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In the second chapter Dr. Marsh undertakes to prove that the language of the Pelasgi—of the ovos Ilanco yıxòv, was the same as that of their descendants—the žôvos ‘Exayvoxòv; the same in fact, though different in form. This opinion is completely at variance with that of Herodotus, and other Greek writers, who assert that the Pelasgi spoke a barbarous language (BagBagor yaworav.) Thucydides has even reckoned the Pelasgi among the evn Bágbapa. Dr. Marsh however argues, that the terms έθνος Πελασγικών and έθνος Ελληνικών were only different names applied to the same nation, as it existed at different periods; and that this supposed difference in the things signified originated, as in many other cases, solely in the difference of the names. This hypothesis is strongly confirmed, by a consideration of the circumstances attending this alteration in the name of that people—an alteration, which did not take place till after the Trojan war, and which was caused by the superiority acquired by the sons of Hellen over their less powerful neighbours.
“The superiority gained by the "Exanves, which led to the general adoption of their name, 'must have been subsequent to the Trojan war. For Homer describes them as then confined to a district of Thessaly, as Thucydides himself adds in the same place (Tixfenguoi de pánocta "pingos.) Likewise the Greek scholiast to Apollonius Rhodius (Argon. i. 904.) says, "Spengos pior OfTtania nówoide the 'Exrcdd. Even independently of Homer's testimony, it is incredible that the cause should have operated so long before the Trojan war, if, as Thucydides himself declares, the effect was not produced till after the Trojan war. But whatever was the period, when the descendants of Hellen obtained the superiority, which led to the general adoption of their name, there is no reason to suppose that they spake a different language from that which was used in the other parts of Greece, to which they extended their dominion. At that time Greece in general was called Menacria : and the very country, from which the "Exanves came, was distinguished in particular by the epithet fiercowyıxós. The substitution therefore of one term for another, could not have been accompanied with the substitution of one language for another. And even if the family of Hellen had spoken a different language from that of the Pelasgi, the language of that family could not have superseded the language previously spoken in Greece, unless they exterminated as well as conquered, which no Greek historian has ever asserted.”
He also shows the absurdity of the contrary opinion, in a very striking manner, by the following observation:
“ In the time of Homer, the term word 'Earnuxing could be applied only to the language spoken in Thessaly; for none but the Thessalians were called"Έλληνες. If then the term γλώσσα βάρβαρος
be applied wherever the term grūroue 'Enamuixent does not apply, which was the mode of reasoning, not only of Herodotus and Thucydides, but of the Greek writers in general, the term gcô coa BaigBagos applied, in the time of Homer, to the very language in which' Homer himself wrote. Nay, the whole of the Greek army, which appeared before the walls of Troy, consisted of barbarians, with the exception of the troops which were led by Achilles."
He displays his usual acuteness, in the discovery of the causes of those endless inconsistencies, into which the Greek writers were led, by the supposition they had adopted on so slight a foundation. That a nation should change its name, he shows to be not only a thing that might very well take place, but a thing that has often taken place, and particularly in Athens. But that a whole nation should suddenly, and with'out any assignable cause, forget its ancient language and learn another, he justly considers as highly improbable. For the numerous arguments which he draws from the works of the Greek historians, in confutation of their own opinions upon this subject, we must refer to the work itself: they will find them not the least interesting or amusing part of the book. Were we to give to our readers all that is interesting and amusing in this volume, it would be necessary to transcribe almost the whole of it.
