Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

table. So little does Dr. Marsh indulge either in dogmatism or conjecture; hypotheses non fingo appears to have been his rule; we follow him, therefore, with pleasure, because we follow liim with certainty. The following is the acute and masterly mode in which he has disposed of the conjectures of those who have preceded him with respect to the origin of their name.

“ On the other hand, though we cannot trace, by the aid of history, the Pelasgi beyond their original European settlement, attempts have been made to trace them further by the aid of etymology. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and indeed most Greek writers, derive the name of Pelasgus from a king of that name; though it appears to have been a witticism among the Athenians, that they were πελασγοί quasi πελαργοί, Some modern writers have derived their name from ménayos, on the supposition, that the Pelasgi came from Asia across the Egean sea : a supposition highly improbable in itself, and which, even if true, would carry us no further in our history of the Pelasgi, than we were before. Others derive it from πέλας Or πελαστής, which again throws no light on their ancient history. But an etymology proposed by Salmasius (de Hellenisticâ, p. 342.) appears at least to carry us to the fountain head. He says, Pelasgorum cò_troautnávntov appellatio Phaleg ostendit, quæ divisionem sonat: Pelasgos autem per totam fere Græciam dispersos fuisse Græcorum monumenta testantur. He then quotes the following passage from Epiphanius de Scythismo. Daníx rai Ραγαύ, οίτινες επί το της Ευρώπης κλίμα νενεωκότες, τώ της Σκυθίας μέρει και Tois avrūv TORO poorexpionday. And he adds, “ Pelasgos quoque in Thraciâ vixisse, Græci auctores testantur, et Graios quoque inde venisse. Hæc sunt quæ tuto possumus derivare in his quæ ad Græcorum originem et appellationem pertinent.” Now the testimony of so late a writer as Epiphanius to the travels of Peleg and his son Reu into Europe, when the book of Genesis affords no reason to suppose that they ever quitted Asia, cannot be of any value. It appears from Gen. xi. 18-26. that Reu the son of Peleg, was the grandfather of Nahor, who was the grandfather of Abraham. It is true, that Peleg had other sons beside Reu, and also that Reu had other sons beside Serug, the father of Nahor. But of these other sons of Peleg and of Reu, Moses has mentioned neither the history, nor even their names. We can go therefore no further, than to say, it is possible, that descendants from Peleg and Reu, calling themselves after the names of their two great an. cestors (as the Hebrews in another line called themselves from the father of Peleg) migrated westward, till at length, after a succession of ages, they found themselves settled in Thrace. But can this possibility be raised to a probability? That the word aso in Hebrew signifies divisit, will not attach it to the Pelasgi in particular: for in the early ages of the world migration was common to all nations. And even if it be true, that Peleg was the common

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

to the best thosts of were de

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

t the line ar the la Teal

much great

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Rr

[ocr errors]

ancestor

VOL. IV, DECEMBER, 1815.

od is inder

ancestor of all the Pelasgi, we obtain from the discovery no more knowledge of their history antecedent to their settlement in Thrace, than by saying, that they were descended from Peleg's ancestor Noah, or from Noah's ancestor Adam.P. 16.

The second chapter treats on the language of the Pelasgi. Herodotus owns that he is unable to give a decisive answer upon the point, but infers that they spoke some barbarous language, Bár fapor gañosav, from the remnant of the Pelasgi, who occupied the town of Creston, the inhabitants of wbich, as appears from himself, were originally Thracians. Dr. Marsh, however, conceives that the Pelasgi spoke the same language with the Hellenes, though in a more antiquated form; as there is no rea. son for, and every reason against, a change of language at the time of their change of name under the yoke of the sons of Hellen. This is argued in a most ingenious manner, from the inconsistency of Herodotus upon this point with himself.

Indeed, Herodotus himself, though he opposes the language of the Hellenes to the language of the Pelasgi, has afforded us the means of proving, that γλώσσα Πελασγική, and γλώσσα Ελληνική, aro only different terms for the same language. In the very chapter (Lib. I. cap. 56.), where he draws the line between the idros Decogrexdy, and the faves 'Eannuixov, he makes another division of the Greeks, and likewise in reference to their language. This division is the Γένος Δωρικόν, and the Γένος 'Ιωνικόν. The Γένος Δωρικόν, he adds, belonged to the "Έθνος Πελασγικόν : and moreover he adds at the end of the chapter, that this very term ANPIKON, was given to the έθνος Πελασγικόν when it settled in Peloponnesus, (ές

Πελοπόννησος éalèr Awpixòy éxaúbno) Is not this an admission, that the Pelasgi spake the Doric dialect, and consequently a dialect of that very language, which was used by Herodotus himself? Further, says Herodotus in the same chapter, that as the Pelasgic nation included the Dorian genus, so the Dorian genus included the Lacedæmonians. But who has ever doubted whether the Lacedæmonians spake Greek?

