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Vettones

Vettones

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The Vettones were one of the pre-Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 Celt
Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

ic peoples of the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 (the Roman Hispania
Hispania
Another theory holds that the name derives from Ezpanna, the Basque word for "border" or "edge", thus meaning the farthest area or place. Isidore of Sevilla considered Hispania derived from Hispalis....

, modern Spain and Portugal).

Origins


The Vettones were apparently a group of tribes of western Hispano-Celtic
Hispano-Celtic language
Hispano-Celtic is a hypernym to include all the linguistic varieties of Celtic spoken in the Iberian Peninsula before the arrival of the Romans :...

 and Celtiberian
Celtiberians
The Celtiberians were Celtic-speaking people of the Iberian Peninsula in the final centuries BC. The group used the Celtic Celtiberian language.Archaeologically, the Celtiberians participated in the Hallstatt culture in what is now north-central Spain...

 origin organized since the 3rd Century BC into a tribal confederacy of undeterminated strength. Even though their tribes’ names are obscure, the study of local epigraphic evidence has shed some light here, allowing the positive identification of the Calontienses, Coerenses, Caluri and Bletonesii
Bletonesii
The Bletonesii were one of the pre-Roman Celtic peoples of the Iberian Peninsula , dwelling around the city of Bletisa, or modern Ledesma in the province of Salamanca . They were punished by the Romans for practicing human sacrifice. If the placement in Bletisa is correct, they lived near the...

, but the others remain unknown.

Culture


A predominantely cattle-herder people that practiced transhumance
Transhumance
Transhumance is the seasonal movement of people with their livestock between fixed summer and winter pastures. In montane regions it implies movement between higher pastures in summer and to lower valleys in winter. Herders have a permanent home, typically in valleys. Only the herds travel, with...

, archeology has identified them with the local 2nd Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 ‘Cogotas II’ Culture, also known as the ‘Culture of the Verrascos’ (verracos de piedra
Verraco
The verracos are granite megalithic monuments, sculptures of animals that are to be found in the west of the Iberian meseta - the high central plain of the Iberian peninsula - in the Spanish provinces of Ávila, Salamanca, Zamora, and Cáceres, but also in the north of Portugal and Galicia...

), named after the crude granite
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

 sculptures representing pigs, wild boars
Wild Boars
The Kragujevac Wild Boars are an American football team from Kragujevac, Serbia.As a team, Wild Boars arose from friendly tossing on the field...

 and bull
Bull
Bull usually refers to an uncastrated adult male bovine.Bull may also refer to:-Entertainment:* Bull , an original show on the TNT Network* "Bull" , an episode of television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation...

s that still dot their former region. These are one of their most notable enduring legacies today, the other possibly being the game of Calva
Calva
Calva is a traditional sport played in certain parts of Spain. It has roots going back to pre-Roman times, being developed by the Celtiberians who lived in the modern-day provinces of Ávila, Salamanca, and Zamora. It was a game for shepherds, who threw stones at bull's horns to entertain themselves...

, which dates to the time of their influence.
The Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 sites and respective cemeteries of Las Cogotas
Las Cogotas
Las Cogotas, is an archaeological site in Spain in Cardenosa municipality, province of Avila. The site was researched by the Galician archaeologist Juan Cabré in 1920s. It is namesake for two different archaeological cultures known from this site: Cogotas I of the Late Bronze Age and Cogotas II ...

, La Osera, El Raso de Candelada, La Mesa de Miranda and Alcántara
Alcántara
Alcántara is a municipality in the province of Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain, on the Tagus, near Portugal. The toponym is from the Arabic word al-QanTarah meaning "the bridge".-History:...

 have provided enough elementes – weapons, shields, fibulae, belt buckles, bronze cauldrons, Campanian
Campanian
The Campanian is, in the ICS' geologic timescale, the fifth of six ages of the Late Cretaceous epoch . The Campanian spans the time from 83.5 ± 0.7 Ma to 70.6 ± 0.6 Ma ...

 and Greek pottery – which attest the strong contacts with the Pellendones
Pellendones
The Pellendones were an ancient people living on the Iberian Peninsula. Since the early 4th century BC they inhabited the region of the source of the river Duero in what today is north-central Spain...

 of the eastern meseta
Meseta
Meseta may refer to:*Meseta Central , the high plains of central Spain*Meseta , partially collapsed volcanic vent of Volcán de Fuego in Guatemala*Meseta, fictional currency of the Phantasy Star video game series...

