Iberian people were the first to inhabit Lisbon. Religious monuments like megaliths, dolmens and menhirs were built during this era. In the wake of first millennium BC the marriage between Indo European Celts and Pre Indo European population formed a new local tribe known as Cempsi. Some trace of Phoenician influence during 1200 BC can also be found in the archaeological excavations of Lisbon. Odysseus, a legendary Greek hero on his journey to Troy discovered Lisbon and named it Olissipo.
Lisbon under the Romans
Lisbon or Olissipo was annexed to the Roman Empire after the Romans defeated Hannibal. It was annexed to Lusitania province, its capital being Emerita Augusta. The great theater, the Cassian baths and several temples, dedicated to Roman Gods like Jupiter, Diana Vybele were constructed during the Roman rule. Olissipo flourished both economically and culturally under the Romans.
Lisbon History and the Moorish rule
The Moors took over Lisbon in 711. They were basically Muslims from North Africa and the Middle East. The Moors imposed Arabic as the official language and Islam as the official religion during their rule. In 1147, Alfonso I of Portugal re-conquered Lisbon and the capital city was back in the hands of the Christians. The reaffirmation of Christianity was an important event in the history of Lisbon. Mosques were converted into churches, and the Muslim population was converted into Roman Catholicism. The Moorish influence is still evident the several mosques and houses that were established during the Moorish rule.
Middle Ages in Lisbon History
Lisbon History witnessed rapid development during this period. In 1255 it became the capital city of Portugal due to its central location. Portuguese University was found in Lisbon in 1290. Lisbon expanded rapidly during this period and became a major trading port. Important cities of Northern Europe and other Mediterranean cities were its trading partners. This was the Age of Discovery, as important expeditions in Vasco da Gama's departure to India took place from Lisbon.
The fateful and devastating earthquake of 1755 killed thousands of lives, destroying eighty five percent of the city. Lisbon downtown was rebuilt on the lines of modern architecture.
Lisbon Treaty, which was a result of the negotiations of 27 member countries of the European Union, was signed in Lisbon on December 13, 2007 at a summit. The treaty is supposed to be enforced early 2009, after due ratification by the member countries. With the implementation of this treaty the members of the Union would be equipped with all legal tools to face new challenges and live up to the demands and expectations of the European citizens.