a question to Jim was RE: Keeping the faith: Cuban Jews

Les Schaffer schaffer at SPAMoptonline.net
Thu Apr 12 14:41:33 MDT 2001

[ from Nestor ]

En relación a Re: a question to Jim was RE: Keeping the faith: , el 12
Apr 01, a las 18:50, Ulhas Joglekar dijo:

> This is not the first time that Jim C. has repeated this nonsense
> about India. The word India is derived from river Indus. This was
> known to ancient Greece as well Persia. Elementary aquaintance with
> textbooks on Indian history would tell you that. Jim C. could refer
> A.L.Basham's book Wonder That Was India if he has any doubts. Yes,
> there was no such thing as India in 1492, but that is true in the
> sense that India as a bourgeois nation did not exist then. In that
> sense many nations did not exist in 1492. This is simply one more
> instance of apalling ignorance about India and Indians on this List.
> Ulhas

And about America and Columbus, too. What the Spanish and Portuguese
explorers were after was, precisely, what was known (in the mid 1450s)
as "Las Indias" or "As Indias".  Translation would be "The Indies", as
in "West Indies".

When Columbus stumbled upon what was to become "America" once it was
recognized as a new continent, he was absolutely convinced that he had
made land on the Indies and that Ptolomeus was right in his
measurement of the perimeter of the globe. P.'s was a "small" globe, a
globe that would not accomodate a Pacific Ocean in between the new
land and Asia. Thus, the new land was known as "las Indias" (wherefrom
"indiano" as an adjective roughly equating with "Latin American" and
Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre's proposition that the nation South of
the Bravo River be called "Indoamérica").

Thus, not only was India well known as such. It also gave name to the
new lands. Columbus never accepted the idea that he had not reached
the Indies. At most, he accepted that his fleets had made land in
"Cipango", that is, Japan.

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar

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