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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

As well as the purely indigenous peoples


[Sidenote:

Invasions from Africa.]

For another hundred years there were minor uprisings, after which there followed, so far as the internal affairs of the peninsula were concerned, the long Roman peace. On several occasions there were invasions from the outside, once by the Franks in the north, and various times by peoples from Africa. The latter are the more noteworthy. In all, or nearly all, of the wars chronicled thus far troops from northern Africa were engaged, while the same region was a stronghold for pirates who sailed the Spanish coasts. A large body of Berbers successfully invaded the peninsula between 170 and 180 A.D., but they were at length dislodged. This danger from Africa has been one of the permanent factors in the history of Spain, not only at the time of the great Moslem invasion of the eighth century, but also before that and since, down to the present day.

[Sidenote: The Romanization of Spain.]

Administratively, Spain was divided into, first two provinces (197 B.C.), then three (probably in 15 or 14 B.C.), and four (216 A.D.), and at length five provinces (under Diocletian),[6] but the principal basis of the Roman conquest and control and the entering wedge for Roman civilization was the city, or town. In the towns there were elements which were of Roman blood, at least in part, as well as the purely indigenous peoples, who sooner or later came under the Roman influence.

Rome sent not only armies to conquer the natives but also laborers to work in the mines. Lands, too, were allotted to her veteran soldiers, who often married native women, and brought up their children as Romans. Then there was the natural attraction of the superior Roman civilization, causing it to be imitated, and eventually acquired, by those who were not of Roman blood. The Roman cities were distinguished from one another according to the national elements of which they were formed, and the conquered or allied cities also had their different sets of rights and duties, but in all cases the result was the same,--the acceptance of Roman civilization. In Andalusia and southern Portugal the cities were completely Roman by the end of the first century, and beginning with the second century the rural districts as well gradually took on a Roman character. Romanization of the east was a little longer delayed, except in the great cities, which were early won over. The centre and north were the most conservatively persistent in their indigenous customs, but even there the cities along the Roman highways imitated more and more the methods of their conquerors. It was the army, especially in the early period, which made this possible. Its camps became cities, just as occurred elsewhere in the empire,[7] and it both maintained peace by force of arms, and ensured it when not engaged in campaigns by the construction of roads and other public works.


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