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AREAS OF INFLUENCE OF CARTHAGE AND ROME BEFORE THE
The interests of Romans and the
Cartaghinians crashed in the
The Roman Republic had gained
control of the Italian Peninsula and
Carthage controlled several islands in
the Western Mediterranean and the
South of the Iberian Peninsula. The
confrontment between these two
peoples was the cause of the three
-1st Punic War (264 BC- 241 BC)
-2nd Punic War (218 BC-201 BC)
-3rd Punic War (149 BC -146 BC)
As a consequence of their defeat in the 1st
Punic War, the Carthaginians tried to expand
their control over the Iberian Peninsula.
-238 BC: Hamilcar Barca disembarked in
Gades and started occupying the territory
more effectively and exploiting its resources.
-227 BC: general Hasdrubal founded Qart
Hadasht (Cartago Nova)
-226 BC: signature of the Ebro Treaty:
Hasdrubal and the Roman Republic agreed
on limiting the Carthaginian expansion to
the South of River Ebro. This way, the
Romans answered to the
demands of their allies in the Peninsula
(Arse and Emporion)
-219 BC: Hannibal, Hasdrubal’s son, sieged
Arse (Saguntum), where there was an
important mint, in order to get resources to
declare war on Rome.
Hamilcar Barca Hasdrubal the Fair Hannibal
BEGINNING OF THE 2nd PUNIC WAR
The people of Saguntum asked the
Romans for help, but the Romans took a
long time to send troops and Saguntum
had to surrender after 8 months of
siege. When Hannibal occupied the city,
most of its population had died of
hunger and illnesses.
Saguntum people didn’t throw
themselves into a bonfire, as the legend
says, but this has been repeated many
times since then.
After Saguntum surrender, the Romans
sent two armies to the Peninsula and
this meant the beginning of the 2nd
The Final Day of Saguntum, painted by Francisco Domingo Marqués,
OF THE IBERIAN
1st STAGE (218 BC-197 BC): War against the Carthaginians
2nd STAGE (154 BC-133 BC): Wars against the Celtiberians
3rd STAGE (29 BC-19 BC): Wars against the Astures, Cantabri
1st STAGE: WAR AGAINST THE CARTHAGINIANS (218-197 BC)
Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus
arrived in the Peninsula in 210 BC
Two Roman armies commanded by the
brothers Gneus Cornelius Scipio
Calvus and Publius Cornelius Scipio
disembarked in Emporion in 218 BC.
They died fighting against Hasdrubal
and the Roman Senate sent Publius
Cornelius Scipio Africanus in 210 BC
and this changed the course of the war:
-209 BC: the Romans took Cartago
-208 BC: the Romans defeated the
Carthaginians in the Battle of Baecula
-206 BC: Carthaginian defeat in the
Battle of Ilipa. The city of Italica was
founded for war veterans and
When Hannibal was defeated by the
Romans in Zama (201 BC), the
Carthaginians were expelled from the
In 197 BC the Roman Senate appointed two
praetors, who were sent to the Peninsula to rule
the Hispaniae. The Peninsula was divided into
-HISPANIA CITERIOR: the closest province to
Rome, from the Pyrenees to Cartago Nova.
-HISPANIA ULTERIOR: the farthest province from
Rome, including the lands of the Southern
Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean
Hispania became part of the Roman Republic and
its integration into the Roman world started.
2nd STAGE: WARS AGAINST THE CELTIBERIANS AND LUSITANIANS (154-133 BC)
The main resistance
during the 2nd century BC
came from the
Celtiberians and the
revolted against the high
taxes imposed by the
Romans, led by Viriatus,
who obtained some
victories against the
Romans between 147 and
139 BC. Finally, the
to sign peace.
Statue of Viriatus
Death of Viriatus, painting by José de Madrazo (1807)
Quintus Servilius Caepio bribed Audax, Ditalcus and Minurus, Lusitanian ambassadors sent by
Viriatus to negotiate peace. They killed Viriatus when he was sleeping. When the traitors asked
the Romans for the payment, Q.S. Caepio told them: “Rome doesn’t pay traitors who kill their chief”.
