Who Ruled Spain in Ancient Times?

Spain has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. The Iberian Peninsula, which is now modern-day Spain, was inhabited by various groups of people who left their mark on the land and its culture. In this article, we will explore the different empires and rulers who once governed Spain in ancient times.

Pre-Roman Spain

Before the arrival of the Romans in Spain, the Iberian Peninsula was home to several indigenous peoples such as the Celts, Iberians, and Tartessians. These groups had their own distinct cultures and ways of life.

The Celts were known for their intricate metalwork and religious beliefs that centered around nature worship. The Iberians were skilled in agriculture and developed a written language that is still not fully deciphered. The Tartessians were known for their trading skills and controlled much of the southern coast of Spain.

The Roman Empire

In 218 BC, the Romans invaded Spain and established their rule over the peninsula. They founded many cities such as Cordoba, Seville, and Zaragoza, which still exist today. The Romans brought with them their language (Latin) as well as new technologies like aqueducts and roads.

Spain became an important part of the Roman Empire due to its rich resources such as gold, silver, and copper mines. The Roman Empire ruled over Spain for nearly 600 years.

The Visigoths

In 409 AD, Germanic tribes known as Vandals, Suebi, and Alans invaded Spain after weakening it through constant wars with Rome. The Visigoths eventually emerged victorious in these conflicts and established a kingdom that lasted from 507 AD to 711 AD.

The Visigoths were known for their laws (the Visigothic Code) that protected individual rights. They also converted to Christianity under King Reccared I in 587 AD, which helped to unify the kingdom.

The Moors

In 711 AD, the Moors (Muslims from North Africa) invaded Spain and established a caliphate that lasted until 1492. The Moors brought with them their Islamic religion, language (Arabic), and culture. They built many architectural wonders such as the Alhambra palace in Granada and the Great Mosque of Cordoba.

The Moors’ rule over Spain was marked by periods of peace and prosperity as well as conflicts with Christian kingdoms like Castile and Aragon.

The Catholic Monarchs

In 1469, Isabella of Castile married Ferdinand of Aragon, uniting their kingdoms and creating modern-day Spain. The Catholic Monarchs, as they became known, were determined to establish Catholicism as the dominant religion in Spain. They also sponsored Christopher Columbus’s voyages to the Americas, which led to Spanish colonization of new lands.

Under their rule, Spain became a major European power with vast territories in the New World. However, their reign was also marked by religious persecution such as the Spanish Inquisition.

In Conclusion

Spain has been ruled by various empires and monarchs throughout its long history. Each ruler left their own mark on the country’s culture, language, and architecture. Today, Spain is a modern European nation that still retains much of its ancient past.