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Iberian Peninsula

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Iberian Peninsula
Native names
España y Portugal.jpg
Satellite image of the Iberian Peninsula
Iberia (orthographic projection).svg
Geography
LocationSouthern Europe
Coordinates40°30′N 4°00′W / 40.500°N 4.000°W / 40.500; -4.000Coordinates: 40°30′N 4°00′W / 40.500°N 4.000°W / 40.500; -4.000
Area583,254 km2 (225,196 sq mi)
Highest elevation3,478 m (11411 ft)
Highest pointMulhacén
Administration
Demographics
DemonymIberian
Populationca. 53 million

The Iberian Peninsula (/ˈbɪəriən/),[a] also known as Iberia,[b] is a peninsula in southwestern Europe, defining the westernmost edge of Eurasia. It is principally divided between Spain and Portugal, comprising most of their territory, as well as a small area of Southern France, Andorra, and Gibraltar. With an area of approximately 583,254 square kilometres (225,196 sq mi),[1] and a population of roughly 53 million,[2] it is the second largest European peninsula by area, after the Scandinavian Peninsula.

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Peninsula

Peninsula

A peninsula is a landform that extends from a mainland and is surrounded by water on most, but not all of its borders. A peninsula is also sometimes defined as a piece of land bordered by water on three of its sides. Peninsulas exist on all continents. The size of a peninsula can range from tiny to very large. The largest peninsula in the world is the Arabian Peninsula. Peninsulas form due to a variety of causes.

Europe

Europe

Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also considered a subcontinent of Eurasia and it is located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. Comprising the westernmost peninsulas of Eurasia, it shares the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Africa and Asia. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south and Asia to the east. Europe is commonly considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed of the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, the Greater Caucasus, the Black Sea and the waterways of the Turkish Straits.

Eurasia

Eurasia

Eurasia is the largest continental area on Earth, comprising all of Europe and Asia. Primarily in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres, it spans from the British Isles and the Iberian Peninsula in the west to the Japanese archipelago and the Russian Far East to the east. The continental landmass is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Africa to the west, the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and by Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Indian Ocean to the south. The division between Europe and Asia as two continents is a historical social construct, as many of their borders are over land; thus, in some parts of the world, Eurasia is recognized as the largest of the six, five, or four continents on Earth. In geology, Eurasia is often considered as a single rigid megablock. However, the rigidity of Eurasia is debated based on paleomagnetic data.

Peninsular Spain

Peninsular Spain

Peninsular Spain refers to that part of Spanish territory located within the Iberian Peninsula, thus excluding other parts of Spain: the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Ceuta, Melilla, and a number of islets and crags off the coast of Morocco known collectively as plazas de soberanía. In Spain it is mostly known simply as la Península. It has land frontiers with France and Andorra to the north; Portugal to the west; and the British territory of Gibraltar to the south.

Continental Portugal

Continental Portugal

Continental Portugal or mainland Portugal comprises the bulk of the Portuguese Republic, namely that part on the Iberian Peninsula and so in Continental Europe, having approximately 95% of the total population and 96.6% of the country's land. Mainland Portugal is therefore commonly called by residents of the Portuguese archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira the continent in all respects including minor elements of combined governance from Lisbon, the country's capital. Before 1975, when the Portuguese territory also stretched to several now-independent states in Africa, the designation metropolis was also used.

Southern France

Southern France

Southern France, also known as the South of France or colloquially in French as le Midi, is a defined geographical area consisting of the regions of France that border the Atlantic Ocean south of the Marais Poitevin, Spain, the Mediterranean Sea and Italy. It includes: southern Nouvelle-Aquitaine in the west, Occitanie in the centre, the southern parts of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in the northeast, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur in the southeast, as well as the island of Corsica in the southeast. Southern France is generally included into Southern Europe due to its association with the Mediterranean Sea.

Andorra

Andorra

Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra, is a sovereign landlocked microstate on the Iberian Peninsula, in the eastern Pyrenees, bordered by France to the north and Spain to the south. Believed to have been created by Charlemagne, Andorra was ruled by the count of Urgell until 988, when it was transferred to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Urgell. The present principality was formed by a charter in 1278. It is headed by two co-princes: the bishop of Urgell in Catalonia, Spain and the president of France. Its capital and largest city is Andorra la Vella.

Gibraltar

Gibraltar

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory and city located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi) and is bordered to the north by Spain. The landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar, at the foot of which is a densely populated town area, home to over 32,000 people, primarily Gibraltarians.

Scandinavian Peninsula

Scandinavian Peninsula

The Scandinavian Peninsula is a peninsula located in Northern Europe, which roughly comprises the mainlands of Sweden, Norway and the northwestern area of Finland.

Name

Iberian Peninsula and southern France, satellite photo on a cloudless day in March 2014
Iberian Peninsula and southern France, satellite photo on a cloudless day in March 2014

Greek name

The word Iberia is a noun adapted from the Latin word "Hiberia" originating in the Ancient Greek word Ἰβηρία (Ibēríā), used by Greek geographers under the rule of the Roman Empire to refer to what is known today in English as the Iberian Peninsula.[3] 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, natively known as Kartli in the Caucasus, the core region of what would later become the Kingdom of Georgia.[4] It was Strabo who first reported the delineation of "Iberia" from Gaul (Keltikē) by the Pyrenees[5] and included the entire land mass southwest (he says "west") from there.[6] With the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the consolidation of romanic languages, 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, by voyaging westward on the Mediterranean.[7] Hecataeus of Miletus was the first known to use the term Iberia, which he wrote about circa 500 BCE.[8] Herodotus of Halicarnassus says of the Phocaeans that "it was they who made the Greeks acquainted with […] Iberia."[9] According to Strabo,[10] prior historians used Iberia to mean the country "this side of the Ἶβηρος" (Ibēros, the Ebro) as far north as the Rhône, but in his day they set the Pyrenees as the limit. Polybius respects that limit,[11] but identifies Iberia as the Mediterranean side as far south as Gibraltar, with the Atlantic side having no name. Elsewhere[12] he says that Saguntum is "on the seaward foot of the range of hills connecting Iberia and Celtiberia."

Strabo[13] refers to the Carretanians as people "of the Iberian stock" living in the Pyrenees, who are distinct from either Celts or Celtiberians.

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 or Ebre). Hiber (Iberian) was thus used as a term for peoples living near the river Ebro.[5][14] The first mention in Roman literature was by the annalist poet Ennius in 200 BCE.[15][16][17] Virgil wrote impacatos (H)iberos ("restless Iberi") in his Georgics.[18] The Roman geographers and other prose writers from the time of the late Roman Republic called the entire peninsula 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.[19] Also since Roman antiquity, Jews gave the name Sepharad to the peninsula.[20]

As they became politically interested in the former Carthaginian territories, the Romans began to use the names Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior for 'near' and 'far' Hispania. At the time Hispania was made up of three Roman provinces: Hispania Baetica, Hispania Tarraconensis, and Hispania Lusitania. Strabo says[10] 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 the Caucasus.)

Whatever languages may generally have been spoken on the peninsula soon gave way to Latin, except for that of the Vascones, which was preserved as a language isolate 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 on his 1823 work "Guide du Voyageur en Espagne". Prior to that date, geographers had used the terms 'Spanish Peninsula' or 'Pyrenaean Peninsula'.[21]

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Latin

Latin

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area around present-day Rome, but through the power of the Roman Republic it became the dominant language in the Italian region and subsequently throughout the Roman Empire. Even after the fall of Western Rome, Latin remained the common language of international communication, science, scholarship and academia in Europe until well into the 18th century, when other regional vernaculars supplanted it in common academic and political usage, and it eventually became a dead language in the modern linguistic definition.

Ancient Greek

Ancient Greek

Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycenaean Greek, Dark Ages, the Archaic period, and the Classical period.

Kingdom of Iberia

Kingdom of Iberia

In Greco-Roman geography, Iberia was an exonym for the Georgian kingdom of Kartli, known after its core province, which during Classical Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages was a significant monarchy in the Caucasus, either as an independent state or as a dependent of larger empires, notably the Sassanid and Roman empires. Iberia, centered on present-day Eastern Georgia, was bordered by Colchis in the west, Caucasian Albania in the east and Armenia in the south.

Kartli

Kartli

Kartli is a historical region in central-to-eastern Georgia traversed by the river Mtkvari (Kura), on which Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, is situated. Known to the Classical authors as Iberia, Kartli played a crucial role in the ethnic and political consolidation of the Georgians in the Middle Ages. Kartli had no strictly defined boundaries and they significantly fluctuated in the course of history. After the partition of the kingdom of Georgia in the 15th century, Kartli became a separate kingdom with its capital at Tbilisi. The historical lands of Kartli are currently divided among several administrative regions of Georgia.

Caucasus

Caucasus

The Caucasus or Caucasia, is a region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, mainly comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. The Caucasus Mountains, including the Greater Caucasus range, have historically been considered as a natural barrier between Eastern Europe and Western Asia.

Kingdom of Georgia

Kingdom of Georgia

The Kingdom of Georgia, also known as the Georgian Empire, was a medieval Eurasian monarchy that was founded in circa 1008 AD. It reached its Golden Age of political and economic strength during the reign of King David IV and Queen Tamar the Great from 11th to 13th centuries. Georgia became one of the pre-eminent nations of the Christian East and its pan-Caucasian empire and network of tributaries stretching from Eastern Europe to Anatolia and northern frontiers of Iran, while also maintaining religious possessions abroad, such as the Monastery of the Cross in Jerusalem and the Monastery of Iviron in Greece. It was the principal historical precursor of present-day Georgia.

Gaul

Gaul

Gaul was a region of Western Europe first described by the Romans. It was inhabited by Celtic and Aquitani tribes, encompassing present-day France, Belgium, Luxembourg, most of Switzerland, parts of Northern Italy, and Germany west of the Rhine. It covered an area of 494,000 km2 (191,000 sq mi). According to Julius Caesar, Gaul was divided into three parts: Gallia Celtica, Belgica, and Aquitania. Archaeologically, the Gauls were bearers of the La Tène culture, which extended across all of Gaul, as well as east to Raetia, Noricum, Pannonia, and southwestern Germania during the 5th to 1st centuries BC. During the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, Gaul fell under Roman rule: Gallia Cisalpina was conquered in 204 BC and Gallia Narbonensis in 123 BC. Gaul was invaded after 120 BC by the Cimbri and the Teutons, who were in turn defeated by the Romans by 103 BC. Julius Caesar finally subdued the remaining parts of Gaul in his campaigns of 58 to 51 BC.

