The Bretons, who most nearly represent the Celts, and the Basques, who inhabit parts of the western versant of the Pyrenees, have preserved their distinctive languages and customs, and are ethnically the most interesting sections of the nation; the Flemings of French Flanders where Flemish is still spoken are also racially distinct.
239,178 The Basques of Basses-PyrnCes go in considerable 442,777 numbers to the Argentine Republic, the inhabitants of 333,621 Basses Alpes to Mexico and the United States, and 429,812 there are important French colonies in Algeria and 315,199 Tunisia.
It is not improbable that he was in fact an hereditary chief of the Basques, but no contemporary records exist.
The survival of the non-Aryan language among the Basques around the west Pyrenees has suggested the attempt to interpret by its means a large class of similarsounding place-names of ancient Spain, some of which are authenticated by their occurrence on the inscribed coins, and to link it with other traces of non-Aryan speech round the shores of the Western Mediterranean and on the Atlantic seaboard of Europe.
Who contended that there existed once a single great Iberian people, speaking a distinct language of their own; that an essentially " Iberian " population was to be found in Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica, in southern France, and even in the British Isles; and that the Basques of the present day were remnants of this race, which had elsewhere been expelled or absorbed.
In reply, Graslin (De l'Iberie, Paris, 1839), maintained that the name Iberia was nothing but a Greek misnomer of Spain, and that there was no proof that the Basque people had ever occupied a wider area than at present; and Blade (Origine des Basques, Paris, 1869) took the same line of argument, holding that Iberia is a purely geographical term, that there was no.
Proper Iberian race, that the Basques were always shut in by alien races, that their affinity is still to seek, and that the whole Basque-Iberian theory is a figment.
Their remains have been found in Belgium and France, in Britain, Germany and Denmark, as well as in Spain; and they bear a close resemblance to a type which is common among the Basques as well as all over the Iberian peninsula.
Blade, Etudes sur l'origine des Basques (Paris, 1869), Defense des etudes, &c. (Paris, 1870); Phillips, Die Einwanderung der Iberer in die pyren.
Boyd Dawkins, " The Northern Range of the Basques," in 1 W.
The deputies assembled under an old oak-tree, celebrated by the Basque poet, Jose Maria Iparraguirre, in a song which is regarded by the Spanish Basques almost as a national anthem.
For the history of the Basques, see Basque..
As the Frankish forces were defiling through the passes of the Pyrenees they were attacked by the Wascones (probably Basques), and the rearguard of the army was almost annihilated.
For a fuller account of the history, people and customs of Alava, see Basques and Basque Provinces, with the works there cited.
Meanwhile the Basques and Bretons, asserting that they were being ruined by de Monts' privileges, got his patent revoked, and Champlain returned with the discouraged colonists to Europe.
The island was variously identified with America, Scandinavia, the Canaries and even Palestine; ethnologists saw in its inhabitants the ancestors of the Guanchos, the Basques or the ancient Italians; and even in the 17th and 18th centuries the credibility of the whole legend was seriously debated, and sometimes admitted, even by Montaigne, Buffon and Voltaire.
They preserved their own laws, customs, fueros (see Basques), which the Spanish kings swore to observe and maintain.
The Basques still made their own treaties with England and France and are mentioned apart from Spain in the treaty of Utrecht (1713).
They make admirable soldiers and sailors, but lack the enterprise and commercial aptitude of the Basques and Catalans; while they are differentiated from the inhabitants of central and southern Spain by their superior industry, and perhaps their lower standard of culture.
The duke of the Basques came to his court to swear fidelity, and at his villa at Clichy the chief of the Bretons of Domnone promised obedience.
The same writer represents Milo as discharging a mission among the Vascones, or Basques, the very people to whom authentic history has ascribed the great disaster which befell the army of Charlemagne at Roncesvalles.