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Thread: The Iberians: Compiled Information.

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    HigoChumbo's Avatar Definitely not Jom.

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    Default The Iberians: Compiled Information.

    I've been asked for this info a few times and the parts are not just completelly scattered around the forums, they also require several PMs to be sent, so out of convenience I'm putting it all together here.

    Disclaimer: Please note that I'm neither a professional historian nor a student of History, so although I try to be as unbiased and accurate as possible, take whatever personal conclussions I reach with a pinch of salt. That said, most my sources come from respected historians or primary archeological evidence.

    Also, there are responses to other posters mixed with the primary sources, so I'm sorry if the missing narrative links make some parts a bit confusing or if the quality of some posts is not precisely academic. Most the comments were made in Rome 2 pre-release discussions, in case that helps.

    So, without further ado:

    As an introduction, allow me to start by fixing the biggest and most common misconception I've seen about pre-roman/pre-carthaginian Spain:

    • About the looks and differences between the peoples of pre-Roman Spain:

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

      These are non-indoeuropean Turdetanian warriors from the southwest, around Gadir and Corduba:

      Some consider them a branch of the iberians, some say they formed their own cultural group (for instance, they had their own language different from iberian).

      The famous long-neck helmet was probably only used by them (i have seen so many mods call this "celtiberian warriors"). Not even other non-indoeuropean iberan warriors used that cap. The material is not known, some say sinew, some say leather, but there are not archeological evidences. Its purelly based on this relief found in the Turdetanian/Tartessian area of influence (i believe it was found in the province of Seville):


      Now these could belong to most iberian tribes, but i think they are usually more related to the south-eastern groups, mainly the Bastetani and the Contestani if i am correct (probably up to more northern levantine groups, like the edetani):

      The wolf shaped pectoral is inspired in this sculpture found in La Alcudia (province of Alacant/Alicante), i believe that is the Contestani zone, but they were probably very similar to other iberians (Bastetani, Edetani etc) save the Turdetanians and the ones more to the north.

      The sculpture to the right is probably the main source for the "bascient" type helmet that you have seen in Jack Lusted's previews. I believe it could be made both of metal and leather, plain or with a crest.


      Now the heavy infantry in scale armor you have seen in Europa Barbarorum is based on Edetani from the levantine coast:

      In my opinion this is a pretty lazy, literal and non-imaginative at all interpretation of the following vase (found in the Edetani zone, in the province of Valencia). They even kept the monotonous color scheme of the pottery for everything... (shield, armor, clothing...) ¬¬

      Also based on that vase, some people have asumed they used body painting/tatooing (?) (check the black drawings in legs and arms), but i doubt there is actually any real reference for that other than the vase, it could be any kind of ornamental piece. In the other hand, i seem to recall reading somewhere that that vase depicted warriors in ceremonial garments, so body paint could make sense if it's any kind of ritual. Check the images (Note that these are very personal interpretations by a particular author (Dionisio A. Cueto), so be adviced):

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


      And now, these are celtiberians, an entirelly different beast. They were CELTS with iberian influences (and or interbred with iberians). They spoke a celtic (indo-european) language:

      Note they use a mixture of iberian (non-celtic) and La Tené (celtic) equipment, like the montefortino helmet (celtic), celtic straigth swords (althought i believe they also used iberian falcatas to some extent), iberian caetras (small, round shield), celt-ish oval shields (althought the iberians also used similar -smaller- oblong shields, like the ones in the turdetanian images above), celtic chainmail, iberian round breastplates, etc.

      So these people were mainly a mixture of celts and iberians.

      The round shields and pectorals are probably inspired in this (found in the celtiberian zone around Numantia, these 2 are from the provinces of Guadalajara and Teruel and you can see them at the Archeological Museum in Madrid, if you visit it):

      The warrior with the black goat-skin cape i seem to recall is a reference to a Diodorus Siculus' text.

      edit: i found it:

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
      Having spoken of the Celts, we shall now give an account of their neighbours the Celtiberians. The two ((DIFFERENT)) nations Celts and Iberians, heretofore breaking forth into a war about the boundaries of their countries, at length agreed to inhabit together promiscuously, and so marrying one with another, their issue and posterity (they say) afterwards were called Celtiberians. Two potent nations being thus united, and possessed likewise of a rich and fertile country, these Celtiberians became very famous and renowned; so that the Romans had much ado to subdue them after long and tedious wars with them. These Celtiberians bring into the field not only stout and valiant horsemen, but brave foot, both for strength and hardiness able to undergo all manner of labour and toil. They wear black rough cassocks made of wool, like to goat's hair. Some of them are armed with the Gaulish light shields, others with bucklers as big as shields, and wear greaves about their legs made of rough hair, and brazen helmets upon their heads, adorned with red plumes. They carry two-edged swords exactly tempered with steel, and have daggers beside, of a span long, which they make use of in close fights. They make weapons and darts in an admirable manner; for they bury plates of iron so long under ground, till the rust hath consumed the weaker part, and so the rest becomes more strong and firm. Of this they make their swords and other warlike weapons; and with these arms, thus tempered, they so cut through every thing in their way, that neither shield, helmet, nor bone can withstand them. And because they are furnished with two swords, the horse, when they have routed the enemy, alight and join with the foot, and fight to admiration.

