WHO THE HELL ARE THESE BASQUES Navarre was divided and absorbed into Spain and France along the current border (more or less). Although the Basques were probably inhabiting the area they In Spain, the Basques, especially those of the Vascongadas, now do since the stone age, our oldest historical records come retained special "fueros", privileges of self-governance and from the time of the Romans. The Romans established the city local assemblies for that purpose. The Basques were not of Pamplona as a regional centre. The Basques seem to have individually subjects of the crown, but rather as a group come down from the hills to trade with the Romans, but the subject to the crown (as long as they resided in the Romans seem never to have extended actual control of the Vascongadas). In the 1800's a series of civil wars were fought Basques living in the hills. The Basques living on the plain in Spain (the "Carlist Wars") between factions who either around Pamplona probably adapted to the Roman presence, sought to retain the medieval legal structure of Spain, or to but we don't know to what extent. reform it using the principles of the French Revolution. Rural Basques sided with the more conservative faction in order to Toward the end of the tumultuous period that followed the preserve the fueros. They lost. Many Basques fled Spain after collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the Kingdom of these conflicts. The loss of the fueros became more critical Navarre (Nafarroa in Basque), centred in Pamplona, came into under Franco because he sought to take the integration of the being. Originally this kingdom covered all of modern Navarre, different liguistic minorities in Spain one step further. He plus the three Vascongadas (Gipuzkoa, Bizkaia, Araba), the wanted total Castillianization. Catalan, Galician, and Basque modern French Basque country, and into neighbouring areas were to be eradicated. After the death of Franco, King Juan in modern Spain. Navarre was not conquered by the moors. Carlos and the Spanish Parliament established a system of Navarre was probably not a "Kingdom of the Basques", but it autonomous regions that restored the fueros in spirit, if not in was a kingdom whose dominant ethnic group were the every detail. Basques. QUOTES ABOUT THE BASQUES Through the high and late middle ages Navarre gradually lost bits of its territory through various dynastic marriages and "The Basques are courteous and agreeable and have a inheritances, as well as through a move from the estates of the trustworthy bearing. Their houses and their clothes are clean three Vascongadas to place themselves in allegiance to the and their customs make their land a pleasant place. crown of Castille. By 1500 the Basques lived in three kingdoms: Navarre, Spain, and France. By the mid-1500's Despite living on the borders of both France and Spain, the English novelist and essayist (1894-1963) Basques have their own character and outlook, different from the French and the Spanish. The language is different in words, formation and intonation, with place names that sound "If the Basques have preserved their language and their own very strange, almost all of them deriving from their ancient distinctive stock, the explanation is not to be found in the roots. geographical features of their land, but in their character. The Basques are as lively and affable as one could imagine, Anyone who approaches the Basques without prejudices will and they will often dance and play music even after the find them of great interest, not as an exception among the hardest day's work. Travellers cannot fail to note the other races in the world, but as a living museum of man's difference between the cheerful serenity of the Basques and history, where one can understand and see what remains of an the seriousness of the Castilians, their neighbours." ancient Europe, now disappeared from other regions, but which is still alive in this peaceful corner of the Pyrenees." Freidrich Heinrich Alexander HUMBOLDT Baron Humboldt Rodney GALLOP German geographer and diplomat (1769-1859) English writer From:DIARY OF A JOURNEY THROUGH SPAIN From: THE BASQUES "The Basques are a 'cosmic' race that can be found in every "An ivory tower should be built to protect the Basque people continent and on every sea, giving an example of diligence, and their language, to ensure that this jewel does not integrity and modesty." disappear." José VASCONCELOS Niko MARR Georgian writer and philosopher(1865-1934) Mexican writer and philosopher (1881-1959) Rector of the University of Tbilisi, Minister of Culture in the Czar's Govemment "The Basque language is the despair of scholars and the most mysterious of all known languages." "The preservation of euskara, the Basque language, is one of the most extraordinary phenomena in the history of philology. Aldous HUXLEY It is the only case of an archaic language surviving, of a language resisting the invasions of other languages for centuries and retaining its own personality." "The Basques are perhaps the last survivors of a prehistoric population of Europe, pushed to the place they now occupy, Antonio TOBAR Rector of the University of Salamanca close to the Pyrenees, by the IndoEuropean peoples." "Euskara is the only surviving European language that Professor VALLOIS predates the arrival of the IndoEuropean languages. Its preservation is providential. It is the best contribution that the "The Basques are the pure descendants of the people that Basques could make to the study of European, not to say occupied Europe in the Palaeolithic and which, in the rest of world civilization." the continent, crossbred with the arrivals from Asia." Nils Collet VOGT Doctors EYGUEM and SAINTPAUL Norwegian poet (1864-1923) Pasteur Institute Professor at the University of Oslo "What is, then, this ancient people whose traditions celebrate "The Basques always preserved their independence, their unflagging valour and which, even in our times, has given so autonomy, as we now say, making use of a Greek word. A often proof of its heroism? Where do they come from? What is long time before the Swiss had formed their confederation, their relation to the other inhabitants of Europe and the rest of Iruracbat; long before the English had won for themselves the world? These are impossible questions to answer. their Magna Carta; long before the North Americans and the French had proclaimed their declarations of the rights of man The Basques are the mysterious race par excellence. They are and the citizen; they had organised a representative alone among the multitude of the rest of mankind. They have government, and their representatives met beneath the tree of no known family." Guernica. Thus they had government for the people, by the people, they had self government." Elisée RECLUS French writer and geographer (183O- 19O5) Alejo PEYRET French writer "The four Basque and Navarre provinces are the oldest, most From a conference published in the 'EL SIGLO' newspaper, historic, most independent-minded, with the most traditional November 13, 1879 freedom ... they are the freest provinces, and the happiest." Emilio Castelar Spanish writerandpolitician (1832-1899) (From the daily Spanish parliamentary record, August 23, 1873;p. 1,818) "Everyone who has visited the Basque country longs to return; it is a blessed land." Victor Hugo French poet and novelist (18O2- 1885) "