The terms anno Domini and before Christ are used to label or number years in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The term anno Domini is Medieval Latin and means "in the year of the Lord", but is presented using "our Lord" instead of "the Lord", taken from the full original phrase "anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi", which translates to "in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ"; this calendar era is based on the traditionally reckoned year of the conception or birth of Jesus of Nazareth, with AD counting years from the start of this epoch, BC denoting years before the start of the era. There is no year zero in this scheme, so the year AD 1 follows the year 1 BC; this dating system was devised in 525 by Dionysius Exiguus of Scythia Minor, but was not used until after 800. The Gregorian calendar is the most used calendar in the world today. For decades, it has been the unofficial global standard, adopted in the pragmatic interests of international communication and commercial integration, recognized by international institutions such as the United Nations.
Traditionally, English followed Latin usage by placing the "AD" abbreviation before the year number. However, BC is placed after the year number, which preserves syntactic order; the abbreviation is widely used after the number of a century or millennium, as in "fourth century AD" or "second millennium AD". Because BC is the English abbreviation for Before Christ, it is sometimes incorrectly concluded that AD means After Death, i.e. after the death of Jesus. However, this would mean that the approximate 33 years associated with the life of Jesus would neither be included in the BC nor the AD time scales. Terminology, viewed by some as being more neutral and inclusive of non-Christian people is to call this the Current or Common Era, with the preceding years referred to as Before the Common or Current Era. Astronomical year numbering and ISO 8601 avoid words or abbreviations related to Christianity, but use the same numbers for AD years; the Anno Domini dating system was devised in 525 by Dionysius Exiguus to enumerate the years in his Easter table.
His system was to replace the Diocletian era, used in an old Easter table because he did not wish to continue the memory of a tyrant who persecuted Christians. The last year of the old table, Diocletian 247, was followed by the first year of his table, AD 532; when he devised his table, Julian calendar years were identified by naming the consuls who held office that year—he himself stated that the "present year" was "the consulship of Probus Junior", 525 years "since the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ". Thus Dionysius implied that Jesus' incarnation occurred 525 years earlier, without stating the specific year during which his birth or conception occurred. "However, nowhere in his exposition of his table does Dionysius relate his epoch to any other dating system, whether consulate, year of the world, or regnal year of Augustus. Among the sources of confusion are: In modern times, incarnation is synonymous with the conception, but some ancient writers, such as Bede, considered incarnation to be synonymous with the Nativity.
The civil or consular year began on 1 January but the Diocletian year began on 29 August. There were inaccuracies in the lists of consuls. There were confused summations of emperors' regnal years, it is not known. Two major theories are that Dionysius based his calculation on the Gospel of Luke, which states that Jesus was "about thirty years old" shortly after "the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar", hence subtracted thirty years from that date, or that Dionysius counted back 532 years from the first year of his new table, it has been speculated by Georges Declercq that Dionysius' desire to replace Diocletian years with a calendar based on the incarnation of Christ was intended to prevent people from believing the imminent end of the world. At the time, it was believed by some that the resurrection of the dead and end of the world would occur 500 years after the birth of Jesus; the old Anno Mundi calendar theoretically commenced with the creation of the world based on information in the Old Testament.
It was believed that, based on the Anno Mundi calendar, Jesus was born in the year 5500 with the year 6000 of the Anno Mundi calendar marking the end of the world. Anno Mundi 6000 was thus equated with the resurrection and the end of the world but this date had passed in the time of Dionysius; the Anglo-Saxon historian the Venerable Bede, familiar with the work of Dionysius Exiguus, used Anno Domini dating in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, completed in 731. In this same history, he used another Latin term, ante vero incarnationis dominicae tempus anno sexagesimo, equivalent to the English "before Christ", to identify years before the first year of this era. Both Dionysius and Bede regarded Anno Domini as beginning at the incarnation of Jesus, but "the distinction between Incarnation and Nativity was not drawn until the late 9th century, when in some places the Incarnation epoch was identified with Christ's conception, i.e. the Annunciation on March 25". On the continent of Europe, Anno
The Pax Romana was a long period of relative peace and stability experienced by the early Roman Empire. It is traditionally dated as commencing from the accession of Caesar Augustus, founder of the Roman principate, in 27 BC and concluding in 180 AD with the death of Marcus Aurelius, the last of the "good emperors". Since it was inaugurated by Augustus with the end of the Final War of the Roman Republic, it is sometimes called the Pax Augusta. During this period of 207 years, the Roman empire achieved its greatest territorial extent and its population reached a maximum of up to 70 million people – a third of the world’s population. According to Cassius Dio, the dictatorial reign of Commodus followed by the Year of the Five Emperors and the crisis of the third century, marked the descent "from a kingdom of gold to one of iron and rust"; the Pax Romana is said to have been a "miracle" because prior to it there had never been peace for so many centuries in a given period of history. However, Walter Goffart wrote: "The volume of the Cambridge Ancient History for the years A.