      Also... lol, i had not read this part:

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
      There is another strange and wonderful custom they have amongst them; for, though they are very nice and curious in their diet, yet they have a very sordid and filthy practice, to wash their whole bodies over with urine, and rub their very teeth with it, which is counted a certain means of health to their bodies.19

      19. a very sordid and filthy practice: I haven't seen evidence for this practice; if anything, the Celts--of whom the Celtiberians are a subset--pioneered the use of soap.


      And these are only Iberians and Celtiberians. The other half of Hispania looked completelly different, since they were mostly celts or heavily celticied, and this includes Lusitanians and Cantabrians. In the small northern mountain area around the border with france (the Basque Country) there were aquitanian (non-indoeuropean) tribes, like the Vascones, which also were different, since they were very isolated (their language is the only pre-roman language still alive today in Spain)

      Look at this map:

      The orange zone is the iberian zone (bastetani, oretani, edetani like the shown above in the pics), the blue zone is the turdetanian zone (also shown above). And the green zone is the Aquitanian zone. These 3 zones were NOT INDO-EUROPEAN (remember this is not necesarily a reference to culture, but to language, but you get the point).

      Now the entire Yellow-ish zone is the celtic zone (includes the mixed celtiberian zone in middle), and they had a completelly different culture. As you can see, hispanic peoples were not only different tribes within the same cultural whole... there were several ENTIRELLY DIFFERENT CULTURES with several very distinct languages (4 main groups: turdetanian, iberian, aquitanian and celtic).

      So talking about all of the different cultures that inhabited the peninsula as if they were equals is as wrong as if you said that the Romans and the Cisalpine gauls were the same people.

    • A few extra pictures (IMAGE HEAVY):

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

      Iberian (left) and Celtiberian (right) warriors, by Sandra Delgado:
      (The warrior on the right is based on a recently found, real celtiberian helmet, made in the greek chalcidian fashion)

      Celtiberian warrior, by Dionisio Álvarez.:

      Celtiberian chief/mercenary, 4th/5th century B.C., researched by Raimon Graells i Fabregat, illustrated by Pablo Outeiral::


      I don't know how historically accurate these are, but I like some of the designs:

      Iberian warrior in Hannibal's Army, by Jeff Burn.:

      Iberian cavalryman:

      Battle of Ilipa, 206 BC, by Pablo Outeiral (I imagine those are celtiberians in the Carthaginian side):

      Iberian noble cavalryman?:

      Celtiberian Warrior?:

      Iberian warrior at Zama " año 202 a.d.C. ( Marek Shishko ):

      Iberian Cavalryman, Black Hawk Toy Soldiers:

      Iberian Cavalryman:

      Helenistic thureos infantryman, Iberian warrior (It says "south-eastern", but I'd say he is Turdetanian), Republican Roman legionary on march, Auxilia Roman Cavalryman, Imperial Roman legionary:

      "An Iberian Caetratii soldier with his typical Caetra shield, the origin of his unit's name, and light bronze armor. His sword is an Celtic iron La Tene sword, which the Iberian probably acquired through trade, or though plundering dead bodies after a battle.":

      A celtiberian warrior according to the Rome Total Realism mod:

      Iberian Warrior, by Ana Koehler?:

      The source says this one is Iberian, but I'm pretty sure he is at the very least Celtiberian (montefortino helmet, antler sword):

      Another probable celtiberian (montefortino helmet, antler sword):

      "Viriato, ambush against the romans", by wraithdt. I'm no sure about how historically accurate this is (and I don't like his version of the "Turdetani-like" infantryman on the left, too literal for my taste), but the illustration is pretty cool nonetheless:

      A very free representation of what I guess is an edetani warrior. Given the sources this is based on, what the artist draws as tight boots and a shirt looks a lot more like it should be paint in my opinion:

      (Did they paint the horses too?)

      Same thing:

      A falcata, the more curvy version: (check the angled version here)

      Archeological references (IMAGE HEAVY):

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

      The Warrior of Moixent was found in the province of Valencia (in area formerly inhabited by the Contestani Iberians). It's thought to be an ex-voto (a votive offering):

      The amazing falcata of Almedinilla (Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid):
      (an article from the Museum on it [Spanish]:

      Detail of the handle of a damascened falcata. 4th-3rd century b.C.
      Necropolis of La Serreta (Alcoy, Cocentaina, Penáguila, province of Alicante, Spain).

