“The cuélebre; The serpent with bat wings, impenetrable scale and enormous tail, that crouches in the forest, in the fountain, in the swamp, and fills the spaces of its hissed and devours cattle and people … The one that guards the shards and protects the treasures; The one who only surrenders to fatigue on the night of San Juan, when the fortunate paladins break the enchantments and find, at one and the same time, fortune, love, and beauty.

The Cuélebre grows old with age, and then the scales grow, and the rivers reject it, and the earth refuses to bear it. It has no choice but to bury itself in its sea, which is called ‘sea covered’ because it spreads under the ground. At the bottom of this sea there is an immense nursery of diamonds …. And the men, the diamonds are taken with a piece of meat and a rope; The diamonds stick to the flesh when it touches the abyss and rise when it rises, if it manages to be saved from the cuélebres. ” (Constantino Cabal, RIDEA, p.325, Collected in Covadonga Encyclopedia of Popular Asturias, Legal Deposit AS: 330-94, Edited by “La Voz de Asturias” S.A.)

Tradition describes it as follows: His eyes are incandescent embers, his whole body is covered with scales and his back grows wings of a bat.

It is said that one of its main functions is to watch over treasures. In Asturian mythology references to these hidden treasures (ayalgues in Asturian), which usually consist of pieces of gold of great value, are frequent. For your search (la gueta l’ayalga) there are guides called “lleendas” -“legends” in Asturian language-,  that describe the places in which they are believed to be.

It is said that the Cuélebre is often annoying to men who live near their hiding place, which may be a forest, a cave or a fountain, as it emits terrible whistles and is used to feed on humans, both alive and dead. To prevent this from happening you will usually deliver food like borone.

The weak point of Cuélebre would be the throat, since the rest of the body would be covered by hard scales that would make it practically invulnerable.

When they grow old, it is believed that they would go to the bottom of the sea to take care of their treasures and to rest.


There are many stories in which it is narrated how the peasants manage to conquer it by means of deceptions and thus they are free to have to feed it, as for example the one that counts that monks, tired of having to give him to eat to avoid taking the corpses of the Convent decided to give him a loaf of bread that caused him death.

In the past the snake demanded from time to time a virgin maiden to devour it in exchange for not unleashing its fury on the people. Thus it was until one of the maidens to be sacrificed invoked the apostle James. He confronted the beast and the wounded Snake in his chest, began to twist, let a cloud of sulfur through his mouth and wounded and humiliated, returned to his cave never again to ask tribute to the people.

Legends tell that the snake after so many centuries of longevity has already lost much of its powers, especially in the magical night of San Juan when their enchantments are not effective. On the contrary, the night of St. Bartholomew comes out of his cave with his powers increased, provoking storms and unleashing terror.

Ramón Sordo Sotres collects a legend of Valle Baxu where the nuberos enter the torcas to extract blood to the cuélebres. Another similar story of Cabrales speaks of some mysterious characters called gurmantes who entered in a torca to capture a cuélebre, advising the people to collect the cattle, because they were going to provoke a storm of hail. Finally they manage to catch the cuélebre by tying it with the shoelaces. These same characters, also called clumsy, appear in a story collected by Alvarez Peña in Piloña. They are described as black-clad men who carried some spell books with which they could conjure storms. The similarity between the stories, and the characteristics that are given to these characters, relate them to the nuberos of the version of Valle Baxu.

There is a story about a story that was allegedly sighted in Felechosa, Ayer, Asturies in 1965. It was said that the last official Guardia Civil raid had been carried out against this mythological animal. The strike, in a festive tone, would have culminated in a spittle that a local businessman, Luciano Tejón Muñiz, organized for the authorities and to motivate with that the journalists with their articles to attract tourism to this locality. But as one of the neighbors Manolo Tejón would say “”They would have been better off if they had thought of something with the Virgin of Carmen like they did at Lourdes or Fatima.”

The Cuélebre in Asturian toponymy:

The figure of the cuélebre is distributed throughout the Asturian geography, almost always related to caves and fountains; In Mestes de Con (Cangues d’Onís) there are three very close caves known as Cueves del Cuélebre; Also near Cueres (Cangues d’Onís) there is Pozu’l Cuélebre. There are not many places that carry the name as complement of source, or of ramada; Thus, in Sobrefoz, there is the Ramada of the Cuélebre, because it is said that (because of the appearance of the place) the Cuélebre came down leaving the traces of a ramu that creeps to transport something, as would narria. Name, or that they are said to live in the Cuélebre are in Saliencia (Somiedu), Uviéu, or Brañaseca (Cuideiru).

