Page images

but Celtic


upon the

Celtic Greek and Latin words of the same sound and significa- heard of an intended dictionary of the same tongrie;
Language, tion. In order to satisfy our curious readers, we shall hitherto our hopes have been disappointed.

Language. annex a few, though some of them may perhaps be We are, however, happy to find that there is now questionable.

publishing an excellent translation of both the Old and
The Venus of the Latins is said to be a compound of New Testaments into Gaelic, which has bitherto been a
ben and jus, which literally signify the “ first woman,' desideratum among those who speak this language. Such
the letter b in Gaelic being softened into v. Edag and a translation will at once contribute to preserve that an-
sidag signify “food.” These words are compounded of cient tongue, and disseminate the knowledge of the truth
the Gaelic words ed or eid and ar; the former denotes among the natives of that country.
food simply, and the latter ploughed land. These are the Every assistance towards acquiring the knowledge of
roots of the Greek and Latin words edw, edo ; cegow, aro. a tongue which was once universal over a great part of
Edgçe, which signifies “ a seat,” has an evident reference Europe, will certainly be an acceptable present to the
to food. It is compounded of two Gaelic words ed and public. The antiquary, who is desirous of tracing the
ira, which literally signifies“ meal-time.” Edva, which affinity of languages, and wishes to mark the migrations
signifies the presents which a bridegroom made to his of people, ought certainly to apply himself to the study
bride,” is a compound of two Gaelic words ed and na of its remaining branches; and, if we mistake not, he
or nuah, literally signifying “ raw food.” From ar will soon be convinced, that they all breathe a spirit
there are many Greek derivatives. A exque signifies congenial to the manners and sentiments of a people

ploughed land,” also“ crop of corn;" Agros,“ bread." who are just entering upon the first stage of improve-
In Gaelic a crop of corn and bread are expressed by ment and civilization.
arbhar, commonly pronounced arar and aran ; all be Perhaps it may be expected, that, before we con- Origin of
ing equally derivatives of the root ar. So the Greek clude this short sketch of the Celtic tongue, we should the words
and Latin words agoros, arabilis, “ arable ;” agosgor, give some account of the origin of the words Gaul and Gal.
aratrum, " a plougl;" agorne, arator, “ a ploughman;'

a ploughman;" Gal, the two names by which this people was distin-
and many others, are evidently derived from the same guished by the Greeks and Romans. Mr M.Pherson
source. We would not, however, suggest, in conse imagines, that the appellation of Celt is an adjective
quence of this coincidence, that either the Greek or La- derived from Gael, the aboriginal name of the inbabi.
tin languages was derived from the Gaelic; we rather tants of ancient Gaul. For our part, we can see no
believe that these are remains of a primeval tongue, connection between Gael and Kelt, nor do we think
which are still retained in all the three ; and we produce that the latter is an adjective. We believe that those

present occasion as presumptions that the people called themselves Cael and not Gael. We are
Gaelic is an original, underived language, and of course sure that Caledonia, or Cal-don or dun, was an ancient
the most pure and unadulterated relick of the Celtic now name of the mountainous parts of Scotland.
existing. If our readers should incline to know more of Though many different opinions bave been advanced
this subject, they may consult Pezron's Origin of An- with relation to the etymology of this word, we ima-
cient Nations, Bullet's Mem. de la Langue Celtique, gine that none is so probable as that which supposes

Parson's Rem. of Japhet, Gebelin's Monde prim. &c. that it is compounded of the two Celtic words Cal or
When the Celtie language was generally spoken over

Kal, that is, “ Gal or Gaul," and dun, which signiness and Europe, it seems to have been amazingly copious. By fies“ a hill or mountain." Upon this ground, the antiquity of consulting Bullet's Memoires, it appears that its names Caledonii will import the Gauls of the mountains, or the Celtic. for the common and various objects of nature were very which is the same, the Highland Gauls. The Irish

numerous. The words denoting water, river, wood, fo- and Highlanders reciprocally denominate themselves
rest, mountain, lake, &c. were most precisely accom by the general title of Cael, Gael, or Gauls. They
modated to specify each modification and variety, with also distinguish themselves, as the Welsh originally
such peculiar exactness as even the Greek, with all its did, and as the Welsh distinguish them both at pre-
boasted idiomatical precision and copiousness, bas not sent, by the appellation of Guidhill

