Beneath the Dust of Time: A History of the Names of Peoples and Places

Battlebridge Publications - 2009

Beneath the Dust of Time is an unconventional combination of history and the etymology of names. It was inspired and guided by two new paradigms. The first is the “Sahara hypothesis” which postulates a historical migration from North Africa to Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia thousands of years ago, when the end of the last Ice Age led to the emergence of the Sahara Desert in North Africa and to a retreat of the glaciers in Europe. The second is a radically new view of the history of the languages conventionally classified as Indo-European and Semitic. Almost all studies of ancient history ignore the origins of the names of the peoples and places that determined its course. This book is different. It aims to explain the origin and meaning of the names of peoples (e.g. Greeks, Germans), countries (e.g. Spain), continents (Europe, Africa), seas (Baltic), mountains (Alps, Pyrenees), rivers (Nile, Rhine, Danube), and cities (Rome, Babylon). These names are generally extremely old, and many can be traced back to migrants who had fled from their desertifying homeland in North Africa and who spoke non-Indo-European languages such as Etruscan. “Pauwels has written a book for the general public, but historians, geographers, and linguists will also benefit from reading it (…). [He] is a scholar who knows how to tell an intriguing story. Too few of his colleagues possess that talent.” Wim de Neuter, Uitpers Webzine.