Hecataeus of Miletus

Hecataeus of Miletus

Hecataeus of Miletus, son of Hegesander, was an early Greek historian and geographer.

Herodotus

Herodotus

Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian and geographer from the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Persian Empire and a later citizen of Thurii in modern Calabria (Italy). He is known for having written the Histories – a detailed account of the Greco-Persian Wars. Herodotus was the first writer to perform systematic investigation of historical events. He is referred to as "The Father of History", a title conferred on him by the ancient Roman orator Cicero.

Phocaea

Phocaea

Phocaea or Phokaia was an ancient Ionian Greek city on the western coast of Anatolia. Greek colonists from Phocaea founded the colony of Massalia in 600 BC, Emporion in 575 BC and Elea in 540 BC.

Ebro

Ebro

The Ebro is a river of the north and northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, in Spain. It rises in Cantabria and flows 930 kilometres (580 mi), almost entirely in an east southeast direction. It flows into the Mediterranean Sea forming a delta in the Province of Tarragona, in southern Catalonia. In the Iberian peninsula, it ranks second in length after the Tagus and second in discharge volume, and drainage basin, after the Douro. It is the longest river entirely within Spain; the other two mentioned flow into Portugal. It is also the second longest river in the Mediterranean basin, after the Nile.

Pyrenees

Pyrenees

The Pyrenees is a mountain range straddling the border of France and Spain. It extends nearly 500 km (310 mi) from its union with the Cantabrian Mountains to Cap de Creus on the Mediterranean coast. It reaches a maximum altitude of 3,404 metres (11,168 ft) at the peak of Aneto.

Etymology

Northeast Iberian script from Huesca
Northeast Iberian script from Huesca

The Iberian Peninsula has always been associated with the River Ebro (Ibēros in ancient Greek and Ibērus or Hibērus in 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 goes so far as to assert that the Greeks had called "the whole of Spain" Hiberia because of the Hiberus River.[22] The river appears in the Ebro Treaty of 226 BCE between Rome and Carthage, setting the limit of Carthaginian interest at the Ebro. The fullest description of the treaty, stated in Appian,[23] uses Ibērus. With reference to this border, Polybius[24] 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". 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, the word ibar[25] means "valley" or "watered meadow", while ibai[25] means "river", but there is no proof relating the etymology of the Ebro River with these Basque names.

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Ebro

Ebro

The Ebro is a river of the north and northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, in Spain. It rises in Cantabria and flows 930 kilometres (580 mi), almost entirely in an east southeast direction. It flows into the Mediterranean Sea forming a delta in the Province of Tarragona, in southern Catalonia. In the Iberian peninsula, it ranks second in length after the Tagus and second in discharge volume, and drainage basin, after the Douro. It is the longest river entirely within Spain; the other two mentioned flow into Portugal. It is also the second longest river in the Mediterranean basin, after the Nile.

Ancient Greek

Ancient Greek

Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycenaean Greek, Dark Ages, the Archaic period, and the Classical period.

Latin

Latin

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area around present-day Rome, but through the power of the Roman Republic it became the dominant language in the Italian region and subsequently throughout the Roman Empire. Even after the fall of Western Rome, Latin remained the common language of international communication, science, scholarship and academia in Europe until well into the 18th century, when other regional vernaculars supplanted it in common academic and political usage, and it eventually became a dead language in the modern linguistic definition.

Pliny the Elder

Pliny the Elder

Gaius Plinius Secundus, called Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist and natural philosopher, and naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and a friend of the emperor Vespasian. He wrote the encyclopedic Naturalis Historia, which became an editorial model for encyclopedias. He spent most of his spare time studying, writing, and investigating natural and geographic phenomena in the field.

Ebro Treaty

Ebro Treaty

The Ebro Treaty was a treaty signed in 226 BC by Hasdrubal the Fair of Carthage and the Roman Republic, which fixed the river Ebro in Iberia as the boundary between the two powers of Rome and Carthage. Under the terms of the treaty, Carthage would not expand north of the Ebro, as long as Rome likewise did not expand to the south of the river.

Appian

Appian

Appian of Alexandria was a Greek historian with Roman citizenship who flourished during the reigns of Emperors of Rome Trajan, Hadrian, and Antoninus Pius.

Polybius

Polybius

Polybius was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period. He is noted for his work The Histories, which covered the period of 264–146 BC and the Punic Wars in detail.

Iberian language

Iberian language

The Iberian language was the language of an indigenous western European people identified by Greek and Roman sources who lived in the eastern and southeastern regions of the Iberian Peninsula in the pre-Migration Era. The ancient Iberians can be identified as a rather nebulous local culture between the 7th and 1st century BC. The Iberian language, like all the other Paleohispanic languages except Basque, became extinct by the 1st to 2nd centuries AD, after being gradually replaced by Latin due to the Roman conquest of the Iberian Peninsula.

Basque language

Basque language

Basque , also known as euskara, is a language spoken by Basques and others of the Basque Country, a region that straddles the westernmost Pyrenees in adjacent parts of northern Spain and south-western France. Linguistically, Basque is a language isolate. The Basques are indigenous to, and primarily inhabit, the Basque Country. The Basque language is spoken by 28.4% (751,500) of Basques in all territories. Of these, 93.2% (700,300) are in the Spanish area of the Basque Country and the remaining 6.8% (51,200) are in the French portion.

Prehistory

Palaeolithic

The Iberian Peninsula has been inhabited by members of the Homo genus for at least 1.2 million years as remains found in the sites in the Atapuerca Mountains demonstrate. Among these sites is the cave of Gran Dolina, where six hominin skeletons, dated between 780,000 and one million years ago, were found in 1994. Experts have debated whether these skeletons belong to the species Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, or a new species called Homo antecessor.

Around 200,000 BP, during the Lower Paleolithic period, Neanderthals first entered the Iberian Peninsula. Around 70,000 BP, during the Middle Paleolithic period, the last glacial event began and the Neanderthal Mousterian culture was established. Around 37,000 BP, during the Upper Paleolithic, the Neanderthal Châtelperronian cultural period began. Emanating from Southern France, this culture extended into the north of the peninsula. It continued to exist until around 30,000 BP, when Neanderthal man faced extinction.

About 40,000 years ago, anatomically modern humans entered the Iberian Peninsula from Southern France.[26] Haplogroup R1b is common in modern Portuguese and Spanish males. On the Iberian Peninsula, modern humans developed a series of different cultures, such as the Aurignacian, Gravettian, Solutrean and Magdalenian cultures, some of them characterized by the complex forms of the art of the Upper Paleolithic.

Neolithic

During the Neolithic expansion, various megalithic cultures developed in the Iberian Peninsula.[27] 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 BCE. These people may have had some relation to the subsequent development of the Iberian civilization.

As is the case for most of the rest of Southern Europe, the principal ancestral origin of modern Iberians are Early European Farmers who arrived during the Neolithic. The large predominance of Y-Chromosome Haplogroup R1b, common throughout Western Europe, is testimony to a considerable input from various waves of (predominantly male) Western Steppe Herders from the Pontic–Caspian steppe during the Bronze Age. Iberia experienced a significant genetic turnover, with 100% of the paternal ancestry and 40% of the overall ancestry being replaced by peoples with steppe-related ancestry.[28]

Chalcolithic

A model recreating the Chalcolithic settlement of Los Millares
A model recreating the Chalcolithic settlement of Los Millares

In the Chalcolithic (c. 3000 BCE), a series of complex cultures developed that would give rise to the peninsula's first civilizations and to extensive exchange networks reaching to the Baltic, Middle East and North Africa. Around 2800 – 2700 BCE, the Beaker culture, which produced the Maritime Bell Beaker, probably originated in the vibrant copper-using communities of the Tagus estuary in Portugal and spread from there to many parts of western Europe.[29]

Bronze Age

Bronze Age cultures developed beginning c. 1800 BCE,[30] when the culture of Los Millares was followed by that of El Argar.[31][32] 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.[33] From this centre, bronze metalworking technology spread to other cultures like the Bronze of Levante, South-Western Iberian Bronze and Las Cogotas.

In the Late Bronze Age, the urban civilisation of Tartessos developed in Southwestern Iberia, characterized by Phoenician influence and using the Southwest Paleohispanic script for its Tartessian language, not related to the Iberian language.

Early in the first millennium BCE, several waves of Pre-Celts and Celts migrated from Central Europe, 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.

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Homo

Homo

Homo is the genus that emerged in the genus Australopithecus that encompasses the extant species Homo sapiens, plus several extinct species classified as either ancestral to or closely related to modern humans, most notably Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis. The genus emerged with the appearance of Homo habilis just over 2 million years ago. Homo, together with the genus Paranthropus, is probably sister to Australopithecus africanus, which itself had previously split from the lineage of Pan, the chimpanzees.

Atapuerca Mountains

Atapuerca Mountains

The Atapuerca Mountains is a karstic hill formation near the village of Atapuerca in the province of Burgos, northern Spain.

Hominini

Hominini

The Hominini form a taxonomic tribe of the subfamily Homininae ("hominines"). Hominini includes the extant genera Homo (humans) and Pan and in standard usage excludes the genus Gorilla (gorillas).

Homo erectus

Homo erectus

Homo erectus is an extinct species of archaic human from the Pleistocene, with its earliest occurrence about 2 million years ago. Several human species, such as H. heidelbergensis and H. antecessor — with the former generally considered to have been the ancestor to Neanderthals, Denisovans, and modern humans — appear to have evolved from H. erectus. Its specimens are among the first recognizable members of the genus Homo. H. erectus was the first human ancestor to spread throughout Eurasia, with a continental range extending from the Iberian Peninsula to Java. Asian populations of H. erectus may be ancestral to H. floresiensis and possibly to H. luzonensis. The last known population of H. erectus is H. e. soloensis from Java, around 117,000–108,000 years ago.

Homo heidelbergensis

Homo heidelbergensis

Homo heidelbergensis is an extinct species or subspecies of archaic human which existed during the Middle Pleistocene. It was subsumed as a subspecies of H. erectus in 1950 as H. e. heidelbergensis, but towards the end of the century, it was more widely classified as its own species. It is debated whether or not to constrain H. heidelbergensis to only Europe or to also include African and Asian specimens, and this is further confounded by the type specimen being a jawbone, because jawbones feature few diagnostic traits and are generally missing among Middle Pleistocene specimens. Thus, it is debated if some of these specimens could be split off into their own species or a subspecies of H. erectus. Because the classification is so disputed, the Middle Pleistocene is often called the "muddle in the middle."

