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The Lusitanos


During the Carthanigian rule, a small tribe occupied the interior of what is today the country of Portugal. This tribe was tucked in the Beira Alta area, protected by the mountains of Serra da Estrela.

The Lusitanians are what is recognized as the ancestors of the current-day Portuguese culture. They had their own Lusitanian language and an advance culture. The Lusitanians were skilled workers and fighters. During the Roman wars, the Lusitanians were led by the legendary Viriato (Viriatus). A statue of Viriato is proudly displayed in main square of the central town of Viseu. At its peak, Lusitania comprised the areas between the Douro and Tagus River.

At about 200 B.C., the Romans invaded the Iberian Peninsula, defeating the Carthaginians in the Punic Wars. The conquer of the Iberian Peninsula was relatively easy for the Romans, as they encountered friendly tribes. However, the Lusitanians were another story. They successfully held off the Romans in various legendary scrimmages. Viriatus, the Lusitanian leader, defeated several Roman legions. Only when the Romans successfully bribed a Lusitanian trusted official to kill Viriatus, did the Lusitanians fall. Thus became the period of the Romanization of Lusitania.