This usage is long since obsolete, but "Portingale" remains a family name found in England and other English-speaking countries - such a name likely indicating centuries-old family ancestry from a Portuguese immigrant to England.The early history of Portugal is shared with the rest of the Iberian Peninsula located in South Western Europe.Although historically a Catholic-majority country, in the last decades Portugal has transformed itself into a secular state with one of the world's highest rates of moral freedom.It was the first country to abolish life imprisonment have been legalized.Democracy was restored after the Carnation Revolution in 1974, ending the Portuguese Colonial War.Shortly after, independence was granted to almost all its overseas territories.Neolithic Portugal experimented with domestication of herding animals, the raising of some cereal crops and fluvial or marine fishing.It was believed by some scholars that early in the first millennium BC, several waves of Celts invaded Portugal from Central Europe and inter-married with the local populations, forming different tribes.
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.
During this period, today referred to as the Age of Discovery, Portuguese explorers pioneered maritime exploration, notably under royal patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator and King John II, with such notable voyages as Bartolomeu Dias' sailing beyond the Cape of Good Hope (1488), Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India (1497–98) and the European discovery of Brazil (1500).
Portugal monopolized the spice trade during this time, and the empire expanded with military campaigns in Asia.
A member of the United Nations and the European Union, Portugal was also one of the founding members of NATO, the eurozone, the OECD, and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries.
Portugal is a developed country with a high-income advanced economy, a developed market, and high living standards. Portugal ranks above the OECD average in mathematics, science, and reading, having been the country with the most expressive positive evolution throughout PISA's studies.
By the 11th and 12th centuries, Portugale was already referred to as Portugal.