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The Iberian Peninsula , ** *
Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous community and former kingdom in Spain * the Aragonese people, those originating from or living in the historical region of Aragon, in north-eastern Spain * the Aragone ...
and
Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance languages, Romance language (or branch of numerous of these) spoken in Southern France, Monaco, Italy's Occitan Vall ...
: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eibérica * eu, Iberiar penintsula also known as Iberia, is a
peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends. The surrounding water is usually understood to be continuous, though ...

peninsula
in the southwest corner of
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest ...

Europe
, defining the westernmost edge of
Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continental area on Earth, comprising all of Europe and Asia. Primarily in the Northern Hemisphere, Northern and Eastern Hemispheres, it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Pacific Ocean to the east, t ...

Eurasia
. It is principally divided between
Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_ ...
and
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a sovereign state, country whose mainland is located on the Iberian Peninsula, in Southern Europe, Southwestern Europe, and whose territory also includ ...
, comprising most of their territory, as well as a small area of
Southern France Southern France, also known as the South of France or colloquially in French language, French as , is a defined geographical area consisting of the regions of France that border the Atlantic Ocean south of the Marais Poitevin,Louis Papy, ''Le midi ...
,
Andorra Andorra (, ; ), officially the Principality of Andorra ( ca, Principat d'Andorra), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', whi ...
and
Gibraltar ) , anthem = " God Save the Queen" , song = " Gibraltar Anthem" , image_map = Gibraltar location in Europe.svg , map_alt = Location of Gibraltar in Europe , map_caption = United Kingdom shown in pale green , mapsize = 290px , image_map2 ...

Gibraltar
. With an area of approximately , and a population of roughly 53 million, it is the second largest European peninsula by area, after the
Scandinavian Peninsula The Scandinavian Peninsula ( sv, Skandinaviska halvön; no, Den skandinaviske halvøy (Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language, alongside Nynorsk. Bokmål is the preferred writ ...
.


Name


Greek name

The word ''Iberia'' is a noun adapted from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the ...

Latin
word "Hiberia" originating in the
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycenaean Greek (), Dark Ages () ...
word Ἰβηρία ('), used by Greek geographers under the rule of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Roman Republic, Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity it included large territorial holdings aro ...

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 geographical entity or a distinct population; the same name was used for the
Kingdom of Iberia In Greco-Roman geography, Iberia (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the ...
, natively known as
Kartli Kartli ( ka, ქართლი ) is a historical region in central-to-eastern Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country located at the intersection ...

Kartli
in the
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to the Caucasus Mountains, including the Grea ...
, the core region of what would later become the
Kingdom of Georgia Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy * A realm ruled by: **A king of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early modern period) File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg">Aztec King Nezahualpiltzintli of Texcoco King is the t ...
. It was
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pres ...

Strabo
who first reported the delineation of "Iberia" from
Gaul Gaul ( la, Gallia) was a region of Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than a ...

Gaul
(''Keltikē'') by the Pyrenees and included the entire land mass southwest (he says "west") from there. With the fall of the Roman Empire and the consolidation of
romanic languages The Romance languages (less commonly Latin languages, or Neo-Latin languages) are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a range of informal sociolects of Latin Latin ...
, the word "Iberia" continued the Roman word "Hiberia" and the Greek word "Ἰβηρία". The ancient Greeks reached the Iberian Peninsula, of which they had heard from the
Phoenicians Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0 ...

Phoenicians
, by voyaging westward on the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands aroun ...

Mediterranean
.
Hecataeus of MiletusHecataeus (Ἑκαταῖος) is a Greek name shared by several historical figures: * Hecataeus of Miletus (born c. 550 BC), historian * Hecataeus of Cardia (floruit, fl. 323 BC), tyrant of the city of Lysimachia (Thrace), Cardia * Hecataeus of A ...
was the first known to use the term ''Iberia'', which he wrote about circa 500 BC.
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It ...
of Halicarnassus says of the
Phocaea Phocaea or Phokaia (Ancient Greek language, Ancient Greek: Φώκαια, ''Phókaia''; modern-day Foça in Turkey) was an ancient Ionian Ancient Greece, Greek city on the western coast of Anatolia. Colonies in antiquity, Greek colonists from Phoca ...
ns that "it was they who made the Greeks acquainted with Iberia." According to
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pres ...

Strabo
,Geography III.4.19. prior historians used ''Iberia'' to mean the country "this side of the Ἶβηρος" (', the
Ebro , name_etymology = , image = Zaragoza shel.JPG , image_size = , image_caption = The Ebro River in Zaragoza , map = SpainEbroBasin.png , map_size = , map_caption = The Ebro ri ...
) as far north as the
Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; wae, Rotten ; it, Rodano ; frp, Rôno ; oc, Ròse ) is one of the major rivers of Europe and has twice the average discharge of the Loire (which is the longest French river), rising in the Rhône Glacier in t ...

Rhône
, but in his day they set the
Pyrenees french: Pyrénées ca, Pirineus an, Pirineus oc, Pirenèus eu, Pirinioak, Auñamendiak , etymology=Named for Pyrene Pyrene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) consisting of four fused benzene rings, resulting in a flat aromatic system. ...

Pyrenees
as the limit.
Polybius Polybius (; grc-gre, Πολύβιος, ; ) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the R ...

Polybius
respects that limit, but identifies Iberia as the Mediterranean side as far south as
Gibraltar ) , anthem = " God Save the Queen" , song = " Gibraltar Anthem" , image_map = Gibraltar location in Europe.svg , map_alt = Location of Gibraltar in Europe , map_caption = United Kingdom shown in pale green , mapsize = 290px , image_map2 ...

Gibraltar
, with the Atlantic side having no name. Elsewhere he says that
Saguntum Sagunto ( ( ca-valencia, Sagunt, italics=no ) is a city in Eastern Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto ...

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 french: Pyrénées ca, Pirineus an, Pirineus oc, Pirenèus eu, Pirinioak, Auñamendiak , etymology=Named for Pyrene Pyrene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) consisting of four fused benzene rings, resulting in a flat aromatic system. ...

Pyrenees
, who are distinct from either
Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: Celtic a collection of Indo-European peoples. "The Celts, an ancient Indo-Europe ...

Celts
or
Celtiberians The Celtiberians were a group of Celts and Celticisation, Celticized peoples inhabiting the central-eastern Iberian Peninsula during the final centuries BC. They were explicitly mentioned as being Celts by several classic authors (e.g. Strabo). Th ...
.


Roman names

According to Charles Ebel, the ancient sources in both Latin and Greek use Hispania and Hiberia (Greek: Iberia) as synonyms. The confusion of the words was because of an overlapping in political and geographic perspectives. The Latin word ''Hiberia'', similar to the Greek ''Iberia'', literally translates to "land of the Hiberians". This word was derived from the river ''Hiberus'' (now called
Ebro , name_etymology = , image = Zaragoza shel.JPG , image_size = , image_caption = The Ebro River in Zaragoza , map = SpainEbroBasin.png , map_size = , map_caption = The Ebro ri ...
or Ebre). ''Hiber'' (Iberian) 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 Quintus Ennius (; c. 239 – c. 169 BC) was a writer and poet who lived during the Roman Republic. He is often considered the father of Roman poetry. He was born in Rudiae, formerly a small town located near modern Lecce in the heel of Italy (a ...
in 200 BC.
Virgil Publius Vergilius Maro (; traditional dates 15 October 7021 September 19 BC), usually called Virgil or Vergil ( ) in English, was an ancient Rome, ancient Roman poet of the Augustan literature (ancient Rome), Augustan period. He composed three o ...

Virgil
refers to the ''Ipacatos Hiberos'' ("restless Iberi") in his
Georgics Image:Meister des Vergilius Romanus 001.jpg, ''Georgics'' Book III, Shepherd with Flocks, Roman Virgil. The ''Georgics'' (; ) is a poem by Latin poet Virgil, likely published in 29 BCE. As the name suggests (from the Greek language, Greek word ...
. The Roman geographers and other prose writers from the time of the late
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the ancient Rome, classical Roman civilization, run through res publica, public Representation (politics), representation of the Roman people. Beginning with the Overthrow of the ...
called the entire peninsula ''
Hispania Hispania ( ; ) was the Ancient Rome, Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula and its provinces. Under the Roman Republic, Hispania was divided into two Roman province, provinces: Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior. During the Principate, Hispa ...

Hispania
''. In Greek and Roman antiquity, the name ''Hesperia'' was used for both the Italian and Iberian Peninsula; in the latter case ''Hesperia Ultima'' (referring to its position in the far west) appears as form of disambiguation from the former among Roman writers. Also since Roman antiquity, Jews gave the name ''
Sepharad Sepharad ( or ; ''Sp̄āraḏ''; also ''Sefarad'', ''Sephared'', ''Sfard'') is a biblical place name of uncertain location. It is mentioned only once in the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, ''tà biblía'', "the books ...
'' to the peninsula. 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 province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Roman Italy that were controlled by the Romans under the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire. Each province was ruled ...
s:
Hispania Baetica Hispania Baetica, often abbreviated Baetica, was one of three Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Italy that were controlled by the Romans under ...