      Detail of the blade of a damascened falcata. 4th-3rd century b.C.
      Necropolis of La Serreta (Alcoy, Cocentaina, Penáguila, province of Alicante, Spain).

      Iberian Armament. Caetra umbo (shield), bulky and metallic that protected the central part of it and the warrior's hand that would be holding the handle on the back of the shield. 4th-3rd century b.C.

      Iberian warrior with horse, it comes from the necropolis of Hoya Gonzalo (Albacete, Spain).
      Made in limestone and dated to around the year 490 b.C. (5th century b.C.).
      These stone images used to crown the burials of important figures of the Iberian tribes.

      Harnessed horse, made in limestone.
      Origin: Iberian necropolis of La Losa (Casas de Juan Núñez, Albacete, Spain).
      5th century b.C.

      Horseman from Los Villares (Hoya Gonzalo, Albacete, Spain). Burial Mound number 20. Around the year 420 b.C.
      Material: Sandstone.

      Damascened scabbard of a falcata. 4th-3rd century b.C.
      Necropolis of La Serreta (Alcoy, Cocentaina, Penáguila, province of Alicante, Spain).

      Silver Patera of Santiesteban (Jaén). Museo Arqueológico Nacional. Iberian with greek influences. The wolf seems to be a recurring theme in iberian iconography. Some say it references the zeal of the warrior and the cult of the night, some that it's the guide in the afterlife, some that it might also be a symbol of the devotio, since the warriors would compare themselves with the efficiency and strenght of a wolf and how they serve a leader who has shown strenght. Some other representations: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

      The wolf devouring the head of a warrior is also seen in other references ([6] [7]), but I'm don't know yet what's the meaning of it.

      Pateras of the treasure of Tivisa, Museo Arqueológico de Cataluña-Barcelona.:

      another one:

      Iberian bronze figures (wolf heads, iberian warriors), apparently decorations from the funerary carriage of an Iberian prince (hypothetical reconstruction below). Found in the province of Jaén:

      Pattern in the Vase of the Warriors (Alcoy):


      Vase of the Bastetani dance (4 women, 3 male warriors and 2 musicians in the head), Museu de Prehistòria i de les Cultures de València:

      Mourning scene, Cerro de San Miguel de Liria, Museu de Prehistòria i de les Cultures de València:

      Vase from Cerro de San Miguel de Liria, Museo de Prehistoria "Domingo Fletcher".

      An Edetani warrior in the vase of Tosal de San Miguel (is that paint in his arms and legs? this seems to be very common in these depictions):

      Hunting scene in the Vase of El Campello, most likely originally from Alcoy:

      From the Vase "de los letreros" of Llíria:

      The Braganza Brooch is a gold ornamental fibula that was made in the third century BC, apparently by a Greek craftsman for an (celtic) Iberian client:

      Celtiberian pottery:

      Fragment of the vase of LLíria (more paint?):

      Fragment of the vase of the dancers from El Tossal de Sant Miquel de Llíria (Valencia)


      Fíbula de Lancia (Museo Arqueológico Nacional), a Celtiberian fibula representing a rider. Under the horse's head, there is a cut human head, maybe from a defeated enemy. This kind of fibulae are considered to be an emblem of elite warriors.

      Iberian warrior from the Cerrillo Blanco. First half of the 5th century B.C.. Museo Provincial, Jaén. I never knew what's the purpose of the "plate" at the side of his helmet. I've seen it represented with wings in it, althought that does not seem likely. But it looks like the base of some kind of decoration (horns? feathers?):

      Dismounted iberian cavalryman stabbing a fallen enemy with his (missing) spear. Museo de Jaén:

      Punic influence in the Iberian world.
      Pottery decorated with a lion in front of a palm tree. 3rd century b.C.
      Origin: Zama (Hellín, Albacete, Spain).

      Museo de Historia de Valencia / Museu d'Historia de Valencia. Iberian pottery from the 1st century b.C.
      The complex figurative decoration of this Iberian piece represented the cycle of life and death, that some authors have interpreted as a myth on the founding of Valentia (explanation extracted from the informative panel of the piece).

    • An article about the fashion in which Iberians fought, by Fernando Quesada-Sanz (tight formations in pitched battles vs guerrillas):
      (there are plenty of other articles on the Iberians in that website.

    • On the uniqueness of the pre-roman hispanic peoples (plus pictures of Ilergete warriors):

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
      The Lusitani (because of Viriatus) and the Arevaci (Celtiberi, because of the defense of Numantia) are probably the most iconic (let's say well-known) tribes, along with the Cantabrians (because of the Cantabrian wars in the later times of Augustus), but i don't agree they are the more unique.

