The academic assertion that Spanish is a Latin Language is the equivalent to asserting the title of Shakespeare’s Macbeth should be called MacDuff because Lady Macduff makes a brief appearance towards the end of the play.
Lady Macduff is a character in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth…
Her appearance in the play is brief…
The Latin alphabet evolved from the visually similar Cumaean Greek version of the Greek alphabet, which was itself descended from the Phoenician abjad, which in turn was derived from Egyptian hieroglyphics.
A more honest assertion would [at least] acknowledge Spanish was restructured and strapped into a Renaissance Latin straitjacket by Antonio de Nebrija in 1492.
“My grammar shall serve to impart to them the Castilian tongue, as we have used grammar to teach Latin…”
By no later than the 15th century they had replaced Medieval Latin with versions supported by the scholars of the rising universities, who attempted, by scholarship, to discover what the classical language had been.
A more honest assertion would also acknowledge Spanish acquired many words [including Iberia and Spain] directly from traders and settlers long before the Romans [are said to have] arrived on the Iberian peninsula.
The narrative forgets the Greeks established Iberian settlements long before the Romans.
The Phoenicians [like the Greeks] have been written out of the Spanish linguistic narrative.
Similarly, the Carthaginians have been written out of the Spanish linguistic narrative.
Unsurprisingly, the official Latin Language narrative has an Iberian continuity problem.
On the one hand:
It’s claimed Vulgar Latin was no longer spoken in Iberia by 600 AD.
It is believed that by 600, Vulgar Latin was no longer spoken in the Iberian Peninsula.
On the other hand:
It’s claimed Spanish began with the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire.
The history of the Spanish language begins with the vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, specifically with that of the central area of Hispania.
Following the storyline that Spanish “begins” with the totally intangible “Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire” is a revealing journey.
Vulgar Latin or Sermō Vulgāris (“common speech”) was a nonstandard form of Latin (as opposed to Classical Latin, the standard and literary version of the language) spoken in the Mediterranean region during and after the classical period of the Roman Empire.
Because it was not transcribed, it can only be studied indirectly.
Officially, the Romans didn’t have much to “say” about the Iberian peninsula.
The Romans, who landed on the Iberian Peninsula in the third century BC were the first to write down anything about the people who lived there.
They recorded observations about the three principal ethnic groups they encountered: the Basques, the Iberians, and the Celts, none of whom had written anything about themselves beyond the names of their dead on gravestones.
Yet some of the words from the languages of pre-Roman Spain did find their way into modern Spanish.
In between the Iberians and Celts, the Romans discovered another group.
The Romans seem to have run out of names by the time they discovered this people and just called them the Celtiberians.
Although most of what we know about these ancient civilizations comes from what the Romans wrote about them, the Romans didn’t have much to say.
This was a stark contrast to Gaul, where Julius Caesar wrote extensively about the Celtic civilization he conquered.
Roman generals never recorded more than a few details about the people of the Iberian Peninsula, not to mention their languages.
The Story of Spanish – Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow – 2013
What the Romans did “say” dates back to the days before the Roman Empire.
Though linguists debate the real effects of this on modern Spanish, one thing is certain: the Latin spoken in Hispania contained words that had actually disappeared in Rome by the time Rome started conquering its other territories.
Relative to the other languages that grew out of Latin, Spanish, therefore, contains many words linguists label archaisms.
The Latin word cansar (to tire) was still being used when Rome began settling Hispania but disappeared 150 years later, when Caesar conquered Gaul.
Spanish (and Portuguese) are the only Romance languages whose verb for “to tire” resembles cansar.
The Spanish word cuyo (of which, of whose) comes from a Latin word that slipped into Spanish with an identical form and meaning but was gone by the end of the first century BC in Rome, so no other Romance language acquired it.
The Spanish word además (above all), from the Latin denials, had also disappeared from Latin by then.
The Story of Spanish – Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow – 2013
In language, an archaism is the use of a form of speech or writing that is no longer current or that is current only within a few special contexts.
In fact, what the Romans did “say” dates back to the Roman Republic of 200 BC.
At the time of the conquest of Hispania, querer meant “to wish.”
The meaning later changed to “to seek.”
