Sunday, April 14, 2013

History of the Kingdom of the Goths, Vandals and Suevi

      Isidore of Seville, bishop and saint, wrote a book called Etymologiae in which he tried to sum up all the 'knowledge' of the time, quoting extensively from many Roman authors. He also wrote a history of the Germanic tribes that conquered his part of Europe, Spain (whatever size or shape Spain was at the time). The Visigothic kingdom of Alaric (who conquered Rome in 410 a.d.) was still going strong although it was converting to Catholicism from Arianism. It had also been defeated by Clovis and had its capital looted of its Roman treasures.  Isidore does not seem to be a popular writer. His history has only been translated into English in the mid 1960's and googling some of the latin terms he used yielded nothing. Although he wrote a book called Etymologiae, his latin was not the best and is challenging to decipher but I feel like giving it a shot.

      Since I used up a bit of space taking about Isidore, I will do only the first chapter of the Prologue today. Isidore loved Spain since he starts off with this little bit:

 Of all the lands, which are from the west all the way to India, you are the most beautiful. O  holy, and always happy mother of the best of peoples, Hispania. I swear (though the form jure doesn't support a first person singular interpretation) you are the queen of all provinces, from which not even light of the setting sun or the rising sun can alter. You are the glory and the jewel of the earth, the brighter part of earth: in which many of the people of the Goths rejoice and what's more flourish for the most part  in glorious abundance.

Since Canada was not a country yet, I won't pause now to point out his error.


Anachronist said...

Of course NOW Canada is better than Spain. Far better! ;p

The Red Witch said...

It does have nice weather though. I am not a fan of Canadian winters.

Anachronist said...

Come off it, do you think Spaniards are happy with their scorching hot summers?

The Red Witch said...

In the next paragraph, Isidore praises their temperate climate. :-)