Coordinates: 39°N 8°W / 39°N 8°W / 39; -8
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Portuguese Republic
República Portuguesa (Portuguese)
A Portuguesa
"The Portuguese"
Location of Portugal (dark green)

– in Europe (green & dark grey)
– in the European Union (green)

and largest city
38°46′N 9°9′W / 38.767°N 9.150°W / 38.767; -9.150
Official languagesPortuguese
Recognised regional languagesMirandese[note 1]
Nationality (2022)[3]
  • 14.1%
    constitutional republic[5]
• President
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
António Costa
LegislatureAssembly of the Republic
24 June 1128
• Kingdom
25 July 1139
5 October 1143
1 December 1640
23 September 1822
• Republic
5 October 1910
25 April 1974
25 April 1976[note 2]
1 January 1986
• Summer (DST)
UTC (Atlantic/Azores)
Note: Continental Portugal and Madeira use WET/WEST; the Azores are 1 hour behind.
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy
Driving sideright
Calling code+351
ISO 3166 codePT
Internet TLD.pt
  1. ^ Mirandese, spoken in some villages of the municipality of Miranda do Douro, was officially recognized in 1999 (Lei n.° 7/99 de 29 de Janeiro),[1] awarding it an official right-of-use.[2] Portuguese Sign Language is also recognized.
  2. ^ By country of birth
  3. ^ Portuguese Constitution adopted in 1976 with several subsequent minor revisions, between 1982 and 2005.

Portugal (Portuguese pronunciation:

Alentejo region occupies the biggest area but is one of the regions in Europe with a lower population density. Lisbon is the capital and largest city by population, being also the main spot for tourists alongside Porto and Algarve

One of the oldest countries in Europe, its territory has been continuously settled, invaded and fought over since

Carthaginians. It was later ruled by the Romans, followed by the invasions of Germanic peoples (most prominently, the Suebi and the Visigoths) together with the Alans, and later the Moors, who were eventually expelled during the Reconquista. Founded first as a county within the Kingdom of León in 868, the country officially gained its independence as the Kingdom of Portugal with the Treaty of Zamora in 1143.[14]

Portugal made numerous discoveries and maritime explorations outside the

North Atlantic and by the 15th and 16th centuries established one of the longest-lived maritime and commercial empires, becoming one of the main economic and political powers of the time.[15] At the end of the 16th century, Portugal fought Spain in a war over the succession to the Portuguese crown, leading to the Iberian Union. The Portuguese Restoration War re-instated the House of Braganza in 1640 after a period of substantial loss to Portugal.[16]

By the early 19th century, the accumulative crisis, events such as the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, the country's occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, and the resulting independence of Brazil in 1822 led to a marked decay of Portugal's prior opulence.[17] This was followed by the civil war between liberal constitutionalists and conservative absolutists over royal succession, which lasted from 1828 to 1834. The 1910 revolution deposed Portugal's centuries-old monarchy, and established the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic, later being superseded by the Estado Novo (New State) authoritarian regime. Democracy was restored after the Carnation Revolution (1974), ending the Portuguese Colonial War and eventually losing its remaining colonial possessions.

Portugal has left

advanced economy. A member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Schengen Area and the Council of Europe (CoE), Portugal was also one of the founding members of NATO, the eurozone, the OECD, and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries


Chalcolithic Dolmen Anta da Arca

The word Portugal derives from the combined

Callaeci also known as Gallaeci peoples, who occupied the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula.[20] The names Cale and Callaici are the origin of today's Gaia and Galicia.[21][22]

Another theory proposes that Cale or Calle is a derivation of the Celtic word for 'port', like the

Latin: Gallia),[23] Wales, Cornwall, Wallonia and others all stem from one linguistic root.[21][24][25]

A further explanation proposes Gatelo as having been the origin of present-day

Gaelic Cailleach, a supernatural hag). Further still, some French scholars believe the name may have come from Portus Gallus,[27]
the port of the Gauls or Celts.

Around 200 BC, the

. By the 11th and 12th centuries, Portugale, Portugallia, Portvgallo or Portvgalliae was already referred to as Portugal.

