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The unconquered Asturian people. Romes bane.

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posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 01:58 AM
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I am in one of those moods. Defiance. LOL.

I was reading some stuff before and I came across a subject that I have always wanted to make a thread about. Its a very personal subject for me being that it covers my cultural heritage. I want to talk about a place on earth that has never been fully conquered. I want to talk about a place that even Rome could not subdue, not entirely and not for long.

ASTURIAS!

LOL.

Asturias is a province in northern spain. It is populated by a stout, merry, fierce, and DEFIANT people. Really it is a place of constant human occupation since our species has been on earth. From Homo erectus to neanderthal to modern humans. Asturias is as old as dirt.

There have been countless invasions, efforts of conquest, and enemies lusting for our iron, gold, and women. LOL.

They all failed. Hence the saying in Asturias, Spain is Asturias, and the rest is all conquered land.

The most notable enemy we faced was Rome. Rome had taken several centuries to conquer Spain, following Carthage into the iberian peninsula, but never until the fall of Carthage did they try to conquer it fully.

The conquest of Spain was difficult, but when Rome finally reached northern Spain it seemed impossible.


The Cantabrian Wars (29-19 BC) (Bellum Cantabricum), sometimes also referred to as the Cantabrian and Asturian Wars (Bellum Cantabricum et Asturicum[1]), were the final stage of the two-century long Roman conquest of Hispania, in what today are the provinces of Cantabria, Asturias and León, in northwestern Spain.
WIKI,

The northern celtic tribes of Spain were fierce warriors. They were a matriarchal set of societies where women fought side by side with the men. They were hoarse riding celts. Their horses were really powerful ponies, the Asturcon, and their weapons were incredibly strong and curiously well crafted steel blades called Falcatas. They were known to be able to slice a roman helmet in half along with who ever was inside it.

A side note to the weapons of choice which were light arms, the Falcatas were so well made that one could take several years to make. They would burry steel plates in the ground for several years. The natural corrosion would erode the weak parts of the material and then 3 such plates were bound together in a bloomery. This is European "samurai Katana" type quality swords. LOL. They could slice through armour, bone and all.

Anyways, Rome was bent on conquering the known world after the fall of Carthage. When the Cantabrian wars started they never thought it would take as much as it did to conquer Asturias and Cantabria.

There is little known about the Asturians by Roman accounts. Probably since most interactions with them were embarrassing. A notable embarrassment was the loss of a Roman standard to them. Those eagles on poles that Roman legions carried...yeah, the most important ceremonial symbol of a roman legion. Rome loss many men to Asturias, and never fully conquered them, just subdued them for short periods of time.

It is also worth mention that after the final battles of the cantabrian wars, Ceasar refused the traditional victory celebration in Rome. I dont think that had ever happened before, nor did it ever after. It must have been a sour victory. Especially since Asturians never lost their religion, language or traditions no matter how hard Rome tried. Maybe it was out of respect. Who knows, but what is known is that if the emperor Augustus had not gone in person to oversee the conquest, the whole endeavor would have failed. His troops were ready to surrender in totality, since many had already, or had been outright obliterated down to the last man.

Augustus sent 8 legions, and 2 auxiliaries, along with 1 naval component. A total of over 50,000 men. This is the force that was needed to subdue, not conquer, but subdue the Asturians and the Cantabrians. It should be noted, that it took 10 years with this force. 10 years of basically 10 roman legions and a naval force under constant fighting to quiet a celtic people who fought with short light arms. Daggers, short swords, and spears. They did use ranged weapons, and cavalry charges as well as all out guerilla warfare. Some cavalry tactics they employed were copied by Rome.


"Sub occasu pacata erat fere omnis Hispania, nisi quam Pyrenaei desinentis scopulis inhaerentem citerior adluebat Oceanus. Hic duae validissimae gentes, Cantabri et Astures, inmunes imperii agitabant."
("In the west almost all Spain had been subjugated, except that part which adjoins the cliffs where the Pyrenees end and is washed by the nearer waters of the ocean. Here two powerful nations, the Cantabrians and the Asturians, lived in freedom from the rule of Rome.")