Homo antecessor

Homo antecessor

Homo antecessor is an extinct species of archaic human recorded in the Spanish Sierra de Atapuerca, a productive archaeological site, from 1.2 to 0.8 million years ago during the Early Pleistocene. Populations of this species may have been present elsewhere in Western Europe, and were among the first to colonise that region of the world. The first fossils were found in the Gran Dolina cave in 1994, and the species was formally described in 1997 as the last common ancestor of modern humans and Neanderthals, supplanting the more conventional H. heidelbergensis in this position. H. antecessor has since been reinterpreted as an offshoot from the modern human line, although probably one branching off just before the modern human/Neanderthal split.

Before Present

Before Present

Before Present (BP) years, or "years before present", is a time scale used mainly in archaeology, geology and other scientific disciplines to specify when events occurred relative to the origin of practical radiocarbon dating in the 1950s. Because the "present" time changes, standard practice is to use 1 January 1950 as the commencement date (epoch) of the age scale. The abbreviation "BP" has been interpreted retrospectively as "Before Physics", which refers to the time before nuclear weapons testing artificially altered the proportion of the carbon isotopes in the atmosphere, which scientists must now account for.

Lower Paleolithic

Lower Paleolithic

The Lower Paleolithic is the earliest subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. It spans the time from around 3 million years ago when the first evidence for stone tool production and use by hominins appears in the current archaeological record, until around 300,000 years ago, spanning the Oldowan and Acheulean lithics industries.

Middle Paleolithic

Middle Paleolithic

The Middle Paleolithic is the second subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. The term Middle Stone Age is used as an equivalent or a synonym for the Middle Paleolithic in African archeology. The Middle Paleolithic broadly spanned from 300,000 to 30,000 years ago. There are considerable dating differences between regions. The Middle Paleolithic was succeeded by the Upper Paleolithic subdivision which first began between 50,000 and 40,000 years ago. Pettit and White date the Early Middle Paleolithic in Great Britain to about 325,000 to 180,000 years ago, and the Late Middle Paleolithic as about 60,000 to 35,000 years ago.

Mousterian

Mousterian

The Mousterian is an archaeological industry of stone tools, associated primarily with the Neanderthals in Europe, and to the earliest anatomically modern humans in North Africa and West Asia. The Mousterian largely defines the latter part of the Middle Paleolithic, the middle of the West Eurasian Old Stone Age. It lasted roughly from 160,000 to 40,000 BP. If its predecessor, known as Levallois or Levallois-Mousterian, is included, the range is extended to as early as c. 300,000–200,000 BP. The main following period is the Aurignacian of Homo sapiens.

Châtelperronian

Châtelperronian

The Châtelperronian is a proposed industry of the Upper Palaeolithic, the existence of which is debated. It represents both the only Upper Palaeolithic industry made by Neanderthals and the earliest Upper Palaeolithic industry in central and southwestern France, as well as in Northern Spain. It derives its name from Châtelperron, Allier, France.

Haplogroup R1b

Haplogroup R1b

Haplogroup R1b (R-M343), previously known as Hg1 and Eu18, is a human Y-chromosome haplogroup.

Proto-history

Iberia before the Carthaginian conquests circa 300 BCE.
Iberia before the Carthaginian conquests circa 300 BCE.
An instance of the Southwest Paleohispanic script inscribed in the Abóbada I stele.[34]
An instance of the Southwest Paleohispanic script inscribed in the Abóbada I stele.[34]

By the Iron Age, starting in the 7th century BCE, the Iberian Peninsula consisted of complex agrarian and urban civilizations, either Pre-Celtic or Celtic (such as the Celtiberians, Gallaeci, Astures, Celtici, Lusitanians and others), the cultures of the Iberians 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 BCE, the Phoenicians, 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).[35] Around 1100 BCE, Phoenician merchants founded the trading colony of Gadir or Gades (modern day Cádiz). Phoenicians established a permanent trading port in the Gadir colony circa 800 BCE in response to the increasing demand of silver from the Assyrian Empire.[36]

The seafaring Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians successively settled along the Mediterranean coast and founded trading colonies there over a period of several centuries. In the 8th century BCE, the first Greek colonies, such as Emporion (modern Empúries), were founded along the Mediterranean coast on the east, leaving the south coast to the Phoenicians.

Together with the presence of Phoenician and Greek epigraphy, a number of paleohispanic scripts developed in the Iberian Peninsula along the 1st millennium BCE. The development of a primordial paleohispanic script antecessor to the rest of paleohispanic scripts (originally supposed to be a non-redundant semi-syllabary) derived from the Phoenician alphabet and originated in Southwestern Iberia by the 7th century BCE has been tentatively proposed.[37]

In the sixth century BCE, 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).

Discover more about Proto-history related topics

Iron Age

Iron Age

The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age and the Bronze Age (Chalcolithic). The concept has been mostly applied to Iron Age Europe and the Ancient Near East, but also, by analogy, to other parts of the Old World.

Celtiberians

Celtiberians

The Celtiberians were a group of Celts and Celticized peoples inhabiting an area in the central-northeastern Iberian Peninsula during the final centuries BC. They were explicitly mentioned as being Celts by several classic authors. These tribes spoke the Celtiberian language and wrote it by adapting the Iberian alphabet, in the form of the Celtiberian script. The numerous inscriptions that have been discovered, some of them extensive, have allowed scholars to classify the Celtiberian language as a Celtic language, one of the Hispano-Celtic languages that were spoken in pre-Roman and early Roman Iberia. Archaeologically, many elements link Celtiberians with Celts in Central Europe, but also show large differences with both the Hallstatt culture and La Tène culture.

Gallaeci

Gallaeci

The Gallaeci were a Celtic tribal complex who inhabited Gallaecia, the north-western corner of Iberia, a region roughly corresponding to what is now the Norte Region in northern Portugal, and the Spanish regions of Galicia, western Asturias and western León before and during the Roman period. They spoke a Q-Celtic language related to Northeastern Hispano-Celtic, called Gallaecian or Northwestern Hispano-Celtic. The region was annexed by the Romans in the time of Caesar Augustus during the Cantabrian Wars, a war which initiated the assimilation of the Gallaeci into Latin culture.

Astures

Astures

The Astures or Asturs, also named Astyrs, were the Hispano-Celtic inhabitants of the northwest area of Hispania that now comprises almost the entire modern autonomous community of Principality of Asturias, the modern province of León, and the northern part of the modern province of Zamora, and eastern Trás os Montes in Portugal. They were a horse-riding highland cattle-raising people who lived in circular huts of stone drywall construction. The Albiones were a major tribe from western Asturias. Isidore of Seville gave an etymology as coming from a river Asturia, identified by David Magie with Órbigo river in the plain of León, by others the modern Esla river.

Celtici

Celtici

The Celtici were a Celtic tribe or group of tribes of the Iberian peninsula, inhabiting three definite areas: in what today are the regions of Alentejo and the Algarve in Portugal; in the Province of Badajoz and north of Province of Huelva in Spain, in the ancient Baeturia; and along the coastal areas of Galicia. Classical authors give various accounts of the Celtici's relationships with the Gallaeci, Celtiberians and Turdetani.

Lusitanians

Lusitanians

The Lusitanians were an Indo-European speaking people living in the west of the Iberian Peninsula prior to its conquest by the Roman Republic and the subsequent incorporation of the territory into the Roman province of Lusitania.

Iberians

Iberians

The Iberians were an ancient people settled in the eastern and southern coasts of the Iberian peninsula, at least from the 6th century BC. They are described in Greek and Roman sources. Roman sources also use the term Hispani to refer to the Iberians.

Aquitanian language

Aquitanian language

The Aquitanian language was the language of the ancient Aquitani, spoken on both sides of the western Pyrenees in ancient Aquitaine and in the areas south of the Pyrenees in the valleys of the Basque Country before the Roman conquest. It probably survived in Aquitania north of the Pyrenees until the Early Middle Ages.

Cádiz

Cádiz

Cádiz 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 community of Andalusia.

Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece was a northeastern Mediterranean civilization, existing from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of classical antiquity, that comprised a loose collection of culturally and linguistically related city-states and other territories. Most of these regions were officially unified only once, for 13 years, under Alexander the Great's empire from 336 to 323 BC. In Western history, the era of classical antiquity was immediately followed by the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine period.

Ancient Carthage

Ancient Carthage

Carthage was a settlement in modern Tunisia that later became a city-state and then an empire. Founded by the Phoenicians in the ninth century BC, Carthage was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC, who later rebuilt the city lavishly. At its height in the fourth century BC, Carthage was one of the largest metropolises in the world, and the centre of the Carthaginian Empire, a major power in the ancient world that dominated the western Mediterranean.

Empúries

Empúries

Empúries was an ancient city on the Mediterranean coast of Catalonia, Spain. Empúries is also known by its Spanish name, Ampurias. The city Ἐμπόριον was founded in 575 BC by Greek colonists from Phocaea. After the invasion of Gaul from Iberia by Hannibal the Carthaginian general in 218 BC, the city was occupied by the Romans. In the Early Middle Ages, the city's exposed coastal position left it open to marauders and it was abandoned.

History

Roman rule

Roman conquest: 220 BCE - 19 BCE
Roman conquest: 220 BCE - 19 BCE

In 218 BCE, during the Second Punic War against the Carthaginians, the first Roman troops occupied the Iberian Peninsula; however, it was not until the reign of Augustus that it was annexed after 200 years of war with the Celts and Iberians. The result was the creation of the province of Hispania. It was divided into Hispania Ulterior and Hispania Citerior during the late Roman Republic, and during the Roman Empire, it was divided into Hispania Tarraconensis in the northeast, Hispania Baetica in the south and Lusitania in the southwest.

Hispania supplied the Roman Empire with silver, food, olive oil, wine, and metal. The emperors Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, and Theodosius I, the philosopher Seneca the Younger, and the poets Martial and 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

Germanic and Byzantine rule c. 560
Germanic and Byzantine rule c. 560

In the early fifth century, Germanic peoples occupied the peninsula, namely the Suebi, the Vandals (Silingi and Hasdingi) and their allies, the Alans. Only the kingdom of the Suebi (Quadi and Marcomanni) would endure after the arrival of another wave of Germanic invaders, the Visigoths, 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), in 584–585. They would also occupy the province of the Byzantine Empire (552–624) of Spania in the south of the peninsula. However, Balearic Islands remained in Byzantine hands until Umayyad conquest in 707.