, Guethel, and Ga.
been able to equal. The appearances which diversify thel. The intermediate th, they say, is left quiescent
the visible face of animated nature, arrest the attention in the pronunciation, as it in many words of the
of men in an uncultivated state. Unaccustomed to British language ; in which case Gathel would imme-
thought and abstract reasoning, their minds expand and diately be formed into Gael; and Gathel is actually
exercise their powers upon sensible objects, and of course sounded like Gael by botb the Irish and Highlanders at
mark every minutia and almost imperceptible distinction present. The appellation of Gathel, therefore, say they,
with an accuracy to us seemingly impossible.

was originally the same with Gael, and the parent of it.
We hope it now appears to every reader, that the Cel- The quiescent letters in British are frequently transfer-
tic was one of the dialects of the primitive language; red from the middle to the conclusion of the word; by
that it once overspread by far the greatest part of Eu- which manceuvre, Gathel is changed into Galath, Galat,
rope; that the Gaelic now spoken in the northern parts Galt, and Celt. It is true, that Gael of the continent is
of Scotland and the adjacent islands is the most pure and universally denominated Galatæ and Celtæ by the Gre-
unmixed relick of that tongue now anywhere existing cians, and Gallt and Gallia by the Irish. The appella-
We would willingly refer our readers to some well com tions, therefore, of Gathel-i, Gall-i, Gallai-æ, Calet-es,
posed grammar of that language ; but indeed we know An-calit-es, and Celt-æ, are all one and the same deno-
of none that deserves our recommendation. Some years mination, only varied by the astonishing ductility of the
ago we were flattered with the prospect of seeing one Celtic, and disguised by the alterations ever incident to
published by a gentleman whose deep skill in that lan a language that has been merely oral for ages.
guage is universally acknowledged. We have likewise It may perhaps appear presumptuous in us to dif-



2 1 2

Celtic fer from two such respectable authorities as M.Pher- corresponding with many names in Europe, evidently Gothic
Language, son and Whitaker : we must, however, acknowledge, imposed by our Gothic progenitors. Any person to- Language,

that neither the one nor the other appears to us well lerably acquainted with the remains of the Gothic
founded. Besides, they convey no idea of the signifi- tongue, will be able to trace these with little diffi-
cation of the words, though in the Celtic language culty.
they must have been significant. The name Cael, the We learn from Herodotus *, that Darius in his * Lib. iv.
same with Gal, was probably giving them in the East expedition against the wandering Scythians who lived passim.
from the Greek xed, which in many oriental languages on the other side of the Ister or Danube, in his pro-
denotes fair; and yzhetic may be easily derived from gress subdued the Getæ; and in the same passage the
you or yangó, Gal or Galuth. This denomination might historian informs us, that these people held the im-
be given them by their neighbours, in allusion to their mortality of the human soul, and that they were the
fair complexion.

bravest and most just of all the Thracians. After this

period, we find them mentioned by almost every Greek § 2. Of the Gothic Language.

writer, even familiarly ; for Geta, in the comedies of

that nation, is a common name for a slave. The Getæ The Celtic and Gothic tongues at one time divided then occupied all that large tract of country which exEurope between them. Both were of equal antiqui- tended from the confines of Thrace to the banks of the ty, both originated in Asia, both were dialects of the Danube ; were a brave and virtuous people; and spoke

original language of mankind. The Celtic, however, the same language with the Thracians, with whom they Ancient

was first imported into Europe. The Gauls or Celts are often confounded both by Greek and Roman histoGothic. had penetrated farthest towards the west; a circum rians.

stance which plainly intimates the priority of their ar But the name of Goths is by no means so ancient.
rival. In the population of countries, we believe it It was utterly unknown both to the ancient Greeks
may be held as a maxim, that the colonies wbo emi. aud Romans. The first time that the name Goth is
grated first were generally impelled by succeeding emi mentioned is in the reign of the emperor Decius, about
grants; and that of consequence the most early were the year of Christ 250. About that time they burst
pushed forward to the parts most distant. The Celts, out of Getia, and, rushing like a torrent into the empire,
then, having overspread the most western parts of laid waste every thing with fire and sword. The name
Europe, must have arrived more early in those re of their leader or king was Cneva. Decius, endea-

vouring to expel them from Thrace, was vanquished and
The Goths and Getæ were the same race of people, slain.
* Lib.i.

according to Procopius *, de bello Goth. ; and Strabo ť After this irruption, we find them frequently in the

(B) informs us, that they spoke the same language with Latin authors under the name of Getæ or Gothi; though + Lib. ü. the Thracians, from whose confines they had spread the Greeks generally denominate them Scythæ. Torcap. 23. themselves northward as far as the western banks of the fæus tells us, that gett and got are actually the same f History of

213 Danube. Vopiscus, in the History of Probus tells us, word, which anciently, according to bim denoted a Norway, The same

that this emperor I obliged “the Thracians, and all the “ soldier." Got in Icelandic signifies a with the language

Getic tribes, either to surrender or accept of bis friend horseman,” and gata a “wanderer;" and this last was of the ship.” This expression indicates, that the Thracians perhaps the import of the term Geta, they being origiThracians, and the Getic tribes were deemed the same race of nally an unsettled vagrant people. As nations general

people. From this deduction it is clear, that the Ge- ly assume to themselves some high auspicious denomina-
and Thracians were brethren ; that they spoke the tion, we may believe the Goths did the same. We may
same language : and that their laws, manners, customs, therefore rest satisfied, that the Getæ assumed the Ice-
and religious tenets, were the same, might easily be landic name above mentioned as their national one :
shown, were this a proper place for an inquiry of that or perhaps, notwithstanding their Greek denomination,

they called themselves Gots or Goths from the begin-
The Thracian language, as might be demonstrated ning.

215 from names of persons, offices, places, and customs, The orginal seat of the Goths was the country Their priamong that people, was nearly related to the Chaldean now called Little Tartary, into which they had ex-mary seat. and other oriental languages.

tended themselves from the frontiers of Thrace. This They are thought to have been the descendants of country was called Little Scythia by the Greek wri

Tiras, one of the sons of Japhet, and consequently ters; and it was the station whence those innumerable 214

must have preserved the speech of the Noachic fami swarms advanced, which, in conjunction with the AOrigin of ly. The Gothic language abounds with Pahlavi, or lani and other barbarous tribes, at length overran the Goths. old Persic words, which are no doubt remains of the and subverted the western empire. One part of the primeval dialect of mankind. The Thracians


Gothic nation was allowed by Constantine to settle in pled a considerable part of the northern coast of Asia Mæsia. Before the year 420 most of the Gothic naMinor ; and consequently we meet with many names tions who had settled within the limits of the Roman of cities, mountains, rivers, &c. in those parts, exactly empire had been converted to the Christian faith;


cap. 2.

“ horse or

lib. i.

Lib. 7.

(B) Lib. vii. page 295, B.; ibid. page 305. G. (Casaubon). From this passage it appears, that the Greeks were of opinion that the Getæ were Thracians. Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. iv. cap. 11. mentions a tribe of the Getæ called Gauda,



Gothic but, unhappily, the greater part of the apostles by dence. To confirm this position, we shall anpex a few Gothic Language, whom they bad been proselyted, were Arians, which instances.

Language. proved fatal to many of the orthodox Christians ; for The Thracian tribes, in all probability, first took the Arian Goths persecuted them with unrelenting possession of those tribes of Asia Minor which stretch cruelty.

towards the east. Thence they crossed the Hellespont, Remains. About the year 367, Ulphilas bishop of the Mee and spread themselves far and wide northward. Strabo of genuine sian Goths, translated the New Testament into the supposes that they first settled in the regions to the Gothic.

