Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Iberians: Celts, Iberian Peninsula


ancient people of Spain. Some scholars have argued that they migrated from Africa in the Neolithic period and again at the end of the Bronze Age, while the archaeological evidence has been interpreted to suggest that Iberians had an E Mediterranean origin dating to the 3d millenium B.C. They were first mentioned in the 6th cent. B.C., after they had settled in E Spain and the Ebro valley. The Iberian Peninsula, i.e., Spain and Portugal, is named for them. The high point of Iberian civilization was reached about the 4th cent. B.C., and thereafter their culture came under the influence of Carthaginian colonization. About the 4th cent. B.C. began the Celtic migration into Spain, which led to an increased dissolution of Iberian culture. After the Roman conquest of Spain the Iberians gradually accepted Roman culture. The theory that the Iberians and the Basques were identical has been discredited by modern research.


See A. A. Palau, The Iberians (1963); D. E. Vassberg, Land and Society in Golden Age of Castille (1984).



in ancient sources, the ethnic designation of eastern Georgian tribes inhabiting the territory of Iberia. The Iberians played a major role in the consolidation and formation of a single Georgian people.



the ancient tribes that originally inhabited eastern and southern Spain and later spread over a large part of the Iberian Peninsula; the ancient designation of the peninsula as Iberia is derived from their name.

The most important of the Iberian tribes were the Turdetani, Turduli, Bastetani, Carpetani, Cerretani, Indicetes, and Edetani. The question of the origin of the Iberians remains unsolved. Megalithic structures of the Neolithic are ascribed to them. Several scholars link the Iberians with the El Argar culture of the second millennium B.C. The first written information about the Iberians dates from the sixth century B.C. The southern part of Spain (present-day Andalusia and Murcia), inhabited by the Turdetani, was the most important center of Iberian culture. Here, according to classical authors, was the Tartessian state, founded before 1100 B.C. The tribal group of the Celtiberians arose as a result of the intermixing of the Iberians with the Celts, who invaded Spain between the sixth and third centuries. The Iberians felt the influence of the Phoenicians and Greeks and had their own writing. The Iberians were ruled by the Carthaginians from the fifth to the third century and by the Romans in the third and second centuries; by 19–18 B.C. the Romans had conquered all of Spain. In the second century B.C. and first century A.D. the Iberians were gradually romanized.

Iberian art took shape around the eighth century B.C. and reached its zenith in the fifth and fourth centuries. Iberian architecture is known through the remains of cities perched on hills, with walls and towers; there are also remnants of temples and tombs. Regular bricklaying appeared in Iberia around the fourth or third century. Sculpture, mainly of the fifth and fourth centuries, is represented by anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figures, mostly of limestone, and bronze votive statuettes reflecting the influence of the art of archaic Greece and the ancient East. Among Iberia’s artistic crafts were metalworking and figured ceramics.


Mishulin, A. V. Antichnaia Ispaniia. Moscow, 1952.
Peters, D. “Problema etnogeneza naseleniia Iberii (drevnei Ispanii).” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1940, nos. 2–4.
Arribas, A. The Iberians. London [1964].
Bosch Gimpera, P. Etnologia de la Peninsula Iberica. Barcelona, 1932.
Bosch Gimpera, P. El poblamiento antiguo y la formatión de los pueblos de España. Mexico City, 1944.

IU. B. TSIRKIN and A. L. MONGAIT (art)

References in periodicals archive ?
As it is generally used today, I believe the term simply refers to anything that has to do with Spain, the Spanish language, Latin America, or the Iberian peninsula.
The second objection is that the use of this term is misleading because it suggests that Latin American philosophy depended throughout its history on the thought of the Iberian peninsula, whereas in fact this is not so.
Second, it is not only in Latin America that the influence of France, England, and Germany has been felt, but also in the Iberian peninsula itself.
In short, the category of Hispanic philosophy is a useful one for the description and understanding of the history of the philosophical thought of Latin America and the countries of the Iberian peninsula.
Territorially, it covers the Iberian peninsula and the Iberian colonies in the New World.
First, this is the first time that a new intellectual unity that can be distinguished from European philosophy is formed by the Iberian peninsula and the Latin American colonies.
The Roman philosophers of Iberian origin, such as Seneca, belonged culturally and intellectually to a unit that was centered elsewhere and extended well beyond Iberia.
The philosophy produced in the Iberian countries and their colonies between 1500 and 1650 springs forth to a great extent as the response of a well-established Iberian scholastic tradition to the issues that confront Iberian and Latin American intellectuals at the time and that result from the discovery and colonization of the New World.
Obviously, the discovery of America represented an enormous challenge to intellectuals in the Iberian peninsula, forcing them to raise and deal with issues that they had not confronted before.
The other three challenges faced by Iberian and Latin American philosophers and theologians at this time had similar effect of strengthening the ties among them and distancing them from the rest of Europe, supporting their historical interrelations and thus the development of a Hispanic philosophical universe.
The impact of humanism on the Iberian peninsula and its colonies was felt quite early and, although several Iberian and Latin American intellectuals were receptive to humanism, the movement was generally perceived by ecclesiastical and governmental authorities as a threat to the orthodox Faith.
Another challenge, the Reformation, had an effect on Iberian and Latin American philosophers and theologians similar to that of humanism.