Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Cantabria

CANTABRIA, a district of Hispania Tarraconensis, lying on the south coast of the Bay of Biscay. By the more ancient geographers the name was applied to the entire country now occupied by the provinces of Asturias, Santander, Biscay, and Guipuzcoa. After the conquest of Spain by the Romans, the name of Cantabria was restricted to what is now the province of Santander and the eastern portion of Asturias.

The Cantabri were not improbably the remains of an ancient Iberian population, and were, according to some, the ancestors of the modern Basques. They were the most warlike of all the native Spanish tribes that the Romans had to encounter, and were never completely subdued. Together with the Astures, they offered for many ages a successful resistance to the Roman arms, and were only at last compelled to acknowledge the supremacy of Rome by Augustus. They revolted a few years after, but were defeated with great slaughter by Agrippa, 19 B.C. When, however, their losses had been somewhat repaired, they again declared war ; and they were only kept in check by the most vigorous exertions of the Emperor Tiberias. Their indomitable spirit is frequently alluded to in the ancient classics; among others Horace alludes to the " Cantabrum indoctum juga ferre nostra." Cantabria under the Roman empire comprehended five principal tribes, the Pleutauri, the Varduli, the Autrigones, the Conisci or Concaui (who fed on the blood of their horses, " Icetum equino sangiiine Concanntn "), and the Tuisi. There were numerous towns and villages distributed throughout the country, of which the most important was Juliobriga.