Who california named after?

The name California is derived from a best-selling novel. The story was so popular that when Spanish explorers under Hernán Cortés landed on what they believed was an island on the Pacific coast, they called it California after the mythical island of Montalvo. Diego de Becerra and Fortún Ximénez, under the direction of Cortés, landed near the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula in 1533. Even so, the fictional character captured the hearts of people from all over the world, including the Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés, who would come to explore and name the state of California. Although it later became clear that Baja California was not an island, once the name began to be used on maps, it stuck.

Similarly, the name of the kingdom of Calafia, California, probably originated from the same root, manufactured by the author to remind the Spanish reader in the 16th century of the reconquest, a centuries-long struggle between Christians and Muslims that had recently ended in Spain. However, the name California also appears in a diary from 1542 kept by explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, who used it casually, as if it were already popular. Multiple theories have been put forward about the origin of the name California, as well as the root language of the term, but most historians believe that the name probably originated from a 16th century novel, Las Sergas de Esplandián. The state of California and the Mexican states of Baja California and Baja California Sur take their name from Calafia and its kingdom.

Geographically located on the western border of the United States, California has come to represent psychologically a land of promise, possibilities and opportunities. For many years, Montalvo's novel languished in darkness, with no connection between it and the name of California. The women return to California with their husbands to establish a whole new dynasty with both sexes, as a Christian nation. While some historical documents suggest that the state was named after the phrase Calida Fornax, which translates as hot and burning oven by the cartographer Deigo Gutiérrez in 1562, others argue that the name dates back to a 16th century Spanish romance novel that told the story of a fantastic island populated by women and gold.

The paintings were archived, and in 1991 they were restored and mounted in the California room of the state capitol, room 4203, renamed John L. In 1937, Lucile Lloyd unveiled her triptych mural Origin and Development of the Name of the State of California, also known as Allegory of California, which was exhibited in the State Building in Los Angeles until 1975, when the building was demolished for safety reasons. There is no doubt about the use of the term by Hernando de Alarcón, nor about his allusion to Las Sergas, but there is a doubt whether this is the first use of the name to refer to those lands and if he intended the name to be a mockery. She wrote that both Calafia and California most likely came from the Arabic word khalifa meaning ruler or leader.

Wade Rueckert
Wade Rueckert

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