Gothic language. The remains of this translation north of those straits, and thence transported numerous
furnish a genuine, and at the same time venerable, mo colonies into Asia Minor. The reverse was probably
nument of the ancient Gotbic dialect. Nor more is the case; but be that as it niay, it is universally agreed,
now extant of that valuable translation than the four that both sides of the Hellespont were peopled with
Gospels, and another fragment containing part of Thracians.
the epistle to the Romans. The Gospels have been In Asia Minor we meet with the city Perga, which,
repeatedly published since the first edition by Junius throwing away the a, is Perg. In every tongue de-
1665, down to that of Mr Lye. Other fragments of scended from the Gothic, the word Birg signifies
the Gothic language have also been found, which our "a rock," and metaphorically a "town or burgh ;"
curious readers may see in Lye's Notes to his Edition because towns were originally built on rocks for the
of the Gothic Gospels. The fragment of the Epistle sake of defence. Hence likewise Pergamos, the fort or
to the Romans was lately discovered in the library at citadel of Troy. Beira in Thracian signified a “city;"
Wolfenbuttle, and published by Knitel archdeacon of the Chaldaic and Hebrew word Beer imports a "weli,”

and is possibly the original of the Gothic word beer, The Goths, prior to the age of Ulphilas, were igo ale. In ancient times, especially in the East, it was norant of the use of alphabetical characters. The bi- castomary to build cities in the neighbourhood of founshop fabricated an alphabet for them, which is a medley tains. The ancients called the Phrygians Beuys, Bryof Greek and Roman letters, but rather inclining to the ges, or Bruges; the Gothic word coinciding is obformer.

vious. Dyndymus, the name of a city sacred to CyGothic al. This al pliabet consists of 25 letters (see Plate XV.). bele, is compounded of two Gothic words dun and dum, phabet. Junius bas carefully analyzed those letters, and pointed both signifying "x height, an eminence;" and hence

out their powers and sounds in his Gothic alphabet, pre a town, an inclosure. The word tros seems to be the fixed to his Glossarium Gothicum. They were long very Gothic trosh, “brave, valiant.”. The words faretained in all the European languages derived from der, mader, dochter, bruder, are so obviously Persian, the Gothic. source, which will be enumerated in the that every etymologist has assigned them to that lansequel.

guage. What kind of language the ancient Gothic was, is Many futile etymologies have been given of the saplain from the fragments above mentioned; but in what cred name God, which is in reality the Persian word Chorespects it agrees with the oriental tongues, or differs da, commonly applied by them to their Hormuxd or Orofrom them, is not easy to ascertain with precision. We

The Persian bad or bod signifies a "city;" have observed in our section on the Greek, that a con. the same word in Gothic imports a house, a mansion, siderable part of that language must have been derived an abode.” Bund, in Persic, a " strait place;" in Go.

from the Thracian ;. which, according to Strabo there thic, “to bend.” Heim or ham, "a house," is geneGothic lan-quoted, was the same with the Getic or Gothic. The rally known to be of Persian original. Much critical guage de. Tıracian tongue will, we are convinced upon compari- skill has been displayed in tracing the etymology of the rived from son, be found analogous to the Chaldean or Syrian. The Scotch and old English word Yule, " Christmas." de Chal German, which is a genuine descendant of the Gothic, Yule, derived from iul, was a festival'in honour of the dcan, &c.

is full of Persian words: the old Persian or Pablavi ap sun, which was originally celebrated at the winter sol. pears to be a dialect of the Chaldean. The learned stice. Wick or wich is a Gothic term still preserved in Junius, near the beginning of his Gothic alphabet, many names of towns; it signifies " a narrow corner, remarks that a very considerable part of the lan or small strip of land jutting into the sea, or into a lake guage in question is borrowed from the most ancient or river:" hence the Latin vicus, and Greek Pouxos. Greek.