      All the Lusitani, the Celtiberi and probably the Cantabrians too, were either celts or heavily influenced by celts, so they might be similar to an extent to gauls.

      I'd say the more unique cultures were the Turdetani (because of the Tartessian Heritage) and the iberians (which were influenced by external cultures, like the phoenicians or the greeks, but retained their original "feel"). Visually they are quite more unique too (althought, again,t hey will probably be present in the carthaginian roster).

      The Vascones were very isolated and part of the distinct Aquitanian culture, so they might be quite unique too (though i'm just guessing here, i have seen very few archeological evidence of the actual "looks" of the northern tribes).

      The only peoples that were not of indo-european culture in Hispania were the Aquitanians, the Iberians and those of Tartessian heritage (mainly the Turdetanians, although they are often included in the iberian group).

      Also, those tribes that were more influenced by greeks bring some interesting options to explore. I always liked this drawing of an Ilergete from the present-day catalonia (i don't know to what extent it is historical, but the greek influences from the nearby greek colonies of Rhodes and Emporion bring many interesting design options, like iberians with corinthian helmets).

      Some extra notes about the "uniqueness" of the iberian factions.

      The main expansion of the celts in Spain happened in two vas migrations in the IXth and VIIth. centuries BC, during the Hallstatt culture, while the iberians are dated from as early as 3000-5000 b.c. Some even say they were the original native inhabitants of western Europe.
      After the greeks founded Massalia (Marseille), the iberians occupied the valley of the Ebro river, so the iberian-celts got cut-off from their gallic relatives. Therefore, they probaly had a different cultural evolution (some say that druidism or La Tené culture didn't transpire into Spain)
      According to Strabo, the Turdetani (heirs to the Tartessian Civilization) were the most advanced people in Spain, even more than the most advanced celts. Probably the richest too. The later "Baetica" roman province that more or less covered the turdetani area of expansion was the only senatorial province in Spain (also the birthplace the first two "provincial" emperors: Trajan and Hadrian). It got highly romanized. Historically the Tartessians-Turdetanians had strong comercial and cultural ties with the phoenicians, and they inherited their skill at navigation and manned big ships.

    • Some misconceptions about the lusitanians: (response to another poster)

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
      A couple of corrections:
      • As far as i'm concerned, Lusitanians didn't really achieve relevance in the punic wars (althought they were a small part of Hannibal's army). They are mainly famous because of the later resistance to roman occupation (Lusitanian Wars 155 to 139 BC).
      • I agree, the romans took 200 years to conquer Hispania, but that was mainly because they had not yet conquered the northern isolated regions (Cantabrians and Astures). So this has little to do with the Lusitanians (most of the conflicts between Lusitanians and romans are contained between 194 and 139 BC).
      • About the Gladius Hispaniensis, there is no conclusive evidence, but the common theory is that romans adopted it after the punic wars from the celtiberian mercenaries in the carthaginian army. So again, not really a point in favour of the Lusitanians. (not al celts in Hispania were celtiberians (check the map in the spoiler below), they were spanish/hisipanic/iberian celts. The term "celtiberian" designates a different tribe, which the romans believed to be a blend of iberian and celt cultures).

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

      The Celtiberi:

      • About the cantabrian circle... it is famous because of the cantabrians... nothing to do with the Lusitanians either.
      • About the falcata, it was mainlyl used in the iberian (south and levant coasts) zone, and to some extent, by the celtiberians, but not by the celts (check the spoiler below). So, again, nothing to do with the Lusitanians (which were heavily celticied). As for the triangular-shaped dagger, i'm not entirely sure but i believe its the same.

      ** This map is probably way too simplistic, there are more serious sources in other posts ***

      Difference between iberian and celt swords:

      The main arguments in favour of the lusitanians are probably Viriathus (arguably the most famous pre-roman hispanic leader), guerrilla tactics and the fact that, while heavily celticied, they were one of the few pre-celtic cultures in Spain (along with the aquitanians, the iberians and the tartessian residuals (turdetanians).

      Btw, about the lusotannan (lusitani) in Europa Barbarorum... they have 26 units, and 20 or so are actually not lusitanian... Most of their roster is iberian (again... lusitanians WERE NOT iberian), but also cantabrians, vascones, astures, celtiberians or balearics... In fact, there are more iberian units than lusitanians in their roster, and the lusitanians did never rule over those other peoples.

      As for the lusitanian units themselves, they are depicted with actual celtiberian and iberian equipment, if i am correct.