D. 70–192 is called'The Imperial Peace', but peace is not what one finds in its pages". Arthur M. Eckstein writes that the period must be seen in contrast to the much more frequent warfare in the Roman Republic in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC. Eckstein notes that the incipient Pax Romana appeared during the Republic, that its temporal span varied with geographical region as well: "Although the standard textbook dates for the Pax Romana, the famous “Roman Peace” in the Mediterranean, are 31 BC to AD 250, the fact is that the Roman Peace was emerging in large regions of the Mediterranean at a much earlier date: Sicily after 210, the Italian Peninsula after 200; the concept was influential, the subject of theories and attempts to copy it in subsequent ages. Arnaldo Momigliano noted that "Pax Romana is a simple formula for propaganda, but a difficult subject for research." In fact, the "Pax Romana" was broken by the First Jewish–Roman War, the Kitos War, the Bar Kokhba Revolt, the Roman–Parthian War of 58–63, Trajan's Roman–Parthian War of 113, the Dacian Wars, various battles with Germanic tribes, including the Teutoburg Forest, Boudica's war in Britain in AD 60 or 61.
The Pax Romana began when Octavian defeated Mark Antony and Cleopatra in the Battle of Actium on 2 September 31 BC and became Roman emperor. He became first citizen. Lacking a good precedent of successful one-man rule, Augustus created a junta of the greatest military magnates and stood as the front man. By binding together these leading magnates in a coalition, he eliminated the prospect of civil war; the Pax Romana was not immediate, despite the end of the civil wars, because fighting continued in Hispania and in the Alps. Augustus closed the Gates of Janus three times, first in 29 BC and again in 25 BC; the third closure is undocumented, but Inez Scott Ryberg and Gaius Stern have persuasively dated the third closure to 13 BC with the commissioning of the Ara Pacis. At the time of the Ludi Saeculares in 17 BC the Concept of Peace was publicized, in 13 BC was proclaimed when Augustus and Agrippa jointly returned from pacifying the provinces; the order to construct the Ara Pacis was no doubt part of this announcement.
Augustus faced a problem making peace an acceptable mode of life for the Romans, at war with one power or another continuously for 200 years. Romans regarded peace, not as an absence of war, but the rare situation which existed when all opponents had been beaten down and lost the ability to resist. Augustus' challenge was to persuade Romans that the prosperity they could achieve in the absence of warfare was better for the Empire than the potential wealth and honor acquired when fighting a risky war. Augustus succeeded by means of skillful propaganda. Subsequent emperors followed his lead, sometimes producing lavish ceremonies to close the Gates of Janus, issuing coins with Pax on the reverse, patronizing literature extolling the benefits of the Pax Romana. After Augustus' death in 14 AD, most of his successors as Roman emperors continued his politics; the last five emperors of the Pax Romana were considered the "Five Good Emperors". Roman trade in the Mediterranean increased during the Pax Romana.
