Spain Early History 7

Contrary therefore to what they did in Gaul, the Romans in Spain did not allow the indigenous order to continue to exist, but gradually replaced it with the Roman municipal order, merging in each civitas more than one of the civitatespre-existing: this progressive reduction in the number of civitates is testified to by Pliny’s data. The aristocratic constitution did not completely disappear, since we still find it in imperial epigraphs, but it had only a private character.

Between the civitas and the province, Spain did not know any other intermediate circumscription than the conventus. Strabone speaks, it is true, of three dioceses for Spain and Tarraconense, but this subdivision seems to have had a limited character and duration: after Claudius there is no longer any memory, for all the Spanish provinces, other than conventus or judicial districts.

Like the indigenous orders, the language disappeared, at least from the most common usage, of which we have no inscriptions that go beyond the first tenpi of the empire, and which survived the Roman domination only in small groups of populations of the north; and also the local divinities, judging from the epigraphic testimonies, soon completely surrendered the field to the Roman divinities. On the contrary, the language and culture of Rome appear from the beginning of the empire so effectively impressed throughout the peninsula, that the Spaniards were the greatest representatives of Latin literature of the century. I d. C., Lucano, Marziale, Seneca, Quintiliano, and amanthe to them Mela, Iginio, and later Columella; and the two sovereigns, Traiano and Adriano, were likewise Spaniards, under whom, in the first half of the century. II, the empire reached its highest gable; Spanish still was in the sec. IV one of the last most strenuous defenders and supporters of it, Theodosius.

According to NEXTICLE.NET, Spain was each of the richest and most productive provinces. It had been sought after by the most ancient colonizers of the Mediterranean, above all for its mineral riches, which the Romans exploited widely after the conquest. Gold was mined from the mountains of the upper Baetis valley, in Lusitania and above all in Asturias; in the Callecia a tunnel of four hundred meters in length had been opened through a mountain (Montefurado) to better benefit from the gold-bearing sands of the Río Sil. Of the silver mines, one of the richest was that near Nova Carthago, which at the time of Polybius yielded 25,000 dramas a day to the people, but there were also near Castulo, in the Baetis valley.and in the north-western countries of the Cantabrians and neighboring peoples. To this wealth of precious metals, to which iron, copper, tin and lead are still to be added, we owe the copious coinage of the Spanish cities, to which the Romans granted this right immediately after the conquest.

Alongside the mines, the quarries of precious stones, marble and red lead should be remembered. Mines and quarries were originally owned by the state; they then passed in part to private individuals, but gradually they all returned to being part of the imperial tax authority, which provided for the exploitation with the conductio system ; notable document for the knowledge of this system is the Lex Metals Vipascensis (of Aliustrel in Portugal).

But no less rich than the subsoil was the soil, which in the irrigated plains and near the coasts produced wine and above all oil, widely exported to Rome, and on the central plateaus gave grazing to numerous flocks; copious was the esparto, used for ropes; flourishing industries were those of textiles and, in the coastal countries of the South and the Atlantic, that of salted fish and fish sauces (garum).

Agriculture and commerce were the two most widespread productive activities, from which the classes of the city bourgeoisie drew wealth, consisting mainly of immigrant Romans, and, to a lesser extent, by the representatives of the Romanized indigenous people. The first was based above all on small and medium-sized properties, to which the deduction of veteran colonies had greatly increased; but there was no lack of large estates, formed in the empire above all as a result of confiscations. Of the trade of the Iberian Peninsula with Rome, whose main departure ports were Emporiae, Nova Carthago and especially Gades, are ample testimony to the amphorae of Testaccio, the stationesof the navicularî of the square of the corporations of Ostia, and numerous inscriptions as well as of Rome and Ostia also of Pozzuoli.

Finally, it should be remembered that Spain, as it had given a large number of mercenaries to Carthaginians and Romans before and during the wars of conquest, so it continued to offer a large recruiting camp to the imperial army, and to the urban militias, in which the Spanish provincials they were among the first to be admitted, both to the legions and to the auxiliary militias.

In all respects, therefore, the moral conquest of the Iberian Peninsula appears as one of the most profound and effective carried out by Rome, so that the fruits of it lasted and lasted over the centuries.

Spain Early History 7