In Spanish, we have many old Gothic words; among Both the learned Jhre in his Glossarium Suio-Gothi- others hijo a son," the same with the Greek vios. In cum, and Wachter in his excellent German and La some places of Scotland, we call any thing that is little, tin Dictionary, often remark the coincidence of Go- small, wee; originally spelt wi, if we mistake not, from thic and German words with oriental vocables of the the very same word. Jike sound and of the same signification. In the old These few examples we have thrown together, withSaxon, which is another ramification of the Gothic out any regard to order, persuaded that almost every tongue, numberless terms of the very same complexion word of the language, truly Gothic, may with a little appear. From this deduction we hope it will follow, pains and judgment be traced to some oriental root or that the Gothic tongue, in its original unmixed state cognate. We may observe in passing, that many Goas it was spoken by the ancient Getæ, was a dialect thic nouns end in a, like the Chaldaic and Syriac; that of the primeval language; that language which the their substantive verb very much resembles that of the sons of Tiras brought with them from the plains Persian, Greek, and Latin ; and that their active and of Shinar or from Armenia, or from any other re- auxiliary verb bas furnished the common preterperfect gion, where the primitive mortals had fixed their resi tense of Greek verbs in the active voice : that verb is




dinavian tongue.


Gothic haban, but originally ha, as the common people pro. to the Icelandic than either the Danish or Norwegian. Gothic Language. nounce it at this day, especially in the north of Scotland, That the Swedish is the daughter of the Gothic, is fully Language.

and among the Swedes, Danes, Norwegians, and Ice shown by Mr Ihre above mentioned, in his Glossarium 219 landers.

Suio-Gothicum. There is, therefore, no manner of doubt Modern We shall now leave the other inferior arrangements as to the identity of the Gothic, preserved in Ulphilas tongues deduced

of this ancient language to grammarians and lexico and other ancient remains, with the German and Scan-
fron the graphers, and proceed to inquire what modern tongues
Gothic. are deduced from it as their stock, and which of them The modern German, a language spoken in a far

makes the nearest approaches to its simplicity and rus greater extent than any other of modern Europe, re-

sembles the Gothic Gospels more than the present Da-
We have already observed that the Goths, formerly nish, Norwegian, or Swedish ; and has certainly more
Getæ, were possessed of a vast extent of country, ancient stamina. Its likeness to the Asiatic tongues, in
reaching from the frontiers of Thrace to the banks of harshness and inflexible thickness of sound, is very ap-
the Ister or Danube. We have seen that a colony of parent.
them settled in Moesia under Constantine II. They Busbequius shows, that the clowns of Crim Tartary,
then spread themselves into Dacia, and from thence in remains of the ancient Goths, speak a language almost
to Germany. All these countries were situated in such German. These clowns were no doubt descendants of
a manner, that the progress of population was forward, the ancient Goths, who remained in their native coun-
and according to the natural course of emigration. try after the others had emigrated. It is therefore ap-
From Germany they extended themselves into Scandi parent from the whole of this investigation, that the
navia, that is, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. Their Gothic was introduced into Europe from the East, and
whole ancient Edda, Sigas, “ Chronicles,” show that is probably a dialect of the language originally spoken
the Goths arrived in Sc:ndinavia by this route, without, by men.
however fixing the era of that event with any tolerable
degree of accuracy. By the Germans, we believe the

$ 3. Of the Sclavonian Language.
ancients understood :]l the nations eastward, westward, There is another language which pervades a con-
and northward, reaching from the Danube on the south siderable part of Europe, and this, like the Gothic,
up to the extremity of Scandinavia on the Northern

seems to have originated in the east. The language Sclavonic ocean; and from the Rhine and German ocean on the we mear

ean is the Sclavonic or rather Slavonic, which


prewest, to the river Chronns or Niemen on the east. All vails far and wide in the eastern parts of this division those nations spoke one or other of the Gothic dialects, of the globe. It is spoken by the Dalmatians, by the some approaching nearer, and others deviating farther inhabitants of the Danubian provinces, by the Poles, from, the parent language.

