Comprehended, in ancient usage, the modern kingdoms of Spain and Portugal, that is, the whole Spanish peninsula. In the time of Paul, it was subject to the Romans, and was frequented by many Jews. For the supposed origin of its name, see CONEY. In Ro 15:24,28, Paul expresses his intention of visiting Spain; and many conjecture that he did so between his first and second imprisonments at Rome, about A. D. 64-66.
Paul expresses his intention (Ro 15:24,28) to visit Spain. There is, however, no evidence that he ever carried it into effect, although some think that he probably did so between his first and second imprisonment. (See Tarshish.)
Solomon's fleet visited Spain, then named Tarshish (the Greek "Tartessus"). In classic times the name "Spain" came into use, traceable to the Basque Ezpana, i.e. on the edge of Europe. The Iberian language (from whence the country derived one of its names and its river Iberus or Ebro was designated) was the original of the Basque. Ro 15:24,28, Paul's intention to visit Spain may imply that a Christian church was already founded there. As to the early introduction of Christianity, compare Irenaeus 1:3 and Tertullian, Adv. Judg., 7.
The extent of country to which in NT times the name Spain, or more strictly 'the Spains,' was given, was practically identical with modern Spain. In the earliest times of which we have any knowledge it was inhabited, at least in part, by a race supposed to be a mixture of the aboriginal Iberian population with immigrant Celts. In b.c. 236, Hamilcar, father of the great Hannibal, invaded the country from Carthage, and after nine years of conquest was succeeded by his son-in-law Hasdrubal, who in turn was succeeded by Hannibal, under whom about b.c. 219 the conquest of the country was practically completed. Hannibal used it as his base in the Second Punic War against Rome. The Romans first invaded Spain in 218, and after various successes and reverses constituted two provinces there in 197, known for centuries afterwards as Hispania Citerior (Tarraconensis) and Hispania Ulterior (B
The well-known country in Europe. It is mentioned in the N.T. only in relation to Paul's purpose to visit it; but it is not known whether he went there between his first and second imprisonments or not. Ro 15:24,28.
1 Macc. 8:3;
The local designation, Tarshish, representing the Tartessus of the Greeks, probably prevailed until the fame of the Roman wars in that country reached the East, when it was superseded by its classical name. The mere intention of St. Paul to visit Spain (whether he really did visit it is a disputed question. --ED.) implies two interesting facts, viz., the establishment of a Christian community in that country, and that this was done by Hellenistic Jews resident there. The early introduction of Christianity into that country is attested by Irenaeus and Tertullian.