The 14th-century

excrescence, spread to Middle English.[28] Middle English variant spellings included Portingall, Portingale,[note 4] Portyngale and Portingaill.[28][30] The spelling Portyngale is found in Chaucer's Epilogue to the Nun's Priest's Tale. These variants survive in the Torrent of Portyngale, a Middle English romance composed around 1400, and "Old Robin of Portingale", an English Child ballad. Portingal and variants were also used in Scots[28] and survive in the Cornish name for the country, Portyngal



The early history of Portugal is shared with the rest of the

Carthaginians and Ancient Greeks. It was incorporated in the Roman Republic dominions as Lusitania and part of Gallaecia
, after 45 BC until 298 AD.

The region of present-day Portugal was inhabited by

Homo sapiens, who roamed the border-less region of the northern Iberian peninsula.[33] These were subsistence societies and although they did not establish prosperous settlements, they did form organized societies. Neolithic Portugal experimented with domestication of herding animals, the raising of some cereal crops and fluvial or marine fishing.[33]

It is believed by some scholars that early in the first millennium BC, several waves of

different tribes.[34] Another theory suggests that Celts inhabited western Iberia / Portugal well before any large Celtic migrations from Central Europe.[35] In addition, a number of linguists expert in ancient Celtic have presented compelling evidence that the Tartessian language, once spoken in parts of SW Spain and SW Portugal, is at least proto-Celtic in structure.[36]

Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley

Modern archaeology and research shows a Portuguese root to the

Castro Culture.[41][42] This designation refers to the characteristic Celtic populations called 'dùn', 'dùin' or 'don' in Gaelic and that the Romans called castrae in their chronicles.[43]

Megalithic Monuments of Alcalar, built in the 3rd millennium BCE
Example of Castræ round houses, Citânia de Briteiros

Based on the Roman chronicles about the

druids to meet in councils with the druids of other areas, which ensured the transmission of knowledge and the most significant events.[citation needed

The first documentary references to Castro society are provided by chroniclers of Roman military campaigns such as Strabo, Herodotus and Pliny the Elder among others, about the social organization, and describing the inhabitants of these territories, the Gallaeci of Northern Portugal as:

"A group of barbarians who spend the day fighting and the night eating, drinking and dancing under the moon."

There were other similar tribes, and chief among them were the


Roman Lusitania and Gallaecia

-built structures in the country.

Romans first invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 219 BC. The Carthaginians, Rome's adversary in the Punic Wars, were expelled from their coastal colonies. During the last days of Julius Caesar, almost the entire peninsula was annexed to the Roman Republic.

The Roman conquest of what is now part of Portugal took almost two hundred years and took many lives of young soldiers and the lives of those who were sentenced to a certain death in the slave mines when not sold as slaves to other parts of the empire. Roman occupation suffered a severe setback in 155 BC, when a rebellion began in the north. The Lusitanians and other native tribes, under the leadership of Viriathus,[45][46] wrested control of all of western Iberia.

Rome sent numerous legions and its best generals to Lusitania to quell the rebellion, but to no avail – the Lusitanians kept conquering territory. The Roman leaders decided to change their strategy. They bribed Viriathus's allies to kill him. In 139 BC, Viriathus was assassinated and Tautalus became leader of the Lusitanians.

In 27 BC, Lusitania gained the status of Roman province. Later, a northern province was separated from the province of Tarraconensis, under Emperor Diocletian's reforms, known as Gallaecia, with capital in Bracara Augusta, today's Braga.[47] There are still many ruins of castros (

hill forts) throughout modern Portugal and remains of the Castro culture
. Some urban remains are quite large, like
National Monument. Conímbriga lies 16 kilometres (10 miles) from Coimbra, which in turn was the ancient Aeminium
. The site also has a museum that displays objects found by archaeologists during their excavations.