— Lucius Anneus Florus , Epitome de T. Livio Bellorum omnium annorum DCC Libri duo (Bellum Cantabricum et Asturicum),
WIKI

It is said that the Romans themselves built a little obelisk in Tarragona dedicated to the impetus of the Astur race, with this inscription: Genio Conventus Asturiencis.

The Asturian General that led the Asturian armies in the Cantabrian wars was finally captured and crucified. His was named Gauson. Little is known about him. Again maybe just because no one wrote things down, something very unlikely for Romans, or it because it was all to embarrassing to remember.

Even after the war Rome had to station 2 full legions in Asturias for 70 more years, though they were more a show of force than effective forces against the uprisings that happened all the time afterwards.

After Augustus left and went home the uncelebrated war hero, he was never fully at ease with northern Spain. He knew that granting semi autonomous rule for them was the only way to avoid having to go back to lose several more tens of thousands of men.

What followed was a live and let live policy for Asturias since the heavy hand was tried at first but only inspired more rebellion. It seemed to invigorate them. LOL

It should be noted that Emperor Augustus had to leave the battle and didnt even oversee the victory, he had fallen ill from anxiety and fatigue. He was pretty pissed and depressed. He really thought he would return to Rome defeated like everyone else Rome had sent to conquer this part of the world. Gaius Antistius was the one to win, and not because he was a better tactician than the Emperor. It was because the Asturians thought the Emperor had given up, and they started to get cocky with direct engagements against the Roman troops. They were eventually defeated.

The bright side, well not so bright, but kick ass, they never stopped fighting. Any peace was just a ploy for the next uprising. A time to regroup and re hatch the war effort. So really, Rome never won. The Asturian warriors considered death without surrender as a victory. They didnt die foolishly. They just kept fighting. They held it down.

So thats about it. I dont want to make just a wall of text. Here are some pictures. LOL





















en.wikipedia.org...

en.wikipedia.org...

en.wikipedia.org...
edit on 4 9 2015 by tadaman because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 02:09 AM
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a reply to: tadaman

Nice, S&F, but you forgot the most important picture:

There you go.

Besides me trying to be funny: Is that the true Asterix people, the gaulish province that resisted Rome?
Not literal, but as inspiration? Name and story are very close.



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 02:24 AM
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a reply to: Peeple


hehe, You know I was just thinking that I needed a picture of that. Yeah its based on this campaign I think. There is a movie about a roman lost legion where the standard is recovered by a generals son. That was based on this too

Glad you liked it!

EDIT TO ADD:
Those comics are really popular there. I used to read them when I would visit my family. I almost collected the whole kinder egg set from the mid 90s.LOL
edit on 4 9 2015 by tadaman because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 02:27 AM
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double
edit on 4 9 2015 by tadaman because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 02:59 AM
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a reply to: tadaman
I've been in the French side of the border with Spain. Yes, a lot of Celtic- type beautiful women. Now I know why.




posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 03:04 AM
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a reply to: tadaman

Great read mate! Sometimes I wonder in those circumstances why the great generals of Rome didn't decide to ally warriors such as these and utilise them as friends instead of foes.

I guess maybe because of the reluctant acceptance of Roman rule by the Asturians. But in these cases why commit a force against a fine factional foe without first attempting reasonable terms and conditions to both sides.

Beers to the Asturians. Good on them. Leastways they didn't discard their combat uniforms and run away in their undies.

Thanks mate!

Kind regards,

Bally.



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 03:10 AM
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originally posted by: tadaman
a reply to: Peeple


hehe, You know I was just thinking that I needed a picture of that. Yeah its based on this campaign I think. There is a movie about a roman lost legion where the standard is recovered by a generals son. That was based on this too

Glad you liked it!



It was the lost eagle of the ninth that the film was based on, it was lost to the Celts in northern Britannia, past Hadrian's wall.



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 03:11 AM
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a reply to: tadaman
Thanks for that, a special land that is hard to dominate. The thing with the celtic people is their spirit is feirce, none the less many hamlets over Iberia (Spain)were taken by the Romans. The Romans out- numbered them, shame when your life is upset by the greed of a few to dominate. Still going on today!



