In ancient times, what is now Portugal was inhabited mainly by the Lusitanians. This tribe carried on trade with the Phoenicians at Gades (Cádiz) and later with the Carthaginians who colonized southern Spain.
|Important dates in Portugal|
|1000's B.C.||Phoenicians established settlements in what is now Portugal.|
|100's B.C.||Portugal became part of the Roman Empire.|
|A.D. 711||Muslims invaded the Iberian Peninsula.|
|1143||Portugal became an independent nation.|
|1419||Portugal began its overseas expansion.|
|1500||Pedro Alvares Cabral claimed Brazil for Portugal.|
|1580||Spain invaded and conquered Portugal.|
|1640||Portugal regained its independence.|
|1822||Portugal lost its colony of Brazil.|
|1910||The Portuguese established a republic.|
|1928||Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, who ruled as a dictator for 40 years, began his rise to power.|
|1949||Portugal and 11 other nations formed a military alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).|
|1960's||Rebellions against Portuguese rule broke out in the country's African colonies.|
|1974||A revolution overthrew the Portuguese dictatorship.|
|1975||Almost all remaining Portuguese colonies gained independence.|
|1976||Portugal held its first free general elections in more than 50 years.|
|1986||Portugal joined the European Community, an economic organization that later became the basis of the European Union.|
About 200 B.C. the Romans annexed the Iberian Peninsula, and in 60 years had subdued the Lusitanians. In the early fifth century A.D., the Alans, a Scythian tribe, settled in Lusitania. In mid-century the Germanic Suevi, who had settled to the north, invaded Lusitania and sacked Lisbon. About 470 the Visigoths from southern Gaul (France) migrated to the peninsula and founded a kingdom.
In 711 the Moors, Muslims from Africa, began invading Spain. By 719 they had conquered the whole peninsula. Lisbon was besieged by Norsemen in the ninth century, but withstood the attack. In the north of Spain the Christians had slowly pushed the Moors southward, and at the end of the ninth century the northern part of modern Portugal was occupied by the Christian Kingdom of León. By the mid-11th century, the boundary reached almost to Lisbon.