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Basques: Unique in culture and language

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Despite being conquered by the ancient Romans, the Basques were able to maintain some level of autonomy, both in culture and in government. They have remained unique also in language and genetics:


The Basques are a unique population in Western Europe; their language is not related to any Indo-European language. Furthermore, genetically speaking, they have been considered to have distinct features. However, until now there was no conclusive study to explain the origin of their singularity.


The work compares the Basque people with other contemporary European populations and with data from ancient DNA. The results show that the Basques' genetic makeup is similar to other populations of Western Europe but with slight differences. These differences are due to a scarce gene flow as of the Iron Age, i.e., less mixing has occurred with other populations.

David Comas, full professor of Biological Anthropology at the UPF Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (DCEXS), details that "for example, we find no influences from North Africa which are appreciated in most populations of the Iberian Peninsula, and neither do we find traces of other migrations such as the Romans".


The result of the multidisciplinary study, which involved a team of linguists and geneticists, reveals in the journal Current Biology that the cultural barrier of the language promoted the isolation of the Basque population from subsequent population contacts, such as the influence of the Roman empire or the Islamic occupation of the peninsula, and even acted as an internal barrier in some cases due to the use of dialects.





File:Basque Country Location and Provinces in Europe Map.svg - Wikimedia  Commons

Map showing the Basque region which includes northern Spain and south western France.

Summary: I never appreciated the unique culture, language, and even genetics of the Basque people. Below is an interesting further explanation:


The Romans came to understand that the Basques could be pacified by special conditions of autonomy. The Basques paid no tribute and had no military occupation. Most important of all, they were not ruled directly by a Roman code of law but were allowed to govern themselves under their own tradition-based system of law. The Romans asked little more from Basques than free passage between southern Gaul and the lands beyond the Ebro.

The Basques were left to their beloved sense of themselves, surrounded by an empire to which they didn’t belong, speaking a language that none of their neighbors understood.

Crowded into steep, narrow valleys, their society was organized around control of the limited workable land. The needs of this cramped agricultural existence made Basque social structures different from those of societies that lived in ample expanses

https://erenow.net/common/the-basque-history-of-the-world/3.php#:~:text=The Romans sent in additional,defeated the Basques as well.



guy also known as gaius

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