The Roman poet Terence, who wrote in second century BC, uses querer in the sense of to wish, a sense it still has in Spanish, whereas the French quérir means to seek.
Other words in Spanish, such as arena (sand), uva (grape), ciego (blind), and queso (cheese), descend directly from this older version of street Latin that never took root in France or Romania.
The Spanish words hablar (to speak) and preguntar (to ask) also have their roots in this Vulgar Latin spoken when Hispania was conquered.
They come from fabulari and percontari (in Rome, these would later change to loqui and postulare).
And Spaniards say mas (more) instead of plus or più like the French and the Italians because the custom in 200 BC was still to say magis instead of plus.
The Story of Spanish – Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow – 2013
Furthermore, what the Romans did “say” dates back to the era when they were “fluent in Greek”.
During the Late Republic and the Early Empire, educated Roman citizens were generally fluent in Greek, but state business was conducted in Latin.
The Latin alphabet was devised from the Etruscan alphabet.
Etruscan was written in an alphabet derived from the Greek alphabet; this alphabet was the source of the Latin alphabet.
This, of course, takes us right back to the beginning of the [circular] Spanish Saga when Greek, Phoenician and Carthaginian traders/settlers were all introducing vocabulary into Iberia.
The remarkable similarities between the Phoenician, Carthaginian Punic, Archaic Etruscan and Iberian Greek alphabets indicates it’s difficult to determine which of these cultures [originally] contributed words to the vocabulary to the Spanish language.
There is no linguistic evidence the Romans introduced their vocabulary into Iberia.
The Greeks, Phoenicians and Carthaginians could have contributed all the necessary vocabulary.
Following this [alternate] line of inquiry produces some very interesting result.
Step One – No Roman Empire in Iberia
If the Romans didn’t arrive in Iberia then the associated Roman Empire narrative for Iberia is creative fiction.
A less charitable interpretation of the data suggests the entire Roman Empire narrative is creative fiction that incorporates convenient characters and available artefacts from Greek Republics scattered across Europe and around the Mediterranean Sea.
This would imply the era of the Roman Republic in Iberia is only separated from the era of the Umayyad Caliphate by the catastrophic Arabian Horizon.
The Umayyad Caliphate, also spelt Omayyad, was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad.
From the caliphate’s north-western African bases, a series of raids on coastal areas of the Visigothic Kingdom paved the way to the permanent occupation of most of Iberia by the Umayyads (starting in 711), and on into south-eastern Gaul (last stronghold at Narbonne in 759).
Al-Andalus, also known as Muslim Spain, Muslim Iberia, or Islamic Iberia, was a medieval Muslim territory and cultural domain occupying at its peak most of what are today Spain and Portugal.
Emirate of Córdoba 756–929
The Emirate of Córdoba was an independent emirate in the Iberian Peninsula ruled by the Umayyad dynasty with Córdoba as its capital.
Removing the Roman Empire from the narrative means three Emperors from the Roman Empire require rehousing in Iberia during the era of the Roman Republic.
Roman emperors Trajan, Hadrian, and Theodosius I were all born in Hispania.
Theodosius I is the last emperor in the official unified Roman Empire narrative.
Theodosius I, also known as Theodosius the Great, was Roman Emperor from AD 379 to AD 395, as the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire.
Theodosius I is also a 300 Year Repeater from the era of Trajan.
The Forum of Theodosius was an area in Constantinople.
It was originally built by Constantine I and named the Forum Tauri (“Forum of the Bull”).
In 393, however, it was renamed after Emperor Theodosius I, who rebuilt it after the model of Trajan’s Forum in Rome, surrounded by civic buildings such as churches and baths and decorated with porticoes as well as a triumphal column at its center.
300 YEAR “REPEATERS”
My claim that, during the 8th-10th century CE, Imperial Antiquity (1st-3rd c. CE), Late Antiquity (4th-6th c.) and the Early Middle Ages (8th-10th c. CE) run side by side, is stratigraphically justified.
Rehousing these Emperors is remarkably easy because they were all born in Italica [Spain].
