This article was translated by John R. Bopp
As our readers will know, we’ve come across the news that an extraordinary donation of over 5,000 books of incalculable value were donated to the University of the Basque Country. We heard about this on a website called Medieval News, and we commented on it on our website. As we said in that entry, we were going to just dive in, because we’d found references to an extraordinarily interesting website full of promise, medivalists.net. It’s a fantastic source of information about the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and it did not let us down.
We spent a happy while searching through the studies and analyses related to the Basques of that era. As is logical, the word “Basque” didn’t turn up too many results, but the ones it did were interesting, or quite curious, to say the least.
As regards “interesting”, when looking up the word “Basque”, we came across a study of the remarkable treatment Basque women in the Northern Basque Country received in the Basque legal codes, and another about the trading relationships with the Basque provinces and England between 1200-1500. As regards “curious” (not that that means it’s not interesting), there’s a study about a curious collaboration presented by some skeletons found in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Vitoria, or the Basque-Provençal-English origin of some toy horses.
But in the case of Navarre, things change, as there’s a long list of articles where this Basque kingdom is referred to and referenced. Given its length, and the wide variety of topics covered, we’ll won’t spoil your adventure of getting to explore it.
This is, without a doubt, an amazing source of information that goes far beyond what we’ve found in our first dip. Medievalists then took us to another page, Euratlas, where, among many other things, we came across a reproduction of the 1808 Lesage Historical Atlas, in high definition. Perusing it, we found Geografía Física y Política de España y Portugal, where you can see a map of the Iberian Peninsula. It’s interesting to see how the mapmaker deals with the Basque territories south of the Pyrenees, both in color, as equal to Portugal and France (it’s event hard to know if the cartographer considered it “French” or “Spanish” territory) as in its extension. Have a look.