“ In regard to the Athenians, whom he likewise mentions in the same chapter, Herodotus himself is reduced to a difficulty, from which he endeavours to extricate himself by the most improbable supposition, that ever was made. As he refers the Lacedæmonians to the Dorian genus, so be refers the Athenians to the Ionian gemus; the former included in the Pelasgic nation, the latter in the Hellenic nation. But, in the next chapter (Lib. 1. cap. 57.) he ex amines (as we have already seen) the question, whether the lan. guage of the IIinagyoù was the same with the language of the "EnsveAnd having decided in the negative, he immediately feels the difficulty attending his classification in the foriner chap. ter. For if the Athenians belonged to the έθνος Πελασγικόν (as he admits in c. 57.) and the ibris II£Axoyixòr spake a different language

from

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

from the ovos Enamuoxer, a language moreover which Herodotus calls γλώσσα βάρβαρος, this same γλώσσα βάρβαρος must have been spoken by the Athenians themselves. But, in c. 56. he had res ferred the Athenians to the idros EAAHNIKON. And, if the Hela lenes spake a different language from the Pelasģi, how was it pos. sible to rank the Athenians, as well among the former, as among the latter To this question Herodotus answers, T. 'AtTixòritvo, 3ον ΠEΛAΣTIKON, άμα τη μεταβολή τη ες “Έλληνας και την ΓΛΩΣΣΑΝ METéc06. Now a whole nation, all at once forgetting its former language and learning a new one, is a phænomenon of which his. tory affords no example. The μεταβολή ές “Έλληνας as Herodotus calls it, was a change only in name. It was nothing more than κεταβολή ές όνομα “Ελληνικόν: for a change of inhabitants at Athens, in consequence of any conquest by the Hellenes, which alone could have produced such a change in the language there, is a thing of which we have never heard. But Herodotus himself lias elsewhere informed us, that the Athenians frequently changed their name.

He says (Lib. VIII. C. 44.) 'Abmueñor de éti jer season γών εχόντων την νύν Ελλάδα καλεομένην, έσαν Πελασγοί, ονομαζόμενοι Κραναοί· επί δε Κέκροπος βασιλήoς, επεκλήθησαν Κεκροπίδαι εκδεξαμένου δε 'Ερεχθήος την αρχήν, 'Αθηναίοι μετονομάσθησαν· "Ιωνος δε τού Ξούθου στρατάρχεω γενομένου Αθηναίοισι, εκλήθησαν από τούτου 'ΙΩΝΕΣ. Consistently with this last term Herodotus (Lib. I. c. 56.) had referred the Athenians to the yévos 'INNIKON, as he referred the Lacedæmonians to the yévos ANPIKON. And as he did not think it necessary to suppose, that the Lacedæmonians had changed their language, because they belonged to the idrog IIenaltyixer, the circumstance that the Athenians belonged likewise to the fovos lleracyıxòv afforded no reason to suppose a change of language on their part. In short the whole confusion on this subject was occasioned by making a distinction between two names, which belonged to the same thing, and then arguing, as frequently happens, from a nominal to a real distinction. It must be observed, however, in justice to Hero. dotus, that he himself has spoken with some hesitation in regard to his own conclusion. After his appeal to the Crestonians, in proof of the position, that the wooa litaogixs was different from the γμώσσα Ελληνική, lhe prefaces his conclusion about the change of language by the Athenians with the words, ei toimuv in rad IIAN τοιούτον το Πελασγικόν.. Now it has been already shewn that the whole Pelasgic nation could not have been such, as the Crestonians were in the time of Herodotus. The condition therefore fails, without which, as Herodotus himself admits, his conclusion cannot be valid."

P. 27. Another proof is cited from Herodotus himself, who asserts, II. 52. ΘΕΟΥΣ προσωνόμασαν σφεας από του τοιούτου, ότι κόσμο ΘΕΝΤΕΣ τα πράγματα. After this evidence not only of their words, but of their inode of deriving those words, there can be hitule doubt that the Pelasgi spoke Greek. Another argument Rreth

is

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

is deduced from the Latio language, which was derived frona, Greece through the intervention of the Pelasgi from Arcadia, -nnder Lvander, for which we have the authority of Livy, Ta citus, and Pliny. The next point which Dr, Marsh proves, is the identity of the Pelasgic and Æolic dialects: we have not room to follow him through all the evidence which he adduces on this occasion, but it appears to is incontestible. The great proof, however, of their connection is their usage of the celebrated Digamma. And this brings us to the third chapter, in

which the various inscriptions are examined in which it still ex. ists, and an exammation is made into the principle of its application.

