World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Duchy of Cantabria

Article Id: WHEBN0008155921
Reproduction Date:

Title: Duchy of Cantabria  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Kingdom of Asturias, Basque prehistory, History of the Basque people, Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2009 July 1, Kingdom of Viguera
Collection: Dukedoms of Spain, History of Cantabria, Medieval Spain
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Duchy of Cantabria

Approximate limits of the Duchy of Cantabria
Peña Amaya, where the ancient Cantabrian town of Amaya was located. Situated on the southern end of the Duchy, looks like a forward watchtower on the Castilian countryside.

The Duchy of Cantabria (Spanish: Ducado de Cantabria, Cantabrian: Ducau de Cantabria) was a march created by the Visigoths in northern Spain to watch their border with the Cantabrians and Basques. Its precise extension is unclear in the different periods, but seems likely that it included Cantabria, parts of Northern Castile, La Rioja, and probably western areas of Biscay and Álava.

The two main towns of Cantabria before its conquest by the Goths were Amaya (in northern Burgos) and the City of Cantabria, believed to have been near modern Logroño. Both towns were destroyed in 574 by Liuvigild, who massacred many of their inhabitants. The legend of this destruction remained for long in the memory of the affected peoples. Bishop Braulio of Zaragoza (631-651) wrote in his Life of St. Emilianus how the saint prophesied the destruction of Cantabria because of their alleged sins. It is held in popular belief that the converted refugees from the City of Cantabria founded the monastery of Our Lady of Codés in Navarre.

A Senate of Cantabria mentioned in the Saint Aemilianus' work bears witness to a local nobility and a governing diet that may have been of the last independent Hispano-Roman provincial authorities. Some names are provided too, such as autochthonous Sicorius or Tuentius, with no clear ethnic affiliation, and Latin names Honorius and Nepotianus.[1]

In 581, right before major Frankish expeditions against the Basques and the establishment of the Duchy of Vasconia under Frank suzerainty, the count of Bordeaux Galactorius is cited by the poet Venantius Fortunatus as fighting both the Basques and the Cantabrians,[2] while the Chronicle of Fredegar brings up a shadowy Francio duke of Cantabria ruling for a long period some time before Sisebut's successful campaigns against Basques and Cantabrians. Archaeological discoveries in the last decades around the millennium have brought to light that the cultural and economic influences, and even small groups of people in the near Basque territory once part of the duchy or limiting with it, came from way beyond the Pyrenees during this time gap of political vacuum or at the best, uncertain authority.[3]

In the late Visigothic period, at a second stage after the 6th century Cantabrian defeat, the Duchy of Cantabria is attested as being a buffer zone bearing witness to continuous fighting between Visigoths and Basques. In 670, the Visigothic king Wamba was campaigning there against the Basques when he heard of a rebellion in Septimania. Notice of a certain duke Peter of Cantabria, father of Alfonso I of Asturias, is attested on 9th century Asturian documents for the first years of the Umayyad conquest of Hispania.


  1. ^ Collins, Roger (1983). Early Medieval Spain. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 106.  
  2. ^ Douglass, William A. Bilbao, Jon (1975 (2005)). Amerikanuak. Basques in the New World. Reno: University of Nevada Press. p. 29.  
  3. ^

See also

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.