Abstract and Keywords
The initial Phoenician presence in the Iberian Peninsula dates to the ninth century bce with the foundation of small settlements along the southern coast. During the eighth and seventh centuries bce, the number of colonial settlements along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of Iberia began to increase rapidly. Phoenicians traded with indigenous populations, exchanging high-quality artisanal products for metals from Iberia. In addition, colonial settlers exploited their surrounding territory for agriculture and animal husbandry. They also took advantage of marine resources such as fishing. The colonial population was socially stratified and included individuals of indigenous origin who worked in the various industries, as well as women who intermarried with foreigners. Around the beginning of the sixth century bce, the colonial population was restructured: the western Phoenicians organized themselves into city-states, a process that is recorded in the ancient written sources. They maintained commercial relations with the indigenous Iberians and with Carthaginians, Greeks, and Etruscans. In the final part of the third century bce, these cities allied with Carthage in the fight against Rome. Following Rome’s success in the Punic Wars and conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, the cities were required to pay tribute to Rome, except the city of Gades/Gadir (Cádiz), which maintained a foedus. The elite Phoenician citizens underwent a process of integration with the Roman Empire, eventually obtaining municipal status for their cities, some under Julius Caesar and others later during the Flavian period.
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