Romans sailed East to acquire silks, gems and spices. Romans benefited from large profits and incomes in the Roman empire were raised due to trade in the Mediterranean; as the Pax Romana of the western world by Rome was contemporaneous to the Pax Sinica of the eastern world by Han China, long-distance travel and trade in Eurasian history was stimulated during these eras. The prominence of the concept of the Pax Romana led to historians coining variants of the term to describe other systems of relative peace that have been established, attempted, or argued to have existed; some variants include: More generically, the concept has been referred to as pax imperia, meaning imperial peace, or—less literally—hegemonic peace. Raymond Aron notes that imperial peace—peace achieved through hegemony—sometimes, but not always—can become civil peace; as an example, the German Empire's imperial peace of 1871 evolved into the German state. As a counter-example, the imperial peace of Alexander the Great's empire dissolved becau
Kingdom of Aragon
The Kingdom of Aragon was a medieval and early modern kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day autonomous community of Aragon, in Spain. It should not be confused with the larger Crown of Aragon, that included other territories — the Principality of Catalonia, the Kingdom of Valencia, the Kingdom of Majorca, other possessions that are now part of France and Greece — that were under the rule of the King of Aragon, but were administered separately from the Kingdom of Aragon. In 1479, upon John II of Aragon’s death, the crowns of Aragon and Castile were united to form the nucleus of modern Spain; the Aragonese lands, retained autonomous parliamentary and administrative institutions, such as the Corts, until the Nueva Planta decrees, promulgated between 1707 and 1715 by Philip V of Spain in the aftermath of the War of the Spanish Succession put an end to it. Aragon was a Carolingian feudal county around the city of Jaca, which in the first half of the 9th century became a vassal state of the kingdom of Pamplona, its own dynasty of counts ending without male heir in 922.
The name Aragón is the same as that of the river Aragón. It might derive from the Basque Aragona/Haragona meaning "good upper valley". Alternatively, the name may be derived from the earlier Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis. On the death of Sancho III of Navarre in 1035, the Kingdom of Navarre was divided into three parts: Pamplona and its hinterland along with western and coastal Basque districts and Sobrarbe, Ribagorza and Aragon. Sancho's son Gonzalo inherited Sobrarbe and Ribargorza, whereas his illegitimate son Ramiro received Aragon, but Gonzalo was killed soon after and all the land he owned went to his brother Ramiro, thus becoming the first de facto king of Aragon, although he never used that title. By defeating his brother, García Sánchez III of Navarre, Ramiro achieved independence for Aragon, his son Sancho Ramírez, who inherited the kingdom of Navarre, was the first to call himself "King of the Aragonese and Pamplonese". As the Aragonese domains expanded to the south, conquering land from Al Andalus, the capital city moved from Jaca to Huesca, to Zaragoza.
After Alfonso the Battler died childless in 1135, different rulers were chosen for Navarre and Aragon, the two kingdoms ceased to have the same ruler. By 1285 the southernmost areas of what is nowadays Aragon had been taken from the Moors; the Kingdom of Aragon gave the name to the Crown of Aragon, born in 1150 with the dynastic union resulting from the marriage of the Princess of Aragon Petronilla and the Count of Barcelona Ramon Berenguer IV. The King of Aragon had the title of Count of Barcelona and ruled territories that consisted of not only the present administrative region of Aragon but Catalonia, the kingdoms of Majorca, Sicily and Sardinia; the King of Aragón was the direct King of the Aragonese region, held the title of Count of Provence, Count of Barcelona, Lord of Montpellier, Duke of Athens and Neopatria. Each of these titles gave him sovereignty over a certain region, these titles changed as he lost and won territories. In the 14th century, his power was restricted by the Union of Aragon.
The Crown of Aragon became a part of the Spanish monarchy after the dynastic union with Castile, which supposed the de facto unification of both kingdoms under a common monarch. In 1412, after the extinction in 1410 of the house of Barcelona, which had ruled the crown up to that date, the Aragonese procured the election of a Castilian prince, Ferdinand of Antequera, for the vacant Aragonese throne, over strong Catalan opposition. One of Ferdinand's successors, John II of Aragon, countered residual Catalan resistance by arranging for his heir, Ferdinand, to marry Isabella, the heir apparent of Henry IV of Castile. In 1479, upon John II's death, the crowns of Aragon and Castile were united to form the nucleus of modern Spain; the Aragonese lands, retained autonomous parliamentary and administrative institutions, such as the Corts, until the Nueva Planta decrees, promulgated between 1707 and 1715 by Philip V of Spain in the aftermath of the War of the Spanish Succession put an end to it. The decrees ended the kingdoms of Aragon and Mallorca and the Principality of Catalonia, merged them with Castile to form the Spanish kingdom.