The Lusitanians continued to fight, but the Romans controlled most of their territory and the
Lusitanians gradually assimilated Roman culture and language.
Siege of Numantia
- WAR AGAINST THE CELTIBERIANS (154-
133 BC): It was a total war (“war of fire”).
Numantia became the main center of
resistance. Publius Cornelius Scipio
Aemilianus, Carthage’s destroyer,
arrived in 134 BC and decided to finish
with Numantia’s resistance. He sieged
the city surrounding it with a nine km
fence ad cut all its supplies. After 13
months of siege, the Numantians
surrendered. The few survivors were sold
The legend about the burning of the city and
the suicide of its inhabitants is not true,
but was exploited by the Romans first ,
to glorify Scipio Aemilianus, and in
different periods of Spanish history to
extol the sacrifice of the individuals in
defense of the homeland.
Numantia’s Last Day, by Alejo Vera, 1880
After the Lusitanian and
Celtiberian wars, the Romans
controlled almost all the
Peninsula. Only part of the
West and the North escaped
the Roman control. But the
rest became more and more
integrated in the Roman world
and Hispania became an
important theater of the 1st
century civil wars:
-Sertorian War (80-72 BC)
-War between Pompey and
Julius Caesar (49-45 BC)
Sertorian War (80-72 BC)
SERTORIAN WAR (80-72 BC)
Sertorius fought on Marius side against
Sulla. In the Iberian Peninsula he formed a
coalition with the indigenous peoples and
occupied almost all the Iberian Peninsula.
Rome sent Pompey and Metellius against
Sertorius and the war finished when he was
killed by Perperna, one of his men, in 72 BC.
Quintus Sertorius and the Horse Tail, Gerard van
Pompey and Julius Caesar
Caesar crossing the Rubicon
CIVIL WAR BETWEEN CAESAR
AND POMPEY (49-45 BC)
Julius Caesar had been
quaestor and praetor in
Hispania and Pompey had been
in charge of Hispania between
55 and 50 BC and got the
support of the indigenous
In 49 BC Caesar crossed the
Rubicon River and declared
war on Pompey, who fled to
Greece. Caesar arrived in
Hispania to end with Pompey’s
supporters and defeated them
at Ilerda (49 BC) and Munda
(45 BC). After this, Caesar was
appointed perpetual dictator in
Rome, but was killed by a
senator’s conspiracy in 44 BC.
Julius Caesar’s campaigns
3rd STAGE: WARS AGAINST THE ASTURES, CANTABRI AND GALLAECI (29-19 BC)
Emperor Octavian Augustus arrived in the Peninsula to complete the conquest
of Hispania and take control of its rich mineral resources. He deployed 8 legions
and several auxiliary troops (50,000 soldiers), opened a 400 km front, from the
Pyrenees to Portugal and defeated the Cantabri, Astures and Gallaeci.
Augustus created Emerita Augusta, for the war veterans (emeriti), and gave
them land there. Back in Rome, Augustus ordered the construction of the Ara
Pacis, an altar to commemorate the victory in these wars. This marked the
beginning of the PAX ROMANA and the definitive inclusion of all the territory of
Hispania in the Roman world.
Brutus, 137 BC Augustus
first Roman Emperor
Ara Pacis Augustae, altar built to commemorate
Augustus victory in the Cantabrian wars
MAP OF THE STAGES OF THE ROMAN CONQUEST OF HISPANIA
The Romans extended their language,
religion, economic system, political
organization, model of urban society
and culture to all the territories they
Romanization is the process of
assimilation of the Roman feautures,
usually started by the local elites and
later extended to the rest of the
The origins of the Roman emperors are
an evidence of the success of
romanization. Many of them came from
different parts of the Empire. For
example, emperors Trajan and Hadrian
came from Hispania.