, the Iberian south and the Mediterranean.

Location


The Vettones lived in the northwestern part of the meseta—the high central upland plain of the Iberian peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

—the region where the modern Spanish provinces of Ávila
Ávila (province)
Ávila is a province of central-western Spain, in the southern part of the autonomous community of Castile and León. It is bordered on the south by the provinces of Toledo and Cáceres, on the west by Salamanca, on the north by Valladolid, and on the east by Segovia and Madrid. Ávila has a...

 and Salamanca
Salamanca
Salamanca is a city in western Spain, in the community of Castile and León. Because it is known for its beautiful buildings and urban environment, the Old City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. It is the most important university city in Spain and is known for its contributions to...

 are today, as well as parts of Zamora
Zamora (province)
Zamora is a Spanish province of western Spain, in the western part of the autonomous community of Castile and León.The present-day province of Zamora province was one of three provinces formed from the former Kingdom of León in 1833, when Spain was re-organised into 49 provinces.It is bordered by...

, Toledo
Toledo (province)
Toledo is a province of central Spain, in the western part of the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha. It is bordered by the provinces of Madrid, Cuenca, Ciudad Real, Badajoz, Cáceres, and Ávila....

, Cáceres
Cáceres (province)
The province of Cáceres is a province of western Spain, in the northern part of the autonomous community of Extremadura. It is bordered by the provinces of Salamanca, Ávila, Toledo, and Badajoz, and by Portugal....

 and also the eastern border areas of modern Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 territory. Their own capital city, which the ancient sources mysteriously failed to mention at all, has not yet been found though other towns mentioned by Ptolemy
Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

  were located, such as Capara (Vendas de Cápara), Obila (Ávila), Mirobriga (Ciudad Rodrigo
Ciudad Rodrigo
Ciudad Rodrigo is a small cathedral city in the province of Salamanca, in western Spain, with a population of about 14,000. It is the seat of a judicial district as well....

), Turgalium (Trujillo, Cáceres), Alea (Alía
Alía
Alía is a municipality located in the province of Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain. According to the 2003 census , the municipality has a population of 1263 inhabitants.Javier Saviola's grandfathers are from Alía.-Villages:* Cíjara* Puerto Rey* La Calera...

 – Caceres) and probably Bletisa/Bletisama (Ledesma, Salamanca). Other probable Vettonian towns were Tamusia (Villasviejas de Tamuja, near Botija
Botija
The botija is a Caribbean musical instrument of the aerophone type. It was used in the early son sextetos in Cuba. The botija is a potbellied earthenware jug or jar with two openings. The player creates sound across a hole in the side whilst controlling the sound with his fingers in the mouth of...

 – Caceres; Celtiberian-type mint: Tamusiensi), Ocelon/Ocelum (Castelo Branco
Castelo Branco, Portugal
The city of Castelo Branco is made up of one parish with a population of 30,649.It is located in Castelo Branco Municipality in Castelo Branco District.-History and landmarks:...

), Cottaeobriga (Almeida
Almeida
Almeida is a municipality in Portugal with a total area of 518 km2 and a total population of 7,784 inhabitants. Located in Riba-Côa river valley, Almeida is an historic town in Beira Interior....

) and Lancia (Serra d’Opa).