Hispania Baetica
,
Hispania Tarraconensis Hispania Tarraconensis was one of three Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Italy that were controlled by the Romans under the Roman Republic ...
, and
Hispania Lusitania Lusitania (; ) or Hispania Lusitana was an ancient Iberian Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Italy that were controlled by the Romans unde ...
. Strabo says that the Romans use ''Hispania'' and ''Iberia'' synonymously, distinguishing between the ''near'' northern and the ''far'' southern provinces. (The name "Iberia" was ambiguous, being also the name of the
Kingdom of Iberia In Greco-Roman geography, Iberia (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the ...
in the Caucasus.) Whatever languages may generally have been spoken on the peninsula soon gave way to Latin, except for that of the
Vascones A coin with BARSCUNES in Iberian script. It has been proposed that the word is related to Vascones. The Vascones were a pre- Roman tribe who, on the arrival of the Romans in the 1st century, inhabited a territory that spanned between the uppe ...

Vascones
, which was preserved as a
language isolate A language isolate is a language that is unrelated to any others. In the absolute sense, it is a natural language with no demonstrable genealogical (or "genetic") relationship—one that has not been demonstrated to descend from an ancestor comm ...
by the barrier of the Pyrenees.


Modern name

The modern phrase "Iberian Peninsula" was coined by the French geographer
Jean-Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent Jean-Baptiste Geneviève Marcellin Bory de Saint-Vincent was a France, French natural history, naturalist, Officer (armed forces), officer and politician. He was born on July 6, 1778 in Agen (Lot-et-Garonne) and died on December 22, 1846 in Paris. B ...
on his 1823 work ''"Guide du Voyageur en Espagne"''. Prior to that date, geographers had used the terms ''Spanish Peninsula'' or ''Pyrenaean Peninsula''.


Etymology

The Iberian Peninsula has always been associated with the River
Ebro , name_etymology = , image = Zaragoza shel.JPG , image_size = , image_caption = The Ebro River in Zaragoza , map = SpainEbroBasin.png , map_size = , map_caption = The Ebro ri ...
(Ibēros in
ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycenaean Greek (), Dark Ages () ...
and Ibērus or Hibērus in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the ...

Latin
). The association was so well known it was hardly necessary to state; for example, Ibēria was the country "this side of the Ibērus" in Strabo.
Pliny Pliny may refer to: People from antiquity * Pliny the Elder (AD 23–79), ancient Roman nobleman, scientist, historian, and author of ''Naturalis Historia'' (''Pliny's Natural History'') * Pliny the Younger (died 113), ancient Roman statesman, ...

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 300px, The Ebro River, in Spain The Ebro Treaty was a treaty signed in 226 BC by Hasdrubal the Fair of Ancient Carthage, Carthage and the Roman Republic, which fixed the river Ebro in Iberian Peninsula, Iberia as the boundary between the two powers ...
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 Appian of Alexandria (; grc-gre, Ἀππιανὸς Ἀλεξανδρεύς ''Appianòs Alexandreús''; la, Appianus Alexandrinus; ) was a Greek historian with Roman citizenship who flourished during the reigns of Emperors of Rome Trajan, H ...
, uses Ibērus. With reference to this border,
Polybius Polybius (; grc-gre, Πολύβιος, ; ) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the R ...

Polybius
states that the "native name" is ''Ibēr'', apparently 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 the present southern Spain to the present southern France along the Mediterranean coast, is marked by instances of a readable script expressing a yet unknown language, dubbed "
Iberian Iberian refers to Iberia (disambiguation), Iberia. Most commonly Iberian refers to: *Someone or something originating in the Iberian Peninsula, namely from Spain, Portugal and Andorra. The term ''Iberian'' is also used to refer to anything pertain ...
". Whether this was the native name or was given to them by the Greeks for their residence near 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 also remain unknown. In modern
Basque Basque may refer to: * Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to the ...
, the word ''ibar''Morris Student Plus
Basque-English dictionary
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.


Prehistory


Palaeolithic

The Iberian Peninsula has been inhabited by members of the ''
Homo ''Homo'' () is the genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of extant taxon, living and fossil organisms as well as Virus classification#ICTV classification, virus ...

Homo
'' genus for at least 1.2 million years as remains found in the sites in the
Atapuerca Mountains The Atapuerca Mountains ( es, Sierra de Atapuerca) is a karst topography, karstic hill formation near the village of Atapuerca (town), Atapuerca, in the Province of Burgos (Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Castile and Leon), ...
demonstrate. Among these sites is the cave of Gran Dolina, where six
hominin The Hominini form a Tribe (biology), taxonomic tribe of the subfamily Homininae ("hominines"). Hominini includes the extant genera ''Homo'' (humans) and ''Pan (genus), Pan'' (chimpanzees and bonobos), but excludes the genus ''Gorilla'' (gorillas). ...

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 erectus'' (meaning " upright man") is an extinct species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is ofte ...

Homo erectus
'', ''
Homo heidelbergensis ''Homo heidelbergensis'' (also ''H. sapiens heidelbergensis'') is an extinct species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical ...

Homo heidelbergensis
'', or a new species called ''
Homo antecessor ''Homo antecessor'' is an archaic human species of the Lower Paleolithic, known to have been present in Spain, and possibly England and France, between about 1.2 million and 0.8 million years ago (Mya). It was described in 1997 by Eudald Carbonel ...

Homo antecessor
''. Around 200,000 BP, during the
Lower Paleolithic 250px, Four views of an Acheulean handaxe The Lower Paleolithic (or Lower Palaeolithic) is the earliest subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. It spans the time from around 3 million years ago when the Lomekwi, first evidence for stone ...
period, Neanderthals first entered the Iberian Peninsula. Around 70,000 BP, during the
Middle Paleolithic The Middle Paleolithic (or Middle Palaeolithic) is the second subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identifie ...
period, the last glacial event began and the Neanderthal
Mousterian The Mousterian (or Mode III) is a techno-complex (archaeological industry) of stone tools A stone tool is, in the most general sense, any tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surroundin ...

Mousterian
culture was established. Around 37,000 BP, during the
Upper Paleolithic The Upper Paleolithic (or Upper Palaeolithic) also called the Late Stone Age The Later Stone Age (LSA) is a period in African prehistory that follows the Middle Stone Age. The Later Stone Age is associated with the advent of modern human beha ...
, the Neanderthal Châtelperronian cultural period began. Emanating from
Southern France Southern France, also known as the South of France or colloquially in French language, French as , is a defined geographical area consisting of the regions of France that border the Atlantic Ocean south of the Marais Poitevin,Louis Papy, ''Le midi ...
, this culture extended into the north of the peninsula. It continued to exist until around 30,000 BP, when Neanderthal man faced extinction. About 40,000 years ago,
anatomically modern humans Early modern human (EMH) or anatomically modern human (AMH) are terms used to distinguish ''Homo sapiens'' (the only extant Hominina species) that are anatomically consistent with the range of phenotypes seen in contemporary humans from extin ...
entered the Iberian Peninsula from
Southern France Southern France, also known as the South of France or colloquially in French language, French as , is a defined geographical area consisting of the regions of France that border the Atlantic Ocean south of the Marais Poitevin,Louis Papy, ''Le midi ...
. Here, this genetically homogeneous population (characterized by the M173 mutation in the
Y chromosome The Y chromosome is one of two sex chromosomes (allosomes) in theria, therian mammals, including humans, and many other animals. The other is the X chromosome. Y is normally the Sex chromosome#Sex determination, sex-determining chromosome in many sp ...
), developed the M343 mutation, giving rise to
Haplogroup R1b Haplogroup R1b (R-M343), also known as Hg1 and Eu18, is a human Y-chromosome haplogroup. It is the most frequently occurring paternal lineage in Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A con ...

Haplogroup R1b
, still the most common in modern
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal Portugal (), officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=no ), is a country located on the Iberian Peninsula, in Souther ...
and
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_an ...

Spanish
males. On the Iberian Peninsula, modern humans developed a series of different cultures, such as the
Aurignacian The Aurignacian () is an archaeological tradition of the Upper Paleolithic The Upper Paleolithic (or Upper Palaeolithic) also called the Late Stone Age is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. Very broadly, it ...
,
Gravettian The Gravettian was an archaeological industry of the European Upper Paleolithic The Upper Paleolithic (or Upper Palaeolithic) also called the Late Stone Age is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. Very broad ...
,
Solutrean The Solutrean industry is a relatively advanced flint tool-making style of the Upper Paleolithic of the Final Gravettian, from around 22,000 to 17,000 BP. Solutrean sites have been found in modern-day France, Spain and Portugal. Details T ...
and
Magdalenian The Magdalenian cultures (also Madelenian; French: ''Magdalénien'') are later culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, ...
cultures, some of them characterized by the complex forms of the
art of the Upper Paleolithic The art of the Upper Paleolithic represents the oldest form of prehistoric art. Figurative art is present in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm) ...
.


Neolithic

During the
Neolithic expansion The Neolithic Revolution, or the (First) Agricultural Revolution, was the wide-scale transition of many human cultures during the Neolithic period from a lifestyle of hunter-gatherer, hunting and gathering to one of agriculture and sedentism, se ...
, various
megalithic A megalith is a large stone A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its chemical composition and the way in which it is formed. Rocks form t ...
cultures developed in the Iberian Peninsula. An open seas navigation culture from the east Mediterranean, called the Cardium culture, also extended its influence to the eastern coasts of the peninsula, possibly as early as the 5th millennium BC. These people may have had some relation to the subsequent development of the Iberian civilization.


