From Iberia to Hispania: Romanisation

De Iberia a Hispania: la romanización Pulse para ampliar Sala 16. Protohistoria. El mosaico cultural peninsular. De iberia a hispania

The Roman conquest of the Iberian Peninsula entailed major changes for the local population. The Romans’ presence transformed the lifestyles of the Iberian elite, who gradually accepted and assimilated a new culture.

The reproduction of two stone reliefs shows the differences between the attire and weapons of an Iberian warrior and a Roman soldier. The first depicts a young warrior in typical Iberian battle dress: a crested helmet; a leather cuirass cinched with a wide belt; a large oval shield; and a curved-blade falcata sword, of which we can only see the hilt and top of the blade.

The second relief presents a partial view of a combat between a Roman and an Iberian soldier. The scene documents the confrontation between the Roman army and Iberian warriors, the first contact between two very different worlds. The Roman solider is wearing a cuirass and a short skirt, and his legs are protected by metal pieces with a curved rim called greaves. In contrast, the Iberian warrior at his feet wears a short tunic cinched with a belt and holds a typical Iberian round shield.

Over time, the Iberians gradually assimilated Roman social customs, including their fashions, as illustrated by the contrast between the youth wrapped in a cape and shoulder mantle, traditional Iberian garments, and the man wearing the toga typical of Roman citizens. Despite his Roman dress, he is an Iberian man, according to the inscription in Iberian characters at neck height. He has traded his traditional costume for the toga as a sign of his integration in the new Romanised society.