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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).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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)

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Before the Roman era, the Basque had DNA that was indistinguishable from that of other Iron Age Iberians. But Roman genes did not flow into Basque Country.
For thousands of years, the Iberian Peninsula -- home now to Spain and Portugal -- has served as a crossroads.
Both teams obtained the same striking result: Iberian hunter-gatherers had a remarkable mix of genes, showing that they descended from two profoundly distinct groups of early European hunter-gatherers.
Starting about 6,000 years ago, Olalde and his colleagues found, hunter-gatherer ancestry in Iberian farmers actually increased to 20 per cent.
In their archaeological digs, Risch and his colleagues have found that Iberian farmers originally lived in egalitarian societies, storing their wealth together and burying their dead in group graves.
That may reflect trade around the Mediterranean, which brought North Africans to Iberian towns, where they settled down.
New World histories of philosophy concerned with Latin America suffer similar shortcomings, although in this case their neglect concerns the thought of Iberian authors and their close relations with, and impact they have had on, Latin American philosophers.(4) Histories of Latin American or Ibero-American philosophy and thought tend to concentrate on developments in the New World, ignoring the strong relations that tie such developments to the thought from Spanish and Portuguese sources.(5) In the case of histories dealing specifically with Spanish American philosophy, the situation is even worse, insofar as they tend to ignore the Portuguese side of Latin America and the cultural and intellectual ties that relate it to the rest of the area.(6)
General histories of philosophy seldom, if ever, do justice not only to the historical relations between Iberian and Latin American philosophers, but also to the philosophy of Spain, Catalonia, Portugal, and Latin America.(7) Indeed, it is particularly rare to find any reference to Latin American contributions to philosophy.(8) This becomes quite evident when one turns to particular periods of the history of philosophy, such as the period which will especially occupy us: the sixteenth century and part of the seventeenth century.
The general neglect of Iberian and Latin American thought outside Iberian and Latin American countries makes no historical sense.
The same can be said about studying Iberian philosophy apart from Latin American philosophy, for even in cases in which the philosophy of Latin America did not explicitly influence Iberian philosophers, the Latin American reality did.
For all these reasons it should be clear that we need a general category to bring out the philosophical reality encompassed by the Iberian peninsula and Latin America.
The sculpture known as the Lady of Elche is an Iberian legacy, the Aqueduct of Segovia or Merida or Sagunto Theatres as legacies of the Romans, the Mosque of Cordoba and the Alhambra in Granada as Islamic art, are among of these memoirs of the history.