Chalcolithic

In the
Chalcolithic The Chalcolithic (),The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) , p. 301: "Chalcolithic /,kælkəl'lɪθɪk/ adjective ''Archaeology'' of, relating to, or denoting a period in the 4th and 3rd millennium BC, chiefly in the Near East and SE Europe, ...
( 3000 BC), a series of complex cultures developed that would give rise to the peninsula's
first civilization First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill, ...
s and to extensive exchange networks reaching to the
Baltic Baltic may refer to: Geography Northern Europe * Baltic Sea, a sea in Europe * Baltic region, an ambiguous term referring to the general area surrounding the Baltic Sea * Baltic states (also Baltics, Baltic nations, Baltic countries or Baltic rep ...
,
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organizations), such as Codex Alimentarius in food, the World Health Organi ...

Middle East
and
North Africa North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in the west, to Egypt's ...

North Africa
. Around 2800 – 2700 BC, the
Beaker culture The Bell Beaker culture (or, in short, Beaker culture) is an archaeological culture named after the inverted-bell beaker drinking vessel used at the very beginning of the European Bronze Age. Arising from around 2800 BC, it lasted in Britain u ...

Beaker culture
, which produced the ''Maritime Bell Beaker'', probably originated in the vibrant copper-using communities of the
Tagus The Tagus ( ; es, Tajo ; pt, Tejo ; see below) is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese and Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eib ...

Tagus
estuary in Portugal and spread from there to many parts of western Europe.


Bronze Age

Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age syst ...
cultures developed beginning  1800 BC, when the culture of Los Millares was followed by that of
El Argar El Argar is an Early Bronze Age culture that was based in Antas, Almería Almería (, also , ) is a city in Andalusia, Spain, located in the southeast of Spain on the Mediterranean Sea, and is the capital of the province of Almería, province ...
. During the Early Bronze Age, southeastern Iberia saw the emergence of important settlements, a development that has compelled some archeologists to propose that these settlements indicate the advent of state-level social structures. From this centre, bronze metalworking technology spread to other cultures like the Bronze of Levante,
South-Western Iberian Bronze The South-Western Iberian Bronze is a loosely defined Bronze Age culture of Southern Portugal and nearby areas of SW Spain (Huelva (province), Huelva, Sevilla (province), Seville, Extremadura). It replaced the earlier urban and European Megalithic ...
and Las Cogotas. In the Late Bronze Age, the urban civilisation of
Tartessos Tartessos ( el, Ταρτησσός) or Tartessus, was a semi-mythical harbor city and the surrounding culture on the south coast of the Iberian Peninsula (in modern Andalusia, Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, ...

Tartessos
developed in Southwestern Iberia, characterized by
Phoenicia Phoenicia (; from grc, Φοινίκη, ') was an ancient Semitic-speaking thalassocratic civilization that originated in the Levant region of the eastern Mediterranean, primarily modern Syria and Lebanon Lebanon (), officially known ...
n influence and using the
Southwest Paleohispanic script ) Image:Beja48.jpg, 250px, Herdade da Abobada (Almodôvar) The Southwest Script or Southwestern Script, also known as Tartessian or South Lusitanian, is a paleohispanic scripts, Paleohispanic script used to write an unknown language usually ide ...
for its
Tartessian language The Tartessian language is the extinct Paleo-Hispanic languages, Paleo-Hispanic language of inscriptions in the Southwest Paleohispanic script, Southwestern script found in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula, mainly in the south of Portugal ( ...
, not related to the
Iberian language The Iberian language was the language of an indigenous western European people identified by Ancient Greece, Greek and ancient Rome, Roman sources who lived in the eastern and southeastern regions of the Iberian Peninsula in the pre-Migration Era ...
. Early in the first millennium BC, several waves of Pre-Celts and
Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: Celtic a collection of Indo-European peoples. "The Celts, an ancient Indo-Europe ...

Celts
migrated from
Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, based on a common History, historical, Society, social and cultural identity. The Thirty Years' War between Catholic Church, Catholicism and Protestantism was a signifi ...
, thus partially changing the peninsula's ethnic landscape to Indo-European-speaking in its northern and western regions. In Northwestern Iberia (modern Northern Portugal, Asturias and Galicia), a Celtic culture developed, the Castro culture, with a large number of hill forts and some fortified cities.


Proto-history

By the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age system, three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of Homo sapiens, humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Chalcolithic) and the Bronze Age ...
, starting in the 7th century BC, the Iberian Peninsula consisted of complex agrarian and urban civilizations, either
Pre-Celtic The pre-Celtic period in the prehistory of Central Europe and Western Europe occurred before the expansion of the Celts or their culture in Iron Age Europe and Ancient Near East#Iron Age, Anatolia (9th to 6th centuries BC), but after the emergence ...
or Celtic (such as the
Lusitanians , Portugal Portugal (), officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=no ), is a country located on the Iberian Peninsula, in Southern Europe, southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state in mainland E ...
,
Celtiberians The Celtiberians were a group of Celts and Celticisation, Celticized peoples inhabiting the central-eastern Iberian Peninsula during the final centuries BC. They were explicitly mentioned as being Celts by several classic authors (e.g. Strabo). Th ...
,
Gallaeci The Gallaeci, Callaeci or Callaici were a large Celtic tribal federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under ...
,
Astures The Astures or Asturs, also named Astyrs, were the Hispano-Celtic inhabitants of the northwest area of Hispania Hispania ( ; ) was the Ancient Rome, Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula and its provinces. Under the Roman Republic, Hispania w ...
,
Celtici ] The Celtici (in Portuguese language, Portuguese, Spanish language, Spanish, and Galician language, Galician languages, ) were a Celtic tribe or group of tribes of the Iberian peninsula, inhabiting three definite areas: in what today are the regio ...
and others), the cultures of the
Iberians statuette, 2nd to 4th centuries BC, found in Edeta. The Iberians ( la, Hibērī, from el, Ίβηρες, ''Iberes'') were a set of people that Ancient Greece, Greek and Roman sources (among others, Hecataeus of MiletusHecataeus (Ἑκατα ...
in the eastern and southern zones and the cultures of the Aquitanian in the western portion of the Pyrenees. As early as the 12th century BC, the
Phoenicians Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0 ...
, a thalassocratic civilization originally from the Eastern Mediterranean, began to explore the coastline of the peninsula, interacting with the metal-rich communities in the southwest of the peninsula (contemporarily known as the semi-mythical
Tartessos Tartessos ( el, Ταρτησσός) or Tartessus, was a semi-mythical harbor city and the surrounding culture on the south coast of the Iberian Peninsula (in modern Andalusia, Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, ...

Tartessos
). Around 1100 BC, Phoenician merchants founded the trading colony of Gadir or Gades (modern day
Cádiz Cádiz (, also , ; see more Cádiz#Name, below) is a city and port in southwestern Spain. It is the capital of the Province of Cádiz, one of eight that make up the Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Andalusia. Cádiz, on ...

Cádiz
). Phoenicians established a permanent trading port in the Gadir colony circa 800 BC in response to the increasing demand of silver from the
Assyrian Empire Assyrian may refer to: * Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن '; grc, Μεσοποταμία; Syriac language, Classical Syriac: ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ ...
. The seafaring Phoenicians,
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group and nation native to the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea regions, namely Greece, Greek Cypriots, Cyprus, Greeks in Albania, Albania, Greeks in Italy, Ital ...
and
Carthaginians The Punics, Carthaginians or Western Phoenicians, were a group of peoples in the Western Mediterranean who traced their origins to the Phoenicians. In modern scholarship, the term 'Punic' – the Latin equivalent of the Greek-derived term 'Phoen ...
successively settled along the Mediterranean coast and founded trading colonies there over a period of several centuries. In the 8th century BC, the first
Greek coloniesGreek colonization was an organised colonial expansion by the Archaic Greeks into the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by lan ...
, such as Emporion (modern
Empúries Empúries ( ca, Empúries ) was an ancient city on the Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean coast of Catalonia, Spain. Empúries is also known by its Spanish name, Ampurias ( es, Ampurias ). The city Ἐμπόριον ( el, Ἐμπόριον, Empori ...

Empúries
), were founded along the Mediterranean coast on the east, leaving the south coast to the Phoenicians. The Greeks coined the name Iberia, after the river Iber (Ebro). Together with the presence of Phoenician and Greek epigraphy, a number of
paleohispanic scripts and theonyms used in Latin inscriptions). (Based on Rodríguez Ramos 2000). (Based on Correa 2004). Signs in red are the most debatable. (Based on Ferrer i Jané 2005). (Based on Ferrer i Jané 2005). (not dual). . Image:Un alfabet greco-ibè ...
developed in the Iberian Peninsula along the 1st millennium BC. The development of a primordial paleohispanic script antecessor to the rest of paleohispanic scripts (originally supposed to be a non-redundant
semi-syllabary 250px, A northeastern Iberian script, northeastern non-dual Iberian semi-syllabary. A semi-syllabary is a writing system that behaves partly as an alphabet and partly as a syllabary. The main group of semi-syllabic writing are the Paleohispanic scr ...
) derived from the
Phoenician alphabet The Phoenician alphabet is an alphabet (more specifically, an abjad) known in modern times from the Canaanite and Aramaic inscriptions found across the Mediterranean region. The Phoenician alphabet is also called the Early Linear script (in a S ...