In 711, a Muslim army conquered the 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 (Arabic: الإندلس, tr. al-ʾAndalūs, possibly "Land of the Vandals"),[38][39] 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, [40] (muwalladum or Muladí).[41][42] After a long process, spurred on in the 9th and 10th centuries, the majority of the population in Al-Andalus eventually converted to Islam.[43] The Muslims were referred to by the generic name Moors.[44] 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.[45] Arab elites could be further divided in the Yemenites (first wave) and the Syrians (second wave).[46] Christians and Jews were allowed to live as part of a stratified society under the dhimmah system,[47] although Jews became very important in certain fields.[48] Some Christians migrated to the Northern Christian kingdoms, while those who stayed in Al-Andalus progressively arabised and became known as musta'arab (mozarabs).[49] The slave population comprised the Ṣaqāliba (literally meaning "slavs", although they were slaves of generic European origin) as well as Sudanese slaves.[50]

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.[51] 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.[52]

Islamic rule: al-Andalus c. 1000
Islamic rule: al-Andalus c. 1000

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".[53] Abd-ar-Rahman III also managed to expand the clout of Al-Andalus across the Strait of Gibraltar,[53] waging war, as well as his successor, against the Fatimid Empire.[54]

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 reached a population of 100,000 by the 10th century, Toledo 30,000 by the 11th century and Seville 80,000 by the 12th century.[55]

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.[c] 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").[57]

Two warriors embrace before the siege of Chincoya Castle (Cantigas de Santa Maria).
Two warriors embrace before the siege of Chincoya Castle (Cantigas de Santa Maria).

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);[58][59] Meanwhile, in the same year Coimbra was conquered, in the Northeastern part of the Iberian Peninsula, the Kingdom of Aragon took Barbastro from the Hudid Taifa of Lérida as part of an international expedition sanctioned by Pope Alexander II. Most critically, Alfonso VI of León-Castile conquered Toledo and its 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.[60] 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.[61]

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.[62] The Almohads, another North-African Muslim sect of Masmuda Berber origin who had previously undermined the Almoravid rule south of the Strait of Gibraltar,[63] first entered the peninsula in 1146.[64]

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.[65] 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.[66]

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.[67]

During the Middle Ages, the monarchs of Castile and León, from Alfonso V and Alfonso VI (crowned Hispaniae Imperator) to Alfonso X and Alfonso XI tended to embrace an imperial ideal based on a dual Christian and Jewish ideology.[68]

Merchants from Genoa and Pisa were conducting an intense trading activity in Catalonia already by the 12th century, and later in Portugal.[69] 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.[70] 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.[71] The Portuguese would later detach their trade to some extent from Genoese influence.[69] The Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, neighbouring the Strait of Gibraltar and founded upon a vassalage relationship with the Crown of Castile,[72] 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.[73]

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.[74] 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.[75]

Map of the Iberian Peninsula and Northern Africa (inverted) by Fra Mauro (ca. 1450)
Map of the Iberian Peninsula and Northern Africa (inverted) by Fra Mauro (ca. 1450)

The 1348–1350 bubonic plague devastated large parts of the Iberian Peninsula, leading to a sudden economic cessation.[76] Many settlements in northern Castile and Catalonia were left forsaken.[76] 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.[77]

The 14th century was a period of great upheaval in the Iberian realms. After the death of 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 (reigned 1369–79). In the kingdom of Aragón, following the death without heirs of John I (reigned 1387–96) and Martin I (reigned 1396–1410), a prince of the House of Trastámara, Ferdinand I (reigned 1412–16), succeeded to the Aragonese throne.[78] 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.[79] After the accession of 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,[80][81][82][83][84] or even as many as 100,000, according to Jane Gerber.[85] 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.[86]

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, conquering Ceuta (1415) arriving at Porto Santo (1418), Madeira and the Azores, as well as establishing additional outposts along the North-African Atlantic coast.[87] 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.[88] During the Late Middle Ages, the Jews acquired considerable power and influence in Castile and Aragon.[89]

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.[90] 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.[90] 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.[91]

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).[92]

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,[93] an ally of England, a rival of Castile in political and economic terms.[94] Castile sought to claim the Gulf of Biscay as its own.[95] In 1419, the powerful Castilian navy thoroughly defeated a Hanseatic fleet in La Rochelle.[79][95]

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 in Portugal.[68]

Iberian Kingdoms in 1400
Iberian Kingdoms in 1400

The last Muslim stronghold, 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.[96] Muslims and Jews throughout the period were variously tolerated or shown intolerance in different Christian kingdoms. After the fall of Granada, all Muslims and Jews were ordered to convert to Christianity or face expulsion—as many as 200,000 Jews were expelled from Spain.[97][98][99][100] Historian Henry Kamen estimates that some 25,000 Jews died en route from Spain.[101] The Jews were also expelled from Sicily and Sardinia, which were under Aragonese rule, and an estimated 37,000 to 100,000 Jews left.[102]

In 1497, King Manuel I of Portugal forced all Jews in his kingdom to convert or leave. That same year he expelled all Muslims that were not slaves,[103] and in 1502 the Catholic Monarchs followed suit, imposing the choice of conversion to Christianity or exile and loss of property. Many Jews and Muslims fled to 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).[104] However, many of these continued to practice their religion in secret. The Moriscos revolted several times and were ultimately 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.[105][106]

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.[107]

Modern Iberia

Expelling of the moriscos in the Port of Denia
Expelling of the moriscos in the Port of Denia

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.[108] 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.[109] 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.[110] The 16th century was one of population growth with increased pressure over resources;[111] 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.[112] 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 were expelled from the country in 1609–1614, and emigrated en masse to North Africa.[113]

An anonymous picture depicting Lisbon, the centre of the slave trade, by the late 16th century.[114]
An anonymous picture depicting Lisbon, the centre of the slave trade, by the late 16th century.[114]

In 1580, after the political crisis that followed the 1578 death of King 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 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 polysinodial system [es] through which the empire operated.[115] During the Iberian union, the "first great wave" of the transatlantic slave trade happened, according to Enriqueta Vila Villar, as new markets opened because of the unification gave thrust to the slave trade.[116]

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).[117] 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.[118] 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.[118] 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,[119] followed at great distance by Porto and Évora (both roughly accounting for 12,500 inhabitants).[120] Throughout most of the 16th century, both Lisbon and Seville were among the Western Europe's largest and most dynamic cities.[121]

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,[122] the urban dynamism chiefly moving to Northern Europe.[122] 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 resisting recession in the interior.[123] 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.[124] 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.[125] 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.[126]

The aftermath of the intermittent 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.[127]

Discover more about History related topics

Hispania

Hispania

Hispania was the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula and its provinces. Under the Roman Republic, Hispania was divided into two provinces: Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior. During the Principate, Hispania Ulterior was divided into two new provinces, Baetica and Lusitania, while Hispania Citerior was renamed Hispania Tarraconensis. Subsequently, the western part of Tarraconensis was split off, first as Hispania Nova, later renamed "Callaecia". From Diocletian's Tetrarchy onwards, the south of the remainder of Tarraconensis was again split off as Carthaginensis, and all of the mainland Hispanic provinces, along with the Balearic Islands and the North African province of Mauretania Tingitana, were later grouped into a civil diocese headed by a vicarius. The name Hispania was also used in the period of Visigothic rule.

Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome

In modern historiography, ancient Rome refers to Roman civilisation from the founding of the city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. It encompasses the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire.

Augustus

Augustus

Caesar Augustus, also known as Octavian, was the first Roman emperor; he reigned from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. He is known for being the founder of the Roman Principate, which is the first phase of the Roman Empire, and Augustus is considered one of the greatest leaders in human history. The reign of Augustus initiated an imperial cult as well as an era associated with imperial peace, the Pax Romana or Pax Augusta. The Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession.

Celts

Celts

The Celts or Celtic peoples are a collection of Indo-European peoples in Europe and Anatolia, identified by their use of Celtic languages and other cultural similarities. Historical Celtic groups included the Britons, Boii, Celtiberians, Gaels, Gauls, Gallaeci, Galatians, Lepontii and their offshoots. The relation between ethnicity, language and culture in the Celtic world is unclear and debated; for example over the ways in which the Iron Age people of Britain and Ireland should be called Celts. In current scholarship, 'Celt' primarily refers to 'speakers of Celtic languages' rather than to a single ethnic group.

Iberians

Iberians

The Iberians were an ancient people settled in the eastern and southern coasts of the Iberian peninsula, at least from the 6th century BC. They are described in Greek and Roman sources. Roman sources also use the term Hispani to refer to the Iberians.

Hispania Ulterior

Hispania Ulterior

Hispania Ulterior 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 Gallaecia. Its capital was Corduba.

Hispania Citerior

Hispania Citerior

Hispania Citerior 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 in the autonomous community of Murcia, Spain. It roughly covered today's Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia and Valencia. Further south was the Roman province of Hispania Ulterior, named as such because it was further away from Rome.

Hispania Tarraconensis

Hispania Tarraconensis

Hispania Tarraconensis was one of three Roman provinces in Hispania. It encompassed much of the northern, eastern and central territories of modern Spain along with modern northern Portugal. Southern Spain, the region now called Andalusia was the province of Hispania Baetica. On the Atlantic west lay the province of Lusitania, partially coincident with modern-day Portugal.

Hispania Baetica

Hispania Baetica

Hispania Baetica, often abbreviated Baetica, was one of three Roman provinces in Hispania. Baetica was bordered to the west by Lusitania, and to the northeast by Hispania Tarraconensis. Baetica remained one of the basic divisions of Hispania under the Visigoths down to 711. Baetica was part of Al-Andalus under the Arabs in the 8th century and approximately corresponds to modern Andalusia.

Lusitania

Lusitania

Lusitania was an ancient Iberian Roman province located where modern Portugal and a portion of western Spain lie. It was named after the Lusitani or Lusitanian people.

Hadrian

Hadrian

Hadrian was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born in Italica, a Roman municipium founded by Italic settlers in Hispania Baetica and he came from a branch of the gens Aelia that originated in the Picenean town of Hadria, the Aeli Hadriani. His father was of senatorial rank and was a first cousin of Emperor Trajan. Hadrian married Trajan's grand-niece Vibia Sabina early in his career before Trajan became emperor and possibly at the behest of Trajan's wife Pompeia Plotina. Plotina and Trajan's close friend and adviser Lucius Licinius Sura were well disposed towards Hadrian. When Trajan died, his widow claimed that he had nominated Hadrian as emperor immediately before his death.

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was Roman emperor from 161 to 180 AD and a Stoic philosopher. He was the last of the rulers known as the Five Good Emperors, and the last emperor of the Pax Romana, an age of relative peace and stability for the Roman Empire lasting from 27 BC to 180 AD. He served as Roman consul in 140, 145, and 161.