History


Traditional allies of the Lusitani, the Vettones helped the latter in their struggle against the advancing Carthaginians led by Hasdrubal the Fair
Hasdrubal the Fair
Hasdrubal the Fair was a Carthaginian military leader.He was the brother-in-law of Hannibal and son-in-law of Hamilcar Barca...

 and Hannibal in the late 3rd century BC. At first placed under nominal Punic suzerainty by the time of the Second Punic War
Second Punic War
The Second Punic War, also referred to as The Hannibalic War and The War Against Hannibal, lasted from 218 to 201 BC and involved combatants in the western and eastern Mediterranean. This was the second major war between Carthage and the Roman Republic, with the participation of the Berbers on...

, the Vettones threw off their yoke soon after 206 BC. At the Lusitanian War
Lusitanian War
The Lusitanian War, called the Purinos Polemos , was a war of resistance fought between the advancing legions of the Roman Republic and the Lusitani tribes of Hispania Ulterior from 155 to 139 BC. The Lusitani revolted on two separate occasions and were pacified...

 of the 2nd century BC they joined once again the Lusitani in their attacks on Baetica, Carpetania
Carpetania
Carpetania was an ancient region of what is today Spain, located between the Guadarrama, the mountains of Toledo, the river Guadiana and the mountain range of Alcaraz, including approximately, the present independent communities of Madrid and Castile. It was inhabited by the Carpetanos, a pre-Roman...

, the Cyneticum and the failed incursion on the North African town of Ocilis (modern Asilah
Asilah
Asilah or Arzila is a fortified town on the northwest tip of the Atlantic coast of Morocco, about 31 km from Tangier. Its ramparts and gateworks remain fully intact...

, Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

) in 153 BC . Although incorporated around 134-133 BC into Hispania Ulterior
Hispania Ulterior
During the Roman Republic, Hispania Ulterior was a region of Hispania roughly located in Baetica and in the Guadalquivir valley of modern Spain and extending to all of Lusitania and Gallaecia...

, the Vettones continued to raid the more romanized regions further south and during the Roman civil wars
Roman civil wars
There were several Roman civil wars, especially during the late Republic. The most famous of these are the war in the 40s BC between Julius Caesar and the optimate faction of the senatorial elite initially led by Pompey and the subsequent war between Caesar's successors, Octavian and Mark Antony in...

 of the early 1st century BC, they even provided auxiliary troops to Sertorius’ army in 77-76 BC. Crushed by the provincial propraetor Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

 in 61 BC, they later rose in support of the Pompeian faction and fought at the battle of Munda
Battle of Munda
The Battle of Munda took place on March 17, 45 BC in the plains of Munda, modern southern Spain. This was the last battle of Julius Caesar's civil war against the republican armies of the Optimate leaders...

 (Montilla
Montilla
Montilla a town and municipality of southern Spain, in the province of Córdoba, 32 miles south of the provincial capital, Córdoba, by the Córdoba-Bobadilla railway. , the town had a population of 23,245. The olive oil of the district is abundant and good, and it is the peculiar flavour of the pale...

 – Córdoba) in Baetica . The Romans promptly began to establish military colonies at Kaisarobriga or Caesarobriga (Talavera de la Reina – Toledo
Toledo (province)
Toledo is a province of central Spain, in the western part of the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha. It is bordered by the provinces of Madrid, Cuenca, Ciudad Real, Badajoz, Cáceres, and Ávila....

) and Norba Caesarina (near Cáceres), and in around 27-13 BC the Vettones were aggregated to the newly-created Roman province of Lusitania
Lusitania
Lusitania or Hispania Lusitania was an ancient Roman province including approximately all of modern Portugal south of the Douro river and part of modern Spain . It was named after the Lusitani or Lusitanian people...

 with Emerita Augusta (Cáceres) as the capital of the new province.

Namesake


The Spanish Vettones are not to be confused with the Vettonenses, inhabitants of Vettona (today's Bettona
Bettona
Bettona is an ancient town and comune of Italy, in the province of Perugia in central Umbria at the northern edge of the Colli Martani range...

) in Umbria
Umbria
Umbria is a region of modern central Italy. It is one of the smallest Italian regions and the only peninsular region that is landlocked.Its capital is Perugia.Assisi and Norcia are historical towns associated with St. Francis of Assisi, and St...

.

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