Page images

change was the alteration of their language. So says Herodotus : “ The Attic nation, being Pelasgic, unlearned its language and learned a new one, at the same time that it changed to an Hellenic people.” There is no reason to suppose that the Athenian people all at once" assumed the title of "EXnves." The Athenians may have spoken Greek before they were called "EXyves, and yet the Pelasgi may originally have spoken a language very different from that which was afterwards called Hellenic.




It seems to be pretty certain, that a body of Greeks under the guidance of Nileus emigrated from Attica to the shores of Asia Minor about 1100 years before the Christian era. There can be no doubt, but that the language which they imported with them into Asia, was the same as that spoken in Atlica, a language very different from the dialects of the Peloponnesus, which were mostly inflexions of the Doric, a dialect very distinct from the Ionian, and which Mr. Knight justly terms “Doricum sermonem antiquum ac semi-barbarum'."

Now of this language, which may be properly termed Hellenic, we have a complete specimen in the poems of Homer, who lived within a century after the settlement of this colony?; and therefore we may safely conclude, that the language of Homer is the same as that which was spoken in Attica at the time of the above-mentioned emigration.

But the Greek colonists who settled in Asia were not all of Attic origin; consequently those cities where the Arcadian, Phocian, &c. settlers predominated, altered in some degree the Hellenic idiom, according to the peculiar dialect of their respective cities; and before the time of Herodotus there were four xapaKTņpes of the Ionian dialect; but what the nature of the difference was, it is not easy to say; the expression of Herodotus is, γλώσσαν δε ου την αυτήν ούτοι νενομικασι, αλλά τρόπους τέσrepas ITAPAINEN, which is thus rendered by Larcher, Leurs mots ont quatres sortes de terminaisons; a difference which related rather to the pronunciation than to the constituent parts of the language ; and so we must understand the subsequent assertion of Herodotus, who, after having enumerated Miletus, Myus, and Priene, says of Ephesus, Colophon, Lebedos, Teos, Clazomene, and Phocea, αύται αι πόλιες τησι προτέρηση λεχθείσησι ομολογέoυσι κατα γλώσσαν ΟΥΔΕΝ, σφί δε συμφωνέoυσι, which assertion, if it be understood of the language itself, is obviously false. It is however to be observed, that even the Abantes, and Cadmeans, and Dryopes, &c. who accompanied the Ionians to Asia, probably spoke nearly the same language, for Herodotus tells us that they chose for their kings either Lycians, descended from Glaucus, or Caucono-Pylians sprung from Codrus ; now both Glaucus and Codrus were descendants from Hellen, and therefore probably spoke Hellenic.

1. Prolegom. in Homerum. §. 68.

2. Κράτης μετα εξήκοντα έτη του Ιλιακου πολέμου γεγονέναι φησίν αυτόν. 'Ερατοσθένης δε μεταρτης των Ιώνων αποικίας. 'Απολλόδωρος δε μετα π.

Auctor Incertus de vita Homeri in Catalog. Biblioth. Matritensis ed. Iriarte p. 233. Mr. Knight thinks that Homer was one of the original colonists. Prolegom. §. 66.

That the Attic colonists were greatly predominant in almost all the Ionian cities, is clear froin the following passage of Herodotus'. “ All are Ionians, who are originally from Athens, and celebrate the festival Apaturia ; now they all celebrate it, except the Ephesians and Colophonians, who are excluded from it on account of a certain murder.” Thus much at least is certain, that, whatever varieties of pronunciation or inflexion may have crept into the Ionian dialects, yet there was still a genuine Ionian used by the well educated inhabitants of the panionian cities, which was in the most material points nearly the same as it was in the

age of Homer. In the few fragments which remain to us of the poems of Archilochus of Paros, we find many traces of the same dialect as that used by Herodotus, wlio lived even without the verge of the Ionian district. éfaūtis, árypel, ιήσομαι, πάι, οκoίην, αγάλλεo, καταπρoίξεται, φονήες. So in the fragments of Hipponax of Ephesus, dúcoke, dotéwv, óvýiOTOS, Bopniw. In the undoubted remains of Anacreon of Teos, Ποσιδηΐων, επίστιον, επίβωτον, Κλευβούλου, δοκέει, λαλέειν, νυμφέων, φιλέει. Phænix of Colophon wrote in the same dialect; and the Ionic of Hippocrates of Cos differs from that of Herodotus in very few respects; it more nearly resembles the language of Homer, i. e. the Hellenic, or old Ionic, or ancient Attic; and we are informed by Galen, that Hippocrates was held out by some as a specimen της παλαιάς Ατθίδος. Consequently, the genuine Ionic in the time of Hippocrates was pot greatly changed from the language of Nileus and his colonists. It stands to reason, that some of the Ionian cities retained it in a considerable degree of purity, while those towns which successively sprung up and encroached upon the territories of the barbarians, gradually degenerated in some degree from their original dialect. This agrees with the account of Ioannes Grammaticus, who is, to be sure, no great authority. 'H mèv apxala "Iας μετέπεσε παρά την των κατοικούντων παρατροπήν. διέμεινε δε έως εκείνων των χρόνων, εφ' οίς εποιήσαντο "Ίωνες τας αποικίας, και διεσπάρησαν εις πλείονας τόπους.

