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TURDETA´NI

Eth. TURDETA´NI (Τουρδητανοί, Ptol. 2.4.5, &c.), the principal people of Hispania Baetica; whence we find the name of Turdetania (Τουρδητανία or Τουρτυτανία used by Strabo (iii. p.136) and Stephanus Byz. (p. 661) as identical with Baetica. Their territory lay to the W. of the river Singulis (now Xenil), on both sides of the Baetis as far as Lusitania on the W. The Turdetani were the most civilised and polished of all the Spanish tribes. They cultivated the sciences; they had their poets and historians, and a code of written laws, drawn up in a metrical form (Strab. iii. pp. 139, 151, 167; Plb. 34.9). Hence they were readily disposed to adopt the manners and customs of their conquerors, and became at length almost entirely Romans; but with these characteristics we are not surprised to find that they are at the same time represented by Livy (34.17) as the most unwarlike of all the Spanish races. They possessed the Jus Latii. Some traits in their manners are noted by Diodorus Sic. (5.33), Silius Italicus (3.340, seq.), and Strabo (3.164). Their superior civilisation was no doubt derived from their intercourse with the Phoenicians whose colony of Tartessus lay in their neighbourhood.

[T.H.D]

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