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Gallaecia or Callaecia, also known as Hispania Gallaecia, was the name of a Roman province and an early Medieval kingdom that comprised a territory in the north-west of Hispania (approximately present-day northern Portugal, and León (province), Asturias and Galicia in Spain). The most important city and historical capital of Callaecia were the towns of Bracara Augusta, the modern Portuguese Braga, the administrative centre of the Conventus bracarensis, and Lucus Augusti, the modern Galician Lugo, the administrative centre of the Conventus lucensis.
The Romans gave the name Gallaecia to the northwest part of the Iberian peninsula (northern Portugal, Galicia, Asturias, Leon and Cantabria). The Gallaeci (Greek Kallaikoi) tribes (or Gallaecians) Gallaeci lived in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. One of their southern towns, Cale, become the Roman town of Portus Cale, today's Porto, after which the modern state of Portugal is named. 
- Fibrarum et pennae divinarumque sagacem
- flammarum misit dives Callaecia pubem,
- barbara nunc patriis ululantem carmina linguis,
- nunc pedis alterno percussa verbere terra,
- ad numerum resonas gaudentem plaudere caetras. (book III.344-7)
- "Rich Gallaecia sent its youths, wise in the knowledge of divination by the entrails of beasts, by feathers and flames— who, now crying out the barbarian song of their native tongue, now alternately stamping the ground in their rhythmic dances until the ground rang, and accompanying the playing with sonorous caetrae" (a caetra was a small type of shield used in the region).
Gallaecia, as a region, was thus marked for the Romans as much for its Celtic culture, the culture of the castros or castrexa — hillforts of Celtic origin—as it was for the lure of its gold mines. This civilization extended over present day Galicia, the north of Portugal, the western part of Asturias, the Berço, and Sanabria and was distinctive from the neighbouring non-Celtic Lusitanian civilization to the south, according to the classical authors Pomponius Mela and Pliny the Elder.
At a far later date, the mythic history that was encapsulated in Lebor Gabála Érenn credited Gallaecia as the point from which the Gallaic Celts sailed to conquer Ireland, as they had Gallaecia, by force of arms.
Pre-Roman Gallaecia 
Strabo in his Geography lists the people of the northeastern Atlantic coast of Iberia as follows:
- ...then the Vettonians and the Vaccaeans, through whose territory the Durius [Douro] River flows, which affords a crossing at Acutia, a city of the Vaccaeans; and last, the Callaicans, [Gallaicans] who occupy a very considerable part of the mountainous country. For this reason, since they were very hard to fight with, the Callaicans themselves have not only furnished the surname for the man who defeated the Lusitanians [meaning Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus, Roman general] but they have also brought it about that now, already, the most of the Lusitanians are called Callaicans.
Roman Gallaecia 
After the Punic Wars, the Romans turned their attention to conquering Hispania. The tribe of the Gallaeci 60,000 strong, according to Paulus Orosius, faced the Roman forces in 137 BC in a battle at the river Douro (Spanish: Duero, Portuguese: Douro, Latin: Durius), which resulted in a great Roman victory, by virtue of which the Roman proconsul Decimus Junius Brutus returned a hero, receiving the agnomen Gallaicus ("conqueror of the Gallaicoi"). From this time, Gallaic fighters joined the Roman legions, to serve as far away as Dacia and Britain. The final extinction of Celtic resistance was the aim of the violent and ruthless Cantabrian Wars fought under the Emperor Augustus from 26 to 19 BC. The resistance was appalling: collective suicide rather than surrender, mothers who killed their children before committing suicide, crucified prisoners of war who sang triumphant hymns, rebellions of captives who killed their guards and returned home from Gaul.
For Rome Gallaecia was a region formed exclusively by two conventus—the Lucensis and the Bracarensis — and was distinguished clearly from other zones like the Asturica, according to written sources:
- Legatus iuridici to per ASTURIAE ET GALLAECIAE.
- Procurator ASTURIAE ET GALLAECIAE.
- Cohors ASTURUM ET GALLAECORUM.
- Pliny: ASTURIA ET GALLAECIA
In the 3rd century, Diocletian created an administrative division which included the conventus of Gallaecia, Asturica and, perhaps, Cluniense. This province took the name of Gallaecia since Gallaecia was the most populous and important zone within the province. In 409, as Roman control collapsed, the Suebi conquests transformed Roman Gallaecia (convents Lucense and Bracarense) into the kingdom of Galicia (the Galliciense Regnum recorded by Hydatius and Gregory of Tours).
Roman governors 
Later Gallaecia 
see main article Suebic Kingdom of Galicia
In Beatus of Liébana (d. 798), Gallaecia refers to the Christian part of the Iberian peninsula, whereas Hispania refers to the Muslim one. The emirs found it not worth their while to conquer these mountains filled with fighters and lacking oil or wine.
In Charlemagne's time, bishops of Gallaecia attended the Council of Frankfurt in 794. During his residence in Aachen, he received embassies from Alfonso II of Asturias, according to the Frankish chronicles.
Sancho III of Navarre in 1029 refers to Vermudo III as Imperator domus Vermudus in Gallaecia.
See also 
- Gallaecian language
- Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula
- Kingdom of Galicia
- Timeline of Galician history
- Romanization of Hispania
- Strabo, Geography, Book III, Chapter 3
- Luján, Eugenio R. (2000) "Ptolemy's 'Callaecia' and the language(s) of the 'Callaeci', in: David N. Parsons & Patrick Sims-Williams, editors (2000) Ptolemy; towards a linguistic atlas of the earliest Celtic place-names of Europe: papers from a workshop sponsored by the British Academy, Dept. of Welsh, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, 11–12 April 1999, pp. 55-72.
- Among them the Praestamarci, Supertamarci, Nerii, Artabri, and in general all people living by the seashore except for the Grovi of southern Galicia and northern Portugal: 'Totam Celtici colunt, sed a Durio ad flexum Grovi, fluuntque per eos Avo, Celadus, Nebis, Minius et cui oblivionis cognomen est Limia. Flexus ipse Lambriacam urbem amplexus recipit fluvios Laeron et Ullam. Partem quae prominet Praesamarchi habitant, perque eos Tamaris et Sars flumina non longe orta decurrunt, Tamaris secundum Ebora portum, Sars iuxta turrem Augusti titulo memorabilem. Cetera super Tamarici Nerique incolunt in eo tractu ultimi. Hactenus enim ad occidentem versa litora pertinent. Deinde ad septentriones toto latere terra convertitur a Celtico promunturio ad Pyrenaeum usque. Perpetua eius ora, nisi ubi modici recessus ac parva promunturia sunt, ad Cantabros paene recta est. In ea primum Artabri sunt etiamnum Celticae gentis, deinde Astyres.', Pomponius Mela, Chorographia, III.7-9.
- Coutinhas, José Manuel (2006), Aproximação à identidade etno-cultural dos Callaeci Bracari, Porto.
- Alfonso Carbonell Lombardero, "The Gaels in Gallaecia"
- Luís Magarinhos Igrejas, "Sobre a origem e significado das palavras Portugal e Galiza"
- Detailed map of the Pre-Roman Peoples of Iberia (around 200 BC)
- Rutas Arqueolóxicas do Eixo Atlántico - Roteiro Arqueológico do Eixo Atlântico