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The Quaternary formations are found chiefly on the east coast and the Provinces of Madrid (northwest), Segovia, Valladolid, Palencia, and Asturias, and the basins of the principal rivers.
Down to this last period Spain does not seem to have been definitively separated from Africa, its formations — Eocene and Miocene, as well as Silurian — being continued in that region.
The general structural form of the Peninsula is somewhat that of a truncated pyramid, sloping abruptly towards the west, but gently towards the east.
The elevated plains of the centre are intersected by mountain ranges.
In the seas of the Cambrian epoch the first elements of the Peninsula appeared as a multitude of islands.
The most important of these islands formed what is now Galicia and the North of Portugal, with parts of the Provinces of Cáceres, Salamanca, and Zamora.
The etymology of the name , "rabbit", basing the opinion on the evidence of a coin of Galba, on which Spain is represented with a rabbit at her feet, and on Strabo, who calls Spain "the land of rabbits".
It is said that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians found the country overrun with these rodents, and so named it after them.
The arid prairies of certain parts of the Castiles and Estremadura are in as striking contrast with the fertile, though monotonous, plains of the Campos district and Lower Aragón, and the extremely rich arable lands and meadows of Andalusia and the eastern provinces, as are the perpetual snows of the Pyrenees, the Cantabrian Range, and the Sierra Nevada with the parched lowlands of Estremadura, Andalusia, Murcia, and Alicante.Its four extreme points are: on the north, the Estaca de Vares, in N. 43° 47' 32"; on the south, the southern extremity of the Island of Tarifa, in S. 35° 59' 49"; on the east, Cape Creus, in longitude 3 ° 20' 16" E.of Greenwich, on the west, Cape Tirinana, in longitude 9° 17' 33" W. The total area of the Spanish territory in the Peninsula is 194,563 square miles, with a coast line of 2060 miles in length.Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download.Includes the Catholic Encyclopedia, Church Fathers, Summa, Bible and more all for only .99...