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In passing from the countries known to have been inhabited by the Iberian race, into the other parts of Gaul, we enter, as M. de Humboldt observes, a new region; a new topographical language displays itself, and scarcely a name occurs bearing any analogy to the forms of Euskarian
In various parts of Italy some Euskarian names occur, as Uria, Astura, Asta, Biturgia. A considerable number of the old names of places in Italy bear a near resemblance to the old Spanish names of rivers, tribes, and fortified towns. From this it is an obvious conjecture that the aboriginal people of Italy were akin to the Iberi. Some historical testimony to this effect is to be found, as we shall hereafter find occasion to observe.
I shall now proceed to a more particular survey of the population of Spain.
SECTION IV. Of the Celtic Nations in Spain.
The Celtic nations in Spain may be considered as three divisions or principal settlements of the Celtic race in that country, without taking any account of tribes principally of Iberian descent, which, from the names of the districts or towns inhabited by them, may be conjectured to have been more or less intermixed with clans of Celtic origin. The three divisions of the Celtic people in Spain are, first, tribes intermixed with Iberians, in the mountainous countries near the centre of the peninsula, named Celtiberians. Secondly, the Celtici of the south-western extremity, occupying the southern parts of modern Portugal. Thirdly, the Celts near the Nerian promontory, or in the modern Gallicia, so named, probably, from its Gaulish inhabitants.
1. The high mountainous region in the central parts of Spain, near the sources of the great rivers which flow towards the different coasts, and the valleys near the upper courses of the rivers Durius, the Tagus, the Anas, was inhabited by the Celtiberians. Their country, as we are informed by Strabo, was of great extent, and of various surface; most of it hilly, and intersected by many rivers. The
Celtiberi were the most warlike people in Spain, and were celebrated for their bravery and the obstinacy with which they resisted the arms of Rome, under their chieftain Viriathus, or as Strabo calls him, Uriathus. Posidonius reported that a tribute of 600 talents was exacted from the Celtiberi, an argument that they were a numerous and rich people, though inhabiting a country which is termed by Strabo-арáλνπρоv -hard to cultivate. Polybius asserted that Tiberius Gracchus destroyed three hundred cities of the Celtiberi; on which relation Strabo observes, that the country is incapable of containing so many, by reason of its barrenness and the rudeness of the people: "neither do the Spaniards," as he says, "generally dwell in large cities, but in rural villages, with the exception of those who inhabit the coast of the Mediterranean." The Celtiberi had however some towns which were judged by Strabo worthy of the name of cities. The whole nation was divided into four tribes, of which the Arevaci, dwelling towards the south-east, and near the Carpetani and the sources of the Tagus, were the most powerful; their capital, Numantia was the most celebrated. Segida and Pallantia were likewise cities of the Arevaci. Scgobriga and Bilbilis, the former bearing a Celtic, the latter an Euskarian name, were also cities of the Celtiberi. Celtiberia was celebrated for a breed of horses of great speed and variegated in colour, which, according to Strabo, changed their hue when brought into the outer parts of Spain.
The Celtiberians are described by Diodorus, who represents them as fierce and rude people. He says, they wore black, rough cassocks, made of wool like goats'-hair, and brazen helms, adorned outside with plumes, armed with daggers and two-edged swords.*
Among the traits recorded of the Celtiberians we find some, although few, indications of their Celtic origin.+ Diodorus says that their favourite drink was made of honey, as was the metheglin of the ancient Britons. Their cavalry were accustomed to alight on the field of battle, and, like the
• Diodorus, lib. v.
+ Strabo, lib. iii.
charioteers of the Britons, engage their enemies on foot. It does not appear from any ancient notice that the institution of the druids extended to Spain, or was ever in vogue among the Celtic inhabitants of the peninsula. All that we are told of their religion is that the Celtiberians, at the full of the moon, spent the night before their houses in dancing to the honour of some god whose name has not been preserved. It appears however that the sacred rites of the Celtiberi were different from those of the Spanish tribes who were of the unmixed Iberian race; this may be inferred from a passage of Pliny, which will presently be cited.
Celtiberia, properly so termed, occupied a wide tract in the inland parts of Spain. It comprehended a large portion of Aragon and Castile, and reached northward to the Durius, and nearly to the Iberus, or Ebro: to the northward of the Celtiberi was the tribe of Verones, who bordered on the Cantabri; their principal city was Varia, on the Ebro. Strabo assures us that the Verones or Berones, as well as the Celtiberi, were a Celtic people; and the same thing is reported of the Carpetani, whose principal town was Alea.* These tribes belong to the Celtici of the interior.