It is principally from a consideration of the Latin language, that Dr. Marsh endeavours to determine the language of the. Pelasgi. He mentions the two great migrations of the Pelasgi into Italy, and attributes the resemblance described by Quintilian between the Latin language and the Æolic dialect of the Greek, to the fact of the Pelasgi having used that particular dialect. This fact he is at great pains to prove by a reference to all the accessible authorities, particularly to Dionysius, who is minute in his description of the dialect which the Pelasgi brought with them into Italy. He supports his opinion by a concise examination of the different dialects, as they arē divided and classed by ancient writers; and appeals to the inscriptions upon coins, medals, tablets, and statues, which ingenious men have from time to time discovered and preserved. Thus he incontestibly proves, that the Pelasgi used the Æolic dialect, and also “ that characteristic mark which distinguishes the Æolic, as well as Doric, from all other Greek dialects.” He proceeds thus :
“ The character, therefore, which distinguishes the Æolic dialect, might properly be called the Pelasgic Digamma. The whole of Greece, as we have already seen, was once called flinctoryie ; and that the use of the Digamma was not in ancient times confined to a particular race of Greeks, appears from the manner in which
Dionysius of Halicarnassus describes it. He speaks in general terms (lib. i. c. 20.) of the Digamma, as cúmles toīS APXAIDIE 'Exingt, whence we may consider the Digamma as the pristine character of the Greek language. Indeed the Greek F was a consti. tuent part of the primitive Greek alphabet. It corresponded, as well in form as in alphabetic order, to the sixth letter of the Phenician, or Samaritan alphabet. The sixth letter of the Sama. ritan alphabet, as it still appears in the Samaritan manuscripts of the Pentateuch, is a double Gamal, as the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet was a double Gamma. The difference, therefore, which afterwards subsisted between the Æolic, and the other dialects, was not occasioned by an insertion on the part of the Æolians, but by an omission on the part of the other Greeks. Sometimes they dropped the F, without making any compensation for it, saying is for FIL, ANAZ for FANAE, Oikos for FOIKOE, &c. At other times they made compensation by the substitution of H, which in the primitive Greek alphabet, like the corresponding letter in the Samaritan and Latin aiphabet, was an aspirate. Thus they substituted HΟΡΜΟΣ for FΟΡΜΟΣ, ΗOΣ for fΟΣ suus, ΗΕΚΑΣΤΟΣ for FEKAETOE, &c.; in the same manner as the Spaniards substitute H for F, in words derived from the Latin. At what period the Greek F began to be omitted, or exchanged for H, by the Dorians, Ionians, and Athenians, is a question, which we have no data to determine. That it had fallen into disuse among the Ionians, when Herodotus wrote, can admit of no doubt. But had it fallen into disuse among them, when Homer composed his Iliad and Odyssey? Probably not. Homer's Ionic is very different from that of Herodotus; for it contains a mixture of dialects. But we cannot suppose that Homer patched up his verses by culling sometimes from one dialect, sometimes from another, as he wanted a long or a short syllable to suit the metre. Such a liberty must have appeared no less extraordinary to Homer's countrymen, than it would be to Englishmen, if they found, in the same sentence of an English poet, the Lancashire and Exmoor dialect jumbled with the dialect of London. The language used by Homer, was un. doubtedly the language which was generally spoken in the country where he lived: and the language spoken by the Asiatic Ionians in the time of Homer must have been exactly such, as we find in the Ilind and Odyssey.”
There is one argument remaining, and that founded upon the names by which the Greeks were known among the Romans. He observes, that
“ The very circumstance, that the Pelasgi brought the term rquizor into Italy (which is proved by the fact of the Latins using the term Græci,) shows that lencoyo, and rguixoi were only different names of the same people. Further, it appears from the Greek Chronicle on the Arundel Marbles, that the term rguixoi was not confined to the neighbourhood of Dodona, but that it was generally
2 name of the Greeks before they were called "Eaamsec. The author of this Ancient Chronicle having said that the Greeks were called 'Eranues, from Hellen the son of Deucalion, adds tò apéries reaixoi xadovutvo. But according to Herodotus (lib. ii. cap. 56 ) the general name of Greece, before it received the name of 'Eana, was Maracayic: which confirms the inference, that linatryai and reuixos were only different names of the same people. Now the Pelasgi migrated to Italy before the inhabitants of Greece had taken the name of "Erant;. Hence the Latins, first knowing them by the names of [edaccroi' and reaixoi, used no other terms for them. These coincidences, as they agree with every thing which has been said about the migration of the Pelasgi into Italy, and their introduction of the Greek language, tend also to confirm the conclusions, which have been drawn in this chapter.”
