The Turduli (Greek: Tourduloi) were an ancient Pre-Roman people of the Iberian Peninsula, which lived in the south and centre of modern Portugal, in the east of the provinces of Beira Litoral, coastal Estremadura and Alentejo along the Guadiana valley, and in Extremadura and Andalusia in Spain.
Its capital was the old oppidum of Ibolca (sometimes transliterated as Ipolka), known as Obulco in Roman times, and which currently corresponds to the city of Porcuna, currently located between the provinces of Córdoba and Jaén.
Often mentioned in the ancient sources as related to the powerful Turdetani people of Baetica (modern Andalusia), their exact ethnic affiliation remains obscure. However, recent linguistic studies of the few funerary inscriptions they left behind seem to demonstrate that the early Turduli spoke an Indo-European language of the Anatolian branch similar to Mysian, though they later included people of Celtic, Illyrian, and also Ligurian origin.
According to the 4th century BC Greek geographer and explorer Pytheas, quoted by Strabo in the 1st century AD, their ancestral homeland was located north of Turdetania (the region where was located the semi-legendary Kingdom of Tartessos, in the Baetis River valley, the present-day Guadalquivir), in the modern Spanish eastern Extremadura region, where their ancient capital Regina Tourdulorum (Reina – Badajoz) once stood.
The collapse of Tartessos in around 530 BC and the Celtici migrations in the 6th-5th Centuries BC set them in motion, with the majority settling the middle Anas (Guadiana) basin, a region known as Beturia or Baeturia Turdulorum roughly corresponding to parts of eastern Alentejo, and the western half of the modern Badajoz and southeastern Huelva provinces, hence their name Baetici Turduli. Others went west, colonizing the central coastal Portuguese region of Estremadura and became known as Turduli Oppidani. Some went south, where they settled the present Setubal peninsula along the Tagus river mouth and the lower Sardum (Sado; Kallipos in the Greek sources) river valley as the Bardili. The remnants, designated Turduli Veteres in the ancient sources, migrated northwards in conjunction with the Celtici and ended settling the Beira Litoral, a coastal region situated along the lower Douro and Vacca (Vouga) river basins.
- Bardili (Turduli)
- Turduli Oppidani
- Turduli Veteres
- Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula
- Ferreira do Amaral, Povos Antigos em Portugal... (1992), pp. 66; 69; 112-113; 120-121; 124; 137; 162; 189.
- Strabo, Geographikon, III, 1, 6.
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- Macrobius, Saturnalia, 1: 20, 25.
- Herodotus, Istoriai, II, 33; IV, 49.
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- Pliny the Elder, Natural History, IV, 112-113.
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