    • On the origin and fabrication of the Iberian Falcata:

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
      Visual logic and the fact that there were greek settlements in the iberian shores could lead to think that the falcata has its origin in the greek kopis, but i have read somewhere that the development of the kopis and the falcata was paralel and independent (althought the falcata could come from a similar sword from italy -etruscans i seem to recall-, which in turn come from Illyrians or Thracians). In any case, there are several theories.

      I'm not entirely sure about the kopis, but i'd say the differences (aside from the more stylized shape of the kopis) were in the manufacturing methods and the quality of the iron (iberian blades were famed for its cutting capacity and its flexibility)

      Spain was one of the main sources of metal in that period, and the iberian smiths were known to bury the iron for 2-3 years to remove the weak points of the metal. Also if i recall correctly, they made the swords from 3 layers of iron joined in heat.

    • Evidence of the falcata being used by a few major iberian peoples: (and not by celts, celtiberians or other iberians):

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
      The vast majority of the archeological resources come from Levant, Andalusia (thats east and south). I believe there are more than 600 surviving falcatas, and as many as 200 have been found just in the province of Murcia (that would be a relatively small area around Carthago Nova, Qarth-Hadast in the map of Rome 2).

      Check this map for instance. Note that this does NOT show all the falcata findings, but those that have silver thread damascene decorations (not the most complete source but you get the idea):

    • Some more general information (more on the falcata, the degree of "civilization" of Iberians and their "superiority" over non-iberian hispanic peoples):

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
      Some bits of texts and images i got after reading the article "Guerrilleros in Hispania? The myth of Iberian guerrillas against Rome" by historian Fernando Quesada-Sanz (thanks to PROMETHEUS ts for the find).

      The main objetive of the article is to demonstrate that iberians fought mainly as medium and heavy line infantry in pitched battles (as opposed to just light skirmishwers using guerrilla hit&run tactics), but you can extract some details that actually confirm some of the points that have been discussed in this thread (like the iberians being more developed than the celtiberians and the celts or the fact that the use of the falcata was limited mainly to the southwestern groups):

      For example, the use of the term ‘tribes’ to denote a quite primitive stage of social development should not be used to describe Iberian and Celtiberian societies (aka, the non-celtic half of the hispanic peoples)
      Some cities had a Senate and magistrates (forexample, Arse/Saguntum)
      It was an urban culture of a complex nature,economically developed, a culture that employed a writing system and that for centuries had sculpted complex monuments in stone. The Iberian civilisation along the Mediterranean coast of the Peninsula and Southern Andalusia, or the Celtiberian culture along the Ebro river basin and in the inner Meseta can not be compared with the Lusitanian or Cantabrian populi in the western and northern parts of Iberia
      far from being the Hispanic sword par excellence, the falcata was only typical of the Bastetani and Contestani in the Southeast and then in a 4th to 2nd century BC context. The weapon was quite rare in the rest of the Iberian inhabited regions and almost unknown in the northern and western areas of the Peninsula.

      ** I don't know if he got the limits right in here, for instance the Relief of Osuna, which was found deep into Turdetanian territory (in the province of Seville) depicts a (probably Turdetanian) warrior with a falcata. If he was taking this into consideration, he probably was referring to the fact that the vast majority of falcata findings have been located in the south-eastern corner of Spain (roughly in the zones around the regions of Granada, Murcia, Alicante, Almería etc). Check this map (the areas are very approximate, just wanted to differentiate them with colors):**

      Btw, note there is not one falcata finding in Lusitania (Lusitania meaning the land were the Lusitani lived, not the roman province, that would be the strip of land north of the Tagus (Tajo) river, so if they used any, it would be a very, very rare thing (not enought to justify a purely lusitanian unit using mainly falcatas) and probably imported from the iberian zone, not home-made.
      We should also take into account that geographers like Strabo or histo rians like Diodorus or Livy had theirown agenda: they were panegyrists of Rome’s right to domination, and one of the ways to justify this was to emphasize the more primitive customs of subjected peoples, including warfare. Typically, if a local leader like Indibilis was an ally, he was a basileus, a princeps, “a man of regal nobility” (Livy28.27.5). As soon as he rebelled against Rome, he became “a bandit, leader of bandits” (Livy 28.32), and his troops abunch of rascals.
      Schulten (a romantic historian) and later writers relied heavily on some texts that described Iberian light infantry tactics while disregarding many others that described close order formations and battle. There are indeed some sources that highlight the nimbleness of the Iberians, but even then, they emphasize their stamina and reliability over that of the Numidians (Livy 23.26). We should read them carefully: when Strabo, the Augustan geographer, mentions that the Iberians (he is in fact referring to the Celtiberians) fought like peltastai and not as psiloi (the peltastai could engage into close combat after they had used all their projectiles, so they are considered like some kind of medium-multipurpose infantry, while the psiloi were ligher infantry that avoided hand to hand combat) he uses a word that in his time implied dual purpose infan try, capable of fighting both in open and close order, just as most historical sources describe them in battle. There are indeed references to Spanish light infantry units in Hannibal’s army (e.g. Livy 22,18,2), but we should not forget that there are many more that show Spanish line infantry units fighting in formation, as at Cannae itself (Polybius 3.113;Livy 22.46). There they could and did resist in close order formation the full weight of a hugely stronger Roman force. The Spaniards eventually became the best units in Hannibal’s army (Livy27.14.5), just as they were in his brother Hasdrubal’s (Livy 27.48.6). Even Scipio risked using line infantry Iberians in his battle line at Illipa (Polybius 11.22).
      Diodorus for example insists that the Lusitanians are inferior to the Celtiberians in close combat (5.34), and his description of them (of the Lusitanians) can not be applied to either Iberians or Celtiberians. Also, when Strabo says(3.3.6) that the Lusitanians used around shield two feet in diameter (over60 cm.), we can hardly use this as a source for the idea that the caetra was a ‘small buckler’ since he is comparing it to the much bigger hoplite aspis.
      A few other pitched battles involving Iberians from the Levant and Andalusiaare known. However, if we suspect that the less developed Celtiberians of the inner lands are more adept at guerrilla tactics, even a cursory glance at Livy or Appian proves us wrong.

