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Review: The Oldest Europeans

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Message Norm Goldman
J. F. del Giorgio's The Oldest Europeans opening chapter cites the well-known French comic strip, Asterix, wherein we are reminded as to how the Romans were unable to defeat a rebellious, ever-quarreling, and wild people. Apparently, these individuals lived by the sea; however, their exact location is never disclosed in the comic strip.

According to J. F. del Giorgio, what is remarkable about this tale is that there were similar inhabitants living in the French territory during Roman times. These were extraordinary individuals who, according to history, were excellent sailors and probably the first to circumnavigate the world. Furthermore, they were survivors of a much older European population and they occupied Europe thousands of years before the Latins arrived on the scene- even before the Aryan, Indo-European tribe came to the continent.

Moreover, they still exist among us and to a large extent many keep their age-old customs, speak their ancient tongue, where some of their words have been considered to come directly from the Stone Age. Major religions have been influenced by them and their ancient myths are still celebrated in the arts. Their influence has been felt in the fields of art, religion, philosophy, science, architecture, jewelry, folklore, customs, traditions, legends, institutions and family. In fact, they were even written about in the Iliad, the Odyssey and the Aeneid. And if their men were impressive, their women were no less remarkable. In many aspects they outshone the men of their times.

I guess by now you are wondering, who are these people? From J. F. del Giorgio's The Oldest Europeans we learn that it is widely accepted that the oldest Europeans are the ancient Basques, who call themselves Euskaldunak, their country Euskalherria and their language Euskera. Some Basque thinkers use the term Euzko to name their people and those who are related to them or have the same origin from their DNA and cultural ties, such as the Etruscans, Scots, Scandinavians, Celts, Irish, Welsh, Gauls, Thracians, and Pelasgians

The Oldest Europeans contains a wealth of information packed into a 246 pages. It is a journey through prehistoric Europe that has as one of its principal contentions that the invasion of people from the East in Neolithic times coincided with the gradual decrease in women's rights in European cultures. These women's rights were very much in evidence among the oldest Europeans and as pointed out, they were not gained from their male counterparts, but rather inherited. One of the foremost essentials of Euzko societies was that they demonstrated profound matriarchal influences or as J. F. del Giorgio maintains, "they were matrilineal (i.e. tracing ascent through maternal lines. Occidental societies tend to do the opposite), and they were matrilocal and matrifocal societies." Furthermore, it was this respect for women's rights that fostered the growth of children in an equalitarian environment. It should be noted, as mentioned in the book, that among the Euzkos, the power was transferred from a queen to a princess and not from a king to a prince. A king only gained his power from being married to the Queen of the realm.

It would be an understatement to say that reading this well-documented study about witchcraft, old religions, women's rights, our own stone roots, ancient European names, language, Greek mythology and history, ancient traditions such as the carnival, Easter, Christmas, hallucinogens, religious rituals, river names, and many more topics is fascinating!

However, when readers try to plough through a book that contains all of this and more, the outing may be a bit rough with its abundance of detail, particularly where the organization is cumbersome and the author tends to wander from time to time.

Unfortunately, this is one of the shortcomings of The Oldest Europeans, nonetheless, the book still merits a read, even if you have to re-read it two or three times, chew on it and digest it before understanding its full impact-it is still well worth the time and effort, as the author provides priceless insights into European ancestry.

Reviewer: Norm Goldman, Editor Bookpleasures.com
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Norm Goldman is the Editor of the book reviewing and author interviewing site, bookpleasures.com. He is also the Editor of the travel site, sketchandtravel.com, where his artist wife, Lily and Norm meld words with art focusing on romantic (more...)
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