Several works of engineering, such as baths, temples, bridges, roads, circuses, theatres and laymen's homes are preserved throughout the country. Coins, some coined in Lusitanian land, as well as numerous pieces of ceramics, were also found. Contemporary historians include

Paulus Orosius (c. 375–418)[48] and Hydatius (c. 400–469), bishop of Aquae Flaviae, who reported on the final years of the Roman rule and arrival of the Germanic tribes

Germanic kingdoms: the Suebi

Map of the Kingdom of the Suebi in the 5th and 6th centuries

In the early 5th century,

Alenquer (from old Germanic Alan kerk, temple of the Alans), Coimbra and Lisbon.[51]

About 410 and during the 6th century it became a formally declared Kingdom of the Suebi,[50][49] where king Hermeric made a peace treaty with the Gallaecians before passing his domains to Rechila, his son. In 448 Rechila died, leaving the state in expansion to Rechiar. Subsequently, this new king started to print coins under his own name, becoming the first of the germanic kings to do so[52], and then was baptised to Nicene Christianity, probably by the Bishop Balconius, also becoming the first of the germanic kings to do so, even before Clovis, king of the Franks[53]. This bellicose king, almost conquered the whole of Hispania, taking many prisoners and several important cities, but failed to consolidate his conquest over the territory and didn't even came near Tarragona.

After the

Frantan and Aguiulfo ruling simultaneously. Both reigned from 456 to 457, the year in which Maldras
(457–459) reunified the kingdom. He was assassinated after a failed Roman-Visigothic conspiracy. Although the conspiracy did not achieve its true purposes, the Suebian Kingdom was again divided between two kings: Frumar (Frumario 459–463) and Remismund (Remismundo, son of Maldras) (459–469) who would re-reunify his father's kingdom in 463. He would be forced to adopt Arianism in 465 due to the Visigoth influence. By 500, the Visigothic Kingdom had been installed in Iberia, it was based in Toledo and advancing westwards. They became a threat to the Suebian rule. After the death of Remismund in 469 a dark period set in, where virtually all written texts and accounts disappear. This period lasted until 550. The only thing known about this period is that Theodemund (Teodemundo) most probably ruled the Suebians.

The dark period ended with the reign of

Saint Martin of Braga (São Martinho de Braga).[54]

The Visigothic civil war began in 577, in which Miro intervened. Later, in 583, he also organized an unsuccessful expedition to reconquer Seville. During the return from this failed campaign Miro died, thereby ending the proeminence of the Suebi in hispanic politics, and in two years the kingdom would be conquered by the Visigoths.

The Visigoths

Visigothic kingdom
in Iberia from 625 to 711

In the Suebian Kingdom many internal struggles continued to take place.

Andeca (Audeca 584–585), who failed to prevent the Visigothic invasion led by Leovigildo. The Visigothic invasion, completed in 585, turned the once rich and fertile kingdom of the Suebi into the sixth province of the Visigothic kingdom.[55]
Leovigild was crowned King of Gallaecia, Hispania and Gallia Narbonensis

For the next 300 years and by the year 700, the entire Iberian Peninsula was ruled by the Visigoths.[56][57][58][59][60] Under the Visigoths, Gallaecia was a well-defined space governed by a doge of its own. Doges at this time were related to the monarchy and acted as princes in all matters. Both 'governors' Wamba and Wittiza (Vitiza) acted as doge (they would later become kings in Toledo). These two became known as the 'vitizians', who headquartered in the northwest and called on the Arab invaders from the South to be their allies in the struggle for power in 711. King Roderic (Rodrigo) was killed while opposing this invasion, thus becoming the last Visigothic king of Iberia. From the various Germanic groups who settled in western Iberia, the Suebi left the strongest lasting cultural legacy in what is today Portugal, Galicia and western fringes of Asturias.[61][62][63] According to Dan Stanislawski, the Portuguese way of living in regions North of the Tagus is mostly inherited from the Suebi, in which small farms prevail, distinct from the large properties of Southern Portugal. Bracara Augusta, the modern city of

Orosius, at that time resident in Hispania, shows a rather pacific initial settlement, the newcomers working their lands[65] or serving as bodyguards of the locals.[66]
Another Germanic group that accompanied the Suebi and settled in Gallaecia were the
Buri. They settled in the region between the rivers Cávado and Homem, in the area known as Terras de Bouro (Lands of the Buri).[67]

