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Spain-Parsley and Calypso's island

The issue of the Revue des Deux Mondes, corresponding to May 15 of this year (1902), brought Victor M. work Verard about the origins of the Odyssey, interesting for Spanish. Such work very justly called the attention of the learned and cultured writer Mr. Gomez de Baquero, who in the time of 10 this June under the title of The Origins of the Odyssey-Calypso-Parsley, gives an excerpt from part of the work of M. Berard.

Try this man nothing less than to point out the route and sites of maritime adventures of the wily Odysseus, and prove that the Odyssey is largely a poetization nautical instructions of the Phoenicians and other navigators of the Mediterranean. Berard carried out their duties with true wit.

It is fixed, especially in the duplication of place names and how they are presented to us with the Semitic name and then gave the Greeks the name translating them to a place you put the Phoenicians while it retained. And this reminds me what he once told us inolvicable my teacher, Mr. Lazarus Bardón, speaking of the river Guadix, «came the Semites and called him Ix-said — which means 'river'; llefaron then the Arabs and called him Wad-ix, ie, river river, and finally we will call us the Guadix river, that is, the river river river. It's like the Alcantara bridge, ie, the bridge of the bridge ».

Returning to Berard and Ulysses, it is undeniable that it is ingenious as the French scholar does for determining the position of the sites toured the Greek cunning, using for determining a comparison between the text of the Odyssey and nautical instructions and Sailing for marine use. And not the least of their findings surprising that the island of Calypso, where Ulysses retained this charming was the actual island of Perejil, acquiring this indecent islet importance that not even dreamed. It has been well said that God exalts the humble.

This islet of Perejil is, according to Berard, Calypso's island, is what Mr. Baquero realized; but there is something else even more amazing is that, according to the same ingenious investigator, the island is such that he gave Spain its name. Not to say that Spain has to be called Perejil, but the name of Spain or Spania was applied initially to the island and he ran to the entire peninsula.

This humble and modest rock is almost equal distance from the tip of Almanza and tip Leone, in the Strait of Gibraltar and Ceuta depends. It is triangular in shape, stone, with some bushes, a mile circumnavigation and 74 meters high. It is so modest and diffident the islet that is difficult to find it, since even when clear weather you can indistinguishable from the African coast, one of whose numerous protrusions seems is. In it a cave, cavern to which we will acquire, by M. Berard, extremely important. The such cave, which deserves to be photographed, is a slit entrance is 20 meters high and seven or eight wide, then being composed of two rooms, and ten meters, another 30 or 40 meters long. According to the Mediterranean Pilot, they could take refuge in that cave up to 200 men.

Such, according to Berard, Calypso's island, that is, the «cache», deriving from the Greek verb Calypso Kalypto hide or hide. According to the Odyssey had parsley in it, from which its current name. Let's see how this island has given its name to Spain, as always Bérard.

He says: «Behold, then, the Island Hideaway, Island Kalypso Island bushes, planted parsley and violets, rising above the waves as a 'navel' of the Homeric shield and containing two plateaus two plains, and mountains covered with grass that have known and frequented this shelter the first navigators of the Strait;. they have taken this wonderful season of fishing, trade and piracy Tyrians or Carthaginians in their cabotage along the African coast, it is a thing we can say a priori With the harbor sheltered from all winds leaving each other and the coast. with its accessible to marine and inaccessible to terrestrial cave, easy to find when you come from the East, impossible to see all others tuntos, with its high vantage point overlooking the sea of Levante and Poniente, at the entrance of the Strait, here's the best ambush and the best deposit, the true scale of the primitive boats Only topography allows us to imagine how they had. at this point the first explorers of the Pillars of Hercules some of its stages and then one of its points of support for the discovery and exploitation of the western sea. Parsley was the island, the first marine Algeciras. But in addition to the survey data we have, I think, a place name or rather a double. „

And then comes the French scholar of the most surprising and curious about their work, that is, to establish that the name islet-name Calypso encantadora- is personified in the translation of the original name of Perejil, that must have been I-spania. “A Greco-Semitic doublet that will lead to more accurate understanding of this word we use without realizing it, because we apply this to the whole Iberian peninsula or the old Spanish name that the first sailors gave Semitic Parsley Spain, I- spania, Hideaway Island ».

The name of Spain is believed to be Semitic to have met the Romans our mercy peninsula to the Carthaginians, and usually translated «Treasure Island,» referring to the mineral wealth of our subsoil, i, i, e, island and the Semitic root sapan, where Sapun or sapin, treasure is derived. But M. Berard gives another etymology deriving it from I-spanea, the spanea noun, cache. He adds triumphantly. «I-spanea is just Kalypso Island, Hideaway Island, Parsley is what was in the beginning Ispania, and it was not by mistake or by an extension of meaning so this name was changed to the neighboring continent» .

It is not a matter of weighing the discovery of M. Berard, weighted by itself. There will always be fastidious and difficult course reader not see how it could extend the old name of the island of Perejil in Spain, but only reflect that this name meant Island Nook, you resolve doubts. For my part the only difficulty meeting to support the brilliant invention M. Berard is that, according to some countrymen mine, the Spain name derives from the Basque ezpaña, lip, alluding to the position that has our peninsula in Europe, very rational and fair etymology because it takes the current name of Spain (Hispania not) the current name of the lip in Basque, as always one must stick to news, which is real, without fetching the old way of Spain and the Basque name ezpaña name, and moreover it is known that those who gave name to the peninsula had to constantly view a map of Europe. More once saved this scruple, I have no difficulty in accepting the brilliant explanation of M. Berard. And why not acquire prestige Parsley! How unsearchable are the ways of Providence and how inscrutable his designs! In that until today humble and almost forgotten island in the Strait, facing the ominous and foreboding Gibraltar, we have the putative father of Spain, who gave him name and individuality among nations. While we can call our Island Nook, our emperejilada Ispania, our great Calypso, Parsley Peninsula.

Miguel de Unamuno, elpais.com, 25.07.02

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