A new Nueva Planta decree in 1711 restored some rights in Aragon, such as the Aragonese Civil Rights, but preserved the end of the political independence of the kingdom. The old kingdom of Aragon survived as an administrative unit until 1833, when it was divided into the three existing provinces. In the aftermath of Francisco Franco's death in 1982, Aragon became one of the autonomous communities of Spain. List of Aragonese monarchs List of Aragonese consorts List of Navarrese monarchs List of Counts of Barcelona
Kingdom of Portugal
The Kingdom of Portugal was a monarchy on the Iberian Peninsula and the predecessor of modern Portugal. It was in existence from 1139 until 1910. After 1415, it was known as the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves, between 1815 and 1822, it was known as the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves; the name is often applied to the Portuguese Empire, the realm's extensive overseas colonies. The nucleus of the Portuguese state was the County of Portugal, established in the 9th century as part of the Reconquista, by Vímara Peres, a vassal of the King of Asturias; the county became part of the Kingdom of León in 1097, the Counts of Portugal established themselves as rulers of an independent kingdom in the 12th century, following the battle of São Mamede. The kingdom was ruled by the Alfonsine Dynasty until the 1383–85 Crisis, after which the monarchy passed to the House of Aviz. During the 15th and 16th century, Portuguese exploration established a vast colonial empire. From 1580 to 1640, the Kingdom of Portugal was in personal union with Habsburg Spain.
After the Portuguese Restoration War of 1640–1668, the kingdom passed to the House of Braganza and thereafter to the House of Braganza-Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. From this time, the influence of Portugal declined, but it remained a major power due to its most valuable colony, Brazil. After the independence of Brazil, Portugal sought to establish itself in Africa, but was forced to yield to the British interests, leading to the collapse of the monarchy in the 5 October 1910 revolution and the establishment of the First Portuguese Republic. Portugal was a decisive absolute monarchy before 1822, it rotated between absolute and constitutional monarchy from 1822 until 1834, was a decisive constitutional monarchy after 1834. The Kingdom of Portugal finds its origins in the County of Portugal; the Portuguese County was a semi-autonomous county of the Kingdom of León. Independence from León took place in three stages: The first on 26 July 1139 when Afonso Henriques was acclaimed King of the Portuguese internally.
The second was on 5 October 1143, when Alfonso VII of León and Castile recognized Afonso Henriques as king through the Treaty of Zamora. The third, in 1179, was the Papal Bull Manifestis Probatum, in which Portugal's independence was recognized by Pope Alexander III. Once Portugal was independent, D. Afonso I's descendants, members of the Portuguese House of Burgundy, would rule Portugal until 1383. After the change in royal houses, all the monarchs of Portugal were descended from Afonso I, one way or another, through both legitimate and illegitimate links. With the start of the 20th century, Republicanism grew in numbers and support in Lisbon among progressive politicians and the influential press; however a minority with regard to the rest of the country, this height of republicanism would benefit politically from the Lisbon Regicide on 1 February 1908. While returning from the Ducal Palace at Vila Viçosa, King Carlos I and the Prince Royal Luís Filipe were assassinated in the Terreiro do Paço, in Lisbon.
With the death of the King and his heir, Carlos I's second son would become monarch as King Manuel II. Manuel's reign, would be short-lived, ending by force with the 5 October 1910 revolution, sending Manuel into exile in Great Britain and giving way to the Portuguese First Republic. On 19 January 1919, the Monarchy of the North was proclaimed in Porto; the monarchy would be deposed a month and no other monarchist counterrevolution in Portugal has happened since. After the republican revolution in October 1910, the remaining colonies of the empire became overseas provinces of the Portuguese Republic until the late 20th century, when the last overseas territories of Portugal were handed over. Kingdom of Algarve United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves List of titles and honours of the Portuguese Crown Portuguese nobility
The Islamic, Muslim, or Hijri calendar is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to determine the proper days of Islamic holidays and rituals, such as the annual period of fasting and the proper time for the pilgrimage to Mecca; the civil calendar of all countries where the religion is predominantly Muslim is the Gregorian calendar. Notable exceptions to this rule are Afghanistan, which use the Solar Hijri calendar. Rents and similar regular commitments are paid by the civil calendar; the Islamic calendar employs the Hijri era whose epoch was established as the Islamic New Year of 622 AD/CE. During that year and his followers migrated from Mecca to Yathrib and established the first Muslim community, an event commemorated as the Hijra. In the West, dates in this era are denoted AH in parallel with the Christian and Jewish eras. In Muslim countries, it is sometimes denoted as H from its Arabic form. In English, years prior to the Hijra are reckoned as BH.