Islamic period and the Reconquista

The Caliphate of Cordoba in the early 10th century

Today's continental Portugal, along with most of modern Spain, was part of al-Andalus between 726 and 1249, following the Umayyad Caliphate conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. This rule lasted from some decades in the North to five centuries in the South.[68]

After defeating the

Abd-ar-Rahman I with the establishment of the Emirate of Córdoba. After almost two centuries, the Emirate became the Caliphate of Córdoba in 929, until its dissolution a century later in 1031 into no less than 23 small kingdoms, called Taifa kingdoms.[68]

The governors of the taifas each proclaimed themselves

Al-Andaluz was divided into different districts called Kura. . The Muslim population of the region consisted mainly of native Iberian converts to
Atlas mountains region of North Africa and were nomads.[68]

County of Portugal

A statue of Count Vímara Peres, first Count of Portugal

An Asturian Visigothic noble named

Visigoth nobles. Pelagius called for the remnant of the Christian Visigothic armies to rebel against the Moors and regroup in the unconquered northern Asturian highlands, better known today as the Cantabrian Mountains, in what is today the small mountain region in north-western Spain, adjacent to the Bay of Biscay.[72]

Pelagius' plan was to use the Cantabrian mountains as a place of refuge and protection from the invading Moors. He then aimed to regroup the Iberian Peninsula's Christian armies and use the Cantabrian mountains as a springboard from which to regain their lands. In the process, after defeating the Moors in the Battle of Covadonga in 722, Pelagius was proclaimed king, thus founding the Christian Kingdom of Asturias and starting the war of Christian reconquest known in Portuguese as the Reconquista Cristã.[72]

At the end of the 9th century, the region of Portugal, between the rivers Minho and Douro, was reconquered from the Moors by the nobleman and knight Vímara Peres on the orders of King Alfonso III of Asturias. Finding that the region had previously had two major cities – Portus Cale in the coast and Braga in the interior, with many towns that were now deserted – he decided to repopulate and rebuild them with Portuguese and Galician refugees and other Christians.[73] Apart from the Arabs from the South, the coastal regions in the North were also attacked by

Olaf II Haraldsson
in 1014 against the Galician nobility who also stopped further advances into the County of Portugal.

Count Vímara Peres[76] organized the region he had reconquered, and elevated it to the status of County, naming it the County of Portugal after the region's major port city – Portus Cale or modern Porto. One of the first cities Vimara Peres founded at this time is Vimaranes, known today as Guimarães – the "birthplace of the Portuguese nation" or the "cradle city" (Cidade Berço in Portuguese).[73]

After annexing the County of Portugal into one of the several counties that made up the Kingdom of Asturias, King Alfonso III of Asturias knighted Vímara Peres, in 868, as the First Count of Portus Cale (Portugal). The region became known as Portucale, Portugale, and simultaneously Portugália – the County of Portugal.[73]

Alfonso VI of León investing Henry, Count of Portugal
, in 1093

Later the Kingdom of Asturias was divided into a number of Christian Kingdoms in Northern Iberia due to dynastic divisions of inheritance among the king's offspring.

With the forced abdication of Alfonso III "the Great" of Asturias by his sons in 910, the Kingdom of Asturias split into three separate kingdoms. The three kingdoms were eventually reunited in 924 under the crown of León.

In 1093,

Suebian Kingdom

Independence and Afonsine era

King Afonso I of Portugal

On 24 June 1128, the

Fernão Peres de Trava, thereby establishing himself as sole leader. Afonso then continued his father Henry of Burgundy
's Reconquista wars.

Afonso's campaigns were successful and, on 25 July 1139, he obtained an overwhelming victory in the

King of Portugal by his soldiers. This is traditionally taken as the occasion when the County of Portugal, as a fief of the Kingdom of León, became the independent Kingdom of Portugal

Afonso then, supposedly, established the first of the

as Afonso I of Portugal.

