I have always been a fan of science. When I was a boy, I had a thousand other hobbies; but since I am already old, the scientific hobby prevails and triumphs in my soul. Unfortunately or fortunately something very singular happens to me. I like the sciences in inverse ratio of the truths that they demonstrate with accuracy. So it is that the exact sciences hardly interest me, and the inexact ones make me fall in love. Hence my inclination to philosophy.
It is not the truth that seduces me, but the effort of discourse, subtlety and imagination that is used to discover the truth, even if it is not discovered. Once the truth is discovered, well demonstrated and patent, it usually leaves me cold. Thus, a gallant young man, when he goes down the street in pursuit of a woman, whose graceful walk and figure excite him, and then he steps forward, looks at her face, and sees that she is old, or one-eyed, or has the face of a monkey. .
The man would also be a piece of furniture if he knew the truth, even if the truth was beautiful. He would still her in possession and enjoy him and he would go foolish. It is better, then, that we know few things. What matters is knowing enough for the mystery to appear or be glimpsed, and never enough for it to be explained or clarified. In this way curiosity is excited, fantasy is fanned, and theories, dogmas, and other ingenuity are invented, which entertain and console us during our terrestrial existence; all of which we would lack, being a thousand times more unhappy, if the mystery were not presented to us out of sheer rudeness, or if we were to unravel its deep and true meaning out of sheer skill.
Among these inexact sciences, which delight me so much, there is one, very much in fashion now, which is the object of my predilection. I'm talking about prehistory.
I, without knowing if I am doing the right thing, divide this science into two parts. One, which I would dare to call geological prehistory, is based on the discovery of skulls, quills, arrows and spears, jugs and other pottery, which wise men suppose to be of a very remote age, which they call stone. This prehistory amuses me less, and it has, in my view, much less haul than what we will call philological prehistory, founded on the study of primitive languages and the documents that are preserved written in them. This is the prehistory that amuses me the most.
What a variety of opinions! What sharp guesses! With what art are the known facts arranged and ordered so that they adapt to the system that each sage forges! All civilization is already born from Egypt; already of the acadies in the center of Asia; it already comes from India; already from a continent they call Lemuria, sunk in the heart of the sea, to the South, between Africa and Asia; already from another continent, which existed between Europe and America, and which was called Atlantis.
About the primitive language, as well as about the primitive civilization, continues to be disputed. There is even a dispute about whether it was one or several languages: that is, whether men began to disperse throughout the worldAlas, or let's say, still speechless, and in herds, and then they invented different languages at different points, or about whether before the dispersion they all already spoke a single language.
My itching to browse leads me to read how many new books are coming out on this subject, which are not few; and the more foolish they are, when things are looked at by the vulgar of the timorous, the more such books amuse me.
In these last days the books that I have read go against the Aryans, the Egyptians, the Semites and other nations and castes, which before passed for the civilizing ones in a superior degree. If the ancient books have held that civilization, like sunlight, spread from East to West, these new books affirm that it spread in the opposite direction, from West to East. All the knowledge of the magicians of Iran and Chaldea, of the Brahmans on the banks of the Ganges, of the priests of Isis and Osiris, of the initiates in Samothrace and of the peoples of Phoenicia and Phrygia, is not worth a dick, compared to the to know of certain primitive Gauls, whose center of light was in a prehistoric Paris.
The Gauls and their bards and druids, poets and priests, taught everything; but his science itself was already a confused reflection and incomplete memory of the science that other more primitive and excellent men, whom we will call Hyperboreans, possessed in the center of the fertile and beautiful country today called France, before the coming of the Celts. or protoscites.
But what language did these Protoscites or Hyperboreans speak, whose center and civilizing focus was a Paris of at least six or seven thousand years ago? They spoke the Basque language, vulgar Basque. Where had they come from? They had come from Atlantis, which sank. What knowledge did they have? They had all the knowledge that we possess today and much more that has been obfuscated through fables and other childish things. Thus, the Arimaspes, who had only one eye and looked at the sky, were the astronomers of that time, who already knew the telescope; and the arrow on which Abaris was riding from one end of the earth to the other was the hot air balloon or a device to fly with direction and compass, etc., etc., etc. It is already understood that the time of the Arimaspes and that of Abaris are decadent for the Hyperborean civilization.
I confess that I loved this whole system. It is not my purpose to expose you here. I fly past him and go to my business.