The current Islamic year is 1440 AH. In the Gregorian calendar, 1440 AH runs from 11 September 2018 to 30 August 2019. For central Arabia Mecca, there is a lack of epigraphical evidence but details are found in the writings of Muslim authors of the Abbasid era. Inscriptions of the ancient South Arabian calendars reveal the use of a number of local calendars. At least some of these South Arabian calendars followed the lunisolar system. Both al-Biruni and al-Mas'udi suggest that the ancient Arabs used the same month names as the Muslims, though they record other month names used by the pre-Islamic Arabs; the Islamic tradition is unanimous in stating that Arabs of Tihamah and Najd distinguished between two types of months and forbidden months. The forbidden months were four months during which fighting is forbidden, listed as Rajab and the three months around the pilgrimage season, Dhu al-Qa‘dah, Dhu al-Hijjah, Muharram. Information about the forbidden months is found in the writings of Procopius, where he describes an armistice with the Eastern Arabs of the Lakhmid al-Mundhir which happened in the summer of 541 AD/CE.
However, Muslim historians do not link these months to a particular season. The Qur'an links the four forbidden months with Nasī’, a word that means "postponement". According to Muslim tradition, the decision of postponement was administered by the tribe of Kinanah, by a man known as the al-Qalammas of Kinanah and his descendants. Different interpretations of the concept of Nasī’ have been proposed; some scholars, both Muslim and Western, maintain that the pre-Islamic calendar used in central Arabia was a purely lunar calendar similar to the modern Islamic calendar. According to this view, Nasī’ is related to the pre-Islamic practices of the Meccan Arabs, where they would alter the distribution of the forbidden months within a given year without implying a calendar manipulation; this interpretation is supported by Arab historians and lexicographers, like Ibn Hisham, Ibn Manzur, the corpus of Qur'anic exegesis. This is corroborated by an early Sabaic inscription, where a religious ritual was "postponed" due to war.
According to the context of this inscription, the verb ns'’ has nothing to do with intercalation, but only with moving religious events within the calendar itself. The similarity between the religious concept of this ancient inscription and the Qur'an suggests that non-calendaring postponement is the Qur'anic meaning of Nasī’; the Encyclopaedia of Islam concludes "The Arabic system of can only have been intended to move the Hajj and the fairs associated with it in the vicinity of Mecca to a suitable season of the year. It was not intended to establish a fixed calendar to be observed." The term "fixed calendar" is understood to refer to the non-intercalated calendar. Others concur that it was a lunar calendar, but suggest that about 200 years before the Hijra it was transformed into a lunisolar calendar containing an intercalary month added from time to time to keep the pilgrimage within the season of the year when merchandise was most abundant; this interpretation was first proposed by the medieval Muslim astrologer and astronomer Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi, by al-Biruni, al-Mas'udi, some western scholars.
This interpretation considers Nasī’ to be a synonym to the Arabic word for "intercalation". The Arabs, according to one explanation mentioned by Abu Ma'shar, learned of this type of intercalation from the Jews; the Jewish Nasi was the official. Some sources say that the Arabs followed the Jewish practice and intercalated seven months over nineteen years, or else that they intercalated nine months over 24 years. Postponement of one ritual in a particular circumstance does not imply alteration of the sequence of months, scholars agree that this did not happen. Al-Biruni says this did not happen, the festivals were kept within their season by intercalation every second or third year of a month between Dhu al-Hijjah and Muharram, he says that, in terms of the fixed calendar, not introduced until 10 AH, the first intercalation was, for example, of a month between Dhu al-Hijjah and Muharram, the second of a month between Muharram and Safar, the third of a month between Safar and Rabi'I, so on. The intercalations were arranged.
