This article discusses how and when the story of a secular conflict between Basques and Spaniards was invented, which constitutes the main characteristic of the political culture of ETA and Basque radical nationalism. Firstly, the author studies the general pattern of the nationalist narratives. Secondly, the intellectual origins of the saga, specifically the work of Sabino Arana, are studied. Thirdly, the author ex- amines the transformation of Arana’s canon after the Civil War and Franco’s dictatorship and its influence on the first generation of ETA members, who started killing in 1968. Fourthly, the article points out how the radical nationalist intellectuals have fostered the continuity of terrorism. Finally, the author reflects on the current role of these historical narratives in Basque politics.