More place names: Prau del Cuélebre in Xienal (Quirós), and Braña de Valdecuálabre (Cangas del Narcea), near Barriu (Teberga) there are Cuevafrás.


– Sordo Sotres, Ramón: Mitos de la naturaleza en Asturias y Cantabria. Colección El Jogueru. 1994.
– Álvarez Peña, Alberto: Asturias mágica. Ed. Conceyu Bable. 1992.
– Supersticiones y creencias de Asturias. Tesoro Ediciones, 1976. Luciano Castañón.
– Siaón, Genaro: Asturias misteriosa: Tú si que estás cerca de la realidad. Ediciones del Curueño. León. 1998.

Asturian to English translation:

Fernán Morán.

Photos and illustrations:

1st.- Cuélebre guarding a treasure. Author: Alberto Alvarez Peña.

2nd.- Carving of a Cuélebre in the stalls of the choir of the cathedral of San Salvador in Uviéu city. Author: Sergio Ballester.

3rd.- Cuélebre carved in St. Peter church in Villanueva d’Onís – Asturies. Author: MacLantarón.

4th.- Cuélebre carved in the Romanesque church of Abamia. Cangues d’Onís council, Asturies. Source: Asturiensis Pronvincia Indígena (blog).

5th.- Cuelebre Cave, Ayer council, Asturies. Author: Mike Tascón.

6th.- Embroidery in an Asturian traditional costume of the council of Llanes. Author: Sergio Ballester.

7th.- Cuélebre carved on the wall of a house in Muries village, Ayer council, Asturies.


“El cuélebre; la culiebra con nales d’esperteyu, escama impenetrable y cola enorme, que s’agazupa nel monte, na fonte, na espelunca, y enllena los espacios del so xiblu y taramia ganaos y persones… La que curia les xanes y protexe les ayalgues; la que namá se rinde a la fatiga na nueche de San Juan, cuando los paladines de ventura quebren los encantamientos y atopen d’una vegada, y en grau sumu, la fortuna, l’amor, y la guapura.

El cuélebre avieya colos sieglos, y entós les escames crécense-y, y los ríos refúguenlu, y niégase la tierra a soportalo. Nun-y queda otru remediu que soterrase nel so mar, que se noma ‘mar tapada’ porque s’esparna sol suelu. No fondero d’esti mar hai un viveru inmensu de diamantes…. Y los homes, cuéyense los diamantes con un cachu de carne y una cuerda; los diamantes pegar a la carne cuando toca nel abilsu y xuben cuando ella xube, si consigue salvase de los cuélebres.”  (Constantino Cabal, RIDEA, p.325, añu ¿?, recoyíu en Cuadonga Enciclopedia de l’Asturies Popular, Depósitu llegal AS:330-94, Editáu por La Voz d’Asturies” S.A.)

El cuélebre, culebre o serpe son los nomes daos a una criatura llexendaria, perteneciente a les mitoloxíes cántabro y asturiano, descrita comu’n ser con forma  dragón, asemeyáu a una culiebra alada.

La tradición describelu de la siguiente forma: Los sos güeyos son áscuares incandescentes, tol so cuerpu ta recubiertu d’escames y del so llombu crecen unes nales d’esperteyu.

Cúntase qu’una de les sos principales funciones ye la de xixilar ayalgues. Na mitoloxía asturiana son frecuentes les referencies a estes ayalgues ocultes, que polo común consisten en pieces d’oru de gran valor. Para la gueta l’ayalga hai unes guíes llamaes lliendas que describen los llugares nos que se cree que s’atopen.

Dizse que’l cuélebre suel ser cafiante para los homes que viven barganal del so escondite, que puede ser un monte, una cueva o una fonte, yá que emite xiblíos tarrecibles y tien por costume alimentase de seres humanos, tantu vivos como muertos. Para evitar qu’esto asoceda suélse-y apurrir alimentos como boroña.

El puntu débil del Cuélebre sería’l gargüelu, una y bones el restu del cuerpu taría cubiertu por unes dures escama que lo volveríen prácticamente invulnerable. Al faese vieyos, créese que se diríen al fondu del mar a curiar les sos ayalgues y folgar.


Hai munches hestories nes que se narra como el llabradores llogren vencelo por aciu engaños y asina se ven llibres de tener qu’alimentalo, como por casu la que cunta qu’unos monxos, cansaos de tener que da-y de comer pa evitar que se llevara los cadabres del conventu decidieron da-y un pan con anfileres que-y causó la muerte.

