched on Italy, beginning with a force of 40,000 men and a few dozen war elephants when he crossed the Ebro river in Spain, the previous border between Roman and Carthaginian interests. Trekking over the Alps the Carthaginian force made it through the mountains with staggering losses, being reduced to 26,000 emaciated men. Winning a unequal conflict against the Ligurians and the first legion-sized battle with the Romans at the river Ticinus, he had filled out his army with Gallic and other allies to the number of 43,000 men: 32,000 infantry and 11,000 cavalry, by the time of the Battle of Trebia.
They were more than enough to be effective against the Romans. The Roman Senate, appalled by the massacre of the Ligurians, had ordered the consul Tiberius Sempronius Longus, stationed in Sicily, to reinforce the existing Roman general, Publius Cornelius Scipio. Unknown to them now, Scipio had been wounded during the Battle of Ticinus and had been driven into the hills south of Piacenza Placentia, a contemporary colony of the Romans Scipio had no choice but to hold himself where he was, until he could be reinforced by Sempronius. At this time, Hannibal was camped in the plain below Scipio's camp near Placentia; the ex
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
Cartagena is a Spanish city and a major naval station located in the Region of Murcia, by the Mediterranean coast, south-eastern Spain. As of January 2018, it has a population of 213,943 inhabitants, being the Region’s second largest municipality and the country’s sixth largest non-Province-capital city; the metropolitan area of Cartagena, known as Campo de Cartagena, has a population of 409,586 inhabitants. Cartagena has been inhabited for over two millennia, being founded around 227 BC by the Carthaginian Hasdrubal the Fair as Qart Hadasht the same name as the original city of Carthage; the city had its heyday during the Roman Empire, when it was known as Carthago Nova and Carthago Spartaria, capital of the province of Carthaginensis. It was one of the important cities during the Umayyad invasion of Hispania, under its Arabic name of Qartayannat al-Halfa. Much of the historical weight of Cartagena in the past goes to its coveted defensive port, one of the most important in the western Mediterranean.
Cartagena has been the capital of the Spanish Navy's Maritime Department of the Mediterranean since the arrival of the Spanish Bourbons in the 18th century. As far back as the 16th century it was one of the most important naval ports in Spain, together with Ferrol in the North, it is still an important naval seaport, the main military haven of Spain, is home to a large naval shipyard. The confluence of civilizations as well as its strategic harbour, together with the rise of the local mining industry is manifested by a unique artistic heritage, with a number of landmarks such as the Roman Theatre, the second largest of the Iberian Peninsula after the one in Mérida, an abundance of Phoenician, Roman and Moorish remains, a plethora of Art Nouveau buildings, a result of the bourgeoisie from the early 20th century. Cartagena is now established as a major cruise ship destination in the Mediterranean and an emerging cultural focus, it is the first of a number of cities that have been named Cartagena, most notably Cartagena de Indias in Colombia.
The city of Cartagena is located in the southeastern region of Spain in the Campo de Cartagena. The Cartagena region can be viewed as a great plain inclined in the direction NW-SE, bordered at the north and the northwest by pre-coastal mountain ranges, at the south and southwest by coastal mountain ranges; the dominant geology of the region is sedimentary. The city is located just at the end of the new AP-7 motorway; the following villages are part of Cartagena municipality: La Azohía, Isla Plana, Los Urrutias and Los Nietos. The Old Town is limited by five small hills following the example of Rome. In the past, there was an inner sea between the hills called the Estero that dried up. On this site, the "Ensanche" was built at the beginning of the 20th century; the urban area is delimited or crossed by several watercourses, some of which go deep into the urban network during a large part of their courses. Cartagena has a hot semi-arid climate, its location near the ocean moderates the temperature, annual precipitation does not surpass 300 mm.
The annual average temperature goes up to around 20.4 °C, making it—for the year 2014–the warmest city in Europe. The coldest month is January, with an average temperature of 13.7 °C. In August, the warmest month, the average temperature is 28.7 °C. The wind is an important climatic factor in the region. Despite the intense mining and industrial exploitation that the area has suffered for centuries, the territory around Cartagena city hosts an extraordinary natural wealth and diversity, with a large number of botanical endemic species. Part of its area is subject to different levels of legal protection. Cartagena’s coastal mountains have one of the highest levels of botanical biodiversity on the Iberian Peninsula. A number of surprising Ibero-African species, which are only found in southern Spain and North Africa. Among these, there stands out Tetraclinis articulata or Sandarac native to Morocco, Tunisia and Cartagena, growing at low altitudes in a hot, dry Mediterranean woodland; some species are endangered like the siempreviva de Cartagena, the rabogato del Mar Menor, the zamarrilla de Cartagena, the manzanilla de escombreras, the garbancillo de Tallante and the jara de Cartagena Cistus heterophyllus carthaginensis).
Among the animal species includes some threatened or endangered ones like the peregrine falcon, the Eurasian eagle-owl, the golden eagle and the Bonelli's eagle, the Spur-thighed Tortoise, the Greater Horseshoe Bat and the Spanish toothcarp, an fish endemic to south-eastern Spain. In addition, the presence of the common chameleon has been documented for about 30 years, although it is not clear whether it is native or introduced; some other species of note include the greater flamingo, the red fox, the European rabbit, the European badger, the Beech marten, the common genet, the wildcat and the wild boar. Mar Menor, a salty lagoon separated from the Mediterranean sea by a sand bar 22 kilometres in length and with a variable width
The Douro is one of the major rivers of the Iberian Peninsula, flowing from its source near Duruelo de la Sierra in Soria Province across northern-central Spain and Portugal to its outlet at Porto. The Latinized name Durius may go back to the name used by the Celtic tribes who inhabited the area before Roman times: the Celtic root is *dubro-. In modern Welsh, dŵr is "water," as well as dour in modern Breton with cognate dobhar in Irish. In Roman times, the river was personified as Durius. Another long-established derivation suggests that the name Douro comes for the Portuguese word for "golden"; the Douro vinhateiro, an area of the Douro Valley in Portugal long devoted to vineyards, has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Traditionally, the wine was taken downriver in flat-bottom boats called rabelos, to be stored in barrels in cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, just across the river from Porto. In the 1960s and 1970s, dams with locks were built along the river, allowing river traffic from the upper regions in Spain and along the border.
Nowadays Port wine is transported to Vila Nova de Gaia in tanker trucks. In 1998, Portugal and Spain signed the Albufeira Convention, an agreement on the sharing of trans-boundary rivers to include the Douro and Guadiana; the convention superseded an original agreement on the Douro, signed in 1927, expanded in 1964 and 1968 to include tributaries. It is the third-longest river in the Iberian Peninsula after the Ebro, its total length is 897 kilometres, of which only sections of the Portuguese extension below the fall line are navigable, by light rivercraft. In its Spanish section, the Douro crosses the great Castilian meseta and meanders through five provinces of the autonomous community of Castile and León: Soria, Valladolid and Salamanca, passing through the towns of Soria, Almazán, Aranda de Duero and Zamora. In this region, there are few tributaries of the Douro; the most important are the Pisuerga, passing through Valladolid, the Esla, which passes through Zamora. This region is semi-arid plains, with wheat and in some places near Aranda de Duero, with vineyards, in the Ribera del Duero wine region.
Sheep rearing is still important. The drainage basin borders those of Miño to the north, Ebro to the east, Tajo to the south. For 112 kilometres, the river forms part of the national border line between Spain and Portugal, in a region of narrow canyons, it formed a historical barrier to invasions. In these isolated areas, in which the Aldeadávila Dam impounds the river, there are protected areas: the International Douro Natural Park and the Arribes del Duero Natural Park; the Douro enters Portuguese territory just after the confluence with the Águeda River. Except for Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia at the river mouth, the only population centres of any note are Foz do Tua, Pinhão and Peso da Régua. Tributaries here are small. None of these small, fast-flowing rivers is navigable. Major Spanish riverside towns include Soria, Almazán, Aranda de Duero, Tordesillas and major Portuguese towns include Miranda do Douro, Foz Côa, Peso da Régua, Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto; the most populous cities along the Douro River are Valladolid and Zamora in Spain, Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia in Portugal.
The latter two are located at the mouth of the Douro at the Atlantic Ocean. In Portugal, the Douro flows through the districts of Bragança, Viseu, Vila Real and Porto. Porto is the main hub city in northern Portugal, its historic centre has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its significant architecture and history. These reaches of the Douro have a microclimate allowing for cultivation of olives and grapes, which are important for making the famous Port wine; the region around Pinhão and São João da Pesqueira is considered to be the centre of Port wine, with its quintas that extend along the steep slopes of the river valleys. In the 21st century, many of these quintas are owned by multinational wine companies. A prosperous tourist industry has developed based on river excursions from Porto to points along the Upper Douro valley; the Douro railway line was completed in 1887. Pocinho is near the city of Foz Côa, close to Côa Valley Paleolithic Art site; this is considered important to the archaeological pre-historic patrimony, it has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Fifteen dams have been built on the Douro to regulate the water flow, generate hydroelectric power, allow navigation through locks. Beginning at the headwaters, the first five dams are in Spain: Cuerda del Pozo, Los Rábanos, San José, Villalcampo and Castro Dams; the next five downstream are along the Portuguese-Spanish border. The Douro's last five dams are in Portugal, allow for navigation: Pocinho, Valeira, Régua and Crestuma-Lever Dams. Vessels with a maximum length of 83 metres and width of 11.4 metres can pass through the five locks. The highest lock, at Carrapatelo Dam, has a maximum lift of