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buber.net > Basque > Astro > On Basque Astronymy: The Basques and the Sun
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On Basque Astronymy: The Basques and the Sun

by M. G. Ramos

Tr: Blas Pedro Uberuaga

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The Basques and the Sun

1. If the study of the names of the heavenly bodies in other languages is interesting, in Basque it is of an extraordinary importance. Not only must we attend to the linguistic problem, but we are also taken to other fields, especially those of folklore and comparative mythology.

Arana Goiri, founder of the nationalist school, proposed for *eusko (assumed name of the Basque), as a probable etymology, *eguzkoa, *euskoa, ``of the sun, of the east'', a theory that was defended later by P. Arriandiaga and was the subject of a large polemic [+].

It is self explanatory that this topic awakened such interest among the Basques because of the relationship that could exist between the name of the sun, eguzki; that of the Basque language, euskara, and of the Basques themselves, euskaldunak. If we admit this relationship, we must concur with Arana Goiri that the prehistoric Basques worshipped the sun. Chaho sustained that the Basques made up a people of seers, children of the sun.

2. The ethnographic problem of the Basques, the origin of this race, millenary like their language, appears full of mystery. We will not tire our readers with the exposition of the different hypotheses that historians, geographers, linguists, and anthropologists have upheld. In the International Congress of Geography that met in London in 1895, there was one who, gathering opinions of various authors, presented the primitive Basque mountains as inhabited by Iberians, Aryans, Semites, Fins, Celts and nothing less that the habitants of Africa, America and Oceana (Urroz). Today, Mr. Edmonston-Scott sees in the Basques a people originating from India, a hypothesis that recalls not only that of Philipon, but also that held in Spain by Fernandez-Guerra and P. Fita, for whom the cradle of the Cantabrians is the region of Asia irrigated by the river Cantabras [+] (Costa). Chaho alludes to the Basques of Hindustan. On the other hand, the anonymous author of Essai sur la Noblesse des Basque believed in a migration of the Basques to India. (Humboldt).

For it's part, Basque has been connected with Celtic, American languages, Turkish, Caucasian languages, Japanese, Slavic, Egyptian, and Berber. (Aranzadi). In addition, affinities have been encountered with Sanskrit, caldeo, Etruscan, kolariana languages, etc.

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