Spain, Rabbit Land

March 31st, 2007

The first civilization that dwelt in Spain were the “íberos” ( Iberians ). There were pre-Iberian civilizations but Iberians are the first ones mentioned in texts. Later, Celtic tribes came from the north and established in the territory.

After Iberians and Celtic, Phoenicians were who came this time. They were merchants and navigators and spread over all the Mediterranean Coast founding colonies. It’s said that, when they came, rabbits were so abundant that they called our land “Isephanim“, which means “Rabbit Coast” in their language, the Phoenician.

Ancient Romans came later and used the name “Hispania” (taken from Greek) to call the peninsula, and “España” derived from “Hispania“. They spoke Latin and were very good at engineering ( among other skills ). Latin was spoken around all the Mediterranean area ( approximately today’s Europe ).

When the Empire started disgregating, Vulgar Latin ( the language of the normal people, not the high cultured class ) also did. Then, Romance Languages appeared. Those languages were Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, French, Galician, Catalan, and many many other still spoken by a few people or already dead.

The other name of Spanish is Castilian Language. “Spanish” is used when we compare it with foreign countries languages. “Castilian” is used when we talk about languages in Spain because there are some more. The Spanish official languages are Castilian, Euskera (basque language), Galician and Catalan. Euskera is the oldest language and its origin is unknown.

Sometimes, language is a source of problems because is a matter that tends to be politized.

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