Spanish History

Spanish History
  • Prehistory and Protohistory
  • Ancient History
  • From Carthage to Roman Hispania
  • Visigothic Spain
  • Muslim Spain and the Reconquest
  • Lower Middle Ages
  • Imperial Spain
  • Discovery of the Americas
  • 18th Century Spain
  • Effects of the French Revolution
  • The Second Republic and Civil War
  • Restoration to Democratic Rule

From Carthage to Roman Hispania

Carthage 's continual encroachment was viewed with increasing disapproval by the Romans and when the Carhtaginian general Hannibal invaded and destroyed the Greek city of Sagantum, a Roman ally, the Second Punic War was unleashed. Following a Roman victory, Carthage fled the area and Publius Cornelius Scipio, Africanus, began his own conquest of Spain, which was to remain under Roman rule for six centuries.

Rome annexed the peninsula, and began by dividing it into two provinces: Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior. Once Roman power had taken a hold, Hispanic Rome was made up of three provinces, namely Lusitania, close to modern day Portugal, Baetica, close to Andalucia and Hispania Tarraconensis. This number would later increase to five with Cartaginense and Galecia in the 3 rd century. Once the Iberian tribes had been completely subdued by the Romans the area prospered, becoming an important part of the Empire given its abundant resources. Some very important elements that Rome left behind in Spain include the Latin language, the municipality system of administration, Roman law and the Christian religion.

Rome began undergoing a time of crisis, triggered by invasions staged by the Teutons and the Francs. Further invasions by the Vandals, Alan and Suevi swept over the peninsula and managed to break Roman power in Hispania. Eventually the defeated Romans appealed to the Visigoths in an effort to curb the disastrous chain of events, and by 419 they established their kingdom and became the dominant power on the peninsula.