Geography and geology

Physical map of the Iberian Peninsula
Physical map of the Iberian Peninsula

The Iberian Peninsula is the westernmost of the three major southern European peninsulas—the Iberian, Italian, and Balkan.[128] 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 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.[1] The mountain ranges of the Iberian Peninsula are mainly distributed from west to east, and in some cases reach altitudes of approximately 3000 mamsl, resulting in the region having the second highest mean altitude (637 mamsl) in Western Europe.[1]

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 865 km (537 mi) based on a degree length of 111 km (69 mi) 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 40° N latitude of about 1,155 km (718 mi) based on an estimated degree length of about 90 km (56 mi) for that latitude. The irregular, roughly octagonal shape of the peninsula contained within this spherical quadrangle was compared to an ox-hide by the geographer Strabo.[129]

Punta de Estaca de Bares
(43°47′38″N 7°41′17″W / 43.79389°N 7.68806°W / 43.79389; -7.68806)
Cabo da Roca
(38°46′51″N 9°29′54″W / 38.78083°N 9.49833°W / 38.78083; -9.49833)
Compass rose simple.svg Cap de Creus
(42°19′09″N 3°19′19″E / 42.31917°N 3.32194°E / 42.31917; 3.32194)
Punta de Tarifa
(36°00′15″N 5°36′37″W / 36.00417°N 5.61028°W / 36.00417; -5.61028)

About three quarters of that rough octagon is the Meseta Central, a vast plateau ranging from 610 to 760 m in altitude.[130] 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 3,313 km (2,059 mi), 1,660 km (1,030 mi) on the Mediterranean side and 1,653 km (1,027 mi) on the Atlantic side.[131] The coast has been inundated over time, with sea levels having risen from a minimum of 115–120 m (377–394 ft) lower than today at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to its current level at 4,000 years BP.[132] 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 700 km (430 mi) length of Atlantic shelf is only 10–65 km (6.2–40.4 mi) wide. At the 500 m (1,600 ft) isobath, on the edge, the shelf drops off to 1,000 m (3,300 ft).[133]

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 4,800 m (15,700 ft) 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

Discharge of the Douro into the Atlantic Ocean near Porto
Discharge of the Douro into the Atlantic Ocean near Porto

The major rivers flow through the wide valleys between the mountain systems. These are the Ebro, Douro, Tagus, Guadiana and Guadalquivir.[134][135] 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.[136] The major mountain systems are:

  • The 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 Mulhacén, the highest peak in the Iberian Peninsula
The Mulhacén, the highest peak in the Iberian Peninsula

Geology

Major Geologic Units of the Iberian Peninsula
Major Geologic Units of the Iberian Peninsula

The Iberian Peninsula contains rocks of every geological period from the Ediacaran to the 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 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 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 Central Iberian Zone [es] and Galicia Tras-Os-Montes Zone [es].[140] 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.[141]

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.[142]

Climate

Köppen climate types of Iberia
Köppen climate types of Iberia

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).[143]

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 10 °C (50 °F) in only a few kilometers (e.g. Peniche vs 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 and areas with extremely low precipitation and desert climates or semi-arid climates such as the Almería area, Murcia area and southern Alicante area.[144] In the southwestern interior of the Iberian Peninsula the hottest temperatures in Europe are found, with Córdoba averaging around 37 °C (99 °F) in July.[145] The Spanish Mediterranean coast usually averages around 30 °C (86 °F) in summer. In sharp contrast A Coruña at the northern tip of Galicia has a summer daytime high average at just below 23 °C (73 °F).[146] 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 200 mm (7.9 in) whereas the southeast can average below 30 mm (1.2 in). Insolation can vary from just 1,600 hours in the Bilbao area, to above 3,000 hours in the Algarve and Gulf of Cádiz.

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Geography of Spain

Geography of Spain

Spain is a country located in southwestern Europe occupying most of the Iberian Peninsula. It also includes a small exclave inside France called Llívia, as well as the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean 108 km (67 mi) off northwest Africa, and five places of sovereignty on and off the coast of North Africa: Ceuta, Melilla, Islas Chafarinas, Peñón de Alhucemas, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera.

Geography of Portugal

Geography of Portugal

Portugal is a coastal nation in western Europe, located at the western end of the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain. The Portuguese territory also includes a series of archipelagos in the Atlantic Ocean, which are strategic islands along the North Atlantic. The extreme south is not too far from the Strait of Gibraltar, leading to the Mediterranean Sea. In total, the country occupies an area of 92,090 square kilometres (35,560 sq mi) of which 91,470 square kilometres (35,320 sq mi) is land and 620 square kilometres (240 sq mi) water.

Geography of Andorra

Geography of Andorra

Andorra is a small, landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountain range and bordered by Spain and France. With an area of 468 km², it is the sixth smallest country in Europe and also the largest of the European microstates.

Italian Peninsula

Italian Peninsula

The Italian Peninsula, also known as the Italic Peninsula or the Apennine Peninsula, is a peninsula extending from the southern Alps in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south. It is nicknamed lo Stivale. Three smaller peninsulas contribute to this characteristic shape, namely Calabria, Salento and Gargano. The backbone of the Italian Peninsula consists of the Apennine Mountains, from which it takes one of its names. The peninsula comprises much of Italy, and also includes the microstates of San Marino and Vatican City.

Balkans

Balkans

The Balkans, also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographical area in southeastern Europe with various geographical and historical definitions. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the whole of Bulgaria. The Balkan Peninsula is bordered by the Adriatic Sea in the northwest, the Ionian Sea in the southwest, the Aegean Sea in the south, the Turkish Straits in the east, and the Black Sea in the northeast. The northern border of the peninsula is variously defined. The highest point of the Balkans is Mount Musala, 2,925 metres (9,596 ft), in the Rila mountain range, Bulgaria.

Mediterranean Sea

Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant. The Sea has played a central role in the history of Western civilization. Although the Mediterranean is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, it is usually referred to as a separate body of water. Geological evidence indicates that around 5.9 million years ago, the Mediterranean was cut off from the Atlantic and was partly or completely desiccated over a period of some 600,000 years during the Messinian salinity crisis before being refilled by the Zanclean flood about 5.3 million years ago.

Atlantic Ocean

Atlantic Ocean

The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, with an area of about 106,460,000 km2 (41,100,000 sq mi). It covers approximately 20% of Earth's surface and about 29% of its water surface area. It is known to separate the "Old World" of Africa, Europe and Asia from the "New World" of the Americas in the European perception of the World.

Height above sea level

Height above sea level

Height above mean sea level is a measure of the vertical distance of a location in reference to a historic mean sea level taken as a vertical datum. In geodesy, it is formalized as orthometric heights.

Punta de Estaca de Bares

Punta de Estaca de Bares

Punta da Estaca de Bares is the northernmost point of Spain and the Iberian Peninsula, at a latitude of 43° 47′ 38″ North. It is located in Galicia. Conventionally, it marks the western end of the Cantabrian Sea, or Bay of Biscay, in the North Atlantic ocean.

Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Roca or Cape Roca is a cape which forms the westernmost point of the Sintra Mountain Range, of mainland Portugal, of continental Europe, and of the Eurasian landmass. It is situated in the municipality of Sintra, near Azóia, in the southwest of the district of Lisbon. Notably the point includes a lighthouse that started operation in 1772.

Cap de Creus

Cap de Creus

The Cap de Creus is a peninsula and a headland located at the far northeast of Catalonia, some 25 kilometres (16 mi) south from the French border. The cape lies in the municipal area of Cadaqués, and the nearest large town is Figueres, capital of the Alt Empordà and birthplace of Salvador Dalí. Cap de Creus is the easternmost point of Catalonia and therefore of mainland Spain and the Iberian Peninsula.

40th parallel north

40th parallel north

The 40th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 40 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Major modern countries

Satellite image of Iberia at night
Satellite image of Iberia at night

The current political configuration of the Iberian Peninsula comprises the bulk of Spain and Portugal, the whole microstate of Andorra, a small part of the French department of Pyrénées-Orientales (the French Cerdagne), and the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar.

French Cerdagne is on the south side of the Pyrenees mountain range, which runs along the border between Spain and France.[147][148][149] For example, the Segre river, which runs west and then south to meet the Ebro, has its source on the 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, which is also known as the capital of Northern Catalonia, 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:

Arms Flag Country or territory Capital Area Mainland
population[150][151]
% area
Andorra Andorra Andorra la Vella 468 km2
(181 sq mi)
84,082 0.1
France France Paris 539 km2
(208 sq mi)
12,035 0.1
Gibraltar Gibraltar
(British Overseas Territory)
Westside 7 km2
(2.7 sq mi)
33,691 0.0
Portugal Portugal Lisbon 89,015 km2
(34,369 sq mi)
ca. 10,047,083 15.3
Spain Spain Madrid 493,515 km2
(190,547 sq mi)
ca. 43,731,572 84.5
Total 583,544 km2
(225,308 sq mi)
ca. 53,908,463 100

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Portugal

Portugal

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country whose mainland is located on the Iberian Peninsula of Southwestern Europe, and whose territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira. It features the westernmost point in continental Europe, and its Iberian portion is bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain, the sole country to have a land border with Portugal. Its two archipelagos form two autonomous regions with their own regional governments. Lisbon is the capital and largest city by population.

Andorra

Andorra

Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra, is a sovereign landlocked microstate on the Iberian Peninsula, in the eastern Pyrenees, bordered by France to the north and Spain to the south. Believed to have been created by Charlemagne, Andorra was ruled by the count of Urgell until 988, when it was transferred to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Urgell. The present principality was formed by a charter in 1278. It is headed by two co-princes: the bishop of Urgell in Catalonia, Spain and the president of France. Its capital and largest city is Andorra la Vella.

France

France

France, officially the French Republic, is a transcontinental country predominantly located in Western Europe and spanning overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Its metropolitan area extends from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea; overseas territories include French Guiana in South America, Saint Pierre and Miquelon in the North Atlantic, the French West Indies, and many islands in Oceania and the Indian Ocean. Due to its several coastal territories, France has the largest exclusive economic zone in the world. France borders Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Andorra, and Spain in continental Europe, as well as the Netherlands, Suriname, and Brazil in the Americas via its overseas territories in French Guiana and Saint Martin. Its eighteen integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 km2 (248,573 sq mi) and contain close to 68 million people. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre; other major urban areas include Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux, and Nice.

French Cerdagne

French Cerdagne

French Cerdagne is the northern half of Cerdanya, which came under French control as a result of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, while the southern half remained in Spain. Catalans often refer to French Cerdagne as Upper Cerdanya. It is the only French territory on the Iberian Peninsula, as it is located on the south side of the Pyrenees Range between France and Spain. For example, the Segre river, which goes west and then south to meet the Ebro, has its source in the French Cerdagne. An inadvertent result of the Treaty of the Pyrenees is the Spanish exclave of Llívia which is sovereign Spanish territory surrounded by French Cerdagne.