Nel pasáu’l culebre esixía cada ciertu tiempu una doncella virxe para taramiala en cuenta de nun desamarrar la so roxura sobro les xentes. Asina yera hasta que xuna de les doncelles que diba ser sacrificada invocó al apóstol Santiago. Esti enfrentar a la bestia y el Culebre mancáu nel pechu, empezar a retorcer, soltó xuna nube d’azufre pela boca y mancáu y humildáu, tornó a la so cueva nun volviendo nunca a pidir tributu a la xente.

Cunten la lleendes qu’el culebre tres tantos sieglos de llonxevidá yá perdió gran parte de los sos poderes, especialmente na máxica nueche de San Xuan cuando nun son efectivos los sos encantamientos. Otra manera, la nueche de San Bartolomé sal de la so cova colos sos poderes amontaos, provocando torbonaes y desamarrando’l terror.

Ramón Sordu Sotres recueye xuna lleenda de Valle Bah.u onde los nuberos entren nes torcas pa estraye-yos sangre a los cuélebres. Otra hestoria similar de Cabrales fala d’unos misteriosos personaxes llamaos gurmantes qu’entraron n’una torca a prindar un cuélebre, avisando a la xente que recoyera’l ganáu, pos diben provocar una nube de xarazo. Finalmente consiguen atrapar al cuélebre arreyar colos gordones de los zapatos. Estos mesmos personaxes, llamaos tamién grumantes, apaecen nun relatu recoyíu por Álvarez Peña en Piloña. Describir como unos paisanos vistíos de negru que llevaben unos llibros d’esconxuros colos que podíen esconxurar nubes. La semeyanza ente los relatos, y les carácterísticas que se-y dan a estos personaxes, rellacionar colos nuberos de la versión de Valle Bah.u.

Esiste una hestoria sobro un cuélebre que supuestamente foi columbráu en Felechosa, Ayer, Asturies en 1965. Díxose qu’entós se llevó a cabu la última batida oficial de la Guardia Civil contra esti animal mitolóxicu. La batida, en tonu festivu, remataría con una espicha qu’un empresariu local, Luciano Melandru Muñiz, entamó pa les autoridaes y pa motivar con ello a que los periodistes colos sos artículos atraxeren el turismu a esta localidá. Pero como diría unu de los vecinos Manolo Melandru “hubiérayos dio meyor si hubieren discurrío daqué cola Virxe del Carmen como fizieron en Lourdes, o Fátima”.

El cuellebre na toponimia asturiana:

La figura del cuélebre ta partida por tola xeografía asturiana, casi siempres rellacionáu con cueves y fontes; en Mestes de Con (Cangues d’Onís) esisten trés cueves bien próximes conocíes como Cueves del Cuélebre; tamién abargana de Cuerres (Cangues d’Onís) esiste’l Pozu del Cuélebre. Nun son pocos los llugares que lleven el nome como complementu de fonte, o de ramada; asina, en Sobrefoz, esiste la Ramada del Cuélebre, pos se diz que (pol aspeutu del llugar) pellí baxó’l Cuélebre dexando les buelgues propies d’un ramu que se abasnar para tresportar daqué -como carriella-. Más cueves col nome, o que se diga que nelles vive’l Cuélebre atopense’n Saliencia (Somiedu), Uviéu, o Brañaseca (Cuideiru).

Más nomes de llugar: prau del Cuélebre en Xienal (Quirós), y braña de Valdecuálabre (Cangas), barganal de Barriu (Teberga) esisti Cuevafrás.


– Sordo Sotres, Ramón: Mitos de la naturaleza en Asturias y Cantabria. Colección El     Jogueru. 1994.
– Álvarez Peña, Alberto: Asturias mágica. Ed. Conceyu Bable. 1992.
– Supersticiones y creencias de Asturias. Tesoro Ediciones, 1976. Luciano Castañón.
– Siaón, Genaro: Asturias misteriosa: Tú si que estás amuralla de la realidad. Ediciones del Curueño. León. 1998.

Torna l’asturianu:

Fernán Morán.

Illustraciones y semeyes:

1ª.- Cuéllebre guardando una ayalga. Autor: Alberto Alvarez Peña.

2ª- Talla d’un cuéllebre nuna silla la sillería’l coro de la catedral de San Salvador n’Uviéu. Autor: Sergio Ballester.

3ª.- Cuellebre na ilesia románica de San Pedro’n Villanueva d’Onís – Asturies. Autor: MacLantarón.

4ª,- Cuéllebre tallau na ilesia románica d’Abamia, nel conceyu Cangues d’Onís, Asturies. Fonte la semeya: Asturiensis Provincia Indígena (blog).

5ª.- Cova’l Cuéllebre, conceyu d’Ayer, Asturies. Autor: Mike Tascón.