Origin of the Roman emperors
Hispania became quickly integrated in the Roman world: the reduction of the troops (only one
legion, the Legio VII Gemina, remained stationed on the ground) and the little information about
Hispania in the Roman sources after the wars of conquest show that the Peninsula soon became
integrated in the Roman Empire.
HOW DID ROMANIZATION SPREAD OUT?
- Many veterans of the civil wars stayed in the
Peninsula and founded colonies, like Italica and
Legio VII Gemina
- Colonists, merchants and civil servants from
Italy also settled down in Hispania
- The indigenous elites soon adopted the Roman
customs as a way of keeping their status. Their
example was followed by the rest of the
- The intensity of the acculturation process was
different depending on the regions: faster and
more intense in the Mediterranean region, the
Ebro and Guadalquivir Valley and later and more
superficial in the North and mountainous areas.
- Provincial division of Hispania
o 197 BC: Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior
o 27 BC: Augustus divided it into Tarraconensis (under the emperor’s control), Baetica and Lusitania
o 298: Diocletian divided it into 5 provinces: Tarraconensis, Baetica, Lusitania, Cargthaginensis and
Gallaecia. Together with Maurtania Tingitania (North of Africa), they formed the Diocesis
o 4th century: creation of Balearica.
Provinces were divided into conventus (regions)
- Cities (urbes) were the base of Roman culture and the main center of transmission of Roman
There were around 400 cities in
Hispania. Some of them existed
before the Roman conquest and
remained, like Clunia (Burgos) or
Segóbriga (Cuenca). Others were
built new, like Emerita Augusta
(Mérida) or Legio Septima
Gemina (León), following the
Roman roads communicated
the different parts of the Empire
and were basic for trade. The
main ones in Hispania were:
-Silver Way, which
communicated Emerita Augusta
with Asturica Augusta
-Via Augusta, which linked the
Mediterranean cities and
communicated them with Rome
through the Pyrenees
Roman cities followed the model of a Roman military camp, with two main streets (cardus and
decumanus) and the rest organized on a grid. The forum (main square) was the center and the
main buildings (curia, basilica, main temple) were located there.
RECONSTRUCTION OF ROMAN TARRACO
Roman cities had all kind
-fresh water, brought
with aqueducts and
available in fountains and
the houses of the rich
-Curia (building fo the
theatres, thermal baths,
CAESAR AUGUSTA BARCINO EMERITA AUGUSTA
SEGÓBRIGA LEGIO VII GEMINA
Caldes de Montbuí thermal baths
Nymphaeus, Valeria (Cuenca)
Roman circus, Mérida
Calagurris sewage system
Emerita Augusta theater
Segovia’ s aqueduct
In year 74 Emperor Vespasian gave the Latin
citizenship to all the citizens in Hispania.
This meant that the citizens got some rights,
like owning land, getting married to other
residents in Latin cities and living in any
Latin city. This was an intermediate stage to
get Roman citizenship. Vespasian gave Latin
citizenship to Hispania to get their support
after a period of conflicts in Rome.
In 212 Emperor Caracalla gave Roman
citizenship to all the free inhabitants of
Hispania. The reason was increasing the
number of citizens in order to collect more
taxes to defend the Empire.
Same social groups as in Rome, depending on their wealth and status
- Senatorial order: magistrates and big landowners
- Equestrian orders: merchants and business owners. In charge of the army,
public administration and religious posts
- Decurional order: in charge of the government of the provinces
- Plebeians: citizens obliged to work to survive.
- FREEDPEOPLE: former slaves freed by their owners
- SLAVES: war prisoners sold to work.
- Continuation of the exploitation of the
resources of the Peninsula
- Establishment of Rome’s economic
- exploitation of latifundia (big plots of
- private property
- cities as centres of production and
- use of money
- Hispania started importing products,
but soon became an exporting region.
Lots of Hispanic goods were
distributed across the
Roman villa, center of exploitation in the countryside
- New agricultural
plough, fallow, animal
- Main crops: wheat, olive
trees, vines, fruit trees
- Sheep herds raised in the
Central Plateau to
Baelo Claudia (Bolonia) garum factory in
MAIN EXPORT PRODUCTS
-Garum (sauce made with the
useless parts of fish)
-ceramics (Terra Sigillata pottery)
Terra Sigillata pottery
Mines were massively exploited
by the Romans. They belonged to
the State, but were exploited by
private contractors (negotiatores)
-silver and lead from Sª Morena
(Mons Marianus) and Guadalquivir
-copper from Riotinto
-lapis specularis or selenite from
-gold from the North, especially in
Las Médulas, León, where they
used the ruina montium technique
-cinnabar and minium from Sisapo
- The Romans allowed the cult of the gods of the
indigenous peoples if they didn’ threaten Roman
- The Emperor was also considered to be divine a
and had to be worshipped. The Christians rejected
worshipping the Emperor and they started being
persecuted, until their legalization (Milan Edict, 313)
- First Christian communities in Hispania date to
the 1st century, but they were limited to the elite.
Christianity started spreading in the 3rd century.
The legends about the presence of Saint James
and Saint Paul in Hispania are not true.
- In 380 Christianity became the only religion allowed
in the Empire and the Church organized in the same
way as in Rome: archbishops in provinces, bishops in
conventus and Hispania was divided into dioceses
Expansion of Christianiity in Hispania
- In the 4th century there was a heressy originated
in Hispania: Priscillian heresy, condemned by the 1st
council of Toledo Priscillian
3rd CENTURY CRISIS
- Conquests stopped, there were fewer and more
expensive slaves, so the production mode based
on slavery became less profitable. Slaves had to
be replaced by colonists (impoverished peasants
who looked for the protection of the big
landowners and offered their small plots of land
and work in exchange): acceleration of land
concentration and beginning of serfdom.
-Incomes decreased and prices and taxes
- As a consequence of several devaluations,
currency lost most of its value and hyperinflation
made life more expensive
- Craftsmanship and trade decreased, cities
started declining and ruralization began:
producers tried to be self-sufficient, barter spread
and monetary economy disappeared.
Reduction of the amount of silver
in the Roman denarius
-the Barbarians started putting pressure
on the borders of the Empire (Limes).
- Emperors used authoritarianism to
impose their power and conspiracies to
overthrow them became frequent.
Political instability spread.
- In the provinces praetors assumed
power and ruled more and more
independently from Rome.
Number of emperors during the 3rd century crisis
Hispania went through a complicated period from the last third of the 3rd century: invasions of
the Franks and Alamanni, peasants’ revolts…The construction of Luculus Augustus (Lugo) wall
was a consequence of this insecurity climate.
At the beginning of the 5th century three Germanic peoples, the Sueves, the Vandals and the
Alans, invaded the Peninsula.
The Sueves came from the Baltic Sea and settled
down in the North West (Gallaecia).
The Vandals Asdingi (from Hungary and Romania)
settled down in Gallaecia and were defeated by
the Sueves. The Vandals Silingi (from Oder and
Vistula Rivers) settled down in the South
The Alans, from present Iran, settled down in
Lusitania and Carthaginensis.
Emperor Honorius signed a treaty (foedus) with
the Visigoths, another Germanic people, in order
to get their help to expel the Sueves, Vandals and
Alans. As a reward for their help, the Visigoths
could settle down in the South of Gaul (Aquitaine).
The Visigoths arrived in the Peninsula in 416,
defeated the Vandals Silingi and the Alans,
expelled the Vandals Silingi to the North of Africa,
confined the Sueves in Gallaecia and established
their capital city in Toulouse.
With the fall of the Roman Empire in 476, the
Visigothic kingdom reached independence.
MAIN ROMAN REMAINS IN CASTILLA LA MANCHA
Sisapo, Almodóvar del Campo
Segóbriga, Saelices (Cuenca)