El hecho diferencial portugués (1). Prehistoria


Traduzco así el título de un libro cuyo texto podéis leer aquí (The Individuality of Portugal). Trata de los aspectos geográficos, raciales e históricos que han hecho de Portugal un país distinto de España.
Me he interesado por el tema tras esta polémica (¿España fue siempre un problema para Portugal? o el final de una relación).

Como suelo hacer, dejo algunos extractos, en algunos casos con un pequeño comentario.


This book is concerned with Portugal, but Portugal is a small part of a semi-isolated peninsula which seems to be, and is, in many respects, a natural unit. Yet a Portuguese is not a Spaniard. No Portuguese would say otherwise, and probably few foreigners who know both nations would disagree. Spaniards, however, may take exception to such a statement, for the belief is traditional in Spain that the unitary quality of the peninsula is the important fact and that differences are negligible. Spaniards point to physical areas common to both Spain and to Portugal and to the mutually shared historical experiences under the Romans, the Visigoths, and the Moslems. In view of these facts, they say it is culturally contradictory, economically disadvantageous, and politically inexpedient that one small section be divorced from the rest of the peninsula. The Portuguese reply to the Spanish contention is apt to be something [5] like this — “Of course we are part of the peninsula, and we obviously share common peninsular traits with Spaniards, but the peninsula is not homogeneous. Our part of it is unique, and our habits and attitudes are distinct. We make up an independent unit with good reason.”

Esto me recuerda la sentencia chocarrera que dice Que la diferencia entre un norteamericano y un canadiense está en que al norteamericano le trae al pairo la diferencia entre un norteamericano y un canadiense.

That Portugal took almost no part in Greek trade is as important to its distinction as is the earlier “castro” or hilltop fort culture that was mostly Portuguese and Spanish only in minor degree.

Portugal no tuvo influencia griega.

Central Europeans migrating into the Iberian peninsula have made their greatest mark upon the rainy northern and northwestern regions of Iberia, areas similar to those from which they came. Mediterranean migrants from either Europe or Africa who moved into Iberia concentrated in the lands fringing the sea. This fact gives a large degree of physical unity — and considerable cultural unity — to its bordering shores. However, in Iberia there is a great body of land lying between the green north and northwest and that southern fringing area which can be called Mediterranean. This great central tableland, the meseta, is a blend of Europe and Africa. The concept that “Africa ends at the Pyrenees” is not without merit, but to avoid distortion one might also add that Europe ends at the Sierra Morena, just to the north of the Guadalquivir River. The meseta is a world in itself. Its climate is unique in Europe. The blend of European with African cultures has created a culture both complex and unique. Perhaps it is the mixture of Central European and Mediterranean (both European and African Mediterranean) cultures in the meseta that has made it — bleak, harsh, and sparsely populated as it is — the center of control of Iberia through much of the time since the breakdown of Rome.

Cultural differences between Mediterranean Iberia (the south and northeast) and Central European Iberia (the north and northwest) reach beyond historical or archaeological evidence.

Los migrantes prehistóricos europeos se distribuyeron por el norte y oeste, los africanos por el sur y el este. Por las zonas mediterraneas y atlánticas, en dos palabras.

Chapter 5: Prehistoric Immigrants into Iberia

While the hunters-and-artists of the Upper Paleolithic Period were living in the north, Capsian culture, (3) of a distinctly different basis and coming from Africa, spread into Mediterranean Spain. Between the two culture regions there was a “cultural abyss,” according to Mendes Corrêa. (4)

Lo dicho.

