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Iberian Peninsula at about 200 BCE [1]

The Cynetes or Conii were one of the Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula, living in today's Algarve and Low Alentejo regions of southern Portugal before the 6th century BCE (in what was to become the southern part of the Roman province of Lusitania).



Whether they were Celts or pre-Celtic Iberians has not been established. A third possibility is that they represented a pre-Celtic population who had adopted many elements of Celtic culture (namely from the Celtici of Alentejo), with normal expectations of some intermarriage, and cultural influences from powerful Tartessos to the east of them (in the region that Romans would call Hispania Baetica).


Inscriptions in the Tartessian language have been found in the area, in a variety often referred to as Southwest script. The name Conii, found in Strabo, seems to have been identical with the Cynesii, who were mentioned by Herodotus as the westernmost dwellers of Europe and distinguished by him from the Celts[1].

Main city

Map of the Gulf of Cádiz in Antiquity. Conistorgis is imprecisely located north of Ossonoba city (today's Faro, Portugal).

The main city of the country of the Conii was Conistorgis, according to Strabo, who considered the region Celtic[2]. In the local language Conistorgis probably means "City of the Conii". The city was destroyed by the Lusitanians, during the Lusitanian War against Rome, because the Conii had become allied with the Romans during the Roman conquest of the Iberian Peninsula (called Hispania by the Romans). Its precise site has not been rediscovered.


  1. ^ Herodotus writes "now the Celtae dwell beyond the pillars of Hercules, being neighbours of the Cynesii, who are the westernmost of all nations inhabiting Europe" (Herodotus, II, 33). In another reference noting the Celts again in the extreme west, he refers to their neighbors the Cynetes: "...the Celts, who, save only the Cynetes, are the most westerly dwellers in Europe." (IV, 49).
  2. ^ "In the country of the Celti, Conistorgis is the best known city" (Strabo, III, 2, 2).


See also

External links



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