6ª.- Detalle d’un traxe’l país asturianu del conceyu Llanes. Autor: Sergio Ballester.

7ª.- Cuéllebre talláu’n Cá Pimi, Muries, nel conceyu d’Ayer, Asturies. Autor/a: desconocíu/a.



The classic texts designate Gallaecia or Callacia to the region that extended  by the greater part of the northwest of the ancient Hispania. Said territory receives his name of the people that inhabited it, the called callaeci, that originally had to be the name of a small etnia located northwest of Oporto, between the Duero and the Limia rivers, that later will form part of the Conventum Bracarensis (Pliny, Naturalis History III, 28). With the passage of time the name of this  ethnic unity differentiated finished for giving name to all the region northwest, between the Duero river and the Bay of Biscay. The Galician limited to the east with the Astur people, while the Duero constituted his more meridional border and his line of separation with regard to the Portuguese.

The callaeci were subjected between the 138 and the 136 B.C. By Tenth Gross June (Apiano, Iberia 73-75; Livio, Per. 56), who received by said triumph the sobriquet of “Galaico”. Nevertheless it seems that in his Gross campaigns did not arrive to cross the river Minius, that we can idetify with the current Miño river. The conquest of the Gallaecia northern, corresponding roughly to the current Galicia, took place possibly from the campaign to Cease in the 61 B.C. Although in the traditional historiography the participation of the Galicians in the Cantabrian wars has constituted a common place, the archaeologic testimonies documented in the last decades seem to confirm that the Galician territory was not  involved of direct form in the contention, exerting maybe a role in the rear  and western base of the attack to the Astur territory. The likely existence of a roman camp in Lugo, embryo of the back roman city of Lucus Augusti, already very near of the limit with the astures territory, like this seems to prove it.

The Cantabrian Wars, that develop  in diverse phases between the 29 and 19 B.C. And  end up with the submission of the Cantabrian and Astur people, culminate the long process of conquest of Hispania, that had prolonged  during almost two centuries. Coinciding with the process of conquest reorganises  from the administrative point of view all the northern territory of the Peninsula. In a first phase, the Galician territory, jointly with the astur, had been assigned to the new province of Lusitania, while Cantabria integrated  in the Tarraconense. Finished the war, Gallaecia and Asturia were segregated of Lusitania and incorporated to the province Tarraconensis. The reasons of this provincial reorganisation, in which Gallaecia and Asturia seem to constitute a unit until some type differentiated, possibly went of military character, with seen to concentrate all the effective inside the same province and of this way pipe better the effort developed by the army in the region. In effect, Estrabón informs us that the new territories were divided in two military districts, one of them corresponds to all the peninsular northwest -Asturia and Gallaecia-, that had ascribed two legions, and another widespread to both sides of the mountain range Cantábrica, between the Seal and the Pyrenees, whose guarnición was an only legion (Geographica III, 4, 20). The archaeology testimonia that the legion established in the country of the Cantabrian was the IIII Macedónica, while IV Victrix and X Gemina established  in the Asturia Augustana, in León and Astorga-Rosinos of Vidriales respectively.

An epigraphical document of exceptional importance found recently, the designated Edict of the Bierzo, dated the 15 B.C., speech of a designated province Transduriana, that has to correspond precisely to the territories of Astures and Galicians. Nevertheless, still subsisten numerous doubts on the extension, chronological length and real organisation of said province.

With the creation of the juridical convents, possibly to beginnings of the reign of Tiberio, the quadrant peninsular northwest was delivered between the convent lucense, bracarense and asturicense, whose capitals were respectively Lucus Augusti, Bracara Augusta and Asturica Augusta (Pliny, NH III, 18 and 28). The call tabulates lougeiorum, epigraphical document that contains a pact of hospitality and is dated in the I B.C., it mentions a Conventus Arae Augustae, maybe the first embryo of a civil administration that will reflect  years later. Although it is used to  identify without too much foundation said convent with the back conventus Asturum and his capital with the city of Asturica, recently have proposed that in reality the convent araugustano had to group the three convents of the northwest that know  in a moment back, this is, the territory of Astures and Galicians that from the conquest seems to form part of the same block. The name of the convent araugustano would derive of the presence in the same of the Arae Augusti or Plough Sestianas, situated in the Galician coast (Pliny, NH, IV, 111; Ptolomeo, Geographica, II, 6) and erigidas possibly in commemoration of the victory augústea on the northern villages between the 22 and the 19 B.C. Some researchers have wanted to locate Plough them Sestianas in the Asturian coast basing in a garbled text of Mela (Chronographia III, 111), identifying them wrongly with the gravestone of Calpurnio Pisón found in the castro of the Campa Torres (Gijón – Asturias), without fixing  in that said monument is thirty back years.