Chapter 6: Early Central European Influences in Iberia

Near the end of the second millennium B.C. great cultural changes took place in Iberia, but how and by whom is still an open question. Traces of Central European bronze culture first appeared in the north, and presumably not long after that introduction the first Indo-Europeans arrived. The first Celts may have arrived by 900 B.C., bringing small groups of Germans with them. Such is the belief of Bosch Gimpera. (1) But his is not the only theory regarding the immigrants. Júlio Martínez Santa-Olalla thinks that the earliest Indo-Europeans were pre-Celtic Bronze Age people who arrived in Iberia about the year 1000 B.C. and were followed by other Bronze Age, pre-Celtic Indo-Europeans, the Urnfields people. (2)Almagro finds it difficult to distinguish between [71] Urnfields, Ligurian, Illyrian, and Celt, and suggests that after 800 B.C. the Indo-European peoples filtered into Iberia throughout a considerable period of time and that they were essentially of the same stock.

The Celts came into Iberia with their families, flocks, and wagons — and it is not without interest that the type of Central European wagon that they introduced is still used in Galicia and Asturias. (15) In their economy they represented a continuation of the Bronze Age cultures of western Germany. (16) They were agriculturists certainly, but also pastoralists. It is difficult to determine which type of economy was dominant. Possibly stock-raising was more important than farming, as in the case [74] of the Neolithic communities of northern Europe. (17) In the northern forests of Iberia there was an abundance of everything necessary for their animals — beech mast and acorns for pigs, and food for horses, cattle, sheep, and goats.

Los celtas se establecen también en el norte y oeste, como los otros europeos.

When the Celts came into Iberia they brought with them their plow, although it was not everywhere used. (31) There can be little doubt, in view of the universal association of plows and males, that men were to some degree involved in pianting, but the distribution of the use of the plow indicates that the association of males with agriculture was either casual or that they were easily dissuaded from it. For example, there was probably no plow used in North Portugal prior to the advent of the Romans. (32) This situation can probably be explained by the fact that this northwest area preserved strong matrilineal remnants. (33) Here, men considered farming unmanly and woman’s work. (34) Nor is this difficult to understand (given their background),[77] for it should not be overlooked that in the hilly northwest, where people lived on the uplands, the plow was of little use. Until the Romans put men to work on the valley lands where plows were serviceable, the area, reasonably enough, remained an area of hoe farming. (35)

Nevertheless, parts of Iberia were exploited by men with plows. The Vacceos, living along the middle course of the Duero River and also occupying the area to the north around the present cities of Zamora, Valladolid, and Palencia, were skilled grain farmers using plows. (36) Large quantities of wheat were harvested, especially around Palencia, at the time of the Celtiberian war.

Interesante. Son pastores, no tienen arado, por lo que se deja la agricultura a las mujeres. Esto pasa en otros sitios. Por ejemplo, en el habitat de la mosca tse-tse, no hay vacas de tiro, por lo que las mujeres son las encargadas de una agricultra de azada. En estos casos, las mujeres tien más poder que en las sociedades de arado, en las que el que trabaja y manda es el hombre. Aun hoy, en elnorte, la mujer trabaja en el campo (cosa impensable en el sur, donde la mujer está en casa). Eso también se refleja en el poder de la mujer, En el norte mandan en casa, en el sur manda el hombre.

The Vacceos were an interesting people from another point of view. They were organized into a firmly controlled collectivist society. At the time of the grain harvest, division was made officially — and equally — and the death penalty was exacted for holding out any of the grain from the collective pool. (41) It seems that neither the Romans, nor their successors in authority over this part of Iberia, destroyed the traditions of community [78] effort ( and perhaps the Germanic Swabians strengthened them again ), for there are many parts of remote, mountainous Portugal and northwestern Spain where such practices are continued today — attenuated, but still fundamental to the economy. (42)

Los vaceos vivian en la zona de Zamora, Valladolid y Palencia.

In the third century B.C., the northern mountains of Spain were dominantly agricultural and matrilineal (which was pre-Indo-Germanic ), whereas the meseta was predominantly pastoral(70) and, typical of Celts, dominantly patrilineal.


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  1. El hecho diferencial portugués (2). La conquista Romana y los germanos | La Yijad en Eurabia

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