Gibraltar

Gibraltar

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory and city located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi) and is bordered to the north by Spain. The landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar, at the foot of which is a densely populated town area, home to over 32,000 people, primarily Gibraltarians.

Ebro

Ebro

The Ebro is a river of the north and northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, in Spain. It rises in Cantabria and flows 930 kilometres (580 mi), almost entirely in an east southeast direction. It flows into the Mediterranean Sea forming a delta in the Province of Tarragona, in southern Catalonia. In the Iberian peninsula, it ranks second in length after the Tagus and second in discharge volume, and drainage basin, after the Douro. It is the longest river entirely within Spain; the other two mentioned flow into Portugal. It is also the second longest river in the Mediterranean basin, after the Nile.

Perpignan

Perpignan

Perpignan is the prefecture of the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France, in the heart of the plain of Roussillon, at the foot of the Pyrenees a few kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea and the scrublands of the Corbières massif. It is the centre of the Perpignan Méditerranée Métropole metropolitan area.

Northern Catalonia

Northern Catalonia

Northern Catalonia, North Catalonia, French Catalonia or Roussillon refers to the Catalan-speaking and Catalan-culture territory ceded to France by Spain through the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659 in exchange of France's effective renunciation on the formal protection that it had given to the recently founded Catalan Republic. The area corresponds roughly to the modern French département of the Pyrénées-Orientales which were historically part of Catalonia since the old County of Barcelona, and lasted during the times of the Crown of Aragon and the Principality of Catalonia until they were given to France by Spain.

Azores

Azores

The Azores, officially the Autonomous Region of the Azores, is one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal. It is an archipelago composed of nine volcanic islands in the Macaronesia region of the North Atlantic Ocean, about 1,400 km (870 mi) west of Lisbon, about 1,500 km (930 mi) northwest of Morocco, and about 1,930 km (1,200 mi) southeast of Newfoundland, Canada.

Madeira

Madeira

Madeira, officially the Autonomous Region of Madeira, is one of two autonomous regions of Portugal, the other being the Azores. It is an archipelago situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, in a region known as Macaronesia, just under 400 kilometres (250 mi) to the north of the Canary Islands and 520 kilometres (320 mi) west of the Kingdom of Morocco. Madeira is geologically located on the African Tectonic Plate, notwithstanding being culturally, sociologically, economically and politically European as it is its southern archipelago neighbor. Its population was 251,060 in 2021. The capital of Madeira is Funchal, which is located on the main island's south coast.

Canary Islands

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands, also known informally as the Canaries, are a Spanish autonomous community and archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, in Macaronesia. At their closest point to the African mainland, they are 100 kilometres west of Morocco. They are the southernmost of the autonomous communities of Spain. The islands have a population of 2.2 million people and they are the most populous special territory of the European Union.

Balearic Islands

Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands are an archipelago in the Balearic Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. The archipelago is an autonomous community and a province of Spain; its capital is Palma. The 2007 Statute of Autonomy designates the Balearic Islands as one of the nationalities of Spain. The official languages of the Balearic Islands are Catalan and Spanish.

Cities

MadridBarcelonaLisbon
Madrid
MadridBarcelonaLisbon
Barcelona
MadridBarcelonaLisbon
Lisbon

The Iberian city network is dominated by 3 international metropolises (Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon) and four regional metropolises (Valencia, Seville, Porto and Bilbao).[152] The relatively weak integration of the network favours a competitive approach vis-à-vis the inter-relation between the different centres.[152] 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.[153]

Major metropolitan regions

According to Eurostat (2019),[154] the metropolitan regions with a population over one million are listed as follows:

Metropolitan region State Population (2019)
Madrid Spain 6,641,649
Barcelona Spain 5,575,204
Lisbon Portugal 3,035,332
Valencia Spain 2,540,588
Seville Spain 1,949,640
Alicante-Elche-Elda Spain 1,862,780
Porto Portugal 1,722,374
Málaga-Marbella Spain 1,660,985
Murcia-Cartagena Spain 1,487,663
Cádiz Spain 1,249,739
Bilbao Spain 1,137,191
Oviedo-Gijón Spain 1,022,205

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Madrid

Madrid

Madrid is the capital and most populous city of Spain. The city has almost 3.4 million inhabitants and a metropolitan area population of approximately 6.7 million. It is the second-largest city in the European Union (EU), and its monocentric metropolitan area is the third-largest in the EU. The municipality covers 604.3 km2 (233.3 sq mi) geographical area.

Barcelona

Barcelona

Barcelona is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to numerous neighbouring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the fifth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, the Ruhr area, Madrid, and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres high.

Lisbon

Lisbon

Lisbon is the capital and largest city of Portugal, with an estimated population of 544,851 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km2. Lisbon's urban area extends beyond the city's administrative limits with a population of around 2.7 million people, being the 11th-most populous urban area in the European Union. About 3 million people live in the Lisbon metropolitan area, making it the third largest metropolitan area in the Iberian Peninsula, after Madrid and Barcelona. It represents approximately 27% of the country's population. It is mainland Europe's westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. The westernmost portions of its metro area, the Portuguese Riviera, form the westernmost point of Continental Europe, culminating at Cabo da Roca.

Bilbao

Bilbao

Bilbao is a city in northern Spain, the largest city in the province of Biscay and in the Basque Country as a whole. It is also the largest city proper in northern Spain. Bilbao is the tenth largest city in Spain, with a population of 345,141 as of 2015. The Bilbao metropolitan area has 1,037,847 inhabitants, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in northern Spain; with a population of 875,552 the comarca of Greater Bilbao is the fifth-largest urban area in Spain. Bilbao is also the main urban area in what is defined as the Greater Basque region.

Eurostat

Eurostat

Eurostat is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in the Kirchberg quarter of Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Eurostat’s main responsibilities are to provide statistical information to the institutions of the European Union (EU) and to promote the harmonisation of statistical methods across its member states and candidates for accession as well as EFTA countries. The organisations in the different countries that cooperate with Eurostat are summarised under the concept of the European Statistical System.

Madrid metropolitan area

Madrid metropolitan area

The Madrid metropolitan area is a monocentric metropolitan area in the centre of the Iberian peninsula, around the municipality of Madrid, Spain. It is not related to any sort of administrative delimitation, and thus, its limits are ambiguous.

Barcelona metropolitan area

Barcelona metropolitan area

The Barcelona urban area is an urban area in Catalonia (Spain) centered on the city of Barcelona and located less than 100 km south of the border with France. With a population of over 5 million, it is the most populous urban area on the Mediterranean coast, and one of the largest in Europe.

Lisbon metropolitan area

Lisbon metropolitan area

The Lisbon Metropolitan Area is a metropolitan area in Portugal centered on Lisbon, the capital and largest city of the country. The metropolitan area, covering 18 municipalities is the largest urban area in the country and the 10th largest in the European Union, with a population in 2015 of 2,812,678 in an area of 3,015.24 km².

Alicante

Alicante

Alicante is a city and municipality in the Valencian Community, Spain. It is the capital of the province of Alicante and a historic Mediterranean port. The population of the city was 337,482 as of 2020, the second-largest in the Valencian Community.

Murcia

Murcia

Murcia is a city in south-eastern Spain, the capital and most populous city of the autonomous community of the Region of Murcia, and the seventh largest city in the country. It has a population of 460,349 inhabitants in 2021. The total population of the metropolitan area is 672,773 in 2020, covering an urban area of 1,230.9 km2. It is located on the Segura River, in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula. It has a climate with hot summers, mild winters, and relatively low precipitation.

Cádiz

Cádiz

Cádiz 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 community of Andalusia.

Bilbao metropolitan area

Bilbao metropolitan area

The Bilbao Metropolitan Area is the metropolitan area or continuous urban area based around the city of Bilbao, in the Basque Country, Spain. It comprises the city of Bilbao, the 25 municipalities that make the comarca of Greater Bilbao plus ten other surrounding municipalities, all of them in the province of Biscay.

Ecology

Forests

An Iberian lynx
An Iberian lynx

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.[155]


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.[156]

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 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 Recurvirostra avosetta, the common ringed plover, grey plover and little stint. Ribatejo Province on the Tagus supports Recurvirostra arosetta, grey plover, dunlin, bar-tailed godwit and common redshank. In the 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 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.[157]

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Forests of the Iberian Peninsula

Forests of the Iberian Peninsula

The woodlands of the Iberian Peninsula are distinct ecosystems on the Iberian Peninsula. Although the various regions are each characterized by distinct vegetation, the borders between these regions are not clearly defined, and there are some similarities across the peninsula.

Ecosystem

Ecosystem

An ecosystem consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy enters the system through photosynthesis and is incorporated into plant tissue. By feeding on plants and on one another, animals play an important role in the movement of matter and energy through the system. They also influence the quantity of plant and microbial biomass present. By breaking down dead organic matter, decomposers release carbon back to the atmosphere and facilitate nutrient cycling by converting nutrients stored in dead biomass back to a form that can be readily used by plants and microbes.

Iberian lynx

Iberian lynx

The Iberian lynx is a wild cat species endemic to the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. In the 20th century, the Iberian lynx population had declined because of overhunting, poaching, fragmentation of suitable habitats, and the population decline of its main prey species, the European rabbit, caused by myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease.

Flyway

Flyway

A flyway is a flight path used by large numbers of birds while migrating between their breeding grounds and their overwintering quarters. Flyways generally span continents and often pass over oceans. Although applying to any species of migrating bird, the concept was first conceived and applied to waterfowl and shore birds. The flyways can be thought of as wide arterial highways to which the migratory routes of different species are tributaries. An alternative definition is that a flyway is the entire range of a migratory bird, encompassing both its breeding and non-breeding grounds, and the resting and feeding locations it uses while migrating. There are four major north–south flyways in North America and six covering Eurasia, Africa and Australasia.

Curlew sandpiper

Curlew sandpiper

The curlew sandpiper is a small wader that breeds on the tundra of Arctic Siberia.

Bay of Cádiz

Bay of Cádiz

The Bay of Cádiz is a body of water in the province of Cádiz, Spain, adjacent to the southwestern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.

Galicia (Spain)

Galicia (Spain)

Galicia is an autonomous community of Spain and historic nationality under Spanish law. Located in the northwest Iberian Peninsula, it includes the provinces of A Coruña, Lugo, Ourense, and Pontevedra.