Independently of his division in three juridical convents, the unit of Gallaecia and Asturia is a historical constant that keeps  along the time. To finals of the 1st century A.D., it knows  through the epigraphy of the existence of common magistrates (procuratores) to both territories. The roman administration recognises the specificity of the quadrant peninsular northwest, at least from the economic and financial point of view, determined definitely by the presence of the army and of the mining districts. Possibly said unit was perceived by Rome basing in the numerous common shots to both regions, like the continuity of a pattern of settlement of celtic origin, or the importance that the auríferous Romans exploitations  go to purchase so much in Gallaecia as in Asturia (Pliny, NH, XXXIII, 76-77), by not speaking of the similarities social and cultural that presented both peoples.

The continuity of unit between Astures and Galicians  self-evident in the ephemeral creation of the Province Hispania Nova Citerior Antoniana, known through a registration of Caracalla found in León, that separated of the Tarraconense the regions ascribed to the ancient juridical convents of the peninsular northwest -Bracarense, Lucense and Asturicense-, to create a new administrative unit. Although the Province Hispania Nova had to exist so only some years, the historical link between astures and galaicos reflects  definitively to finals of the 3rd century, when Diocleciano, in the frame of a big administrative reform, creates definitively the province Gallaecia with the territories of the three juridical convents of the northwest. So only the abandonment of the exploitations auríferas and the loss of the important administrative paper that had played Asturica Augusta can explain the transfer  of the capital of the new province of the urbs magnifies pliniana to Bracara Augusta, core of big economic importance that had been eclipsed by Asturica during the High Empire in reason of the minería of the gold. Possibly it was the greater economic weight of the galician sector in this moment what determined that the new province did not call  Asturia and was called Gallaecia.

According to Orosio (Historiarum adverse pagan, 5, 7 and 6, 21) the limits of the new province desbordaron even the nuclear territories of astures and galicians, extending until Cauca (Coca, Segovia) by the south and Numantia by the east. The greater concentration of military troops of the Diocesis Hispaniarum followed being in León, earl continued the Legio VII gemina, attendant possibly of the collected and transport of the taxes in species, mainly cereals, that allocated  to the annona militaris, attendant of the sustenance of the military units established in the borders of the empire. At the head of the province found  a governor with rank presidial, although in the 369/370 Gallaecia rose of category and had like governor to a consul, good sample that it was considered a key piece inside the roman strategy. Cities like Bracara, Asturica, Legio or Gijón endow  of powerful defensive systems, while the rural world purchases a new vigour.


The split of the province renana in the 409 and the penetration of Germanic villages in Hispania opens a new chapter in the history of the Gallaecia, occupied by suevos. The conquest of Asturica by part of the Visigothic troops of Teodorico in the 459 breaks again the unit between the galician territories, under the suevish authority , and the earths astures, controlled partially by the Visigoths and turned into field of battle between both Germanic peoples.


Asturian History Dictionary; Alfonso Menéndez Gonzáles under direction of Javier Rodríguez Muñóz; Gijón 2002 (Asturias).

Translation Asturian to English:

Fernán Morán.

Photos and illustrations:

1ª.- Gallaecia map. Source: wikipedia.

2ª.- Roman defensive wall in Lucus Augusti. Source: Google

3ª.- Bierzo Edict dated at 15 a.C.; Source: Belbimbre digital.

4ª. – Funerary stele of  Calpurnio Pisón, found in Campa Torres hillfort, Gijón, Asturias; Source:

5ª.- Roman defensive wall Llión,  Los Cubos street. Source: Diario de León.

6.- Iberian peninsula map in 455AC. Source: Historia de León (blog), authoes Ricardo Chao Prieto and Taliesin.



Los testos clásicos denominen Gallaecia o Callacia a la rexón qu’estendíase pela mayor parte’l noroeste de l’antigua Hispania. Dichu territoriu recibe’l so nome de los pueblos qu’habitabenlu, los llamaos callaeci, qu’orixinariamente tuvu de ser el nome d’una pequena etnia alcontrada’l noroeste de Porto, ente’l Douru ya’l Limia, que más tarde va formar parte del Conventum Bracarensis (Plinio, Naturalis Hestoria III, 28). Col pasu’l tiempu’l nome d’esta unidá étinica estremada acabó per dar nome a tola rexón noroeste, ente’l Douru y el Cantábricu. Los galaicos llindaben al este colos pueblos ástures, mientres el Douru constituyía la so frontera más meridional y la so llínea de separación al respective de los lusitanos.


