The re-conquest, the story of which forms the history of Spain during so many centuries, has left its lasting mark on the country. The Castilian language, known to foreigners as Spanish, is spoken, with slight local variations, throughout three-fourths of the country included in the boundaries of Spain. In Catalonia a dialect of Provencal is still spoken, but day by day it is adopting Castilian forms, in spite of the efforts of a small number of writers to revive a literature in the vernacular. In literature, as well as in ethnology and language, the Catalans belong rather to the Provence than to Spain. When resistance became hopeless, the Iberian and Celtic inhabitants rapidly and thoroughly assimilated the language, laws, and manners of the Romans. The pattern and type of Castilian character is Rodrigo or Ruy Diaz de Bivar, the Cid, the hero in whom the popular fancy has summed up the virtues that go to form the national ideal.