To those who still doubt the existence of this letter, we recommend the study of this chapter. In the tablet discovered near, the scite of Petilia, a town of the Bruttii, where the peo lasgi settled, we find OIKIAN distinctly engraved FOIKIAN. The testimony of the Delian inscription is too well known to require mention. The inscription on the helmet found by Mr. Moritt in the Alpheus, near Olympia, where the Æolic was origially spoken, is most curious: as the ingenuity and acuteness of Dr. Marsh in decyphering it, appear in so prominent a point of view, we shall extract it for the amusement of our readers.

“ Some of the letters of the first word being effaced, we can only conjecture what it was: but as it was evidently some proper name in the plural number, and as it is of no importance to our present inquiry what that proper name was, I shall confine myself to the words, in which we must seek for the Digamma. These are, when written, continua serie, as on the helmet,

ΑΝΕΘΕΝΤΟΙΔΙFΙ. . Now we are hardly at liberty to argue, as if any of these letters were effaced, for in the very description, which is given in the Classical Journal, it is said, " the surface of all that remains is per.. “fectly preserved, and the letters are deeply impressed, so that

.every line is distinctly visible, as it was originally formed.” We must read therefore, without any attempt at correction, ANEOEN TOL AIFI, that is áribsouv. tw at, posuerunt Jovi. The contraction of ANEOREAN DO ANEOEN, where room was so much wanted, cannot.excite our surprise. It is true, that the contraction would not have been allowable even in such a case, had it been contrary to the practice of the Greeks at other times. But the writers on the Greek dialects assuré us that it was not.. In the Port Royal Greek Grammar, p. 200. we find iocar Bæot. čley; and the Bæotians used the Æolic dialect, as well as the Olympians. In p: 39. of the Synopsis Dialectorum, at the end of Scapula's Lexicon, @dev pro čeroav is given also as a Doric form. And Maittaire (p. 309. ed. Şturz.) refer to Pindar Pyth. III. 114, for rilev, instead of tridecar. If on the other hand we so divide the words as to

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

write ANEOENTO, we militate against the usual practice of the Greeks: for in such inscriptions they used the active, not the middle voice, as appears from the three inscriptions, of which Herodotus has given a copy, Lib. V. c. 69, 70, 71." P. 62.

Dr. Marsh" vindicates the existence of the digaınma. in As, from the Latin Divus. The Elean inseription, of which a copy is given in the Museum Criticum, Vol. 1. p. 356. contains also the most curious and convincing specimens of the digamma. This inscriptiou also confirms the opinion, that in inany

lances the words now beginning with an aspirated *P. began in old Æolic with FP, though the late Æolians began such words with BP. It is clear, however, that the Pelasgi used the aspirate, as the Latin horá from spa clearly shews. If any scepticism on the part of our readers should still exist, we would refer them. to the marble from Orchoicenus, which is now to be seen in the Museum of Lord Elgin.

It is remarkable that the Greek numerals proceed in the fol.. lowing order: a, 6, v, d, ę, s, š, n, , , &c. clearly derived from the order of the alphabet. From whence then comes the s. for: 67 The existence of another letter in the old alphabet must be inferred from this circumstance, and this letter must have been the digamma; for the form E for six, now may be seen in the Codex Bezæ, Mark xv. 33. It appears also to exist for the same number in certain coins; and in an inscription discovered at Heraclea that CETOE is used for ctos, a word in which the existence of the digamma is acknowledged. This form of the di. gamma has also been found in various coins, &c. It is also remarkable that in the Samaritan alphabet the sixth letter was a double gamal, so the sixth letter in the Greek alphabet was a double gamina. It is to be remembered also that its corres. pondent F, is the sixth letter in the Latin alphabet-an alphabet clearly derived from the Pelasgic.

It is impossible for us to give, within our short limits, any ade quate idea of the ingenuity and learning displayed in the fourth and last chapter, which Dr. Marsh with great modesty calls,

an attempt to determine the original Pelasgic pronunciation of the digamma.” The sum of his opinion upon this point is, that the Greek F corresponded with the Latin F, as the Greek V did with the Latin V. Dr. Marsh combats with considerable success, the grammarians, and others, who suppose that the di. gamma is always to be pronounced as V. He produces fifty instances where the Latin F is the representative of the Greek F, as dunia, Founa, familia, &c. We shall not follow the Professor through all his proofs, but shall extract what appears to us one of the most ingenious.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ontrecta

botah

, co

troului

putery in

20767

* โทน the Beat

Levice

taire :

66 But

instead

« PreviousContinue »