Bohemians, and Russians. The word slab, that is, The Francic is a dialect of the Tentonic, Tudesque, “ slave,” (whence the French word esclave, and our or old German; and the Gospels of Ulpbilas bear such word slave), signifies “noble, illustrious ;” but because a resemblance to the Francic, fragments of which are in the lower ages of the Roman empire, vast multitudes preserved in the early French historians, that some of these people were spread over all Europe in the qualearned men have pronounced those gospels to be part lity of slaves, that word came to denote the servile tribe of an old Francic version ; but others of egnal respec


way of distinction, in the same manner as the words tability have refuted this opinion, both from history Geta, Davus, and Syrus, did among the Greeks at a and comparison of the dialects. Schilter has given us more early period. large monuments of the Tudesque or old German from The Slavi dwelt originally on the banks of the Bo-spoken by the serenth century, which evidently prove that the rysthenes, now the Dnieper or Nieper. They were one the Slavi Gothic of Ulphilas is the same language. Wachter's

Wachter's of the tribes of the European Sarmatians who in ancient one of the Jearned Glossary of the ancient German likewise con times inhabited an immense tract of country, bounded tribes of the

firms this position. Mir Ihre, after hesitating whether on the west by the Vistula, now the Weisel; on the
the Gospels of Ulphilas bear most resemblance to the south-east by the Euxine sea, the Bosphorus Cimmerius,
German or Scandinavian dialect of the Gothic, declares the Palus Mæotis, and the Tanais or Don, which divides
at last in favour of the former. The Anglo-Saxon is al Europe from Asia.
so known to be a venerable dialect of the Tudesque; In this vast tract of country, which at present com-
and is so intimately connected with the gospels, that prehends Poland, Russia, and a great part of Tartary,
some valuable works on this subject are wholly built there dwelt in ancient times many considerable trites.
upon that supposition.

To enumerate these, we believe, would not much eatify
The Icelandic is the oldest relick of the Scandina our readers : we shall only inform them, that among
vian. It begins with Arius Frode in the eleventh these Sarmiatian clans werte the Roxolani, now the Rus-
century, and is : dialect of the German. The re. sians, and likewise the Slavi, who dwelt near the Bory-
main3 we have of it are more modern by four centuries sthenes, as was observed above.
than those of the German: they are more polished The Slavi gradually advanced towards the Danube ;
than the other. The words are shortenedl, pot only and in the reign of Justinian having passed that river,
because they are more modern than the German, but they made themselves masters of that part of Illyricum
because the Icelandic was polished by a long succession which lies between the Drave and the Save, and is to
of poets and historians almost equal to those of Greece this day from tbem called Sclavonia, These barba-
and Rome. Hence the Icelandic, being a more po rians by degrees overran Dalmatia, Liburnia, the
lished langnage than the German, has less affinity with western parts of Macedonia, Epirus ; and on the east
the parent Gothic. The Swedish is more nearly related they extended their quarters all along to the western
VOL. XVI. Part I.


22 T







[ocr errors]


Sclavonían bauk of the Danube, wbere that river falls into the landers and islanders of Scotland, who, according to Sclavonian
Lan vage. Euxine. In all these countries, the Sclavonian was the general opinion, have preserved the Celtic dialect Language.

dceply impregnated with the Greck, which was a thing pure and entire, in consequence of their having never
of course, since tlie barbarian invaders settled in those mingled with foreigners.
regions, and mingled with the aborigines, who spoke a From this deduction we may infer tvo things; first, The Rus.
corrupt dialect of that language.

that the Russian Janguage is the genuine Slavonian; nan lanthe Poles,

Thie Poles are the genuine descendants of the ancient and, secondly, that the latter is the same, or nearly the muse sea Sarmatæ (c), and consequently speak a dialect of their same,

with the ancient Sarmatian.

ronic. language, hut much adulterated with Latin words, in In the Russian, there are found a great number of consequence of the attachment the Polanders have long words resembling the old simple roots of the Greek professcd to the Roman tongue.

both in sound and signification ; its grammatical geSilesians, The Silesians and Bohemians have corrupted their di- nius is nearly the same ; and we are informed by the

alects in the very same manner. In those countries, very best authority, that there is in this language a
then, we are not to search for the genuine remains of the translation of Epictetus, in which there are whole
ancient Sarniatian.