      The point he is tryint to make here is that while the Lusitianians were famous for their guerrilla tactics, Iberians and Celtiberians actually fought in close formations of medium-heavy line infantry in ordered ranks, but i use this part to show again how he makes a clear differentiation between celts, celtiberians and iberians and also notes that the celtiberians were actually less developed than the iberians (and i i am correct the celts were the less developed of them all)
      In 203 BC, at the very end of Hannibal’s war, the Carthaginians in Africa raised their spirits when they knew that a force of 4,000 Celtiberian mercenaries had arrived. They were considered invincible because of their valour and their weapons. Certainly, this is not the image of a contingent of light infantry auxiliaries. Indeed, they fought bravely in the line at the Great Plains, and died in their ranks covering the retreat of the rest of the army (Polybius 14.8.7)

    • On why I think that falcatas (at least some of the designs) were designed and used for both slashing and stabbing: (response to another poster)

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

      I don't think it would be more cumbersome (to stab with a falcata) because of the shape (we should check what the differences in weight are tho). In any case, the form factor could make the stab lose a bit of force (because of the axix of the arm and the axis of the thrust not being in the same line). If the blade was completelly curved, then i'd say yes (and there are some kopis and falcatas that are completelly curved), but most falcatas I have seen have that "hawked" shape (hence the name) in which the upper side abruptly turns down in a pointy angle (not a curve), thus allowing the point to be effectively use as a stab weapon:

      See my point?

      The only proplem is the paralel axes (the plural of axis? xD), but i think that actually the handguard, which continues until it covers the entire hand, diminishes this problem, since it provides a lower "pushing" point which is actually in the same line as the point.


      Also, i usually think of it as a response to the short-sword vs shield combat. In an ideal situation, the straight shape is always going to be better for stabbing, but you are rarely going to have a straigh line between your blade and a target spot. You are probably going to have to force your way around the shield, often in "unconfortable", "unnatural" positions. And there the curved blade has the advantage, since you can actually "stab" by doing a slash. Imagine it with something like this:

      If you "slash" with something like that, the result is not going to be a "slashing cut" but an actual stab, because of the curved point. This would be an example in actual combat (the right image, sorry i don't do a better one, i'm in a bit of a hurry and can't find better pics, but i think that it illustrates my point fine):

    • On Iberians as "barbarians": (reply to another poster)

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

      If you consider the term "barbarian" not as "foreigner" but as less civilized, then i have to say that not all spaniards were "barbarians".

      Lusitanians, Cantabrians or even Celtiberians were celts or heavily celticied, probably not very different from the Gauls (since you consider them barbarians i use them as a reference).

      BUT, the south-western, non-indoeuropean (aka, not celtic) iberians, the turdetanians, who were the virtual heirs of Tartessos, were quite advanced and they were a urban society who lived in -somewhat- big cities (and i mean actual cities, not small fortified towns on hills -oppidums- or at minimum not only, Turdetanian towns were at least certainly bigger than their other spaniard counterparts) . According to Strabo they were the most "cultured" people in Hispania, althought they were probably in a stage of decline after Tartessos (their main city) was destroyed and they split into several smaller kingdoms.

      I don't think they were very different in many aspects from actual Carthaginians (Tartessians/Turdetanians had punic influences while retaining a strong native component, while the carthaginians were purely phoenician in origin, but both colonies (Gadir, the phoenician city in Tartessian territory, and Carthage) were actually influenced by phoenicians from the very same city, Tyre).

      The other non-indo european iberian tribes/kingdoms from the south-east and the levant of Hispania were also more civilized than their celtic counterparts, but to a lesser extent if you compare them with the Turdetanians.

      So, for those saying "there are already enough barbarian factions"[/U][/B], know that that's not a correct depiction of -all- hispanic prerroman peoples. If you consider Turdetanians as barbarians, then you might as well do the same with the Carthaginians.

    • On the Tartessians and their successors the Turdetanians (and Atlantis theories):

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
      He probably meant the Tartessians =)

      It was definatelly not a Tribe. You could refer to it as the kingdom, but also as the culture, which was widespread through the entire southern half of the peninsula at the height of its power. Even when it has dissapeared, their influence remained through the Turdetanians (who actually spoke the Tartessian language)

      The fact that it has not been found (it's probably in a swamp where there was a lake/bay in ancient times, now the Natural Park of Doñana) does not mean it did not exist. Also, it is the main city (Tartessos) the one which dissapeared, but their culture and language remained, Tartessos was not only a city but a fairly big "kingdom".

      After the city/kingdom of Tartessos dissapeared (some say after a natural catastrophe, some that it was destroyed by the Carthaginians after the Tartessians supported the Greeks in the Battle of Alalia), the culture and language survived in the southwestern part of the peninsula, and in the texts that culture appears as the Turdetanians (which are quoted to be the most advanced amongst all the Iberians by Strabo, so makes sense, since also the Tartessian mainland is the same as the Turdetanian zone.

      As with everything, there is a legendary/unproved part (we were talking about the relationship of Tartessos with the legendary Atlantis), but it is the same with other stuff, like the Cid (who existed, but his story was told as a legend with no historical accuracy) or the War of Troy.

      If you want to see the extent of the Turdetanian zone and also their area of influence, there is a good map in some previous page of this same thread (check it, there are a lot of informative posts).

      About the carthaginian involvement in Hispania, they only conquered it after the first punic war, but they traded and employed mercenaries much before (like in the wars in Sicily against the greeks), take into account that Carthage was a phoenician colony, and there were other phoenician colonies in Hispania, and arguably one of the main phoenician colonies of the Mediterranean -Gadir- was set in Hispania, curiously enough, in the middle of the Tartessian/Turdetanian mainland.

      Also, about the obscure part, you would be surprised. As opposed to most gauls, britons and germans, southern and eastern iberians were heavily influenced by phoenicians and greeks, not only because of trade but because of the several colonies they had stablished along its coast (from Gadir to Emporion).

      And if you are trully interested in the matter, google Turdetani or (and specially) Tartessians, they were regarded since the early antiquity as the most advanced people amongst the iberians. Hell... some people even claim that they were the basis for the mithological atlanteans (yet another pop-culture reference the spaniards failed to adopt as their own ^^)

    • Maps on the different cultures and languages of pre-roman/pre-carthaginian Spain:

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    • On the relationship of the Carthaginians with the Iberians:

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
      Well i believe the Carthaginian interest in the peninsula was mainly due to the rich metal mines (silver, tin, gold, iron, copper etc). They also had a closer relantionship with the iberians becasue of the numerous phoenician colonies along the southern coast of Spain (in fact, both Carthage and the main Phoenician city in Spain, Gadir, were founded by colonists from the same metropolis, Tyre).

      Also one of the major reasons for the cultural advancement of the southern-levantine peoples was the preexistence of an older kingdom named Tartessos (that many historians are trying to vinculate with the legendary Atlantis, since most the historical descriptions of both cities match) which flourished because of the cultural exchanges and trade with the phoenicians and greeks to a lesser extent.

      The city and the kingdom were already destroyed by the time the game starts, but the cultural influence remained.

      And that said, they also had a good source of military manpower all over the peninsula. While they just settled in the southern and eastern coasts (the iberian zone) they also used mercenaries from the celtic half of Hispania, like Celtiberians or Lusitanians.

    • The ladies of Elche and Baza (Iberian sculpture):

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
      Quote Originally Posted by PROMETHEUS ts View Post
      As the same Lady of Elche seems to prove according to artistic abilities andrich cultural diversity from the more barbaric tribes of the north...

      CA has missed the ocasion of portraying a truly unique culture of the mediterranean, preferring instead to implement the insignificant tribe of the Iceni...
      In case someone doesn't know it:

      I believe Elche was in the Contestani zone, but i might be wrong.

      The Lady of Elche is the most famous, another good example is the Lady of Baza (Baza is the modern town which in old times was named Basti, the capital of the Bastetani):

      This is a reproduction with restored pigments (I think it is interesting because of the decorative patterns on the cloth):

    • On recent archeological findings (and elderly plundering ):

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

      A retired amateur Spanish grandpa with a metal detector has illegally expoliated 4000 celtiberian pieces and sold them in auctions in Germany and Great Britain... (as usual, the Spanish authorities have done jack about it).

      Among the pieces, he sold these AMAZING celtiberian-made helmets of "Chalcidian" (greek-macedonian) design, some decorated with celtic-looking horns/antlers. I didn't know greek influence went so deep inland into the celtic-hispanic zones.

      They were found in Aranda del Moncayo, province of Zaragoza, very close to the old Numantia (in Soria, check the link)

      (I'm in love with the first one btw).

      Some images of the pieces the Spanish police has managed to recover from the man's house (they haven't been able to buy the most impressive pieces the dude sold in Germany). They reported he had original celtiberian sling projectiles sitting on top of his tv...

 (i can't link this one as an image, but you can see a falcata ans some spearheads on it)

      These are fairly new findings, so i doubt CA has seen these resources yet =) They could be useful in case they want to give a potential pure celtiberian (not hispanic celt nor non-indoeuropean iberian) faction some more unique flavour.

    • Iberian writing:

      Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

      Celtiberian (Borroquita plaques):

      Levantine paleo-iberian (lead plaque from Ullastret):
      (lots of similar examples here)

    That's all I've got for now. Please, do share whatever suggestion, correction or disagreement you guys might have.
    Last edited by HigoChumbo; May 21, 2015 at 08:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Linke's Avatar Hazarapatish
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    Default Re: The Iberians: Compiled Information.

    The ancient Iberian peninsula is truly fascinating to me, even more so becuase it's so unkown compared to other places. Like Saguntum, was it a native town resembling a Greek Polis? Could the Iberians have formed a culture similar to the Italian or Balkan ones? Maybe the Tartessians already did? And finaly if this (as it seems to be) was the case, isn't it entirely possible that if they were left undisturbed one Iberian federation/and or city would unite the Peninsula and go on much like Rome did?
    Last edited by Linke; May 18, 2015 at 03:31 PM.

  3. #3
    HigoChumbo's Avatar Definitely not Jom.

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    Default Re: The Iberians: Compiled Information.

    It's funny you mention that because I recall reading somewhere that the Iberians were closely related to the etruscans and/or the Illyrians and that they were cut off their kin when the celts occupied the Rhone basin region (same as they did in turn isolating the Spanish celts from their continental brothers).

    Although there are also plenty of theories linking them with ancient basques. As a funny anecdote I can tell you that I actually lived for a few years with a basque guy who had no deep knowledge of history, and he left me open-mouthed one day I did the experiment of asking him what the word "Iliberri" meant (which he didn't know was the iberian name of my homecity, Granada) and he answered "well why? it means "new city" (I'm guessing he understood something like "Iriberri", "herri berri" or "erri berri", which translates to new town or new people or something like that)

    I was as well surprised when Rome 2 came out and I found out that the Illyrians looked a lot closer to what I thought Iberians looked like than the Iberians themselves.
    Last edited by HigoChumbo; May 18, 2015 at 06:14 PM.

  4. #4
    HigoChumbo's Avatar Definitely not Jom.

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    Default Re: The Iberians: Compiled Information.

    I've updated the op with a lot of images (in the "A few extra pictures" section, the second spoiler) and added a couple new sections, Archeological references (3d spoiler, also loaded with images) and Iberian writing (the last spoiler).

    As a matter of fact, I've already used the 100 images per post I'm allowed, So I'll leave this one as reserved.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Iberians: Compiled Information.

    Hello Higo Chumbo, is there any information available about warfare of greek colonialists in Rhode/Emporion?

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Iberians: Compiled Information.

    Correct me if im wrong but the area marked as "Vascones" (Basques) in your mark corresponds to an area that wasn't yet inhabited by Vascones at the time. Research shows that the current area of basque country was predominantly celtic (90% celtic chieftains/leaders, a few celtiberian ones), and slightly celtiberian in the southern part near Ebro River. The vascones lived further east and started thriving later as the local power weakened. Thats the whole reason the Basque Country was also called "Vascongadas" - basquified.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Iberians: Compiled Information.

    My small, meager contribution to the thread.

    It is a video not just about the celts in hispania, but all celts:

    PS: Could you teach me how to show the video window directly in the thread? I'm having some difficulties. Thank you.
    Last edited by numerosdecimus; April 27, 2021 at 12:26 PM. Reason: inserting "PS"

  8. #8
    AqD's Avatar 。◕‿◕。
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    Default Re: The Iberians: Compiled Information.

    Are you suggesting Edetani fought bare-footed? Are there other peoples nearby doing that? Doesn't seem to be practical when they dismount (the shields they carry on back is for dismounted fight yes?)

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