barbaroak: books for barbarians and other universal minorities
Only Basques preserve, to our days, their vulgar and barbarian language, which does not show any elegance, and is very different from the rest of languages and the most ancient of Spain, […] it is said that the whole Spain made use of the Basque language before the Romans entered these provinces and, with their arms, spread their language. It is also said that, because these Basque people were vulgar, ferocious, and wild […] and the mountains they inhabited were inaccessible, they never fell completely under the yoke of the foreign empire, or they shook it swiftly.
Juan de Mariana, General History of Spain, (1601).
What are we waiting for while congregated in the forum?
The barbarians are expected to arrive today.
Why is there such lack of action in the senate?
Why are the senators sitting still and do not legislate?
Because the barbarians will arrive today.
Why are the streets and public squares becoming empty?
And everybody is going home with skeptical thoughts?
Because night has fallen and the barbarians did not arrive.
Some people came from the border
And reported that the barbarians do not exist anymore.
Now what are we going to do without barbarians?
These people were after all a kind of solution.
Constantine P. Cavafy. Waiting for the Barbarians.
(1904; translation by Konstatinos Karpozilos)
(…) and saith these words in her language in Basque “agotate beçala beti bar bar bar drainsatela” which turned into Castilian signify “like Cagots who always speak bar bar bar…”
Process no. 41511, 6v, Royal and General Archive of Navarre.