« PreviousContinue »
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 him 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 his-
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,
£3; Capov yxãoozy, from the remnant of the Pelasgi, who occupied the town of Creston, the inhabitants of which, 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 reason 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 yaaaaa. Iltazayo, and yxàoca Exxo, are only different terms for the same language. In the very chapter (Lib. I. cap. 56.), where he draws the line between the too; Iloadyoor, and the #8we; Examvikov, he makes another division of the Greeks, and likewise in reference to their language. This division is the Távo; Awpoxy, and the Távo; ‘Iwazöy. The Tívo; Awplow, he adds, belonged to the "E90; Ilixaoyo, and moreover he adds at the end of the chapter, that this very term AQPIKON, was given to the £9,0; II.xzayzè, when it settled in Peloponnesus, (i, IIowinger #A93, Aapixo, ixx40.) 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 Lacedaemonians spake
Greek 2 “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 he refers the Athenians to the Ionian genus;, the former included in the Pelasgic nation, the latter in the Hellenic nation. But, in the next chapter (Lib. I. cap. 57.) he examines (as we have already seen) the question, whether the lan. guage of the II*Aaayoi was the same with the language of the "Exxons. And having decided in the negative, he immediately feels the difficulty attending his classification in the former chap. ter. For if the Athenians belonged to the too; IIsaaayor (as he admits in c. 57.) and the 9r., IIsazzytny spake a different ho r091
to suppose, that the Lacedæmonians had changed their language,
because they belonged to the #0,0; IIsaazyzè, the circumstance that the Athenians belonged likewise to the #990; II: Azoyuzăy 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 Herodotus, 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 yagada IIsazoyo was different from
of language by the Athenians with the words, si roovy hy zai IIAN rototroy ré IIsazayorów. 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.
words, but of their mode of deriving those words, there can be httle doubt that the Pelasgi spoke Greek. Another argument
is deduced from the Latin language, which was derived from Greece through the intervention of the Pelasgi from Arcadia, Annder Evander, for which we have the authority of Livy, Tacitus, 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 us 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 examination 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 Pelasgi 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 AEolic was originally spoken, is most curious : as the ingenuity and acuteness
of Br. 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,
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, ANE9EN
Top AIFI, that is &otsday to Aš, posuerunt Jovi. The contraction of ANEOEXAN to ANE0EN, 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 assure us that it was not. In the Port Royal Greek Grammar, p. 200, we find 9.ca, Baeot, #0s, ; and the Boeo
tians used the Æolic dialect, as well as the Olympians. In p. 39.
of irissaar. If on the other hand we so divide the words as to
write ANEeeNTo, 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
Dr. Marsh vindicates the existence of the digamma in Aï, from the Latin Divus. The Elean inscription, of which a copy" is given in the Museum Criticum, Vol. I. p. 356. contains also the most curious and convincing specimens of the digamma. This inscription also confirms the opinion, that in many instances. the words now beginning with an aspirated ‘P began in old. AEolic with FP, though the late AEolians began such words with BP. It is clear, however, that the Pelasgi used the aspirate, as, the Latin hora from épz 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 following order: 2, 6, y, 3, 5, s, g, n, 6, , &c. clearly derived from the order of the alphabet. From whence then comes the s for 6? 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 D for six, now may be seen in the Codex Bezae, Mark xv. 33. It appears also to exist for the same number in certain coins; and in an inscription discovered at Heraclea that DETOX is used for śros, a word in which the existence of the digamma is acknowledged. This form of the digamma 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 gamuna. It is to be remembered also that its correspondent 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 adequate idea of the ingenuity and learáing 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