Phoenician alphabet
and originated in Southwestern Iberia by the 7th century BC has been tentatively proposed. In the sixth century BC, the Carthaginians arrived in the peninsula while struggling with the Greeks for control of the Western Mediterranean. Their most important colony was Carthago Nova (modern-day
Cartagena, Spain Cartagena (; la, Carthago Nova) is a Spanish city and a major naval station located in the Region of Murcia, by the Mediterranean coast, south-eastern Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = ...
).


History


Roman rule

In 218 BC, during the
Second Punic War The Second Punic War (218–201 BC) was the second of three wars fought between Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient Ancient Carthage, Carthaginian civilization, on the eastern side of the Lake of Tunis in what is now Tunisi ...
against the Carthaginians, the first
Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to the Romans'', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in ...
troops occupied the Iberian Peninsula; however, it was not until the reign of
Augustus Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles througho ...

Augustus
that it was annexed after 200 years of war with the
Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: Celtic a collection of Indo-European peoples. "The Celts, an ancient Indo-Europe ...

Celts
and
Iberians statuette, 2nd to 4th centuries BC, found in Edeta. The Iberians ( la, Hibērī, from el, Ίβηρες, ''Iberes'') were a set of people that Ancient Greece, Greek and Roman sources (among others, Hecataeus of MiletusHecataeus (Ἑκατα ...
. The result was the creation of the province of
Hispania Hispania ( ; ) was the Ancient Rome, Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula and its provinces. Under the Roman Republic, Hispania was divided into two Roman province, provinces: Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior. During the Principate, Hispa ...

Hispania
. It was divided into
Hispania Ulterior Hispania Ulterior (English: "Further Hispania", or occasionally "Thither Hispania") was a region of Hispania during the Roman Republic, roughly located in Baetica and in the Guadalquivir valley of modern Spain and extending to all of Lusitania ( ...
and
Hispania Citerior Hispania Citerior (English: "Hither Iberia", or "Nearer Iberia") was a Roman Province in Hispania during the Roman Republic. It was on the eastern coast of Iberia down to the town of Cartago Nova, today's Cartagena, Spain, Cartagena in the autonomou ...
during the late
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the ancient Rome, classical Roman civilization, run through res publica, public Representation (politics), representation of the Roman people. Beginning with the Overthrow of the ...
, and during the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Roman Republic, Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity it included large territorial holdings aro ...

Roman Empire
, it was divided into
Hispania Tarraconensis Hispania Tarraconensis was one of three Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Italy that were controlled by the Romans under the Roman Republic ...
in the northeast,
Hispania Baetica Hispania Baetica, often abbreviated Baetica, was one of three Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Italy that were controlled by the Romans under ...

Hispania Baetica
in the south and
Lusitania Lusitania (; ) or Hispania Lusitana was an ancient Iberian Roman province located where modern Portugal (south of the Douro river) and part of western Spain (the present autonomous community of Extremadura and a part of the province of Salamanca ...

Lusitania
in the southwest. Hispania supplied the Roman Empire with silver, food, olive oil, wine, and metal. The emperors
Trajan Trajan ( ; la, Caesar Nerva Trajanus; 18 September 539/11 August 117) was Roman emperor from 98 to 117. Officially declared by the Roman Senate, Senate ''optimus princeps'' ("best ruler"), Trajan is remembered as a successful soldier-empero ...

Trajan
,
Hadrian Hadrian (; la, Caesar Traianus Hadrianus ; 24 January 76 – 10 July 138) was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born into a Roman Italo-Hispanic family, which settled in Spain from the Italian city of Atri, Abruzzo, Atri in Picenum. His ...

Hadrian
,
Marcus Aurelius Marcus Aurelius Antoninus ( ; 26 April 121 – 17 March 180) was a Roman emperor The Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variet ...

Marcus Aurelius
, and
Theodosius I Theodosius I ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος; 11 January 347 – 17 January 395), also called Theodosius the Great, was Roman emperor from 379 to 395. He is best known for making Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire and great ...

Theodosius I
, the philosopher
Seneca the Younger Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Younger (; AD65), usually known as Seneca, was a Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the peop ...
, and the poets
Martial Marcus Valerius Martialis (known in English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has e ...

Martial
and
Lucan Marcus Annaeus Lucanus (3 November 39 AD – 30 April 65 AD), better known in English as Lucan (), was a Roman poet A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may ...

Lucan
were born from families living on the Iberian Peninsula. During their 600-year occupation of the Iberian Peninsula, the Romans introduced the Latin language that influenced many of the languages that exist today in the Iberian peninsula.


Pre-modern Iberia

In the early fifth century,
Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe and Scandinavia. Since the 19th century, they have traditionally been defined by the use of ancient and early medieval Germanic languages and are thus equated at lea ...

Germanic peoples
occupied the peninsula, namely the
Suebi The Suebi (or Suebians, also spelled Suevi, Suavi) were a large group of Germanic peoples originally from the Elbe river region in what is now Germany and Czechia, the Czech Republic. In the early Roman era they included many peoples with their ow ...
, the
Vandals The Vandals were a Germanic people who first inhabited what is now southern Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divid ...
(
Silingi The Silings or Silingi ( la, Silingae; grc, Σιλίγγαι – ) were a Germanic tribe, part of the larger Vandal group. The Silingi at one point lived in Silesia Silesia (, also , ) is a historical region of Central Europe Central Eu ...
and
HasdingiThe Hasdingi were one of the Vandal The Vandals were a Germanic people who first inhabited what is now southern Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country loc ...
) and their allies, the
Alans The Alans or Alāns (Latin: ''Alani''), were an ancient and medieval Iranian peoples, Iranian Eurasian nomads, nomadic pastoral people of the North Caucasus. Generally regarded as part of the Sarmatians, and possibly related to the Massagetae, t ...

Alans
. Only the kingdom of the Suebi (
Quadi The Quadi were an early Germanic * * * people who lived approximately in the area of modern Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=no, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawijo; la, Moravia) is a historical region in the ...
and
Marcomanni 400px, The Roman Empire under Hadrian (ruled 117–138), showing the location of the Marcomanni in the region of the upper Danube (now northern Austria and Czech Republic) The Marcomanni were a group of early Germanic peoples * * * that eventua ...
) would endure after the arrival of another wave of Germanic invaders, the
Visigoths The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tr ...
, who occupied all of the Iberian Peninsula and expelled or partially integrated the Vandals and the Alans. The Visigoths eventually occupied the Suebi kingdom and its capital city, Bracara (modern day
Braga Braga ( , ; cel-x-proto, Bracara) is a cities of Portugal, city and a concelho, municipality in the northwestern Portugal, Portuguese district of Braga (district), Braga, in the historical and cultural Minho Province. The city has a resident popu ...
), in 584–585. They would also occupy the Roman province, province of the Byzantine Empire (552–624) of Spania in the south of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands. In 711, a Umayyad conquest of Hispania, Muslim army conquered the Visigoths, Visigothic Kingdom in Hispania. Under Tariq ibn Ziyad, the Islamic army landed at Gibraltar and, in an eight-year campaign, occupied all except the northern kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula in the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. Al-Andalus ( ar, الإندلس, tr. ''al-ʾAndalūs'', possibly "Land of the Vandals"), is the Arabic name given to Muslim Iberia. The Muslim conquerors were Arabs and Berbers; following the conquest, conversion and arabization of the Hispano-Roman population took place, (''muwalladum'' or ''Muladí''). After a long process, spurred on in the 9th and 10th centuries, the majority of the population in Al-Andalus eventually converted to Islam. The Muslims were referred to by the generic name ''Moors''. The Muslim population was divided per ethnicity (Arabs, Berbers, Muladí), and the supremacy of Arabs over the rest of group was a recurrent causal for strife, rivalry and hatred, particularly between Arabs and Berbers. Arab elites could be further divided in the Yemenites (first wave) and the Syrians (second wave). Christians and Jews were allowed to live as part of a stratified society under the Dhimmi, ''dhimmah'' system, although Jews became very important in certain fields. Some Christians migrated to the Northern Christian kingdoms, while those who stayed in Al-Andalus progressively arabised and became known as ''musta'arab'' (mozarabs). The slave population comprised the ''Saqaliba, Ṣaqāliba'' (literally meaning "slavs", although they were slaves of generic European origin) as well as Sudan (region), Sudanese slaves. The Umayyad rulers faced a major Berber Revolt in the early 740s; the uprising originally broke out in North Africa (Tangier) and later spread across the peninsula. Following the Abbasid takeover from the Umayyads and the shift of the economic centre of the Islamic Caliphate from Damascus to Baghdad, the western province of al-Andalus was marginalised and ultimately became politically autonomous as independent emirate in 756, ruled by one of the last surviving Umayyad royals, Abd al-Rahman I. Al-Andalus became a center of culture and learning, especially during the Caliphate of Córdoba. The Caliphate reached the height of its power under the rule of Abd-ar-Rahman III and his successor al-Hakam II, becoming then, in the view of Jaime Vicens Vives, "the most powerful state in Europe". Abd-ar-Rahman III also managed to expand the clout of Al-Andalus across the Strait of Gibraltar, waging war, as well as his successor, against the Fatimid Empire. Between the 8th and 12th centuries, Al-Andalus enjoyed a notable urban vitality, both in terms of the growth of the preexisting cities as well as in terms of founding of new ones: Córdoba (Spain), Córdoba reached a population of 100,000 by the 10th century, Toledo, Spain, Toledo 30,000 by the 11th century and Seville 80,000 by the 12th century. During the Middle Ages, the North of the peninsula housed many small Christian polities including the Kingdom of Castile, the Kingdom of Aragon, the Kingdom of Navarre, the Kingdom of León or the Kingdom of Portugal, as well as a number of counties that spawned from the Carolingian Marca Hispanica. Christian and Muslim polities fought and allied among themselves in variable alliances. The Christian kingdoms progressively expanded south taking over Muslim territory in what is historiographically known as the "Reconquista" (the latter concept has been however noted as product of the claim to a pre-existing Spanish Catholic nation and it would not necessarily convey adequately "the complexity of centuries of warring and other more peaceable interactions between Muslim and Christian kingdoms in medieval Iberia between 711 and 1492"). The Caliphate of Córdoba was subsumed in a period of upheaval and civil war (the Fitna of al-Andalus) and collapsed in the early 11th century, spawning a series of ephemeral statelets, the ''taifas''. Until the mid 11th century, most of the territorial expansion southwards of the Kingdom of Asturias/León was carried out through a policy of agricultural colonization rather than through military operations; then, profiting from the feebleness of the taifa principalities, Ferdinand I of León seized Lamego and Viseu (1057–1058) and Coimbra (1064) away from the Taifa of Badajoz (at times at war with the Taifa of Seville); Meanwhile, in the same year Coimbra was conquered, in the Northeastern part of the Iberian Peninsula, the Kingdom of Aragon Crusade of Barbastro, took Barbastro from the Hudid Taifa of Lérida as part of an international expedition sanctioned by Pope Alexander II. Most critically, Alfonso VI of Castile, Alfonso VI of León-Castile conquered Toledo and its Taifa of Toledo, wider taifa in 1085, in what it was seen as a critical event at the time, entailing also a huge territorial expansion, advancing from the Sistema Central to La Mancha. In 1086, following the siege of Zaragoza by Alfonso VI of León-Castile, the Almoravids, religious zealots originally from the deserts of the Maghreb, landed in the Iberian Peninsula, and, having inflicted a serious defeat to Alfonso VI at the battle of Zalaca, began to seize control of the remaining taifas. The Almoravids in the Iberian peninsula progressively relaxed strict observance of their faith, and treated both Jews and Mozarabs harshly, facing uprisings across the peninsula, initially in the Western part. The Almohads, another North-African Muslim sect of Masmuda Berber origin who had previously undermined the Almoravid rule south of the Strait of Gibraltar, first entered the peninsula in 1146. Somewhat straying from the trend taking place in other locations of the Latin West since the 10th century, the period comprising the 11th and 13th centuries was not one of weakening monarchical power in the Christian kingdoms. The relatively novel concept of "frontier" (Sp: ''frontera''), already reported in Aragon by the second half of the 11th century become widespread in the Christian Iberian kingdoms by the beginning of the 13th century, in relation to the more or less conflictual border with Muslim lands. By the beginning of the 13th century, a power reorientation took place in the Iberian Peninsula (parallel to the Christian expansion in Southern Iberia and the increasing commercial impetus of Christian powers across the Mediterranean) and to a large extent, trade-wise, the Iberian Peninsula reorientated towards the North away from the Muslim World. During the Middle Ages, the monarchs of Castile and León, from Alfonso V of León, Alfonso V and Alfonso VI of León and Castile, Alfonso VI (crowned ''Hispaniae Imperator'') to Alfonso X of Castile, Alfonso X and Alfonso XI of Castile, Alfonso XI tended to embrace an imperial ideal based on a dual Christian and Jewish ideology. Merchants from Genoa and Pisa were conducting an intense trading activity in Catalonia already by the 12th century, and later in Portugal. Since the 13th century, the Crown of Aragon expanded overseas; led by Catalans, it attained an overseas empire in the Western Mediterranean, with a presence in Mediterranean islands such as the Balearics, Sicily and Sardinia, and even conquering Naples in the mid-15th century. Genoese merchants invested heavily in the Iberian commercial enterprise with Lisbon becoming, according to Virgínia Rau, the "great centre of Genoese trade" in the early 14th century. The Portuguese would later detach their trade to some extent from Republic of Genoa, Genoese influence. The Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, neighbouring the Strait of Gibraltar and founded upon a Vassal state, vassalage relationship with the Crown of Castile, also insinuated itself into the European mercantile network, with its ports fostering intense trading relations with the Genoese as well, but also with the Catalans, and to a lesser extent, with the Venetians, the Florentines, and the Portuguese. Between 1275 and 1340, Granada became involved in the "crisis of the Strait", and was caught in a complex geopolitical struggle ("a kaleidoscope of alliances") with multiple powers vying for dominance of the Western Mediterranean, complicated by the unstable relations of Muslim Granada with the Marinid Sultanate. The conflict reached a climax in the 1340 Battle of Río Salado, when, this time in alliance with Granada, the Marinid Sultan (and Caliph pretender) Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn Othman made the last Marinid attempt to set up a power base in the Iberian Peninsula. The lasting consequences of the resounding Muslim defeat to an alliance of Castile and Portugal with naval support from Aragon and Genoa ensured Christian supremacy over the Iberian Peninsula and the preeminence of Christian fleets in the Western Mediterranean. The Black Death, 1348–1350 bubonic plague devastated large parts of the Iberian Peninsula, leading to a sudden economic cessation. Many settlements in northern Castile and Catalonia were left forsaken. The plague marked the start of the hostility and downright violence towards religious minorities (particularly the Jews) as an additional consequence in the Iberian realms. The 14th century was a period of great upheaval in the Iberian realms. After the death of Peter of Castile, Peter the Cruel of Castile (reigned 1350–69), the House of Trastámara succeeded to the throne in the person of Peter's half brother, Henry II of Castile, Henry II (reigned 1369–79). In the kingdom of Aragón, following the death without heirs of John I of Aragon, John I (reigned 1387–96) and Martin of Aragon, Martin I (reigned 1396–1410), a prince of the House of Trastámara, Ferdinand I of Aragon, Ferdinand I (reigned 1412–16), succeeded to the Aragonese throne. The Hundred Years' War also spilled over into the Iberian peninsula, with Castile particularly taking a role in the conflict by providing key naval support to France that helped lead to that nation's eventual victory. After the accession of Henry III of Castile, Henry III to the throne of Castile, the populace, exasperated by the preponderance of Jewish influence, perpetrated a massacre of Jews at Toledo. In 1391, mobs went from town to town throughout Castile and Aragon, killing an estimated 50,000 Jews, or even as many as 100,000, according to Jane Gerber. Women and children were sold as slaves to Muslims, and many synagogues were converted into churches. According to Hasdai Crescas, about 70 Jewish communities were destroyed. During the 15th century, Portugal, which had ended its southwards territorial expansion across the Iberian Peninsula in 1249 with the conquest of the Algarve, initiated an overseas expansion in parallel to the rise of the House of Aviz, Conquest of Ceuta, conquering Ceuta (1415) arriving at Porto Santo Island, Porto Santo (1418), Madeira Island, Madeira and the Azores, as well as establishing additional outposts along the North-African Atlantic coast. In addition, already in the Early Modern Period, between the completion of the Granada War in 1492 and the death of Ferdinand of Aragon in 1516, the Hispanic Monarchy would make strides in the imperial expansion along the Mediterranean coast of the Maghreb. During the Late Middle Ages, the History of the Jews in Spain, Jews acquired considerable power and influence in Castile and Aragon. Throughout the late Middle Ages, the Crown of Aragon took part in the mediterranean slave trade, with Barcelona (already in the 14th century), Valencia (particularly in the 15th century) and, to a lesser extent, Palma de Mallorca (since the 13th century), becoming dynamic centres in this regard, involving chiefly eastern and Muslim peoples. Castile engaged later in this economic activity, rather by adhering to the incipient atlantic slave trade involving sub-saharan people thrusted by Portugal (Lisbon being the largest slave centre in Western Europe) since the mid 15th century, with Seville becoming another key hub for the slave trade. Following the advance in the conquest of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada, the seizure of Málaga entailed the addition of another notable slave centre for the Crown of Castile. By the end of the 15th century (1490) the Iberian kingdoms (including here the Balearic Islands) had an estimated population of 6.525 million (Crown of Castile, 4.3 million; Portugal, 1.0 million; Principality of Catalonia, 0.3 million; Kingdom of Valencia, 0.255 million; Kingdom of Granada, 0.25 million; Kingdom of Aragon, 0.25 million; Kingdom of Navarre, 0.12 million and the Kingdom of Mallorca, 0.05 million). For three decades in the 15th century, the ''Hermandad de las Marismas'', the trading association formed by the ports of Castile along the Cantabrian coast, resembling in some ways the Hanseatic League, fought against the latter, an ally of England, a rival of Castile in political and economic terms. Castile sought to claim the Gulf of Biscay as its own. In 1419, the powerful Castilian navy Battle of La Rochelle (1419), thoroughly defeated a Hanseatic fleet in La Rochelle. In the late 15th century, the imperial ambition of the Iberian powers was pushed to new heights by the Catholic Monarchs in Castile and Aragon, and by Manuel I of Portugal, Manuel I in Portugal. The last Muslim stronghold, Emirate of Granada, Granada, was conquered by a combined Castilian and Aragonese force in 1492. As many as 100,000 Moors died or were enslaved in the military campaign, while 200,000 fled to North Africa. Muslims and Jews throughout the period were variously tolerated or shown intolerance in different Christian kingdoms. After the Granada War#Last stand at Granada, fall of Granada, all Muslims and Jews were ordered to convert to Christianity or face expulsion—as many as 200,000 Jews were Expulsion of Jews from Spain, expelled from Spain. Historian Henry Kamen estimates that some 25,000 Jews died en route from Spain. The Jews were also Expulsion of the Jews from Sicily, expelled from Sicily and Sardinia, which were under Aragonese rule, and an estimated 37,000 to 100,000 Jews left. In 1497, King Manuel I of Portugal forced all Jews in his kingdom to convert or leave. That same year he Persecution of Jews and Muslims by Manuel I of Portugal, expelled all Muslims that were not slaves, and in 1502 the Catholic Monarchs followed suit, imposing the choice of Forced conversions of Muslims in Spain, conversion to Christianity or exile and loss of property. Many Jews and Muslims fled to
North Africa North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in the west, to Egypt's ...

North Africa
and the Ottoman Empire, while others publicly converted to Christianity and became known respectively as Marranos and Moriscos (after the old term ''Moors''). However, many of these continued to practice their religion in secret. The Moriscos revolted several times and were ultimately expulsion of the Moriscos, forcibly expelled from Spain in the early 17th century. From 1609 to 1614, over 300,000 Moriscos were sent on ships to North Africa and other locations, and, of this figure, around 50,000 died resisting the expulsion, and 60,000 died on the journey. The change of relative supremacy from Portugal to the Hispanic Monarchy in the late 15th century has been described as one of the few cases of avoidance of the Thucydides Trap.


Modern Iberia

Challenging the conventions about the advent of modernity, Immanuel Wallerstein pushed back the origins of the capitalist modernity to the Iberian expansion of the 15th century. During the 16th century Spain created a vast empire in the Americas, with a state monopoly in Seville becoming the center of the ensuing transatlantic trade, based on bullion. Iberian imperialism, starting by the Portuguese establishment of routes to Asia and the posterior transatlantic trade with the New World by Spaniards and Portuguese (along Dutch, English and French), precipitated the economic decline of the Italian Peninsula. The 16th century was one of population growth with increased pressure over resources; in the case of the Iberian Peninsula a part of the population moved to the Americas meanwhile Jews and Moriscos were banished, relocating to other places in the Mediterranean Basin. Most of the Moriscos remained in Spain after the Morisco revolt in Las Alpujarras during the mid-16th century, but roughly 300,000 of them Expulsion of the Moriscos, were expelled from the country in 1609–1614, and emigrated ''en masse'' to North Africa. In 1580, after the political crisis that followed the 1578 death of King Sebastian of Portugal, Sebastian, Portugal became a dynastic composite entity of the Hapsburg Monarchy; thus, the whole peninsula was united politically during the period known as the Iberian Union (1580–1640). During the reign of Philip II of Spain (I of Portugal), the Councils of Portugal, Italy, Flanders and Burgundy were added to the group of counselling institutions of the Spanish Empire, Hispanic Monarchy, to which the Councils of Castile, Aragon, Indies, Chamber of Castile, Inquisition, Orders, and Crusade already belonged, defining the organization of the Royal court that underpinned the through which the empire operated. During the Iberian union, the "first great wave" of the Atlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade happened, according to Enriqueta Vila Villar, as new markets opened because of the unification gave thrust to the slave trade. By 1600, the percentage of urban population for Spain was roughly 11.4%, while for Portugal the urban population was estimated as 14.1%, which were both above the 7.6% European average of the time (edged only by the Low Countries and the Italian Peninsula). Some striking differences appeared among the different Iberian realms. Castile, extending across a 60% of the territory of the peninsula and having 80% of the population was a rather urbanised country, yet with a widespread distribution of cities. Meanwhile, the urban population in the Crown of Aragon was highly concentrated in a handful of cities: Zaragoza (Kingdom of Aragon), Barcelona (Principality of Catalonia), and, to a lesser extent in the Kingdom of Valencia, in Valencia, Alicante and Orihuela. The case of Portugal presented an hypertrophied capital, Lisbon (which greatly increased its population during the 16th century, from 56,000 to 60,000 inhabitants by 1527, to roughly 120,000 by the third quarter of the century) with its demographic dynamism stimulated by the Asian trade, followed at great distance by Porto and Évora (both roughly accounting for 12,500 inhabitants). Throughout most of the 16th century, both Lisbon and Seville were among the Western Europe's largest and most dynamic cities. The 17th century has been largely considered as a very negative period for the Iberian economies, seen as a time of recession, crisis or even decline, the urban dynamism chiefly moving to Northern Europe. A dismantling of the inner city network in the Castilian plateau took place during this period (with a parallel accumulation of economic activity in the capital, Madrid), with only New Castile (Spain), New Castile resisting recession in the interior. Regarding the Atlantic façade of Castile, aside from the severing of trade with Northern Europe, inter-regional trade with other regions in the Iberian Peninsula also suffered to some extent. In Aragon, suffering from similar problems than Castile, the expelling of the Moriscos in 1609 in the Kingdom of Valencia aggravated the recession. Silk turned from a domestic industry into a raw commodity to be exported. However, the crisis was uneven (affecting longer the centre of the peninsula), as both Portugal and the Mediterranean coastline recovered in the later part of the century by fuelling a sustained growth. The aftermath of the intermittent Portuguese Restoration War, 1640–1668 Portuguese Restoration War brought the House of Braganza as the new ruling dynasty in the Portuguese territories across the world (bar Ceuta), putting an end to the Iberian Union. Despite both Portugal and Spain starting their path towards modernization with the liberal revolutions of the first half of the 19th century, this process was, concerning structural changes in the geographical distribution of the population, relatively tame compared to what took place after World War II in the Iberian Peninsula, when strong urban development ran in parallel to substantial rural flight patterns.


Geography and geology

The Iberian Peninsula is the westernmost of the three major southern European peninsulas—the Iberian, Italian Peninsula, Italian, and Balkans, Balkan. It is bordered on the southeast and east by the Mediterranean Sea, and on the north, west, and southwest by the Atlantic Ocean. The
Pyrenees french: Pyrénées ca, Pirineus an, Pirineus oc, Pirenèus eu, Pirinioak, Auñamendiak , etymology=Named for Pyrene Pyrene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) consisting of four fused benzene rings, resulting in a flat aromatic system. ...

Pyrenees
mountains are situated along the northeast edge of the peninsula, where it adjoins the rest of Europe. Its southern tip, located in Tarifa is the southernmost point of the European continent and is very close to the northwest coast of Africa, separated from it by the Strait of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea. The Iberian Peninsula encompasses 583,254 km2 and has very contrasting and uneven relief. The mountain ranges of the Iberian Peninsula are mainly distributed from west to east, and in some cases reach altitudes of approximately 3000 Height above sea level, mamsl, resulting in the region having the second highest mean altitude (637 mamsl) in Western Europe. The Iberian Peninsula extends from the southernmost extremity at Punta de Tarifa to the northernmost extremity at Punta de Estaca de Bares over a distance between lines of latitude of about based on a Latitude#Degree length, degree length of per degree, and from the westernmost extremity at Cabo da Roca to the easternmost extremity at Cap de Creus over a distance between lines of longitude at 40th parallel north, 40° N latitude of about based on an estimated degree length of about for that latitude. The irregular, roughly octagonal shape of the peninsula contained within this spherical Quadrangle (geography), quadrangle was compared to an ox-hide by the geographer
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pres ...

Strabo
.
About three quarters of that rough octagon is the Meseta Central, a vast plateau ranging from 610 to 760 m in altitude. It is located approximately in the centre, staggered slightly to the east and tilted slightly toward the west (the conventional centre of the Iberian Peninsula has long been considered Getafe just south of Madrid). It is ringed by mountains and contains the sources of most of the rivers, which find their way through gaps in the mountain barriers on all sides.


Coastline

The coastline of the Iberian Peninsula is , on the Mediterranean side and on the Atlantic side. The coast has been inundated over time, with sea levels having risen from a minimum of lower than today at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to its current level at 4,000 years BP. The coastal shelf created by sedimentation during that time remains below the surface; however, it was never very extensive on the Atlantic side, as the continental shelf drops rather steeply into the depths. An estimated length of Atlantic shelf is only wide. At the isobath, on the edge, the shelf drops off to . The submarine topography of the coastal waters of the Iberian Peninsula has been studied extensively in the process of drilling for oil. Ultimately, the shelf drops into the Bay of Biscay on the north (an abyss), the Iberian abyssal plain at on the west, and Tagus abyssal plain to the south. In the north, between the continental shelf and the abyss, is an extension called the Galicia Bank, a plateau that also contains the Porto, Vigo, and Vasco da Gama seamounts, which form the Galicia interior basin. The southern border of these features is marked by Nazaré Canyon, which splits the continental shelf and leads directly into the abyss.


Rivers

The major rivers flow through the wide valleys between the mountain systems. These are the
Ebro , name_etymology = , image = Zaragoza shel.JPG , image_size = , image_caption = The Ebro River in Zaragoza , map = SpainEbroBasin.png , map_size = , map_caption = The Ebro ri ...
, Douro,
Tagus The Tagus ( ; es, Tajo ; pt, Tejo ; see below) is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese and Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eib ...

Tagus
, Guadiana and Guadalquivir. All rivers in the Iberian Peninsula are subject to seasonal variations in flow. The Tagus is the longest river on the peninsula and, like the Douro, flows westwards with its lower course in Portugal. The Guadiana river bends southwards and forms the border between Spain and Portugal in the last stretch of its course.


Mountains

The terrain of the Iberian Peninsula is largely mountainous. The major mountain systems are: * The
Pyrenees french: Pyrénées ca, Pirineus an, Pirineus oc, Pirenèus eu, Pirinioak, Auñamendiak , etymology=Named for Pyrene Pyrene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) consisting of four fused benzene rings, resulting in a flat aromatic system. ...

Pyrenees
and their foothills, the Pre-Pyrenees, crossing the isthmus of the peninsula so completely as to allow no passage except by mountain road, trail, coastal road or tunnel. Aneto in the Maladeta massif, at 3,404 m, is the highest point * The Cantabrian Mountains along the northern coast with the massive Picos de Europa. Torre de Cerredo, at 2,648 m, is the highest point * The Galician Massif, Galicia/Trás-os-Montes Massif in the Northwest is made up of very old heavily eroded rocks. Pena Trevinca, at 2,127 m, is the highest point * The Sistema Ibérico, a complex system at the heart of the peninsula, in its central/eastern region. It contains a great number of ranges and divides the watershed of the Tagus, Douro and Ebro rivers. Moncayo, at 2,313 m, is the highest point * The Sistema Central, dividing the Iberian Plateau into a northern and a southern half and stretching into Portugal (where the highest point of Continental Portugal (1,993 m) is located in the Serra da Estrela). Pico Almanzor in the Sierra de Gredos is the highest point, at 2,592 m * The Montes de Toledo, which also stretches into Portugal from the La Mancha natural region at the eastern end. Its highest point, at 1,603 m, is La Villuerca in the Sierra de Villuercas, Extremadura * The Sierra Morena, which divides the watershed of the Guadiana and Guadalquivir rivers. At 1,332 m, Bañuela is the highest point * The Baetic System, which stretches between
Cádiz Cádiz (, also , ; see more Cádiz#Name, below) is a city and port in southwestern Spain. It is the capital of the Province of Cádiz, one of eight that make up the Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Andalusia. Cádiz, on ...

Cádiz
and Gibraltar and northeast towards Alicante Province. It is divided into three subsystems: ** Prebaetic System, which begins west of the Sierra Sur de Jaén, reaching the Mediterranean Sea shores in Alicante Province. La Sagra (peak), La Sagra is the highest point at 2,382 m. ** Subbaetic System, which is in a central position within the Baetic Systems, stretching from Cape Trafalgar in Cádiz Province across Andalusia to the Region of Murcia. The highest point, at , is Peña de la Cruz in Sierra Arana. ** Penibaetic System, located in the far southeastern area stretching between Gibraltar across the Mediterranean coastal Andalusian provinces. It includes the highest point in the peninsula, the 3,478 m high Mulhacén in the Sierra Nevada (Spain), Sierra Nevada.


Geology

The Iberian Peninsula contains rocks of every geological period from the Ediacaran to the Holocene, Recent, and almost every kind of rock is represented. World-class mineral deposits can also be found there. The core of the Iberian Peninsula consists of a Hercynian cratonic block known as the Hesperian Massif, Iberian Massif. On the northeast, this is bounded by the Pyrenean fold belt, and on the southeast it is bounded by the Baetic System. These twofold chains are part of the Geology of the Alps, Alpine belt. To the west, the peninsula is delimited by the continental boundary formed by the magma-poor opening of the Atlantic Ocean. The Hercynian Foldbelt is mostly buried by Mesozoic and Tertiary cover rocks to the east, but nevertheless outcrops through the Sistema Ibérico and the Catalan Mediterranean System. The Iberian Peninsula features one of the largest Lithium deposits belts in Europe (an otherwise relatively scarce resource in the continent), scattered along the Iberian Massif's and . Also in the Iberian Massif, and similarly to other Hercynian blocks in Europe, the peninsula hosts some uranium deposits, largely located in the Central Iberian Zone unit. The Iberian Pyrite Belt, located in the SW quadrant of the Peninsula, ranks among the most important volcanogenic massive sulphide districts on Earth, and it has been exploited for millennia.


Climate

The Iberian Peninsula's location and topography, as well as the effects of large atmospheric circulation patterns induce a NW to SE gradient of yearly precipitation (roughly from 2,000 mm to 300 mm). The Iberian peninsula has three dominant climate types. One of these is the oceanic climate seen in the northeast in which precipitation has barely any difference between winter and summer. However, most of Portugal and Spain have a Mediterranean climate; the Warm-summer Mediterranean climate and the Hot-summer Mediterranean climate, with various differences in precipitation and temperature depending on latitude and position versus the sea, this applies greatly to the Portuguese and Galician Atlantic coasts where, due to upwelling/downwelling phenomena average temperatures in summer can vary through as much as in only a few kilometers (e.g. Peniche, Portugal, Peniche vs Santarém, Portugal, Santarém) There are also more localized semi-arid climates in central Spain, with temperatures resembling a more continental Mediterranean climate. In other extreme cases highland alpine climates such as in Sierra Nevada (Spain), Sierra Nevada and areas with extremely low precipitation and desert climates or semi-arid climates such as the Almería area, Murcia area and southern Alicante area. In the southwestern interior of the Iberian Peninsula the hottest temperatures in Europe are found, with Córdoba, Andalusia, Córdoba averaging around in July. The Spanish Mediterranean coast usually averages around in summer. In sharp contrast A Coruña at the northern tip of Galicia (Spain), Galicia has a summer daytime high average at just below . This cool and wet summer climate is replicated throughout most of the northern coastline. Winters in the Peninsula are for the most part, mild, although frosts are common in higher altitude areas of central Spain. The warmest winter nights are usually found in downwelling favourable areas of the west coast, such as on capes. Precipitation varies greatly between regions on the Peninsula, in December for example the northern west coast averages above whereas the southeast can average below . Insolation can vary from just 1,600 hours in the Bilbao area, to above 3,000 hours in the Algarve and Gulf of Cádiz.


Major modern countries

The current political configuration of the Iberian Peninsula comprises the bulk of Spain and Portugal, the whole microstate of
Andorra Andorra (, ; ), officially the Principality of Andorra ( ca, Principat d'Andorra), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', whi ...
, a small part of the France, French department of Pyrénées-Orientales (the French Cerdagne), and the British Overseas Territory of
Gibraltar ) , anthem = " God Save the Queen" , song = " Gibraltar Anthem" , image_map = Gibraltar location in Europe.svg , map_alt = Location of Gibraltar in Europe , map_caption = United Kingdom shown in pale green , mapsize = 290px , image_map2 ...

Gibraltar
. French Cerdagne is on the south side of the
Pyrenees french: Pyrénées ca, Pirineus an, Pirineus oc, Pirenèus eu, Pirinioak, Auñamendiak , etymology=Named for Pyrene Pyrene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) consisting of four fused benzene rings, resulting in a flat aromatic system. ...

Pyrenees
mountain range, which runs along the border between Spain and France. For example, the Segre (river), Segre river, which runs west and then south to meet the
Ebro , name_etymology = , image = Zaragoza shel.JPG , image_size = , image_caption = The Ebro River in Zaragoza , map = SpainEbroBasin.png , map_size = , map_caption = The Ebro ri ...
, has its source on the France, French side. The Pyrenees range is often considered the northeastern boundary of Iberian Peninsula, although the French coastline curves away from the rest of Europe north of the range, which is the reason why Perpignan is often considered as the entrance to the Iberian Peninsula. Regarding Spain and Portugal, this chiefly excludes the Macaronesian archipelagos (Azores and Madeira vis-à-vis Portugal and the Canary Islands vis-à-vis Spain), the Balearic Islands (Spain); and the Spanish territories in North Africa (most conspicuously the cities of Ceuta and Melilla), as well as unpopulated islets and rocks. Political divisions of the Iberian Peninsula:


Cities

The Iberian city network is dominated by 3 international metropolises (Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon) and four regional metropolises (Valencia, Seville, Porto and Bilbao). The relatively weak integration of the network favours a competitive approach vis-à-vis the inter-relation between the different centres. Among these metropolises, Madrid stands out within the global urban hierarchy in terms of its status as a major service centre and enjoys the greatest degree of connectivity.