The notice of interca
Astronomy is a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. It applies mathematics and chemistry in an effort to explain the origin of those objects and phenomena and their evolution. Objects of interest include planets, stars, nebulae and comets. More all phenomena that originate outside Earth's atmosphere are within the purview of astronomy. A related but distinct subject is physical cosmology, the study of the Universe as a whole. Astronomy is one of the oldest of the natural sciences; the early civilizations in recorded history, such as the Babylonians, Indians, Nubians, Chinese and many ancient indigenous peoples of the Americas, performed methodical observations of the night sky. Astronomy has included disciplines as diverse as astrometry, celestial navigation, observational astronomy, the making of calendars, but professional astronomy is now considered to be synonymous with astrophysics. Professional astronomy is split into theoretical branches. Observational astronomy is focused on acquiring data from observations of astronomical objects, analyzed using basic principles of physics.
Theoretical astronomy is oriented toward the development of computer or analytical models to describe astronomical objects and phenomena. The two fields complement each other, with theoretical astronomy seeking to explain observational results and observations being used to confirm theoretical results. Astronomy is one of the few sciences in which amateurs still play an active role in the discovery and observation of transient events. Amateur astronomers have made and contributed to many important astronomical discoveries, such as finding new comets. Astronomy means "law of the stars". Astronomy should not be confused with astrology, the belief system which claims that human affairs are correlated with the positions of celestial objects. Although the two fields share a common origin, they are now distinct. Both of the terms "astronomy" and "astrophysics" may be used to refer to the same subject. Based on strict dictionary definitions, "astronomy" refers to "the study of objects and matter outside the Earth's atmosphere and of their physical and chemical properties," while "astrophysics" refers to the branch of astronomy dealing with "the behavior, physical properties, dynamic processes of celestial objects and phenomena."
In some cases, as in the introduction of the introductory textbook The Physical Universe by Frank Shu, "astronomy" may be used to describe the qualitative study of the subject, whereas "astrophysics" is used to describe the physics-oriented version of the subject. However, since most modern astronomical research deals with subjects related to physics, modern astronomy could be called astrophysics; some fields, such as astrometry, are purely astronomy rather than astrophysics. Various departments in which scientists carry out research on this subject may use "astronomy" and "astrophysics" depending on whether the department is affiliated with a physics department, many professional astronomers have physics rather than astronomy degrees; some titles of the leading scientific journals in this field include The Astronomical Journal, The Astrophysical Journal, Astronomy and Astrophysics. In early historic times, astronomy only consisted of the observation and predictions of the motions of objects visible to the naked eye.
In some locations, early cultures assembled massive artifacts that had some astronomical purpose. In addition to their ceremonial uses, these observatories could be employed to determine the seasons, an important factor in knowing when to plant crops and in understanding the length of the year. Before tools such as the telescope were invented, early study of the stars was conducted using the naked eye; as civilizations developed, most notably in Mesopotamia, Persia, China and Central America, astronomical observatories were assembled and ideas on the nature of the Universe began to develop. Most early astronomy consisted of mapping the positions of the stars and planets, a science now referred to as astrometry. From these observations, early ideas about the motions of the planets were formed, the nature of the Sun and the Earth in the Universe were explored philosophically; the Earth was believed to be the center of the Universe with the Sun, the Moon and the stars rotating around it. This is known as the geocentric model of the Ptolemaic system, named after Ptolemy.
A important early development was the beginning of mathematical and scientific astronomy, which began among the Babylonians, who laid the foundations for the astronomical traditions that developed in many other civilizations. The Babylonians discovered. Following the Babylonians, significant advances in astronomy were made in ancient Greece and the Hellenistic world. Greek astronomy is characterized from the start by seeking a rational, physical explanation for celestial phenomena. In the 3rd century BC, Aristarchus of Samos estimated the size and distance of the Moon and Sun, he proposed a model of the Solar System where the Earth and planets rotated around the Sun, now called the heliocentric model. In the 2nd century BC, Hipparchus discovered precession, calculated the size and distance of the Moon and inven
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