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The Cantabri (Ancient Greek: Καντάβροι | Kantabroi) were a pre-Roman Celtic people which lived in the northern Atlantic coastal region of ancient Hispania, from the 4th to late 1st centuries BC.


Like most ancient Spanish peoples, the exact origins of the Cantabri are obscure and subjected to debate since Antiquity. According to the Greek geographer Strabo, the Cantabrians were formerly called Lusitanians, whilst Julius Caesar states they were an indigenous people, whom he describes as being related (relatives) to the Aquitani people of southwestern Gaul, casting some doubt on the alleged Celticity of this nation. Curiously, the name ‘Cantabri’ is a word of Ligurian origin meaning ‘Mountaineers’ or ‘Highlanders’, and therefore this people may have been known by a different designation prior to the arrival of the Romans.They were clearly very mixed, and judging by their tribal names, included eleven or so tribes of Ligurian, Aquitanian, Indo-Aryan, Celtiberian and Gallic affiliation – Avarigines, Blendii, Plentusii, Camarici (or 'Tamarici'), Concani, Coniaci, Moroecani, Noegi, Orgenomesci, Salaeni, Vadinienses, and Velliques. Recent theories have suggested that the Cantabri emerged from early pre-Celtic indo-european Bronze Age peoples who were subsequently ‘Celtised’ by the internal migration of the Celtici steeming from the eastern Meseta at around 500-450...
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