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 03:13 AM
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a reply to: pikestaff

Well,


The Eagle of the Ninth is a historical adventure novel for children written by Rosemary Sutcliff and published in 1954. The story is set in Roman Britain in the 2nd century AD, after the building of Hadrian's Wall.


Wiki

There is a difference, this actually did happen. We took their eagle after defeating the legion that carried it down to the last man and buried it in our mountains somewhere. They never got it back.

I LOVED that movie though. Its one of my favorites. I imagine the Scottish would be as defiant as Asturians. There is a similar spirit to us and them. The Irish too. Really all celtic people. We all share a bond in spirit I suppose. A common spirit of defiance, and a common spirit of merry celebration...lol.


edit on 4 9 2015 by tadaman because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 03:24 AM
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a reply to: tadaman

Great first read of the morning, S&F for ya Tadaman.

Its great to read and see pictures of the histories that didn't make it into the class room and makes one feel good - naturally rebellious is part of my nature, except where my wife is concerned so perhaps we have a somewhat matriarchal household.

I believe one is in touch with one's true 'inner heritage' that our educational institutions and society at large try to wipe out of us, that inner strength we have makes us aware of how important a rebellious attitude is to what is supposedly 'authority' today.

When I looked at the map of North Western Spain couldn't help noticing that with the independence that many Galatians and many Basques want, it almost looks as though there is a missing separate country such as we have in the UK with e.g. Wales. What a fantastic history the Asturcon had. I am going to read through to find out more about their spiritual beliefs.



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 03:41 AM
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It's interesting you picked a picture of Eburonian leader Ambiorix.

As a Belgian, I have the very same opinion as you do but not with the Asturians, with the Belgians ...
In the Commentarii de Bello Gallico of Cesar, the account of these events are also listed.




Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae, propterea quod a cultu atque humanitate provinciae longissime absunt, minimeque ad eos mercatores saepe commeant atque ea quae ad effeminandos animos pertinent important, proximique sunt Germanis, qui trans Rhenum incolunt, quibuscum continenter bellum gerunt. Qua de causa Helvetii quoque reliquos Gallos virtute praecedunt, quod fere cotidianis proeliis cum Germanis contendunt, cum aut suis finibus eos prohibent aut ipsi in eorum finibus bellum gerunt.

Of all these, the Belgae are the bravest, because they are furthest from the civilization and refinement of (our) Province, and merchants least frequently resort to them, and import those things which tend to effeminate the mind; and they are the nearest to the Germans, who dwell beyond the Rhine, with whom they are continually waging war; for which reason the Helvetii also surpass the rest of the Gauls in valor, as they contend with the Germans in almost daily battles, when they either repel them from their own territories, or themselves wage war on their frontiers.

Commentarii de Bello Gallico Book 1 (58 B.C.E.)


S&F for your thread.



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 03:41 AM
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a reply to: tadaman

Nice thread, and not only for the wonderful 'tachery on display. Huzzah for the Celtic Fringe!

Gotta say i was surprised by the method to treat steel prior to making a Falcata as it just sounds a bit odd, but i looked it up and it comes from Diodorus Siculus which is a pretty decent source as far as i know. The Spanish can also take credit for pattern of Gladius that the Romans adopted as soon as they had had it used against them too.

I've read a fair bit about the Celtiberians, and all the Punic stuff in Iberia...and now i'm gonna need to take more of a delve at these folk, may thanks indeed!
edit on 9-4-2015 by skalla because: Thai Po



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 03:44 AM
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a reply to: theultimatebelgianjoke

Yeah, I was looking for pictures of traditional garb and it came up. I honestly didnt know. LOL

I like it though! The guy gets my respect. I would take it down if I could still edit, though he sounds like he belongs up there with them!

I hope you dont mind if I borrow him...LOL

Have a good one.
Hold it down.
edit on 4 9 2015 by tadaman because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 03:47 AM
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a reply to: Shiloh7

Yeah man, there is alot that modern academia would rather we just forget. I dont understand why.

I see what is going on across the pond and its rings so close to home for me. Its like there is an effort to make us all the same thing no matter what is lost in the process.

