[Text slighly edited. HB]
All netters (maskag jelo)
There is no consensus among historians about the origin of the word "Nubia" and how the area that is known today as Nubia has come to acquire its name. Is the name "modern" or date back to ancient history? Does the name apply to some parts of Nubia or was it more extensively applied in former times? Has it any relation to Kush or Meroites? The word Nubia conjures up all these and more nostalgia in the mind of many, particularly, Nubians.
To them it means identity, past glories, present dilemma, and a hopefull and glorious future.
How did the area come to be known as Nubia, and why did it persist until now? This is important because some historians claim that there is no such name as Nubia, and that "Kush" is the only name that was known to ancient people. Then where did it come from? Certainly, it has't come out of the blue. It must have an origin, especialy since it applies to an area with a distinctive culure and language and a civilisation that dates back to the dawn of history, a civilization of its own, not isolated, but influencing and getting influenced by others.
To give a tentative answer to these questions, here is a rundown of opinions about the name Nubia, it's origins and meaning:-
n. b. comments on this topic are welcomed from netters.
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 96 16:15:56 +0100
From: Josef.Wichmann@FernUni-Hagen.de (Josef Wichmann)
To: D03N003 <@INTERBIT.CREN.NET:D03N003@SAKSU00.BITNET>
Dear Mr. El-Melik
I just read your announcement of NUBIA, the Sudanese Nubian Forum, on NEW-LIST.
You mention that "nub" in the nubian language means "gold". Is this the origin of the name for the region Nubia? I consulted Webster's Dictionary, but there nothing is said about the origin of the name.
Are the nubian language and the arabic language closely related, or is your name, which to me looks like a typical arabic name, due to the arabic/islamic influence. Don't Nubians have typical nubian names?
Best wishes to you and for the success of your list,
Thank you very much for your intersting and provoking question about Nubians names. You have indeed touched upon one of the main problems the Nubians have been facing for along time: problems of acculturation. Pending a full and, I hope, a satisfactory answer to your questions, please accept the following note for now.
Thank you again and kindly wait for our answer.
N. B. all netters specially Nubians and in particular Dr. Norman Bell at Oxford, and Dr. Charles Abboni, the author of (KERMA), and all others with an intrest in Nubian language and culture to kindly participate in this.