During the Reconquista period, Christians reconquered the Iberian Peninsula from Moorish domination. Afonso Henriques and his successors, aided by military monastic orders, continued pushing southwards. In 1249, the Reconquista ended with the capture of the Algarve and complete expulsion of the last Moorish settlements in the southern coast. With minor readjustments, Portugal's territorial borders have remained ever since, making it one of the oldest established nations in Europe.

In one of these situations of conflict with the

Dinis I (Denis I), Afonso IV (Alphons IV), and Pedro I
(Peter I) for the most part saw peace with the other kingdoms of Iberia.

In 1348 and 1349 Portugal, like the rest of Europe, was devastated by the

region, in particular, there is visible English influence to this day.

Joanine era and Age of Discoveries

Vera Cruz Caravel replica sailing on the Tagus River, near Lisbon.

In 1383, John I of Castile, husband of Beatrice of Portugal and son-in-law of Ferdinand I of Portugal, claimed the throne of Portugal. A faction of petty noblemen and commoners, led by John of Aviz (later King John I of Portugal) and commanded by General Nuno Álvares Pereira defeated the Castilians in the Battle of Aljubarrota. With this battle, the House of Aviz became the ruling house of Portugal.

The new ruling dynasty would proceed to push Portugal to the limelight of European politics and culture, creating and sponsoring works of literature, like the Crónicas d'el Rei D. João I by Fernão Lopes, the first riding and hunting manual Livro da ensinança de bem cavalgar toda sela and O Leal Conselheiro both by King Edward of Portugal[78][79][80] and the Portuguese translations of Cicero's De Oficiis and Seneca's De Beneficiis by the well traveled Prince Peter of Coimbra, as well as his magnum opus Tratado da Vertuosa Benfeytoria.[81] In an effort of solidification and centralization of royal power the monarchs of this dynasty also ordered the compilation, organization and publication of the first three compilations of laws in Portugal: the Ordenações d'el Rei D. Duarte,[82] which was never enforced; the Ordenações Afonsinas, whose application and enforcement was not uniform across the realm; and the Ordenações Manuelinas, which took advantage of the printing press to reach every corner of the kingdom. The Avis Dynasty also sponsored works of architecture like the Mosteiro da Batalha (literally, the Monastery of the Battle) and led to the creation of the manueline style of architecture in the 16th century.

Portugal also spearheaded European exploration of the world and the

route to India via the Cape of Good Hope; discovered Brazil, explored the Indian Ocean, established trading routes throughout most of southern Asia; and sent the first direct European maritime trade and diplomatic missions to China and Japan. In 1415, Portugal acquired the first of its overseas colonies by conquering Ceuta, the first prosperous Islamic trade centre in North Africa. There followed the first discoveries in the Atlantic: Madeira and the Azores, which led to the first colonization

Vasco da Gama

In 1422, by decree of King John I, Portugal officially abandoned the previous dating system, the

Era of Caesar, and adopted the Anno Domini system, therefore becoming the last catholic realm to do so.[83] Throughout the 15th century, Portuguese explorers sailed the coast of Africa, establishing trading posts for several common types of tradable commodities at the time, ranging from gold to slaves, as they looked for a route to India and its spices
, which were coveted in Europe.


Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, Newfoundland and Labrador, long before the French and English in the 17th century, and being just one of many Portuguese colonizations of the Americas.[84][85][86]

In 1500,


Areas across the world that were, at one point in their history, part of the Portuguese Empire

Although for a long period it was believed the Dutch were the first Europeans to arrive in Australia, there is also some evidence that the Portuguese may have discovered Australia in 1521.[88][89][90] From 1519 to 1522, Ferdinand Magellan (Fernão de Magalhães) organized a Spanish expedition to the East Indies which resulted in the first circumnavigation of the globe. Magellan never made it back to Europe as he was killed by natives in the Philippines in 1521.

The Treaty of Zaragoza, signed on 22 April 1529 between Portugal and Spain, specified the anti-meridian to the line of demarcation specified in the Treaty of Tordesillas.

All these factors made Portugal one of the world's major economic, military, and political powers from the 15th century until the late 16th century.

Iberian Union, Restoration and early Brigantine era