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Spanish History

The History of Spain

The thing that you most notice about the history of Spain is the fact that so many people of differing cultures and tribes worked their way across the Spanish peninsula. Looking around at the ‘modern’ Spain you can easily see the hallmarks of many of the invaders, especially those that occupied the land for centuries.

History tells us that the first of these people we said to be the Iberians from the south. Then came the Celts who later merged with the Iberians to form a new tribe called the Celtiberians. This tribe in turn split off into another 3 seperate tribes called the Lusitaninans, Cantabrians and the Asturians. And so was formed some of the autonomous communities of Spain that exist today, Cantabria and Asturia.

After the Celtiberians came an important set of people who brought wealth and trade to Spain, these were the Phoenicians and were responsible for setting up some prime trading posts across Spain, including the still important Cadiz on the western side of Spain. Cadiz remains a very important fishing town and port even to this day.

After the Phoenicians the Greeks were next to occupy parts of the country and exert their influences by forming a number of towns and started their rampage throught the rest of Spain. The Phoenicians were struggling to hold on to their territories and had to call on Hamilcar Barca of the Carthaginians. However, under his orders they took over the majority of Spain during which time the starting arguments by Rome that led to one of the worlds most significant wars, the 2nd Punic War. Subsequent to the convincing victory by the mighty Romans, Cornelius Scipio, and Publius, so began the conquest of Spain. Spain was subject to the rule of the Romans for about six centuries.

The occupation by the Romans was not without its benefits as they left Spain with some lasting influences such as Law, Latin and the Christian religion and there are many roman ruins that attract many tourists each year.

Finally the Roman empire fell and the Vandals, Alans and Suevi were next to enter Spain but they were quickly defeated by the Visigoths who were the next important tribe to occupy Spain as they conquered the majority of the country by the latter part of the 6th century.

After another 2 centuries the Arabs arrived from the south. Their conquering of Spain was very quick although they were unable to take a small area right up in the north of Spain. Their non persistence of this area was to eventually be their downfall as it led to the eventual re-taking of the country some 8 centuries later.

The Arabs were the longest occupiers of Spain and their influences can still be seen across much of the country in the buildings and general architecture. The Muslim occupation of Spain was split up into 3 main periods. Between the years 711 to 756 was the Emirate period, then came the Caliphate between 756 and 1031 and after the Caliphates were the Reinos de Taifas, which were small independent kingdoms between the years 1031 and 1492.

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