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Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.At 1.7 million km Portugal is the oldest state on the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest European nation-states, its territory having been continuously settled, invaded and fought over since prehistoric times.Romans first invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 219 BC.The Carthaginians, Rome's adversary in the Punic Wars, were expelled from their coastal colonies.The Pre-Celts, Celts, Carthaginians and Romans were followed by the invasions of the Visigoths and Suebi Germanic peoples.

The early history of Portugal is shared with the rest of the Iberian Peninsula located in South Western Europe.

During the Middle Ages, the region around Portus Cale became known by the Suebi and Visigoths as Portucale.

The name Portucale evolved into Portugale during the 7th and 8th centuries, and by the 9th century, that term was used extensively to refer to the region between the rivers Douro and Minho, the Minho flowing along what would become the northern Portugal-Spain border.

The region of present-day Portugal was inhabited by Neanderthals and then by Homo sapiens, who roamed the border-less region of the northern Iberian peninsula.

These were subsistence societies that, although they did not establish prosperous settlements, did form organized societies.

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After the Battle of São Mamede, where Portuguese forces led by Afonso Henriques defeated forces led by his mother, Theresa of Portugal, the County of Portugal affirmed its sovereignty and Afonso Henriques styled himself Prince of Portugal.