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Al-Andalus?   You are logged in as Guest
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runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

Al-Andalus? 

Every time I've encountered a reference to the origin of the name Andalusia, I've read that it is derived from the Arabic Al-Andalus and means Land of the Vandals. The Vandals, as we remember, were a Germanic tribe who, after vandalizing Rome, worked their way into the south of what was left of Roman Spain and set up shop. Then, in the mid-400s AD, they crossed the Straits of Gibraltar into North Africa, to annoy and then crush the remnants of the Romans there. They evidently all crossed, and left Spain open for the Visigoths, who replaced them as overlords of Spain.

But it turns out that there are several explanations of the origin of the name Andalusia. The book God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215 by David Levering Lewis, tells that Andalusia is a corruption of a Gothic phrase, landa-hlauts or "land lots", referring to the various landholdings of the Visigoth nobility. Another aficionado, though, has read that the term comes from the Gothic vandalen-haus, "House of the Vandals". Neither of these explanations originates the term with the Arabs or with Arabic. And considering that the Arab-Moorish invasion of Spain occurred centuries after the Vandals had packed up and left Spain, to be replaced there by the Visigoths, why would the Arabs name Spain "Land of the Vandals" and not "Land of the Visigoths"?

Anybody have any other info on this?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 18 2014 13:47:19
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3456
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Al-Andalus? (in reply to runner

I have come across all the explanations you mention and more, Runner. The origin of the name "Al-Andalus" probably will never be definitively settled. Nevertheless, I have always considered the possibility that the Arabic "Al Andalus" might have been a corruption of a descriptive Latin (or early Spanish, as Latin was fragmenting into the various Romance languages, including Spanish) term. It has occurred to me that the Spanish verb "anda" (infinitive "andar"), meaning to walk or to travel, coupled with the Spanish (and Latin) noun "luz," meaning light, might have predated the Moorish invasion of Spain and was absorbed into the Arabic tongue. Together, "Al-Andaluz" may have meant to travel in the land of light (sunny Spain!) or something of that sort.

Bill

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With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 19 2014 1:46:16
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Al-Andalus? (in reply to runner

I'd buy that except that the moors were no stranger to sun before they got to Spain. I'd be willing to bet Spain was a bit of relief from the heat of North Africa.

Ah, predated the invasion you said, gotcha.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 19 2014 2:01:34
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Al-Andalus? (in reply to runner

I agree that we will likely never learn the origin of the term "Andalusia", but I like the notion that it may derive from a Latin base; folks entering Spain from the north would indeed "travel toward the light". Thus, the Arab linguistic connection may be post facto, in that they may have picked up a name already given to the region by others.

Now if we can only untangle the origin of "flamenco"..........
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 19 2014 14:04:47
 
edguerin

Posts: 1587
Joined: Dec. 24 2007
From: Siegburg, Alemania

RE: Al-Andalus? (in reply to runner

According to one source I found, Al-Andaluz might be derived from the old Arabic "Handalusia", meaning "land in the west", "land where the sun sets"...

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Ed

El aficionado solitario
Alemania
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 24 2014 14:19:16
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Al-Andalus? (in reply to runner

Do we have anyone fluent in Arabic who can comment on Ed's idea about Handalusia=Land in the West, etc.? Again, this might be a case of Arabic incorporating an already-existing term from another language into itself.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 25 2014 0:29:43
 
edguerin

Posts: 1587
Joined: Dec. 24 2007
From: Siegburg, Alemania

RE: Al-Andalus? (in reply to runner

That wasn't my idea but rather that of the 19th century Lebanese orientalist
Miguel Casiri (Wikipedia)

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Ed

El aficionado solitario
Alemania
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 25 2014 7:18:48
 
El Kiko

Posts: 2697
Joined: Jun. 7 2010
From: The South Ireland

RE: Al-Andalus? (in reply to runner

quote:

Do we have anyone fluent in Arabic who can comment on Ed's idea about Handalusia=Land in the West


The most western bit of Al-Andaluce was Portugal , the bottom bit know as the'' The Algarve from Arabic Al-Gharb,...meaning ''The West '', everyone in Portugal knows that

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 25 2014 11:05:47
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