Iberian

/uy bear"ee euhn/, adj.
1. of or pertaining to Iberia in SW Europe, its inhabitants, or their language.
2. of or pertaining to ancient Iberia in the Caucasus or its inhabitants.
n.
3. one of the ancient inhabitants of Iberia in Europe, from whom the Basques are supposed to be descended.
4. the language of the ancient Iberians of SW Europe, not known to be related to any other language.
5. one of the ancient inhabitants of Iberia in Asia.
[1595-1605; IBERI(A) + -AN]

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Any member of a prehistoric people of southern and eastern Spain.

They were largely untouched by the migrations of Celtic peoples to northern and central Spain beginning in the 8th century BC. Culturally they were influenced by Greek and Phoenician trading colonies. On the eastern coast, tribes seem to have formed independent city-states; in the south, they formed monarchies. Their economy was based on agriculture, mining, and metallurgy. Their non-Indo-European language continued into Roman times.

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people
Spanish  Ibero  

      one of a prehistoric people of southern and eastern Spain who later gave their name to the whole peninsula. The waves of migrating Celtic peoples from the 8th to 6th century BC onward settled heavily in northern and central Spain, penetrated Portugal and Galicia, but left the indigenous Bronze Age Iberian people of the south and east intact. Greek geographers give the name Iberian, probably connected with that of the Ebro (Iberus) River, to tribes settled on the southeastern coast, but, by the time of the Greek historian Herodotus (mid-5th century BC), it applied to all the peoples between the Ebro and Huelva rivers, who were probably linguistically connected and whose material culture was distinct from that of the north and west. There were, however, areas of overlap between the Iberian and Celtic peoples, as in the Celtiberian tribes of the northeastern Meseta Central and in Catalonia and Aragon.

      Of the Iberian tribes mentioned by classical authors, the Bastetani were territorially the most important and occupied the Almería region and mountainous Granada region. The tribes to the west of the Bastetani are usually grouped together as “Tartessian,” after the name Tartessos (Tartessus) given to the region by the Greeks. The Turdetani of the Guadalquivir River valley were the most powerful of this group. Culturally the tribes of the northeast and of the Valencian coast were greatly influenced by the Greek settlements at Emporion (modern Ampurias) and in the Alicante region, those of the southeast by influences from the Phoenician trading colonies at Malaca (Málaga), Sexi (Almuñéca), and Abdera (Adra), which later passed to the Carthaginians.

      On the east coast the Iberian tribes appear to have been grouped around independent city-states. In the south there were monarchies, and the treasure of El Carambolo, near Sevilla (Seville), has been thought to be that of a ruler of Tartessos. Religious sanctuaries have yielded bronzes and terra-cotta figures, especially in mountainous areas. There is a wide range of ceramics in the distinctive Iberian styles. Exported pottery has been found in southern France, Sardinia, Sicily, and Africa; and Greek imports were frequent. The splendid La dama de Elche (“The Lady of Elche”), a bust with characteristic headdress and ornaments, also shows classical influence. The Iberian economy had a rich agriculture and mining and metallurgy.

      The Iberian language, a non-Indo-European tongue, continued to be spoken into early Roman times. Along the east coast it was written in Iberian script, a system of 28 syllabic and alphabetic characters, some derived from Greek and Phoenician systems but most of unknown origin. Many inscriptions in the script survive. Few words, however, except place-names on the coinage struck by many cities in the 3rd century BC, can be understood. The Iberians retained their writing system until the Roman conquest, when the Latin alphabet came into use. Although the modern Basque language was formerly thought to be the descendant of Iberian, many scholars now believe the two languages to be separate.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Iberian — refers to Iberia, which has two basic meanings, that, disused, of Caucasian Iberia (corresponding roughly to modern day Georgia) and Theme of Iberia (an eastern province of the Byzantine Empire), and that, in modern use, of someone or something… …   Wikipedia

  • Iberian — [ī bir′ē ən] adj. 1. of ancient Iberia in the Caucasus or its people, language, or culture 2. of the Iberian Peninsula in ancient times or its people, language, or culture n. 1. a) a member of an ancient people of the S Caucasus, believed to be… …   English World dictionary

  • Iberian — I*be ri*an, a. Of or pertaining to Iberia. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Iberian — c.1600 (n.); 1610s (adj.), from L. Iberia, ancient name of the Spanish peninsula, from Gk. Iberes Celtic people of Spain; also the name given to an Asiatic people near the Caucasus. Of unknown origin in both uses, but the word as applied in Spain …   Etymology dictionary

  • Iberian — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ relating to Iberia (the peninsula that consists of modern Spain and Portugal). ► NOUN ▪ a person from Iberia …   English terms dictionary

  • Iberian — noun 1》 a native of Iberia (the Iberian peninsula, or present day Spain and Portugal), especially in ancient times. 2》 the extinct Romance language spoken in the Iberian peninsula in late classical times. 3》 (also Celtiberian) the extinct Celtic… …   English new terms dictionary

  • Iberian — I•be•ri•an [[t]aɪˈbɪər i ən[/t]] adj. 1) peo of or pertaining to the Iberian Peninsula, its inhabitants, or their speech 2) peo of or pertaining to ancient Iberia in the Caucasus or its inhabitants 3) peo a native or inhabitant of the Iberian… …   From formal English to slang

  • Iberian — I. noun Etymology: Iberia, ancient region of the Caucasus Date: 1601 a member of one or more peoples anciently inhabiting the Caucasus in Asia between the Black and Caspian seas • Iberian adjective II. noun Etymology: Iberia, peninsula in Europe… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Iberian — I·be·ri·an || aɪ bɪərɪən n. resident of the Iberian Peninsula; resident of the ancient country of Iberia (located in the eastern part of the present day Georgian Republic) adj. of or pertaining to the Iberian Peninsula or its inhabitants; …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Iberian — I|be|ri|an [aıˈbıəriən US ˈbır ] adj [Date: 1500 1600; : Latin; Origin: Iberia land of the Iberes , from Greek Iberes Spanish people ] relating to Spain or Portugal, or its people ▪ the Iberian peninsula …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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