3. I. 147.

Which way soever this question may be determined, one thing is certain ; that of the two descendants of the old Hellenic, the Ionic varied from its parent stock in a much less degree than the Attic; the language of Hippocrates and Herodotus is incomparably more like the language of Homer than that of Thucydides and Aristophanes is'; so that it is more correct to say, that the ancient Attic dialect was the same as the lonic, than that the Ionic was the same as the Attic. The proper expression is, that “the ancient Autic and the Ionic dialects were one and the same.” So Strabo says. And now it is but fair to produce the following extract from Photius ; Φαρμακός, το κά

1. " Ab his omnibus Attica dialectus quam plurimum distabat : atque quo elegantius ornata, exculta et perpolita esset, eo magis a fontis ac parentis lucida et simplici magniloquentia delabebatur." R. P. Knight. Prolegom. in Homer. §. 69. That the Attic was in a much greater degree a corruption of the ancient Greek language, than the Ionic was, is strongly proved by the following words of Xenophon, de Rep. Αthen. 696. C. και οι μεν "Έλληνες ιδία μάλλον και φωνη και διαιτη και σχήματι χρώνται. 'Αθηναίοι δε κεκραμένη εξ απάντων των Ελλήνων και βαρβάρων.

θαρμα, βραχέως, οι δε "Ίωνες εκτείνοντες λέγουσι φάρμακον. ουτοι γαρ δια την των βαρβάρων παροίκησιν έλυμήναντο της διαλέκτου το πάτριον, τα μέτρα, τους χρόνους. δηλοί και 'Innovač. But this passage strengthens the conjecture above proposed, that Herodotus, in speaking of the varieties of the lonic dialect, referred rather to the pronunciation than the form of the language. Salmasius de Hellenistica p. 427. says, that the Ionian colonists immediately upon their settling in Asia, corrupted their dialect from their intercourse with the Carians, whom Homer calls Bapßapópwvol ; as instances of which deterioration he specifies εωύτος, λόγοισι, τρωμα, Πηληϊάδεω, kpadin and deonórea, most of which are Homeric, i. e. Hellenic forms.

In support of my notion, that the Ionic dialect was not so materially changed from the Hellenic as it is said to have been, I will now proceed to note down the principal peculiarities of the language of Herodotus, and to shew that they are common to him with Homer, always allowing for the difference of orthography and pronunciation, which may, and often do, undergo a material change, without any essential alteration of the language; for instance, the later Ionians, we know, took away the rough spirit from many words to which the Attics prefixed it; the variations of orthography make it impossible for us to tell, whether it was so in Homer's time: but the difference is not essential; it does not affect the language itself.”

A for E. oduri for bouý. Homer passim. Hippocr. p. 66.

Herodot. 7. 111. őkws, okoios, et similia, Herodotus and Hippocrates ubique. and

there is little doubt but that the other form in Homer, viz.

Őws, &c. is owing to the copyists. A for E. TÄNVELV Homer, and Herodotus, and Hippocrates,

passim. I for E. iotin for eoría Herodotus passim. Homer. Od. T. 304. H for A. apričus Herod. and Homer passim: so intpos and

Imany similar instances, as κρητηρες, άκρητον, ήέριος.

2." In lingua vernacula (Batavorum) quis ignorat Zelandos multa cum spiritu aspero proferre, quæ ceteri Belgæ leniter pronuntiant?" Pierson. Præf. ad Mær. p. 35.

N for H. TTTWOCElv, and not atńDOELV, Homer passim. Hero

dot. IX. 48. Tpwua is voted by Salmasius as a barbarism, but it was un

doubtedly the Hellenic form; tpów occurs Iliad. ¥. 341. and it admits of considerable doubt, whether Homer did not use the forms θoυμα (θαυμα), εουτον (έωυτον), &c. which

were altered by the later Greeks into θαύμα and εαυτόν. . ούνομα, μούνος, νούσος, Homer, Herodotus, Hippocrates. πόλιες, πρήξιες, ρήξιες, Herod. and Hippocrates passim. πόλιες

Homer. Od. O. 411. apnpójevos, ploughed. Herod. IV. 97. Homer. 11. E. 548. åvOpwanios,&c. Herodotus passim. Baciños Hom. Od. 11. 401. kinis Herod. V. 108. Hippocrates sape. Homer. Iliad. 2. 325.

S0 πατρώϊος, ληστής, θρήίκες. now for adéw, Herodotus passim; Homer. Iliad. 0. 304. Teộ for Tivi; Herodotus I. 11 Homer. Iliad. II. 227. ñdes. Herodot, and Homer. 3d plural in -atai -ato instead of

-νται, -ντο, common to both. μάρτυροι and φύλακοι Herodotus, and Homer. instead of ráptupes, púlakes. The Homeric form of verbs τετύκω, πεφύκω, εκλελάθω, &c. are common in Herodotus. The figure tmesis which Homer perpetually uses, is also common in Herodotus, as ato návra τα χρήματα άγων, for απάγων πάντα τα χρήματα, and katá ue é pápačas. Pleonasms of the same kind characterize the language of both, as, diéval in Homer, peúywv árépuye in Herodotus. Most of the words which are called

Herodotean may be found in Homer, e. g. ñea, loca consueta. Herod. I. 15. Iliad. 2. 511. Navpn, a narrow passage. Herod. I. 180. Odyss. X. 128. Búroos, a deep. Herod. II. 28. Iliad. 1. 80. TÉGGELV, coquere. Herod. II. 37. Iliad. B. 237. Ovoavo!, fringes. Herod. II. 81. Iliad. B. 448. v rokpíveobal, to answer. Herod. pussim. Homer. Iliad. M. 228. · Od. 0. 170. T. 555, &c. which the Attics changed into

αποκρίνεσθαι. See Photius, v. Υποκρίνεσθαι.

A great number of similar instances of correspondence will be found by any one who will take the trouble of consulting the Preface of Camerarius to Herodotus, or the vocabulary of H. Stephens, and the Lexicon Ionicum of Æmilius Portus.

« PreviousContinue »