I say, however, that I loved it for two reasons. It is the first how much I like France. How much more natural is it that the germ of European civilization has been born and flourished, since ancient times, in that fertile and rich garden, in that privileged soil, than in Mesopotamia or on the banks of the Nile? And it is the second reason, that I have friends from Gipuzkoa, who will be very happy, if it is well proven that their language and their caste were the instrument used by Providence to put an end to barbarism, illuminate the world and indoctrinate people. the other nations.
How happy my learned and dear friend D. Joaquín de Irizar y Moya, who has written such notable works on the Basque language, tripping up Erros, Larramendis and Astarloas, will still be alive, as I wish! Something he will take advantage of the new inventions to give more vigor to his system, arranging it so that it fits and squares with the most perfect Catholic orthodoxy.
Be that as it may, it is evident to me that before the Celts, the Phoenicians, the Greeks and other peoples penetrated Spain, there was a civilized people in Spain, whom we will call the Iberians. This people extended throughout our peninsula, and even had colonies in Sardinia, in Italy, and elsewhere, as Guillermo Humboldt has shown. They were Basques and spoke the Basque language. The most cultured and illustrious nation and state among them was the republic of the Turdetans, who, according to Strabo's testimony, had letters and laws and beautiful poems in verse, which were six thousand years old. However, the Celtiberian and Turdetano alphabets, which have been reconstructed and published by Don Luis José Velázquez, are very modern compared to the aforementioned date. Said alphabets are a transcript of the Phoenician or Greek, and it must therefore be assumed that before the arrival of the Greeks and Phoenicians in Spain, the Turdetans had their own alphabet, with which they wrote their poems and other works.
In my view, Mr. D. Manuel de Góngora y Martinez has had the glory of discovering this alphabet. See the inscriptions that Osiris in hisPrehistoric antiquities of Andalusia, fromcave of signsand other caves and hiding places, some of which are near Villabermeja, a place that I have tried to make famous, as well as its most conspicuous inhabitant, Mr. D. Juan Fresco.
A short distance from Villabermeja there is a place called El Laderon, where vestiges and relics of an ancient and flourishing city are discovered every day.
The erudite and sagacious antiquarian D. Aureliano Fernandez Guerra proves that there was Favencia, in the time of the Romans, city which from very early times was called Vesci.
Don Juan Fresco, excited his curiosity and stimulated his indefatigable activity, since Mr. Góngora, publishing in 1868 hisAntiques, put him on the track, he has taken to looking for signs inwritten cavesand in other monuments near Vesci, and he has found and assembled them in many copies.
An emulator of Champollion Figeac, Anquetil Duperron, Burnouf, Grotefend, Oppert and Lassen, my aforementioned friend D. Juan Fresco believes he has deciphered these primitive Iberian scribbles, like those other sages, hieroglyphics, cuneiform writing and other hidden places.
I am not trying to argue here for the discovery of my namesake and countryman and show that it is self-evident. This he will do on his day. I am going to limit myself to referring to a story that Don Juan Fresco says he has read in certain inscriptions similar to those of thecave of signs. Once the letters are understood, it seems that the rest is flat, since the primitive Iberian language is almost the Basque of today.
It regrets me not to give here the exact translation of the original text. Don Juan Fresco has not wanted to communicate it to me. I will, therefore, do the narration with the pauses, explanations and interspersed comments that he has made. Otherwise it would not be understood.
The story is relatively modern; Well, according to my friend, legends and stories have yet to be discovered in the proto-Iberian language, older and more venerable than the Egyptian poem by Pentaur about a feat of Sesóstris or Ransés II, and than the poems found by our acquaintance, the diplomat Mr. Layard in Ashurbanipal's library at Nineveh: poems already archaic eight centuries before Christ, and most of them translated from the sacred language of the Akkadians, then as dead as Latin is now among us.
And this should not surprise us, because according to Roisel, inThe Atlanteans, all culture comes from these, before there was any in Chaldea, in Assyria, in Egypt or anywhere in the East.
It is a pity that we still do not have documents from the Golden Age or the Golden Age of Parisian Atlantic literature, some eight thousand years ago, nor from the Betic emanation of that culture, implanted on the banks of the Guadalquivir by the Turdetans.
The document found, deciphered, explained and commented on by Don Juan Fresco is from a relatively recent period: as if we were saying yesterday or tomorrow. The indigenous Iberian culture had already declined, and Spain was full of Phoenician and even Greek colonies. Those of Zazinto had already founded Sagunto, and it had been more than a century since the Tyrians had founded Malaga, Abdera, Hispalis and Gades. It was around the 1000s, before our vulgar era, about more or less.