Grey plover

Grey plover

The grey plover or black-bellied plover is a large plover breeding in Arctic regions. It is a long-distance migrant, with a nearly worldwide coastal distribution when not breeding.

Aveiro Lagoon

Aveiro Lagoon

The Aveiro lagoon is a lagoon in Portugal. It is located on the Atlantic coast of Portugal, south of the municipality of Espinho and north of Mira. Its average area covers approximately 75 square kilometres (29 sq mi). It is named after the city of Aveiro, which is the chief urban centre located near to the lagoon. Other urban centres near the Ria de Aveiro are Ílhavo, Gafanha da Nazaré, Estarreja, Ovar and Esmoriz. Some beaches nearby include those of Barra, Costa Nova, Torreira, Vagueira, Furadouro, Cortegaça and Praia de Mira. There are also beaches in the São Jacinto Peninsula.

Avocet

Avocet

The four species of avocets are a genus, Recurvirostra, of waders in the same avian family as the stilts. The genus name comes from Latin recurvus, 'curved backwards' and rostrum, 'bill'. The common name is thought to derive from the Italian (Ferrarese) word avosetta. Francis Willughby in 1678 noted it as the "Avosetta of the Italians".

Common ringed plover

Common ringed plover

The common ringed plover or ringed plover is a small plover that breeds in Arctic Eurasia. The genus name Charadrius is a Late Latin word for a yellowish bird mentioned in the fourth-century Vulgate. It derives from Ancient Greek kharadrios a bird found in ravines and river valleys. The specific hiaticula is Latin and has a similar meaning to the Greek term, coming from hiatus, "cleft" and -cola, "dweller".

Little stint

Little stint

The little stint, is a very small wader. It breeds in arctic Europe and Asia, and is a long-distance migrant, wintering south to Africa and south Asia. It occasionally is a vagrant to North America and to Australia. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. The specific minuta is Latin for "small.

Languages

With the sole exception of Basque, which is of unknown origin,[158] all modern Iberian languages descend from Vulgar Latin and belong to the Western Romance languages.[159] 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 non-Indo-European surviving language in Iberia and Western Europe.[160]

In modern times, 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),[161] Portuguese (the official language of Portugal, with a population over 10 million), Catalan (over 7 million speakers in Europe, 3.4 million with Catalan as first language),[162] Galician (understood by the 93% of the 2.8 million Galician population)[162] and Basque (cf. around 1 million speakers)[163] are the most widely spoken languages in the Iberian Peninsula. Spanish and Portuguese have expanded beyond Iberia to the rest of world, becoming 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,[164] and the Aragonese (barely spoken by the 8% of the 130,000 people inhabiting the Alto Aragón).[165]

English is the official language of Gibraltar. Llanito is a unique language in the territory, an amalgamation of mostly English and Spanish.[166] In Spain, only 54.3% could speak a foreign language, below that of the EU-28 average. Portugal meanwhile achieved 69%, above the EU average, but still below the EU median. Spain ranks 25th out of 33 European countries in the English Proficiency Index.[167]

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Languages of Andorra

Languages of Andorra

The historic and official language is Catalan, a Romance language. Because of immigration, historical links, and close geographic proximity, Spanish, Portuguese and French are commonly spoken. Most Andorran residents can speak one or more of these, in addition to Catalan. Spanish is the most common mother tongue in Andorra according to mother tongue percentage statistics by the Andorran Government released in 2018:

Languages of Gibraltar

Languages of Gibraltar

The sole official language of Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, is English, which is used by the Government and in schools. The eponymous Gibraltarian English accent is spoken in the territory.

Languages of France

Languages of France

Of the languages of France, French is the sole official language according to the second article of the French Constitution. French, a Gallo-Romance language, is spoken by nearly the entire population of France.

Languages of Spain

Languages of Spain

The languages of Spain, or Spanish languages, are the languages spoken in Spain.

Languages of Portugal

Languages of Portugal

The languages of Portugal are the Portuguese, Mirandese and Portuguese Sign Language. Historically, Celtic and Lusitanian were spoken in what is now Portugal.

Basque language

Basque language

Basque , also known as euskara, is a language spoken by Basques and others of the Basque Country, a region that straddles the westernmost Pyrenees in adjacent parts of northern Spain and south-western France. Linguistically, Basque is a language isolate. The Basques are indigenous to, and primarily inhabit, the Basque Country. The Basque language is spoken by 28.4% (751,500) of Basques in all territories. Of these, 93.2% (700,300) are in the Spanish area of the Basque Country and the remaining 6.8% (51,200) are in the French portion.

Language isolate

Language isolate

Language isolates are languages that cannot be classified into larger language families. Korean and Basque are two of the most common examples. Other language isolates include Ainu in Asia, Sandawe in Africa, and Haida in North America. The number of language isolates is unknown.

Portuguese language

Portuguese language

Portuguese is a western Romance language of the Indo-European language family, originating in the Iberian Peninsula of Europe. It is an official language of Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé and Príncipe, while having co-official language status in East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, and Macau. A Portuguese-speaking person or nation is referred to as "Lusophone". As the result of expansion during colonial times, a cultural presence of Portuguese speakers is also found around the world. Portuguese is part of the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several dialects of Vulgar Latin in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia and the County of Portugal, and has kept some Celtic phonology in its lexicon.

Catalan language

Catalan language

Catalan, known in the Valencian Community and Carche as Valencian, is a Western Romance language. It is the official language of Andorra, and an official language of three autonomous communities in eastern Spain: Catalonia, the Valencian Community, and the Balearic Islands. It also has semi-official status in the Italian comune of Alghero. It is also spoken in the Pyrénées-Orientales department of France and in two further areas in eastern Spain: the eastern strip of Aragon and the Carche area in the Region of Murcia. The Catalan-speaking territories are often called the Països Catalans or "Catalan Countries".

Galician language

Galician language

Galician, also known as Galego and Gallego, is a Western Ibero-Romance language. Around 2.4 million people have at least some degree of competence in the language, mainly in Galicia, an autonomous community located in northwestern Spain, where it is co-official with Spanish. The language is also spoken in some border zones of the neighbouring Spanish regions of Asturias and Castile and León, as well as by Galician migrant communities in the rest of Spain, in Latin America including Puerto Rico, the United States, Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe.

Aragonese language

Aragonese language

Aragonese is a Romance language spoken in several dialects by about 12,000 people as of 2011, in the Pyrenees valleys of Aragon, Spain, primarily in the comarcas of Somontano de Barbastro, Jacetania, Alto Gállego, Sobrarbe, and Ribagorza/Ribagorça. It is the only modern language which survived from medieval Navarro-Aragonese in a form distinctly different from Spanish.

High Aragon

High Aragon

Alto Aragon is the northernmost territories or highlands of Aragon, flanking the Pyrenees and includes the Aneto Mountain, the highest peak in the entire Pyrenean chain. The term Alto Aragon, or highlands, is used to contrast with the Bajo Aragon, referring to the lowlands or flat plains of Aragon which roughly begins around the Somontano county of Huesca stretching south to the Ebro river basin.

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 in its new high-speed rail network (one of the most extensive in the world),[168] inaugurated in 1992 with the Madrid–Seville line, followed to name a few by the Madrid–Barcelona (2008), Madrid–Valencia (2010), an Alicante branch of the latter (2013) and the connection to France of the Barcelona line.[169] Portugal however suspended all the high-speed rail projects in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, putting an end for the time being to the possibility of a high-speed rail connection between Lisbon, Porto and Madrid.[170]

Handicapped by a mountainous range (the 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.[171] An international rail line across the Central Pyrenees linking Zaragoza and the French city of 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 Station has been a cul-de-sac since then.[172]

There are four points connecting the Portuguese and Spanish rail networks: Valença do MinhoTui, Vilar FormosoFuentes de Oñoro, Marvão-BeirãValencia de Alcántara and ElvasBadajoz.[173]

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 Tarragona, Valencia, Sagunto, Bilbao, Santander, Sines and Algeciras vis-à-vis the rest of Europe and the World.[174]

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 Punta Paloma [es] with Cape Malabata.[175] Years of studies have, however, made no real progress thus far.[176]

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.[177] The West Africa Cable System, Main One, SAT-3/WASC, Africa Coast to Europe also land in Portugal.[177] MAREA, a high capacity communication transatlantic cable, connects the north of the Iberian Peninsula (Bilbao) to North America (Virginia), whereas Grace Hopper is an upcoming cable connecting the Iberian Peninsula (Bilbao) to the UK and the US intended to be operative by 2022[178] and EllaLink is an upcoming high-capacity communication cable expected to connect the Peninsula (Sines) to South America and the mammoth 2Africa project intends to connect the peninsula to the United Kingdom, Europe and Africa (via Portugal and Barcelona) by 2023–24.[179][180]

Two gas pipelines: the 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.[181][182] However the contract for the first pipeline expires on 31 October 2021 and—amidst a tense climate of Algerian–Moroccan relations—there are no plans to renew it.[183]

Discover more about Transportation related topics

Madrid–Seville high-speed rail line

Madrid–Seville high-speed rail line

The Madrid–Sevilla high-speed line is a 472-kilometer-long (293 mi) Spanish railway line for high-speed traffic between Madrid and Seville. The first Spanish high-speed rail connection has been in use since 21 April 1992 at speeds up to 300 km/h (186 mph). Travel time between the two end points was reduced by over half.

Madrid–Barcelona high-speed rail line

Madrid–Barcelona high-speed rail line

The Madrid–Barcelona high-speed rail line is a 621-kilometre (386 mi) standard gauge railway line inaugurated on 20 February 2008. Designed for speeds of 350 km/h (217 mph) and compatibility with neighbouring countries' rail systems, it connects the cities of Madrid and Barcelona in 2 hours 30 minutes. In Barcelona the line is connected with the Perpignan–Barcelona high-speed rail line leading into France which connects it to the European high speed network.

Madrid–Levante high-speed rail network

Madrid–Levante high-speed rail network

The Madrid–Levante high-speed network is a network of high-speed rail lines that connects Madrid with the Mediterranean coast of the Levante Region, specifically with Castilla-La Mancha, the Valencian Community and the Murcia Region autonomous communities.

Canfranc International railway station

Canfranc International railway station

Canfranc International railway station is a formerly international railway station in the village of Canfranc in the Spanish Pyrenees. The Somport railway tunnel, inoperative since 1970, which carries the Pau–Canfranc railway, under the Pyrenees into France, is located at its northern end.

Dead end (street)

Dead end (street)

A dead end, also known as a cul-de-sac, no through road or no exit road, is a street with only one inlet or outlet.