I dont think we are more divided by celebrating our histories. They are what enriches us and helps us understand eachother.

Oh, the spiritual beliefs have an uncanny semblance to celtic spirituality in the UK and Ireland. I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

I am happy you enjoyed it!



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 03:53 AM
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a reply to: ancientthunder

True true, it still happens today. Greed is a dangerous thing. Spain has had everyone and their mother set up shop in it. In the end it has given it a pretty cool history. I am glad that there was at least a part of it that can say that it never bent its knee.

Its a bittersweet thing. We betrayed ourselves when the moors invaded. We basically let them walk in and like the Saxons in the Uk. The southern kingdoms wanted to get rid of the northern ones. Since they couldnt they figured they would just get the Moors to fight for them. What followed was 800 years of conquest under the Islamic Moors.

BUT once again, Asturias proved to be defiant beyond reason. The reconquest of Spain started from our mountains. We fought off the Moors with nothing but rocks at first. They never conquered Asturias, no matter how many men they sent to their death.

There is another saying from one of our warrior kings (Don pelayo) that makes me smile: As long as there are stones there will be the will and courage to throw them.

Its bittersweet, but the sweet parts are awesome.


edit on 4 9 2015 by tadaman because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 03:57 AM
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a reply to: bally001

LOL

Well they and the Cantabrians were used as mercenaries from time to time. They were well known after the Iberian conquest to be reliable troops. I forget what campaigns they were used in, but Rome was not blind to the potential in them. Once they were loyal they were loyal to the end. The trouble was in getting them to be loyal beyond the pay that was promised them. You needed a good general, not good pay to get that loyalty.

have a good one.
Hold it down.
edit on 4 9 2015 by tadaman because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 04:02 AM
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One of the reasons for the success of Caesars legions was the secret of "Spanish" steel, gleaned during his governorship of Spain prior to the Triumvirate.

As with others, congratulations on a fantastic thread Tadaman. I definitely need to read more about this area because my knowledge is clearly rather confused here. For example, i thought the reason Octavius (Augustus) was there was because there was still opposition by Roman factions in Spain to him becoming Emperor and these factions allied with the Asturians (among others in Spain) - one of the reasons the Civil War continued past Actium.

I also thought there was established contact between the peoples of Spain (in general) and Celtic Britain - for example the shared cultures of the Beaker Peoples and later trade through the Phoenicians (as Skalla said).

Definitely a very interesting area.



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 04:11 AM
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Something we haven't touched on but I suspect is a vital part of the character of these peoples are the Druids and finding out about them is difficult because the roman church wanted them wiped out of history. One reason was they taught reincarnation and if you used the threat of hell - it didn't hold water against someone reincarnating who simply stuck two fingers up at your yapping about the horrors of hell.



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 04:13 AM
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a reply to: Flavian

I am not sure if Augustus didnt go for other reasons. Maybe he did. I know he definitely went there to make sure his forces didnt suffer defeat. He may have gone to quell opposition as well. Its a pretty big deal when the emperor leaves the safety of the capital to oversee a military campaign. His troops were almost ready to say "the hell with this". The funny thing is that if he hadnt retreated the Asturians wouldnt have thought that he gave up and wouldnt have wasted their best troops in pointless and cocky head on column style battles with the Romans that were better at that type of warfare. Caesars retreat was what made them lose, of all things. Go figure. LOL

There was interaction between these celtic tribes and those of Ireland and the UK. Everything from mythology to music.

I am sure we share a common origin. We are all proto European after all. Celtic tribes from there are strikingly similar to those of our northern cousins.


edit on 4 9 2015 by tadaman because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 04:17 AM
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a reply to: Shiloh7

Oh hell yeah. There are druidic Runic writings all over the place there. I saw a pre-roman square with untranslated druidic Runic writings. I bought my first set of rune stones in a little artisan folklore store there.

The symbols and scripts are very similar, if not just a variation of the same type found in the Uk and Ireland.

EDIT TO ADD:
correction by theultimatebelgianjoke


edit on 4 9 2015 by tadaman because: (no reason given)



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