El hecho diferencial portugués (2). La conquista Romana y los germanos

Hispania romana

Continúo lo iniciado aquí El hecho diferencial portugués (1): Prehistoria

Chapter 8: The Period of Roman Conquest and Control

[108] When Rome conquered the Iberian peninsula there was a kinship and a cultural similarity between the peoples of Aquitaine (present southwest France) and Cantabria. This was made clear by Caesar and others. (1) From the Pyrenees to Galicia there were peoples similar to each other in their ways of life. Strabo said (and others bear him out) that all of the people of this northern, mountainous strip of Iberia lived essentially the same sort of life and had customs that were virtually identical (Fig. 10). (2)It was a matriarchal, agro-pastoral civilization, the vestiges of which are still to be found in parts of the region. (3) Farming-and-herding peoples of this oceanic fringe had been settled in the area since before the beginning of the first millennium B.C. In spite of subsequent changes, brought about by incursions of new peoples (most of whom had somewhat the same Central European background as that of the earlier arrivals), they had maintained [109] an affinity for each other and considerable differences from the societies of patriarchal herders who occupied most of the meseta. (4)

There is abundant evidence that to the south of present Galicia, in what is now North Portugal, there was an extension of many of the same culture attitudes. The intimate, friendly association of the peoples of the area of present Galicia and those of the area of the present Minho Province of North Portugal cannot be doubted, for it was difficult to make a clear distinction [111] between them at that time.

Furthermore, there seems to have been a fundamental similarity between the peoples of the area of present North Portugal (between the Minho and Douro rivers) and the Lusitanians in present central Portugal. These Lusitanians probably harked back to a pre-Celtic period of time in Portugal.

Galicia y el norte de Portugal eran indistinguibles para los romanos.

There was, then, a basic cultural similarity among peoples, extending from present France through northern Spain and down into Portugal to the Tejo River.

Por extensión, también todo el norte y noroeste de España y Portugal.

It was with the Celts and the Celticized groups of the interior and west that Rome faced her greatest difficulties.

It was this sort of danger that forced the Romans to continue their conquest to the last remote outposts. The quality of the land, except for the lower Tejo valley and parts of the littoral, was of small attraction to them. In the rural northwest there were gold sands, but little else to catch their interest. Yet it was obvious that rebellious remnants, with a history of truculence and raiding of settled places, could not be tolerated by imperial Rome. However, the reduction of the territory was far more difficult than Rome could have suspected at first. It took more than a century and a half, compared with seven years for the conquest of all of Gaul.

The total number of Romans [117] settled in the north was comparatively small, for this rainy, forested country was not to their taste. Compared to the rest of Iberia, it was Romanized late and poorly. The south of Portugal, Mediterranean Portugal, was somewhat more to their liking. This was sunny country, wheat country, good for olives and grapes. Evora, of the Alentejo, became known to them as Cerealis, a place of obvious attraction to the wheat-eating Romans.

La zona tuvo que ser conquistada por el peligro que suponía para el resto de Hispania. Fue poco romanizada.

The Romans had certain fixations with regard to organization and ways of life. They effectively imposed their language upon the peninsula. Their code of law was applied. Changes were made in ways of living where it seemed necessary to administration. The hilltop dwellers of the northwest were largely transferred to the bottom lands. This was presumably done to eliminate raiding. By this action, however, an even more fundamental change was made in society. Present information indicates that men had taken, at best, a casual interest in agriculture. That had been woman’s work, to be done with the hoe. In the bottom lands the problem was completely different, for not only was plow agriculture possible but it was obviously a superior mode of operation. Furthermore, the heavier sods of the bottom lands are harder to cut than those of the hill lands and probably offered a real obstacle to the hoe. Perhaps of greater importance was the invariable association of men with the care and use of animals. With the introduction of the draft animal into agriculture men were immediately involved. Being involved, however, does not necessarily mean that they took to it whole-heartedly.

Even today the transfer of responsibility seems not to have been complete. This is shown by the fact that in Galicia and in the Minho of Portugal there is little distinction between the duties of men and women in the fields. In Galicia, women may perform any of the tasks (although rarely plowing). In the Minho, one is told that the heavier tasks go to the men, but this usually means merely that the job involving the use of an animal is a male responsibility, whereas other tasks, seemingly as heavy, are accomplished by women. In the bottom lands, where agriculture with plowmen became fundamental, raiding was eliminated, and the importance of herding was reduced.

De nuevo, al importancia antropológica y cultural del arado.

La foto es de aquí.

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  1. El hecho diferencial portugués (3): La invasión mahometana y la reconquista. | La Yijad en Eurabia

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