Ruins marea tide - Aranjuez - Wikipedia


There are several theories about the origin of the name. The most widely accepted one states that it comes from the Basque language , deriving from arantza (" hawthorn " in English). Another theory, attributed to Padre Martín Sarmiento , a Benedictine scholar who lived about a century after the founder of Aranjuez, Philip II of Spain , claims the origin to be from Latin Ara Jovis or Ara Iovia , which means the altar of the Roman god Jupiter also known as Zeus . However the pre-Roman derivation is generally preferred.

These place-names which begin with Da 大 may originally have been formed as attempts to transcribe foreign names into Chinese. Yu (1998) believes Daxia [ dat-hea ] stands for the Tochari (pp. 22, 35). and thinks it possible ( ibid. p. 68) that Dayuan [ dat-iuan ] may have likewise represented the Tochari. It is just possible that Da Qin represents some similar process though, if this is the case, it is difficult to imagine what name it was originally intended to represent.
          Hirth, and many other scholars who followed him, have taken Da Qin to refer to the ‘Roman Orient.’ I think that the term is often clearly used in a broader sense than this to mean the Roman Empire, or any territory subservient to Rome. It is true that all the dependencies mentioned in the Weilue are probably found in the ‘Roman Orient,’ but it specifically mentions that it only lists a few of the dependencies of Da Qin, presumably the ones visited by the Chinese, or those reported on to the Chinese, because of their importance for east-west trade. These are, quite naturally, territories in the ‘Roman Orient.’
          Sometimes, the name is used more specifically: the Weilue gives directions across a ‘Great Sea’ (the Mediterranean) to “that country” (. Da Qin ) from Wuzhisan in Haixi , which is undoubtedly Alexandria in Egypt – see notes , and Appendix C.
          This is rather similar to the situation today when it is commonly said that one is “entering China,” when one enters territory inhabited by other people, but controlled by the Chinese, such as Tibet, or Chinese Turkestan (Sinjiang). Similarly, ‘Mexico’ may be used to refer to either the city or the country.
          Therefore I have translated Da Qin as either ‘Rome’ the city, ‘Roman territory,’ or the ‘Roman Empire,’ as the context demands. The reader should remember, meanwhile, that in each case the Chinese text will have only ‘ Da Qin ’.


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