Los callaeci fueron sometíos ente’l 138 y el 136 a.C. per Décimu Junio Brutu (Apiano, Iberia 73-75; Livio, Per. 56), quién recibió por dichu trunfo’l nomatu de Galaicu. Sicasí paez que nes sos campañes Brutu nun llegó a cruciar el ríu Minius, que debemos indentificar col actual Miño. La conquista de la Gallaecia septentrional, cuerrespondiente aprosimao a l’actual Galiza, tuvu llugar posiblemente a partir de la campaña de Cesar nel 61 a.C. A pesar de que na historiografía tradicional la participación de los galaicos nes Guerres Cántabres constituyó un llugar común, los testimonios arqueolóxicos documentados nes últimes décades paecen confirmar que’l territoriu galaicu nun se vio arreyáu de forma direuta na guerra, desempeñando quiciabes un papel de retaguardia y base occidental del ataque al territoriu ástur. La probable esistencia d’un campamentu romanu en Lugo, embrión de la posterior ciudá romana de Lucus Augusti, yá mui cerca la llende colos pueblos ástures, asina paez probalo.

Les Guerres Cántabres, que desencólquense’n delles fases ente’l 29 y 19 a.C. y sáldense col sometimientu de los pueblos cántabru y ástur, rematen el llargu procesu de conquista d’Hispania, qu’enllargarase mientres casi dos sieglos. Coincidiendo col procesu de conquista reorganizase dende’l puntu de vista alministrativu tol territoriu septentrional de la Península. Nuna primer fase, el territoriu galaicu, conxuntamente col ástur, fuera asignáu a la nuéa provincia de Lusitania, mientres Cantabria integrase na Tarraconense. Finau la guerra, Gallaecia y Asturia fueron segregaes de Lusitania ya incorporaes a la provincia Tarraconensis. Los motivos d’esta reorganización provincial, na que Gallaecia y Asturia paecen constituyir una unidá hasta ciertu tipu estremada, posiblemente fueron de calter militar, con vistes a concentrar tolos efectivos dientro  la mesma provincia y d’esta manera encauzar meyor l’esfuerzu desenvueltu pol exércitu na rexón. N’efectu, Estrabón infórmanos que los nuevos territorios fueron estremaos en dos distritos militares, unu d’ellos cuerrespuende a tol noroeste peninsular -Asturia y Gallaecia-, que tenía adscrites dos lexones, ya otru estendíu a entrambos llaos del cordal Cantábricu, ente’l Sella y el Pirinéu, que la so guarnición foi xuna única lexón (Geographica III, 4, 20). L’arqueoloxía atestigua que la lexón establecida nel país de los cántabros foi la IIII Macedónica, mientres la VI Victrix y X Gemina estableciose n’Asturia Augustana, en Llión y Estorga-Rosinos de Vidriales respeutivamente.

Un documentu epigráfico d’escepcional importancia topáu apocayá, el denomináu Edictu del Bierzo, datáu’l 15 a.C., fala d’una denominada provincia Transduriana, que tien de corresponder precisamente a los territorios d’ástures y galaicos. Sicasí, inda subsisten numberoses duldes sobro la estensión, duración cronolóxica y organización real de dicha provincia.

Cola creación de los conventos xurídicos, posiblemente a empiezos del reináu de Tiberio, el cuadrante noroeste peninsular foi partíu ente’l conventu lucense, bracarense y asturicense, que les sos capitales fueron respectivamente Lucus Augusti, Bracara Augusta y Asturica Augusta (Plinio, NH III, 18 y 28). La llamada tabula lougeiorum, documentu epigráfico que contien un pactu d’hospitalidá y ta fechada nel I a.C., menta un Conventus Arae Augustae, seique’l primer embrión d’una alministración civil que va aprucir años más tarde. Anque se suel identificar ensin demasiau fundamentu dichu conventu col posterior conventus Asturum y la so capital cola ciudá d’Asturica, apocayá propunximos qu’en realidá’l conventu araugustano tenía d’arrexuntar los trés conventos del noroeste que se conocen nun momentu posterior, esto ye, el territoriu d’ástures y galaicos que dende la conquista paez formar parte’l mesmu bloque. El nome del conventu araugustano derivaría de la presencia nel mesmu de les Arae Augusti o Ares Sestianas, allugaes na mariña gallega (Plinio, NH, IV, 111; Ptolomeo, Geographica, II, 6) y alzaes posiblemente en conmemoración de la victoria augústea sobro los pueblos septentrionales ente’l 22 y el 19 a.C. Dellos investigadores quixeron alcontrar les Ares Sestianas na mariña asturiana basándose nun confusu testu de Mela (Chronographia III, 111), identificándoles equivocadamente cola llábana de Calpurnio Pisón topada nel castru la Campa Torres, ensin afitase en que dichu monumentu ye trenta años posterior.

