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Cantabrian territory.
Tribes of Spain in ancient times

The Cantabrians (Latin Cantabri ) were an ancient people living in northwest Spain, whose settlement area roughly corresponds to today's mountainous region of Cantabria between Asturias and the Basque Country on the Atlantic coast.

The Cantabrians belonged to the pre-Indo-European inhabitants of Spain, their tribes handed down from Roman times included the Orgenomese, Salanians, Avarigins, Konkaner, Varidinienser, Tamariker and Morekaner. There was a long-term cultural exchange with their Celtic neighbors and participation in changing alliances, which were primarily directed against the Roman conquest of Spain.

During the reign of Augustus , the area was finally subjugated by the Romans after lengthy campaigns ( Cantabrian War , 29-19 BC). Roman sources cite raids by the Cantabrians on their neighbors and the attempt to expand their domain as the reason for the campaigns. The area of ​​the Cantabrians was of economic interest to the Romans due to its richness in ore, so they began to exploit gold mines shortly after the conquest.

During the Roman period, the people gave their name to the Bay of Biscay (then mare cantabricum ) and the Spanish province of Cantabria and the Cantabrian Mountains are named after them even today .

Roman auxiliary units

Two Roman auxiliary units were set up from the Cantabrian people:



  1. a b c Harald Haarmann: Lexicon of the fallen peoples: From Akkader to Zimbern . CH Beck, 2012, ISBN 9783406635632 , pp. 155-156
  2. Francisco Diego Santos: The integration of north and north-west Spain as a Roman province in the imperial policy of Augustus . In: Wolfgang Haase , Hildegard Temporini (Hrsg.): Rise and decline of the Roman world . Volume 3, De Gruyter, Berlin 1975, ISBN 3-11-005838-3 , pp. 523-571, here: 528
  3. Meret Strothmann : Augustus - father of the res publica. On the function of the three terms restitutio - saeculum - pater patriae in the Augustan Principate. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2000,   ISBN 3-515-07696-4 , p. 145.