Major metropolitan regions

According to Eurostat (2019), the metropolitan regions with a population over one million are listed as follows:


Ecology


Forests

The woodlands of the Iberian Peninsula are distinct ecosystems. Although the various regions are each characterized by distinct vegetation, there are some similarities across the peninsula. While the borders between these regions are not clearly defined, there is a mutual influence that makes it very hard to establish boundaries and some species find their optimal habitat in the intermediate areas. The endangered Iberian lynx (''Lynx pardinus'') is a symbol of the Iberian mediterranean forest and of the fauna of the Iberian Peninsula altogether. A new ''Podarcis'' lizard species, ''Podarcis virescens'', was accepted as a species by the Taxonomic Committee of the ''Societas Europaea Herpetologica'' in 2020. This lizard is native to the Iberian Peninsula and found near rivers in the region.


East Atlantic flyway

The Iberian Peninsula is an important stopover on the East Atlantic flyway for birds migrating from northern Europe to Africa. For example, curlew sandpipers rest in the region of the Bay of Cádiz. In addition to the birds migrating through, some seven million wading birds from the north spend the winter in the estuaries and wetlands of the Iberian Peninsula, mainly at locations on the Atlantic coast. In Galicia (Spain), Galicia are Ría de Arousa (a home of grey plover), Ria de Ortigueira, Ria de Corme and Ria de Laxe. In Portugal, the Aveiro Lagoon hosts Avocet, ''Recurvirostra avosetta'', the common ringed plover, grey plover and little stint. Ribatejo Province on the
Tagus The Tagus ( ; es, Tajo ; pt, Tejo ; see below) is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese and Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eib ...

Tagus
supports Avocet, ''Recurvirostra arosetta'', grey plover, dunlin, bar-tailed godwit and common redshank. In the Sado River, Sado Estuary are dunlin, Eurasian curlew, grey plover and common redshank. The Algarve hosts red knot, common greenshank and turnstone. The Guadalquivir Marshes region of Andalusia and the Salinas de
Cádiz Cádiz (, also , ; see more Cádiz#Name, below) is a city and port in southwestern Spain. It is the capital of the Province of Cádiz, one of eight that make up the Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Andalusia. Cádiz, on ...

Cádiz
are especially rich in wintering wading birds: Kentish plover, common ringed plover, sanderling, and black-tailed godwit in addition to the others. And finally, the Ebro delta is home to all the species mentioned above.


Languages

With the sole exception of Basque language, Basque, which is of Language isolate, unknown origin, all modern Iberian languages descend from Vulgar Latin and belong to the Western Romance languages. Throughout history (and pre-history), many different languages have been spoken in the Iberian Peninsula, contributing to the formation and differentiation of the contemporaneous languages of Iberia; however, most of them have become extinct or fallen into disuse. Basque is the only Pre-Indo-European languages, non-Indo-European surviving language in Iberia and Western Europe. In modern times, Spanish language, Spanish (the official language of Spain, spoken by the entire 45 million population in the country, the native language of about 36 million in Europe), Portuguese language, Portuguese (the official language of Portugal, with a population over 10 million), Catalan language, Catalan (over 7 million speakers in Europe, 3.4 million with Catalan as first language), Galician language, Galician (understood by the 93% of the 2.8 million Galician population) and Basque language, Basque (cf. around 1 million speakers) are the most widely spoken languages in the Iberian Peninsula. Spanish and Portuguese have expanded beyond Iberia to the rest of world, becoming world language, global languages. Other minority romance languages with some degree of recognition include the several varieties of Astur-leonese, collectively amounting to about 0.6 million speakers, and the
Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous community and former kingdom in Spain * the Aragonese people, those originating from or living in the historical region of Aragon, in north-eastern Spain * the Aragone ...
(barely spoken by the 8% of the 130,000 people inhabiting the High Aragon, Alto Aragón).


Transportation

Both Spain and Portugal have traditionally used a non-standard rail gauge (the 1,668 mm Iberian gauge) since the construction of the first railroads in the 19th century. Spain has progressively introduced the 1,435 mm Standard-gauge railway, standard gauge in its new high-speed rail network (one of the most extensive in the world), inaugurated in 1992 with the Madrid–Seville high-speed rail line, Madrid–Seville line, followed to name a few by the Madrid–Barcelona high-speed rail line, Madrid–Barcelona (2008), Madrid–Levante high-speed rail network, Madrid–Valencia (2010), an Alicante branch of the latter (2013) and the connection to France of the Barcelona line. Portugal however suspended all the high-speed rail projects in the wake of the Financial crisis of 2007–08, 2008 financial crisis, putting an end for the time being to the possibility of a high-speed rail connection between Lisbon, Porto and Madrid. Handicapped by a mountainous range (the
Pyrenees french: Pyrénées ca, Pirineus an, Pirineus oc, Pirenèus eu, Pirinioak, Auñamendiak , etymology=Named for Pyrene Pyrene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) consisting of four fused benzene rings, resulting in a flat aromatic system. ...

Pyrenees
) hindering the connection to the rest of Europe, Spain (and subsidiarily Portugal) only has two meaningful rail connections to France able for freight transport, located at both ends of the mountain range. An international rail line across the Central Pyrenees linking Zaragoza and the French city of Pau (France), Pau through a tunnel existed in the past; however, an accident in the French part destroyed a stretch of the railroad in 1970 and the Canfranc International railway station, Canfranc Station has been a Dead end (street), cul-de-sac since then. There are four points connecting the Portuguese and Spanish rail networks: Valença railway station, Valença do Minho–Tuy railway station, Tui, Vilar Formoso railway station, Vilar Formoso–Fuentes de Oñoro railway station, Fuentes de Oñoro, Marvão-Beirã railway station, Marvão-Beirã–Valencia de Alcántara railway station, Valencia de Alcántara and Elvas railway station, Elvas–Badajoz railway station, Badajoz. The prospect of the development (as part of a European-wide effort) of the Central, Mediterranean and Atlantic rail corridors is expected to be a way to improve the competitiveness of the ports of Port of Tarragona, Tarragona, Port of Valencia, Valencia, Port of Sagunto, Sagunto, port of Bilbao, Bilbao, Port of Santander, Santander, Port of Sines, Sines and Port of Algeciras, Algeciras vis-à-vis the rest of Europe and the World. In 1980, Morocco and Spain started a joint study on the feasibility of a fixed link (tunnel or bridge) across the Strait of Gibraltar, possibly through a connection of with Cape Malabata. Years of studies have, however, made no real progress thus far. A transit point for many submarine cables, the Fibre-optic Link Around the Globe, Europe India Gateway, and the SEA-ME-WE 3 feature landing stations in the Iberian Peninsula. The West Africa Cable System, Main One, SAT-3/WASC, Africa Coast to Europe (cable system), Africa Coast to Europe also land in Portugal. MAREA, a high capacity communication transatlantic cable, connects the north of the Iberian Peninsula (Bilbao) to North America (Virginia), whereas Grace Hopper (submarine communications cable), Grace Hopper is an upcoming cable connecting the Iberian Peninsula (Bilbao) to the UK and the US intended to be operative by 2022 and EllaLink is an upcoming high-capacity communication cable expected to connect the Peninsula (Sines) to South America and the mammoth 2Africa, 2Africa project intends to connect the peninsula to the United Kingdom, Europe and Africa (via Portugal and Barcelona) by 2023–24. Two gas pipelines: the Maghreb–Europe Gas Pipeline, Pedro Duran Farell pipeline and (more recently) the Medgaz (from, respectively, Morocco and Algeria) link the Maghreb and the Iberian Peninsula, providing Spain with Algerian natural gas. However the contract for the first pipeline expires on 31 October 2021 and—amidst a tense climate of Algeria–Morocco relations, Algerian–Moroccan relations—there are no plans to renew it.


Economy

Major industries include mining, tourism, small farms, and fishing. Because the coast is so long, fishing is popular, especially sardines, tuna and anchovies. Most of the mining occurs in the Pyrenees mountains. Commodities mined include: iron, gold, coal, lead, silver, zinc, and salt. Regarding their role in the global economy, both the microstate of
Andorra Andorra (, ; ), officially the Principality of Andorra ( ca, Principat d'Andorra), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', whi ...
and the British Overseas Territory of
Gibraltar ) , anthem = " God Save the Queen" , song = " Gibraltar Anthem" , image_map = Gibraltar location in Europe.svg , map_alt = Location of Gibraltar in Europe , map_caption = United Kingdom shown in pale green , mapsize = 290px , image_map2 ...

Gibraltar
have been described as tax havens. The Galician region of Spain, in the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula, became one of the biggest entry points of cocaine in Europe, on a par with the Dutch ports. Hashish is smuggled from Morocco via the Strait of Gibraltar.


See also

* Iberian Federalism * Macaronesia


Notes


References


Citations


Bibliography

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External links

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