Theodosius was born in Cauca, Gallaecia, Hispania (according to Hydatius and Zosimus) or Italica, Baetica, Hispania (according to Marcellinus Comes, writing later), to a senior military officer, Theodosius the Elder.
Trajan was Roman emperor from 98 to 117 AD…
Marcus Ulpius Traianus was born on 18 September 53 AD in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica (in what is now Andalusia in modern Spain), in the city of Italica (now in the municipal area of Santiponce, in the outskirts of Seville).
Hadrian was Roman emperor from 117 to 138…
He was born Publius Aelius Hadrianus, probably at Italica, near Santiponce (in modern-day Spain), into a Hispano-Roman family.
Italica (Spanish: Itálica; north of modern-day Santiponce, 9 km NW of Seville, Spain) was an elaborate Roman city in the province of Hispania Baetica and the birthplace of Roman Emperors Trajan and Hadrian.
Step Two – No Roman Republic in Iberia
If the Romans didn’t arrive in Iberia then the associated Roman Republic narrative for Iberia is creative fiction.
This [very ironically] would rehouse the three Emperors [that were borrowed by the Roman Empire narrative] in the Carthaginian Empire.
Has the Roman Republic Iberian narrative been borrowed from the Carthaginians?
This perspective is clearly supported by Iberian [pre-Roman] history and mtDNA evidence.
Colonies in antiquity were city-states founded from a mother-city (its “metropolis”), not from a territory-at-large. Bonds between a colony and its metropolis remained often close, and took specific forms.
However, unlike in the period of European colonialism during the early and late modern era, ancient colonies were usually sovereign and self-governing from their inception.
This makes the North African mosaic themes found in Italica far more understandable.
This makes the “deep” cultural connections between North Africa and Southern Spain far more understandable.
In September 2002, we visited Tlemcen, Algeria, a university town of 150,000 people that was hosting a UNESCO conference on multi-lingualism.
The conference attendees were the first group of visitors the town had hosted since the beginning of Algeria’s decade-long civil war in 1990.
Located some twenty-five miles from the Mediterranean, Tlemcen is an elegant city with a distinct French layout but Spanish flair.
The hotels and public buildings, with their painted ceramic tiles and arched porticos, couldn’t be more Andalusian.
Al-Andalus is 150 miles from Tlemcen, across the Mediterra-nean.
Yet as we would see, the Andalusian influence in North Africa runs deep.
On our first evening, we attended a dinner concert at a hotel called Les Zianides, where we sat at the table of a certain Dr. Muhammad Ben Amar, one of the conference’s local organizers.
During the meal, a traditional North African orchestra played a nuba, an hour-long poem set to music.
The style of the nuba music was completely foreign to us.
Yet the sound of the crowd clapping their hands and snapping their fingers was familiar.
“That’s Andalusia!” Muhammad exclaimed, as if it was self-evident.
The city of Tlemcen actually provides a window on the intertwined histories of North Africa and Spain.
Tlemcen is a city in north-western Algeria, and the capital of the province of the same name.
Granada is the capital city of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain.
This also makes the travels of Trajan and Hadrian in North Africa far more understandable.
Timgad was a Roman-Berber city in the Aurès Mountains of Algeria.
It was founded by the Emperor Trajan around AD 100.
Unsurprisingly, Roman inscriptions are found at Lambaesis.
The most famous of these Roman inscriptions is the Latin text of a speech delivered by emperor Hadrian to his soldiers in 128 AD.
Antinopolis was a city founded at an older Egyptian village by the Roman emperor Hadrian…
This is especially true if the fall of Carthage and the closure of the Betic Corridor occurred at the Arabian Horizon [around] 637 CE.
Seville is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia and the province of Seville, Spain.
Spal is the oldest known name for Seville.
It appears to have originated during the Phoenician colonisation of the Tartessian culture in south-western Iberia and, according to Manuel Pellicer Catalán, meant “lowland” in the Phoenician language (similar to the Hebrew Shfela).
The mythological founder of the city is Hercules (Heracles), commonly identified with the Phoenician god Melqart, who the myth says sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar to the Atlantic, and founded trading posts at the current sites of Cádiz and of Seville.
The rest [as they say] is History:
Misattribution, misdirection, misdating and mirroring…