Independientemente de la so división en trés conventos xurídicos, la unidá de Gallaecia y Asturia ye xuna constante histórica que caltiense a lo llargu’l tiempu. A finales del sieglu I d.C., sábese al traviés de l’epigrafía de l’esistencia de maxistraos comunes (procuratores) a dambos territorios. L’alministración romana reconoz l’especificidá del cuadrante noroeste peninsular, siquier dende’l puntu de vista económicu y financieru, determinada ensin dulda pola presencia del exércitu y los distritos mineros. Posiblemente dicha unidá fuera percibida por Roma basándose nes numberoses traces comunes a dambes rexones, como la continuidá d’un patrón d’asentamientu d’orixe celta, o la importancia que les esplotaciones auríferas romanes van adquirir tantu en Gallaecia como en Asturia (Plinio, NH, XXXIII, 76-77), por non falar de les semeyances socioculturales que presentaben dambos pueblos.

La continuidá d’unidá ente ástures y galaicos manifestase na efímera creación de la Provincia Hispania Nova Citerior Antoniana, conocida al traviés d’una inscripción de Caracalla topada en Llión, que segregaba de la Tarraconense les rexones adscrites a los antiguos conventos xurídicos del noroeste peninsular -Bracarense, Lucense y Asturicense-, pa crear una nueva unidá alministrativa. Anque la Provincia Hispania Nova tuvo d’esistir tan solo unos años, el trezu históricu ente ástures y galaicos afigúrase definitivamente a finales del sieglu III, cuando Diocleciano, nel marcu d’una gran reforma alministrativa, crea definitivamente la Provincia Gallaecia colos territorios de los trés conventos xurídicos del noroeste. Tan solo l’abandonu de les esplotaciones auríferas y la perda del importante papel alministrativu que xugara Asturica Augusta puede esplicar el treslláu de la capital de la nueva provincia de la urbs magnifica pliniana a Bracara Augusta, núcleu de gran importancia económica qu’había estáu clisáu por Asturica mientres l’Altu Imperiu en razón de la minería d’oru. Posiblemente foi’l mayor pesu económicu del sector galaicu nesti momentu lo que determinó que la nueva provincia nun se llamara Asturia sinón Gallaecia.

Según Orosio (Historiarum adversos paganos, 5, 7 y 6, 21) les llendes de la nueva provincia enchieron inclusive los territorios nucleares d’ástures y galaicos, estendiéndose hasta Cauca (Coca, Segovia) pel sur y Numantia pel este. La mayor concentración de tropes militares de la Diocesis Hispaniarum siguía tando en Llión, conde siguía la Legio VII gemina, encargada posiblemente de la recoyida y tresporte de los impuestos n’especie, principalmente cerealísticos, que destinabense a la annona militaris, encargada del sustenso de les unidaes militares establecíes nes fronteres del imperiu. Al mandu de la provincia atopaba un gobernador con rangu presidial, anque nel 369/370 Gallaecia xubió de categoría y tuvu comu gobernador a un cónsul, bona amuesa de que yera considerada xuna pieza clave dientro de la estratexa romana. Ciudaes como Bracara, Asturica, Legio o Xixón dotaronse de potentes sistemes defensivos, mientres el mundu rural adquier una nueva puxanza.

La rotura de la provincia renana nel 409 y la penetración de pueblos xermánicos en Hispania abre un nuevu capítulu na hestoria de la Gallaecia, ocupada por suevos. La conquista de Asturica per parte de les tropes visigodes de Teodorico nel 459 ruempe de nuéu l’unidá ente los territorios galaicos, embaxu l’autoridá sueva, y les tierres ástures, controlaes parcialmente polos visigodos y convertíes en campu de batalla ente dambos pueblos xermánicos.


Diccionario Histórico de Asturias; Alfonso Menéndez Gonzáles baxu la direición de Javier Rodríguez Muñóz; Xixón 2002.

Torna l’asturianu;

Fernán Morán.

Semeyes ya illustraciones:

1ª.- Mapa de Gallaecia. Fonte: wikipedia.

2ª.- Muria defensiva de Lucus Augusti. Fonte: Google; autor/a: desconocíu/a.

3ª.- Edictu’l Bierzu del 15 a.C.; fonte: Belbimbre digital.

4ª. – Llábana a Calpurnio Pisón, atopada nel castru Nóega, Xixón, Asturies; Fonte:

5ª.- Muralla romana de Llión, na cai Los Cubos. Fonte: Diario de León.

6.- Península Ibérica en añu 455 d.C. Fonte: Historia de León (blog), autores Ricando Chao Prieto y Taliesin.


A study carried out on HLA and DNA polymorphisms in a sample of 117 Asturians does not show significant differences at allelic level with peninsular or European populations even though certain divergences were found for the HUMTHO1 allele, among Asturian and other peninsular populations (Marco and col. 1992).

More significant value has the studies of genetic markers studied of the HLA at the level of haplotypes. Among the haplotypes present in the Asturian population, the dominant is AH7.1 (HLA-A3 / B7 / DR15), which is very common in Galicia, southern Great Britain and Ireland; The AH44.2, typical of the Atlantic regions; The usual AH18.1 in the Mediterranean and the AH8.1, frequent in Central European regions and Scandinavia. Other haplotypes, such as that formed by HLA-A11 / B27 / DR1, typical of the Basque population is also relatively frequent in Asturias. Other DNA markers not as polymorphic as the above indicate a similar distribution, although not as marked as in the case of HLA. A study with 5 STRs shows a distribution in Asturias similar to that published by Carracedo et al. In the Galician population (A. López, 2004).

The coincidence of the dominant haplotype AH / .1 (HLA-A3 / B7 / DR15) in Asturias and its high frequencies, also in Galicia, Ireland and southern Britain, seems to indicate a degree of communication and genetic exchange in that area coinciding with a Celtic cultural support, even though this cultural unity does not necessarily imply a racial unity and it would be necessary to investigate beforehand what happens with many other markers. The results presented in this HLA and DNA system seem to confirm what was said above on the Asturian heterogeneous substrate.


“Los Asturianos. Raíces culturales y sociales de una identidad: Bases bioantropológicas de Asturias: polimorfismos sanguíneos en la población de Asturias”; Pedro Gómez Gómez, Oviedo 2005.

Spanish to English translation:

Fernán Morán.


1st.- DNA molecula. Source: google.

2nd.- “Tree of Life”. Author: Payton Mackenzie


Un estudiu realizáu sobro polimorfismos de HLA y ADN nuna amuesa de 117 asturianos/es nun da diferencies significaes a nivel alélicu con poblaciones peninsulares nin tampocu europees, inda cuandu atopáronse ciertes diverxencies pal alelu HUMTHO1, ente asturianos y otres poblaciones peninsulares (Marcu y col. 1992).

Más valor significativu tienen los estudios de marcaores xenéticos estudiaos del HLA a nivel d’haplotipos. Ente los haplotipos presentes na población asturiana, el dominante ye l’AH7.1(HLA-A3/B7/DR15), que ye bien frecuente asina mesmu en Galicia, nel sur de Gran Bretaña y n’Irlanda; l’AH44.2, propiu de les rexones atlántiques; l’AH18.1 habitual nel mediterráneu y l’AH8.1, frecuente en rexones centroeuropees y Escandinavia. Otros halotipos, como’l formáu por HLA-A11/B27/DR1, típicu de la población vasca ye, asina mesmu, relativamente frecuente n’Asturies. Otros marcadores del ADN non tan polimorficos como l’anterior indiquen una distribución similar, inda cuando non tan marcada como nel casu del HLA. Un estudiu realizáu con 5 STR amuesa una distribución n’Asturies similar a la publicada por Carracedo y cols. na población gallega (A. López, 2004).

La coicidencia del haplotipo dominante AH/.1(HLA-A3/B7/DR15) n’Asturies y les sos altes frecuencies, asina mesmu, en Galicia, Irlanda y sur de Gran Bretaña, paez indicar un grau de comunicación ya intercambiu xenéticu en dicha área coincidente con un soporte cultural celta, entá cuando esta unidá cultural non necesariamente porta una unidá racial y sería precisu esquizar antes lo qu’asocede con otros munchos marcadores. Les resultancies espuestes nesti sistema HLA y del ADN paecen confirmar lo dicho enantes sobro’l sustratu heteroxéneo asturianu.


“Los Asturianos. Raíces culturales y sociales de una identidad: Bases bioantropológicas de Asturias: polimorfismos sanguíneos en la población de Asturias; Pedro Gómez Gómez, Uviéu 2005.

Torna l’asturianu:

Fernán Morán.

Illustraciones y semeyes:

1ª.- Doble hélice d’ADN. Fonte: Google.

2ª.- “Tree of Life”. Autor: Payton Mackenzie.