Those who know me, are aware that i’m a practitioner of the Northern-Pagan Traditions, the spiritual paths of my ancestors from my mother side, both Germanic and Nordic, however, from my father side, there is a mixture of both Germanic and Celtic blood and also Lusitanian blood, so i feel the need to write in here who the Lusitanian people really were, in honor of those people who are my ancestors also. I am a walking cocktail of European bloodlines, with Nordic blood, Celtic blood, Lusitanian blood, some drops of Germanic blood and possibly some Latin blood. But enough about me, lets start our History lesson.
The Lusitanians were a group of people from a Celtic tribe which came to the Iberian Peninsula along with other Celtic tribes when the Celts started their migrations around 3000 B.C.
The Celts origins are where Czech Republic and Germany are today, and they started a huge migration in all directions in Europe, one of the first places they settled, was in the Iberian Peninsula where the countries of Portugal and Spain are today, many tribes of Celts came there, one of those were the Lusitanians, some Archaeologists and Historians think they where the Celtic tribes who came from the Helvetic mountains in modern Switzerland.
The Iberian Peninsula had its inhabitants along the coast of Spain from the east side, they were called Iberians, and the South of Portugal was inhabited by Phoenicians and people from northern Africa and from Carthage, along the coastline to the west by the Atlantic ocean to the modern capital of Portugal ( Lisbon ) it was inhabited by Greek colonies, so the center of Portugal all the way to the north and most parts in the north of spain, were in this time, almost empty. So it was easy for the Celts to settled in those parts, and they took the lands with no problems, what is today Galicia, northern Spain, all the way to its center and northern Portugal till Lisbon, was Celtic territory. The Iberian Peninsula had a very fertile soil, not only for agriculture but it was also rich in ore, all kinds of metals, and the Celts were very good in working those metals, this was the Bronze age, and now they had access to such a huge quantity of metals, they had everything they wished for, their wealth increased, and they prospered. Of all the Celtic tribes in the Iberian Peninsula, only one grew in such a way, that they formed the first nation in Europe ( The Romans did not existed yet ), they were called Lusitanians, and they had the largest Celtic territory of all, all Center of Portugal and parts of Spain was theirs, they had the best lands for agriculture and they worked the metals like no one, the tools, weapons and objects they made were so beautiful and well crafted, that it was coveted by all Europeans and people from all over the place in Europe, from North, East and South, came to Lusitânia, to exchange and buy the things the Lusitanians crafted. These Celts and the other Celtic tribes in the Iberian Peninsula, were the first people to literallymake trade routes, the first to make roads, unlike it was said for so much time, that the Romans were the first to build roads, the Celts made them before, the Romans just re-built roads on top of the already existing ones. The Lusitanian people were the strongest and most powerful people in the Iberian Peninsula, they had the most fertile lands, thousands of cattle, the best weapons and the largest villages, towns and strongholds. The Romans gave them this name, Lusitans/Lusitanians, from the word Luso, which was a Roman god, thought to duel in those parts and the Lusitanians were his children. However, the Lusitanians were Celts and they worshiped Celtic deities obviously, their language was the Leukaeke, a Celtic dialect, unfortunately, like the Cornish language of Wales, the Leukaeke was completely lost, 1500 years earlier than the Cornish, the last words of Leukaeke were spoken in the V century A.D. although many people are trying to bring it back in a modern way, the neo-lusitanian language called Leukantú, notice that this language is not similar in any way to the Portuguese language. The Lusitanians called their land, Leukitanea, the land of light, so probably these names came from their celtic tribe name.
These Celts were much feared and also respected and time passed and they lived wealthy, happy, joyful and increasing their lands, they even went to Great Britain with other Celts, when they started their migrations to those lands, but most of the Lusitanians went to Irland, so many people in Irland are related with the Lusitanians. But the Romans were growing in numbers and in strength and they had a nation of their own and soon they started conquer other lands in Europe, increasing their empire. The wealth and power of the Lusitanians soon came to the Romans’ ears, and their lands were so rich in everyway, that the Romans really wanted them, it would increase their wealth, because the Celtic Lusitanians had a lot of gold also, strategic lands to plan invasions into other countries, extremely fertile soils, because they were also a possible threat to the Empire and because the very lands of the Lusitanian people were thought to be divine, made by the gods, a place where the gods could rest.. and that turned to be true, because when the Romans took those lands, they add the Lusitanian gods to their list of gods, these Celtic-Lusitanian gods were much feared and respected and also too powerful and great.
The lands of the Lusitânia covered much of what Portugal is today and a part of Spain. Now you may be thinking, why the Portuguese and Spanish people share the same language base of the French and the Italian, ( the Latin ) if they were Celts, with a Celtic and Germanic language? Well that is simple, those were the first countries to be conquered by the Romans, and the people of those places stood too long, under the Roman influence, the Romans had time to build a lot of cities, impose their culture, building their temples, making their own trade routes, and the native people of those countries, were either slaughtered or became romans and adopted the latin as their main language as an easy way to exchange and trade products with the Romans and survive. So the latin became the main language, and when the christian faith came, latin was still the main language for many centuries.
In Portugal today, most of that Celtic anf Germanic heritage was lost, and the Lusitanian spirit and their gods are now hidden throughout the beautiful landscape, even knowing that other germanic tribes came and settled, the Wandalns the Swabians, the Visigoths, the Vikings and so on, but the christian faith was too powerful, and brought down all of them.. This is a pity, for Portugal was forged by great cultures and has an extremely rich cultural past. All those cultures fought to survive and to maintain their gods, their beliefs, their way of living, people often talk about what christians did in other countries of Europe, bringing down ancient pagan temples, forests, slaughtering everyone, trying to wipe out those ancient pagan European beliefs, but the Iberian Peninsula suffered greatly with that and amazing cultures almost disappeared. Today, some people are trying to bring all of that, back, awaking the old gods, its hard to pick anything to start, for the romans and christians did a great job in cleaning those beliefs, but i hope, with my contribution and the contribution of such others, we might bring it all back again. There are still some many Germanic and Celtic descendants in Portugal, who have no clue of their ancestry…
In other posts, i will talk about the daily lives of the Lusitanian people, heroes, their gods and their culture, from spiritual beliefs to rituals and sacrifices, to the language and form of writing.
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