Badajoz railway station

Badajoz railway station

Badajoz railway station is the central railway station of Badajoz, Spain. Commonly referred locally as the RENFE station, the station is part of Adif and high-speed rail systems: it is located at the western part of the Southwest–Portuguese high speed line.

Port of Valencia

Port of Valencia

The Port of Valencia is a seaport in Valencia, Spain. It is the fifth busiest seaport in Europe and the busiest port in the Mediterranean. As of 2019, it moves an annual cargo traffic of around eighty-one million tonnes and 5.4 million TEU, ranking first in Spain and second in the Mediterranean basin in container shipping, and second in Spain in annual cargo traffic, after the Port of Algeciras.

Port of Bilbao

Port of Bilbao

The Port of Bilbao is located on the Bilbao Abra bay, and along the Estuary of Bilbao, in Biscay. The main facilities are in the Santurtzi and Zierbena municipalities, approximately 15 km (9.3 mi) west of Bilbao. Also called Exterior Port and Superpuerto, the port complex occupies 3.13 km² of land and 16.94 km² of water along 17 km (10.6 mi) of waterfront.

Port of Sines

Port of Sines

The Port of Sines is the largest artificial port in Portugal, and a deep water port, natural backgrounds to -28 m ZH with specialized terminals that allow the movement of different types of goods. Besides being the main port on the Atlantic seaboard of Portugal due to its geophysical characteristics, is the main gateway to the energy supply of Portugal: container, natural gas, coal, oil and its derivatives. Construction started in 1973 and it came into operation in 1978. The Port of Sines Administration was created on 14 December 1977. The port operates 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, providing services such as: control of maritime traffic; pilotage, towage and mooring; access control and surveillance; drinking water and bunkers; prevent accidents/pollution; repairs on board or ashore. The Port of Sines is located at 37° 57′ north latitude and 08° 52′ west longitude, 58 nautical miles south of Lisbon.

Port of Algeciras

Port of Algeciras

The Port of Algeciras is the port and harbour of Algeciras, a city located in the province of Cádiz in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. It is a commercial, fishing and passenger port. Primarily a transshipment port, its position near the Strait of Gibraltar and key east–west shipping routes establishes it as one of the busiest transshipment hubs in the world. It competes with Tanger-Med for the local transshipment market. It consists of numerous maritime infrastructures scattered throughout the Bay of Gibraltar. Although only the town of Algeciras and La Línea de la Concepción overlook the bay, there are port facilities in the rest of the bank, also belonging to the municipalities of San Roque and Los Barrios. It is managed along the port of Tarifa by the Port Authority of Algeciras Bay.

Cape Malabata

Cape Malabata

Cape Malabata is a cape located about 6 miles (10 km) east of central Tangier, Morocco, facing the Strait of Gibraltar. The cape features a lighthouse and a medieval-style castle that was built in early 20th century.

Fibre-optic Link Around the Globe

Fibre-optic Link Around the Globe

Fibre-optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) is a 28,000-kilometre-long fibre optic mostly-submarine communications cable that connects the United Kingdom, Japan, India, and many places in between. The cable is operated by Global Cloud Xchange, a subsidiary of RCOM. The system runs from the eastern coast of North America to Japan. Its Europe-Asia segment was the fourth longest cable in the world in 2008.

Economy

The official currency across Iberia is the Euro, with the exception of Gibraltar, which uses the Gibraltar Pound (at parity with Sterling).[184]

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 and the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar have been described as tax havens.[185]

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.[186] Hashish is smuggled from Morocco via the Strait of Gibraltar.[186]

Discover more about Economy related topics

Euro

Euro

The euro is the official currency of 19 out of the 27 member states of the European Union (EU). This group of states is known as the eurozone or, officially, the euro area, and includes about 340 million citizens as of 2019. The euro is divided into 100 cents.

Gibraltar pound

Gibraltar pound

The pound is the currency of Gibraltar. It is pegged to – and exchangeable with – sterling at par value. Coins and banknotes of the Gibraltar pound are issued by the Government of Gibraltar.

Pound sterling

Pound sterling

Sterling is the currency of the United Kingdom and nine of its associated territories. The pound is the main unit of sterling, and the word "pound" is also used to refer to the British currency generally, often qualified in international contexts as the British pound or the pound sterling.

Andorra

Andorra

Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra, is a sovereign landlocked microstate on the Iberian Peninsula, in the eastern Pyrenees, bordered by France to the north and Spain to the south. Believed to have been created by Charlemagne, Andorra was ruled by the count of Urgell until 988, when it was transferred to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Urgell. The present principality was formed by a charter in 1278. It is headed by two co-princes: the bishop of Urgell in Catalonia, Spain and the president of France. Its capital and largest city is Andorra la Vella.

Gibraltar

Gibraltar

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory and city located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi) and is bordered to the north by Spain. The landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar, at the foot of which is a densely populated town area, home to over 32,000 people, primarily Gibraltarians.

Tax haven

Tax haven

A tax haven is a jurisdiction with very low "effective" rates of taxation for foreign investors. In some traditional definitions, a tax haven also offers financial secrecy. However, while countries with high levels of secrecy but also high rates of taxation, most notably the United States and Germany in the Financial Secrecy Index ("FSI") rankings, can be featured in some tax haven lists, they are not universally considered as tax havens. In contrast, countries with lower levels of secrecy but also low "effective" rates of taxation, most notably Ireland in the FSI rankings, appear in most § Tax haven lists. The consensus on effective tax rates has led academics to note that the term "tax haven" and "offshore financial centre" are almost synonymous.

Cocaine

Cocaine

Cocaine is a stimulant drug obtained from the leaves of two Coca species native to South America, Erythroxylum coca and Erythroxylum novogranatense. After extraction from coca leaves and further processing into cocaine hydrochloride, the drug may be snorted, heated until sublimated and then inhaled, or dissolved and injected into a vein. Cocaine stimulates the reward pathway in the brain. Mental effects may include an intense feeling of happiness, sexual arousal, loss of contact with reality, or agitation. Physical effects may include a fast heart rate, sweating, and dilated pupils. High doses can result in high blood pressure or high body temperature. Effects begin within seconds to minutes of use and last between five and ninety minutes. As cocaine also has numbing and blood vessel constriction properties, it is occasionally used during surgery on the throat or inside of the nose to control pain, bleeding, and vocal cord spasm.

Hashish

Hashish

Hashish, also known as hash, "dry herb, hay" is a drug made by compressing and processing parts of the cannabis plant, typically focusing on flowering buds containing the most trichomes. It is consumed by smoking, typically in a pipe, bong, vaporizer or joint, or via oral ingestion. Hash has a long history of usage in countries such as Morocco, Egypt, Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Iran, Palestine and Lebanon. Hash consumption is also popular in Europe. In the United States, dried flowers or concentrates are more popular, though hash has seen a rise in popularity following changes in law. Like many recreational drugs, multiple synonyms and alternative names for hash exist, and vary greatly depending on the country and native language.

Morocco

Morocco

Morocco, officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is the westernmost country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and has land borders with Algeria to the east, and the disputed territory of Western Sahara to the south. Morocco also claims the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, and several small Spanish-controlled islands off its coast. It spans an area of 446,300 km2 (172,300 sq mi) or 710,850 km2 (274,460 sq mi), with a population of roughly 37 million. Its official and predominant religion is Islam, and the official languages are Arabic and Berber; the Moroccan dialect of Arabic and French are also widely spoken. Moroccan identity and culture is a vibrant mix of Berber, Arab, and European cultures. Its capital is Rabat, while its largest city is Casablanca.

Strait of Gibraltar

Strait of Gibraltar

The Strait of Gibraltar, also known as the Straits of Gibraltar, is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates the Iberian Peninsula in Europe from Morocco in Africa.

Source: "Iberian Peninsula", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 26th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iberian_Peninsula.

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Notes
  1. ^ In the local languages:
  2. ^ In the local languages:
  3. ^ Christian forces were usually better armoured than their Muslim counterparts, with noble and non-noble milites and cavallers wearing mail hauberks, separate mail coifs and metal helmets, and armed with maces, cavalry axes, sword and lances.[56]
References

Citations

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  2. ^ Triviño, María; Kujala, Heini; Araújo, Miguel B.; Cabeza, Mar (2018). "Planning for the future: identifying conservation priority areas for Iberian birds under climate change". Landscape Ecology. 33 (4): 659–673. doi:10.1007/s10980-018-0626-z. hdl:10138/309558. ISSN 0921-2973. S2CID 3699212.
  3. ^ Claire L. Lyons; John K. Papadopoulos (2002). The Archaeology of Colonialism. Getty Publications. pp. 68–69. ISBN 978-0-89236-635-4.
  4. ^ Strabo. "Book III Chapter 1 Section 6". Geographica. And also the other Iberians use an alphabet, though not letters of one and the same character, for their speech is not one and the same.
  5. ^ a b Charles Ebel (1976). Transalpine Gaul: The Emergence of a Roman Province. Brill Archive. pp. 48–49. ISBN 90-04-04384-5.
  6. ^ Ricardo Padrón (1 February 2004). The Spacious Word: Cartography, Literature, and Empire in Early Modern Spain. University of Chicago Press. p. 252. ISBN 978-0-226-64433-2.
  7. ^ Carl Waldman; Catherine Mason (2006). Encyclopedia of European Peoples. Infobase Publishing. p. 404. ISBN 978-1-4381-2918-1.
  8. ^ Strabo (1988). The Geography (in Ancient Greek and English). Vol. II. Horace Leonard Jones (trans.). Cambridge: Bill Thayer. p. 118, Note 1 on 3.4.19.
  9. ^ Herodotus (1827). The nine books of the History of Herodotus, tr. from the text of T. Gaisford, with notes and a summary by P. E. Laurent. p. 75.
  10. ^ a b Geography III.4.19.
  11. ^ III.37.
  12. ^ III.17.
  13. ^ III.4.11.
  14. ^ Félix Gaffiot (1934). Dictionnaire illustré latin-français. Hachette. p. 764.
  15. ^ Greg Woolf (8 June 2012). Rome: An Empire's Story. Oxford University Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-19-997217-3.
  16. ^ Berkshire Review. Williams College. 1965. p. 7.
  17. ^ Carlos B. Vega (2 October 2003). Conquistadoras: Mujeres Heroicas de la Conquista de America. McFarland. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-7864-8208-5.
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  20. ^ Vernet Pons 2014, p. 297.
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  22. ^ III.3.21.
  23. ^ White, Horace; Jona Lendering. "Appian's History of Rome: The Spanish Wars (§§6–10)". livius.org. pp. Chapter 7. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
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