Macedo de Cavaleiros is a municipality in northeastern Portugal, in Bragança District. The population in 2011 was 15,776, in an area of 699.14 km².HistoryDuring antiquity, the region was occupied by the Celts, then Romans and finally the Arab forces of the Umayyad Caliphate, who dominated the region until the Christian Reconquista. The Romans defeated the local hill tribes, and reorganized settlements in the region, influencing local culture and social administration. The territory east of the Tua River, from Mirandela until the confluence of the Douro (which almost represents the district of Bragança) was Romanized, as was all of Iberia. In the 5th century, when the first barbarians invaded from the Pyrenees, this region, which was part of the Roman province of Gallaecia, which was administered and judicially subordinate to the religious courts and chancellery of Asturias. The Roman process of assimilation accelerated after resistance was defeated, and many of the ancient castros were destroyed or abandoned in favour of the organized settlements in the valleys. The barbarian invasions marked a multi-secular conflict in Iberia, and the land changed hands between rival groups regularly. The Suebi peoples, who came with the first invaders, founded their kingdom in the northwest part of the peninsula (from their capital in Braga), incorporating the lands of Bragança. Later the Visigoths and Arabs invaded, creating an uninhabited desert of the region, while concentrating their administration in the province of Zamora.