Sardinia: History

The Little Continent

Sardinia History

Sardinia is an island rich in history, traditions and culture and is thought to have once had land links to mainland Italy. Man is thought to have lived on the island 150,000 years before Christ was born and many ancient human remains have been discovered to support this theory. The first humans on the island were the Nuraghe and many Sardinians today are from Nuraghe ancestors. Next to arrive on the island were the Phoenicians setting up ports of trade in Sardinia.

The Phoenicians and the Nuraghe fought a war in 509 BC and with the help of the Romans the Nuraghe were defeated and Sardinia became a province in the Carthaginian Empire for seven centuries. In 238 BC Rome defeated the island during the Punic War and Sardinia was ruled by the Romans for a thousand years. In the 8th century, Arabs and Berbers raided the island, shortly followed by the Spanish and Catalans. The Catalan influences were strong and are still evident throughout the island today. The Spanish ruled Sardinia until the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht gave the island to Austria. Eventually in 1861 the King of Sardinia, Vittorio Emanuele II, conquered the peninsula. Sardinia’s geographical location was one of the main attractions for invaders and Sardinians feared the safety of the island. However, today visitors from the sea are the welcomed tourists who are helping this unique island thrive.