The Portuguese Republic is situated on the western extreme of the Iberian Peninsula, bordered on the east and north by Spain and the West and South by the Atlantic Ocean. Included as part of Portugal are the archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores, in the Atlantic.
Portugal has been inhabited since pre-historic times, and the culture was strongly influenced by settlers from the Roman Empire, with a special impact on the Portuguese language, which is highly derived from Latin. After the fall of Rome in the 5th century the area was occupied by German tribes, and in the 8th century Muslim Moors conquered the Christian kingdoms and settled in most of the Iberian Peninsula.
The County of Portugal was settled during the time of the Reconquering of the area by the Christians, becoming part of the Kingdom of Galicia. Portugal lays claim to the fact that, due to the Kingdom’s establishment in 1139, its recognition in 1143, and the securing of stable borders by the year 1249, that it is the oldest nation-state in Europe.
As a highly developed country Portugal is ranked as the country with the 19th best quality-of-life. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit Portugal is ranked as the 13th most peaceful and the 8th most globalized country in the world. Portugal joined the European Union in 1986, and is part of many international defense and economic bodies including the United Nations, NATO, and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries.