II. The Contact. The Impact of the Roman Presence


The Romans reached the Iberian Peninsula in 218 B.C. For nearly two hundred years, the Roman process of conquest and occupation of the West of the Iberian Peninsula took place, in confrontation with the people who longest opposed to Rome, the Lusitanians, as stated by the Greek author Strabo. Another Greek author, Appian, has left us a detailed narrative of these wars, with an extensive procession of battles, looting and massacres, that archaeology has been documenting. But this was not only the story of a confrontation between natives and Romans; gradually, the West was also the set of Roman civil wars, with direct involvement of local populations, taking one of the sides of the conflict. Hence, their integration into the vast empire, forged by Rome, was intensified.

Manuel Salinas de Frías, in an article from the catalog, gives an insight to how the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula was achieved.

falcata Scutum Casco de Lagos
Cáceres el Viejo, Cáceres
1st century B.C.
59 x 6,5 cm
Museo de Cáceres
Iron shield (scutum)
Monte dos Castelinhos, Vila Franca de Xira, Lisboa
1st century B.C.
50,2 x 15 x 8 cm
Museu Municipal de Vila Franca de Xira
MMVFX 16806
Bronze helmet
Várzea da Misericórdia, Aljezur, Faro
1st century B.C.
19 x 20,2 cm
Museu Municipal Dr. José Formosinho – Câmara Municipal de Lagos
MMJF 5058