Portugal Early History

Portugal in the Stone Age

Around 300,000 years ago people lived in what is now Portugal. Rock carvings from the Stone Age were found on the banks of the Côa River in northeast Portugal. They are 10,000 to 25,000 years old. In the 6th millennium BC BC the hunters and gatherers settled down and the Neolithic era began.

Portugal in ancient times

Around 800 BC Chr. Were Phoenicians in the area. Over the next three centuries, Celts came to the Iberian Peninsula from the north. They mingled with the Iberians to form the Celtiberians. Another local tribe were the Lusitans.

The Phoenicians subjugated the inhabitants and founded Carthage here from their capital until 450 BC. A colony. In the struggle for power in the Mediterranean, however, the Phoenicians were ultimately defeated in the Punic Wars.

According to extrareference, Portugal became a Roman province. It was named Lusitania after the inhabitants. Not until 19 BC However, the province was completely under Roman control. Now Roman buildings arose and with settlers from Rome the Latin language also came here. Portuguese eventually developed from it.

Time of the Great Migration

In 395 the Roman Empire fell apart. Portugal was now part of Westrom, which lost its old power just a few decades later.

Along with the Visigoths, the Suebi, Alans and Vandals also came to the region of today’s Portugal with the migration of peoples. The empires they founded, with the exception of the Visigoth Empire, were short-lived.

So did the Suebi Empire: under King Rechila, the Suebi ruled in the middle of the 5th century from Cape Finisterre in the north to the Algarve in the south. But their empire quickly fell apart again. The Visigoths extended their influence over much of the Iberian Peninsula in the 6th century.

Moors rule and reconquest

In 711 the Moors invaded the Iberian Peninsula from North Africa. The Visigoth Empire fell apart. The Moors were a people who had been Islamized by the Arabs. So they brought their Muslim faith with them. The Moors established their empire al-Andalus. They ruled the Iberian Peninsula for centuries. It was not until 1492 that they could be completely driven out.

A few years after the conquest by the Moors, the reconquest by the Christians, the Reconquista, began, but it lasted for several centuries. The Kingdom of Asturias was established in the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula in the 8th century. From here in the northwest the area of ​​what would later become Portugal was recaptured as early as the 9th century. Asturias then became the Kingdom of Asturias-León and in the 10th century the Kingdom of León, which in turn had to surrender the west to Galicia.

From the county of Portucale to the kingdom

Around the later city of Porto, the county of Portucale developed within this kingdom. She later gave the country its name. The county always strived for more independence. In the 11th century it came to an end after the last Count Nuno Mendez lost power to the King of Galicia.

Only a few years later, Henry of Burgundy came as a knight to the court of King Alfonso VI, who was not only King of León, but also of Castile and Galicia since 1072. Heinrich married a daughter of Alfons and received the county of Portucale as a dowry. He became the progenitor of the Portuguese royal family. Henry’s son, Alfonso I, assumed the title of king in 1139 and Portugal was now a kingdom. The House of Burgundy ruled Portugal until 1383. When the last king died with no offspring, the House of Avis came to power.

Portugal Early History