BOOKS - Classics Series

The Basque Classics Series seeks to provide English translations of key texts and authors in the cultural development of the Basque Country. The Series encompasses anonymous works authored by the “community” to the texts of Modern Age polemicists authored in the defense of Euskara (the Basque language) and Basque political institutions. The Basque Classics Series encompasses the publication of anthologies and monographs of key near contemporary scholars of outstanding and enduring worth who have made original and serious contributions to the understanding of Basque history, linguistics, and culture.

The Basque Classics Series explores Basque history and culture through the powerful writing of some of the greatest minds to have ever written about the Basques. The first volume published in 2005, The Old Law of Bizkaia (1452), Gregorio Monreal Zia’s authoritative edition was translated by William A. Douglass and Linda White and provides clear insight into the Bizkaian concept of community. The second book in the series, Anthology of Apologists and Detractors of the Basque Language, presents some of the most important works by Basque apologists who sought to defend the Basque language and Fueros from the outside perception of being both an anomaly and an obstacle. In 2007 the third book in the Basque Classics Series, Selected Writings of José Miguel de Barandiarán, was published with an introduction by Jesús Altuna. This collection includes some of José Miguel de Barandiarán’s articles and monographs which document his recordings of the traditional lifeways, legends, and superstitions of the Basque people along with his research excavating caves and dolmens in the Basque Country. The fourth book in the Series, Koldo Mitxelena, brings together a number of Mitxelena’s texts (previously unpublished in English) concerning the Basque language, its history, and its literature. In 2009 the Series published its fifth book, The Basques, by Julio Caro Baroja. The Basques is a comprehensive study of Basque culture from an anthropological and historical point of view, examining material culture as well as social structure, mythology, music, poetry and many other topics. The sixth book in the Basque Classics Series, The Basques of Lapurdi, Zuberoa, and Lower Navaree: Their History and Their Traditions, by Philippe Veyrin was written in 1941 during the German occupation of the Basque coast at the request of the Basque Museum in Baiona. Veyrin sought to explain the Basques and their land and to link the present with the past. In 2011 the seventh book in the Series, The Selected Essays of Julio Caro Baroja, was published. These essays provide a broad sketch of Caro Baroja’s extraordinary career spanning almost the entire turbulent twentieth century and discuss the historical-cultural context of the Basque Country in relation to its neighbors; Basque history; cultural cycles and identity, and many more. 2012 marks the release of the eighth book in the series, Linguae Vasconum Primitiae, by Bernard Etxepare. This is the English translation of the first book published in Basque in 1545. The book is a collection of religious and love poetry and we have received a foreword by Pello Salaburu, a preface by Patxi Altuna, and an incisive introduction by Beñat Oyharçabal.

The Basque Classics Series is made possible by generous financial support by the Association of Friends of the Center for Basque Studies from the Provincial Government of Bizkaia. The series is edited by William A. Douglass, Gregorio Monreal, and Pello Salaburu.