The use of the Digamma by the Pelasgi being proved, the Doctor is naturally led to consider the form in which it was used, and the principle of its application. This he does ablyshowing himself more studious to convince, than to please; and afraid of nothing so much as being misunderstood. Whoever attends to his arguments, cannot fail to observe how very careful he is in tracing every subject to its source. No proposition is assumed by him, as true, which admits of demonstration, and nothing which does not admit of demonstration is required to be believed upon his assertion, or made the foundation of any part of his reasoning. A striking instance of his caution in this respect occurs in the beginning of the Third Chapter, now under consideration. He is about to institute an enquiry into the form and application of the F, considered as one of the letters used by the Pelasgi ; but before he proceeds, he conceives it necessary to prove that the use of letters was known to the Pelasgi. This accuracy can never be considered as excessive : for, if it were possible to prove the negative of this proposition, all his reasonings concerning the form of the letters would be futile. Before we advance, it is proper to observe that Dionysius, who has described the Æolic Digamma proved by Dr. Marsh to have been used by the Pelasgi, says that it was ώσπερ Γάμμα, διτταϊς επί μίαν όρθην επιζευγ:ύμενον ταις πλαγίαις. .
To answer the description, our readers will observe that it may
be written either as F or [. These both consist of two perfect gammas, which are « joined by the two side strokes being drawn into one straight line.” In the latter form, however, we have“ an upright r placed upon an inverted L, so as to form [.” Sometimes the cross strokes are found to make an acute, not a right angle with the side stroke. The same difference has also been observed in the form of the gamma. Doubts have been
entertained of the existence of the in Greek inscriptions, but these doubts, says Dr. Marsh, were finally removed, in 1783, by the discovery of a brass tablet, near the scite of the ancient Petilia, which may therefore be called the Petilian Tablet.
“As Petilia, or, as it is sometimes written, Petelia, was a town in the country of the Bruttii, and the Pelasgi, as was shown in the second chapter, settled in that country, the Digamma must have been used at Petilia. And accordingly we find on the Petilian tablet, the word OIKIAN very distinctly engraved FOIKIAN. The form of the Digamma in this inscription exactly corresponds with the description given by Dionysius of Halicarnassus. It consists of two perfect gammas, each of the same size, with the lines at right angles to each other. And one gamma is so placed on the other gamma, that each of them is joined by the two side strokes being drawn into one straight line, or, in the words of Dionysius, (Lib. I. Cap. 20.) διτταϊς επί μίαν όρθην επιζευγνύμινον ταϊς πλαγίαις. The whole figure is likewise erect. Since therefore the Digamma, which is used in the Petilian inscription, appears in every respect so perfect, since it comes so near to the Latin F, which was formed from it, and moreover appears in the same shape on the Greek coins, which have proper names beginning with the Digamma, the F, which is here used, has been cast in imitation of it: and it is certainly as gond a form as any which we can adopt, when we write Greek words with the Digamma.”
The next inscription, which Dr. Marsh takes notice of, is that on a brass helmet discovered in 1795, by Mr. Morritt, in the Alpheus near Olympia. This we mention on account of the interpretation suggested by the author of this treatise, of the words ANEOENTOIAÍFI. He asserts, and with the greatest probability, that the proper reading is ANEBEN TOI AIFI, that is, ávé6:52" Tū At, posuerunt Jovi. After maintaining the propriety of writing ανέθεσαν for ανέθεν, and το for TOI, and giving his reasons for preferring this to others that have been suggested, he proceeds thus :
“ It has been thought indeed anomalous to insert the Digamma in such a word as Aina But to judge of the Digamma, we should not speak of insertion : for it was a constituent part of the primitive Greek alphabet ; and our present forms were occasioned by the omission of it. Let us ask, therefore, in the first place, in what manner the nominative Zevs, or rather Aiùs, according to the Æolic form, was originally written by the Pelasgi. They could not at first have written AETE: for Y was an addition to the primitive Greek alphabet, which ended with T, like the Phænician, Samaritan, Hebrew, Chaldec, and Syriac alphabets. F on the other hand was a constituent part of the primitive Greek alphabet; it was the sixth letter in the Greek alphabet, as the corresponding letter was in all the alphabets just mentioned. The word, therefore, which was