CELTIBERIA, was an ancient territory in north central Spain, inhabited by the Celtiberi, a hybrid people created by the mixture of Celts who migrated across the Pyrenees and peoples of Iberian stock. The Celtic migrations occurred as early as 1000 b. c. and as late as 600 b. c. The name “Celtiberi,” loosely used in antiquity, can be specifically applied to certain tribes: the Arevaci, Belli, Titti, and Lusones.
The Celtiberi lived in the mountainous districts. Frequent family feuds conditioned them to a life of fighting and hardship, and they were ideally suited for service in formal military units as light-armed infantry and cavalry. They were first employed in this capacity by the Carthaginians in the late 3d century b. c. during the Second Punic War.
The Celtiberi first came into contact with the Romans in the Second Punic War, and in the period that followed the two fought many battles. The wars were characterized by Roman atrocities, and the Celtiberi finally yielded to Rome after Numantia, their most important city, fell to Scipio Aemilianus in 133 b. c. During this period the Romans adopted the Celtiberian sword, equally good for cutting and thrusting, which be-carne Standard equipment for the legionnaire.