2. Another Celtic people in Spain were in the southwestern extremity. They occupied an extensive country between the Tagus and the Anas or Guadiana, now forming parts of Portugal, Algarve, and Alentejo. This region was chiefly filled by Celtic people, among whom, as Strabo observes, the Romans introduced some settlers from Lusitania. The principal city of this Celtic nation was Conistorsis. The Celtici of Conistorsis and the surrounding country partook of the civilization and mildness of their neighbours, the Turdetani, to whom they were related, as Strabo says; meaning probably by intermarriages.†
These Celtici also occupied a considerable country to the southward of the Anas, in Bætica, or Bæturia. The ancient writers are not consistent with each other in their limitation of the different regions of Spain, and in the denominations which they respectively affix to each part, and hence it is
Steph. Byzant. Voc. Alea.
+ δια την συγγενειαν.
difficult to follow their distribution. Pliny terms the country to the northward of the Anas, Lusitania, and the other side of that river, to the south-east, Bætica, or Bæturia. He divides Bæturia into two parts, and says that one part belonged to the Celtici, and the other to the Turduli. The passage in which he mentions the Celtic towns is a curious. one, as it contains the first effort to trace the Celtici in Spain by the names of places. Pliny here anticipates the idea which became the foundation of M. de Humboldt's work. He says that the Celtici passed over the Anas into Bætica from the Celtiberi, who, according to his division of provinces, were in Lusitania. "This," as he declares, "is manifest by the resemblance of sacred rites, by their language, and by the names of their towns; "quæ cognominibus à Bæticis distinguuntur."* Ptolemy likewise mentions the Celtici of Bætica: he enumerates five cities as belonging to them, and eleven in the country of the Celtici, between the Anas and the Tagus. The Celtic country to the southward of the Anas comprehended a part of Estremadura which is cut off by that river, now termed Guadiana, as well as some parts of the kingdom of Seville, near Aroche.
It seems, from these accounts, that a very considerable part of the south-western region of Spain was the abode of a Celtic people, and that these people differed from the neighbouring tribes of Iberian descent in their religious rites, as well as in their language, in both of which they resembled the Celtiberi. This will prevent our adopting the opinion of some late writers, who imagine that the Celts of Spain had become entirely assimilated to the native Spaniards, or Euskaldunes.
3. A part of Gallicia was also the territory of a Celtic. people, from whom the modern name of this province may possibly have been derived. The promontory of Nerium, or Cape Finisterre, was the abode of a tribe termed Artabri, who are said by some to have been a Celtic race.‡ Around it, and above the Artabri, were spread the villages of the Celtici. These people, according to Strabo, were descended from the
• Claud. Ptolem. Geog. lib. ii. cap. 4.
+ Plin. H. N. lib. ii. cap. 1.
Pomp. Mela, lib. iv. c. 20. (vid. Ritson, p. 22.)
Celtici of the Anas. A tradition preserved by that geographer reported that an expedition had been made into their country by an army from the nations of Bætica, the Celtici having joined their forces to those of their neighbours the Turduli. After passing the river Limæus, the allied armies quarrelled, and the Celtici having dispersed themselves over the country remained in possession of it.
It has been observed by M. de Humboldt that the ancient writers term the Celts of Spain not Celti, but Celtici. From this remark, however, he ought to have excepted Strabo and Diodorus, who call them Kéλro, by the same denomination which they give to the people of Gaul. On the question whether the Celtic tribes were invaders of the Iberian territory, or inhabited Spain before the Euskaldunes, I shall offer a few remarks in the sequel.
SECTION V.-Iberian Tribes in Spain.
Paragraph 1.-Of the Turdetani and Turduli.
The country to the eastward of the Anas, and the Celtic districts bordering on that river, was termed Bætica, from the river Bætis, the Guadalquivir, which flows through it. It had the name of Turdetania, from its inhabitants, who were the Turdetani and Turduli. * Some writers considered them as different tribes, among whom Polybius reported that the Turduli were neighbours of the Turdetani towards the north. They were not distinguished in the time of Strabo, who says that their country was extremely rich and fertile, and second to no part of the world in all natural advantages. Turdetania comprehended most of the south of Spain, reaching from the river Anas to the mountainous country of the Oretani or La Mancha. It was said to contain, according to Strabo, two hundred cities, the principal of which were Gades or
* Strab. p. 161.
+Ptolemy, on the other hand places the Turduli to the south and eastward of the Turdetani. This double termination is elsewhere found in old Spanish nanies: the Basistani and Bastuli were one people.