pages, in both original and translation, without one Russins Tie modern Russians, formerly the Rhoxani or single transposition. Mons. Leveque, who has publishleseen:kel Roxolani, are the posterity of the Sarmatæ, and are a ed a translation of a history of Russia, is so entirely confrom the

branch of the Slavi : they inbabit a part of the coun vinced of the strict analogy between the ancient Greek
try which that people possessed before they fell into and the modern Russe, that he is positive that the for-
the Ronan provinces; they speak the same language, mer is derived from the latter. Mons. Freret, a very
and wear the very same dress; for, on the historical learned French academician, is clearly of the same opi-
pillar at Constantinople, the Sclavonians are dressed nion. We are, however, persuaded that this opinion is
like the Russian boors. If then the Slavi are Sarma ill founded. We rather imagine, that those coinci-
tæ, the Russians must of course be the descendants of dences arise from the relicks of the primitive language
the same people. They were long a sequestered people, of mankind; vestiges of which, we believe, are to be
and consequently altogether unconnected with the other found almost in every tongue now existing.
nations of Europe, They were strangers to commerce, It is, however, we allow, uncommonly difficult to
inhospitable to strangers, tenacious of ancient nsages, render a reason for the syntaxical analogy of the two
averse to improvements of every kind, wonderfully languages, without admitting the truth of the one or
proud of their imaginary importance ; and, in a word, the other hypothesis. We have examined with some
i race of people just one degree above absolute savagism. care a good number of Russian vocables, and compared
A people of this character are, for the most part, ene them with Greek ones of the same signification. We
mies to innovations; and if we may believe the Russian have not, however, found such a resemblance as we
historians, no nation was ever more averse to innovations think necessary to support the position advanced above.

2 26 than the one in question. From the ninth century, at We have indeed found a very strong resemblance be- Resemwhich era they embraced Christianity, it does not ap tireen the former and many oriental words, especially blance bepear that they moved one step forward towards civiliza. Hebrew, Chaldean, and old Persian, of which we could twveen Rus iion, till Peter the Great, not a century ago, in conse produce several instances, did the nature of our present

oriental quence of his despotic authority, compelled them to inquiry admit such a deviation. Every body knows words. adopt the manners and customs of their more polished that the Sarmatæ were divided into two great nations, neighbours.

the Asiatic and European ; the former extended very We may then conclude, that the Russians made as fareastward, behind the mountain Caucasus, the northern little change in their language during that period, as shore of the Euxine sea, and so forth. These, we may they did in their dress, habits, and manner of living. believe, derived their language from the original tongue Whatever language they spoke in the ninth century, long before the Greek language existed. This, in comthe same they employed at the beginning of the 18th. parison of the Hebrew, Phænician, Egyptian, Arabian, They were, indeed, according to Appian de bel. Mithrid. Chaldean, &c. was but of yesterday. The Greek, most once conquered by Diophantus, one of Mithridates's learned men are now convinced, was a late composition generals, but that conqnest was for a moment only: of many different dialects, incorporated with the jargon they were likewise invaded, and their country overrun, of the aboriginal Ionim or Greeks. The Sarmatian, on l.y the great Timor or Tamerlane ; but this invasion the contrary, was the tongue of a great and populous was like a torrent from the mountains, which spreads nation, civilized, in all appearance, long before the devastation far and wide while it rages, but makes little Greeks began to emerge from a state of savagism. We alteration on the face of the country.

are, therefore, by no means disposed to allow, either that We find likewise, that upon some occasions they the Greek is derived from the Russian, or the Russian made incursions upon the frontiers of the Roman em from the Greek. We believe there is just the same pire ; but we hear of no permanent settlements formed reason for this conclusion, that the Abbé Pezron and by them in these quarters. Upon the wb

Mons. Gebelin pretend to have discovered, in order to the Russians to have been, with respect to their lan support their position that the Greek is derived from the guage, in the very same predicament with the high- Celtic. Certain it is, that the resemblance among the


we take

(c) This appears by their character, their laws, their manners, their form of government, tbeir military cquipage, their impetuosity, their aristocratic splendour.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »