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ON THE

LANGUAGE OF THE PELASGI.

HERODOTUS and Thucydides describe the Pelasgi as having used a language which they term γλῶσσα βάρβαρος i. e. a dialect essentially different from that which was used by the Hellenic tribes. It has been observed, that "to enumerate the barbarisms (i. e. the admixture of foreign words and phrases) of the Laconic dialect, would be to transcribe whole pages of Hesychius; and whoever considers the specimens of it in the Lysistrata of Aristophanes, must recognise the traces of the γλῶσσα βάρβαρος (the foreign dialect) which Herodotus and Thucydides ascribe to the Pelasgi." This is saying in other words, that in the Greek of the Laconians there were many traces of the Pelasgic of their ancestors; or that the Laconic dialect a mixture of the γλῶσσα ̔Ελληνική with the γλῶσσα βάρβαρος.

was

γλῶσσα

It is therefore entirely without foundation, that an able and acute writer has objected to the above hypothesis, that it supposes the wooa Bápßapos to mean "barbarous Greek;" whereas in point of fact it most clearly distinguishes between them, when it asserts that the traces of the γλῶσσα βάρβαρος are visible in one of the impurer dialects of the γλῶσσα ̔Ελληvɩkǹ; as if we were to say, that whoever is acquainted with the particular dialect of English spoken in Suffolk and Norfolk, must recognise the traces of the Saxon tongue; an assertion which surely does not go to imply that Saxon means bad English.

The writer above alluded to observes, that "this is the first time that any man, who calls himself a scholar, would construe

γλῶσσα βάρβαρος by barbarous Greek.” Now the opinion

before stated conveys no such implication; but, even if it did, is there no defence to be set up for it? let us see. Homer calls the Carians Bapßapópwvo, (Iliad. B. 872.) which Strabo (XIV. p. 663.) explains thus: Οὕτως οὖν καὶ τὸ βαρβαροφωνεῖν καὶ τοὺς βαρβαροφώνους δεκτέον, ΤΟΥΣ ΚΑΚΩΣ ΕΛΛΗNIZONTAΣ. When Agamemnon (Sophocl. Ajac. 1251.) reproaches Teucer in these words, τὴν βάρβαρον γὰρ γλῶσσαν

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OVK ÉTαiw, he certainly does not mean to say, that Teucer did not speak Greek, but that he spoke very bad Greek, Greek mixed with the Cretan of his Mother; so the ancient critics explain Homer's epithet of Bapßapówvos by saying that the Carians Κρητῶν ἄποικοι ὄντες, ἐκρήτωσαν τὴν ̔Ελληνικὴν γλῶσBut still it may be said no scholar has construed this phrase by "barbarous Greek." The following remark occurs in Dr. Clarke's' very learned work on the connexion of the Roman, Saxon, and English Coins, p. 74. "If Bapßapopwvovs, in Homer, signifies people that spoke Greek ill, as both Strabo and the Scholiasts observe, Bápßapov yλwoσav, in Herodotus, must be understood in the same sense, that the Pelasgi spoke very bad Greek. This natural explication brings both these authors, (Herodotus and Strabo) to a perfect agreement." Dr. Clarke's opinion is, that the Greeks were originally called ПeXaoyoi, and that from the Peloponnesus to the Euxine, there was originally but one people.

βαρβαροφώνους,

The notion of Herodotus (I. 58.) is, that the Hellenic tribe, being separated (ároσxiσ0èv) from the Pelasgic body, was small and insignificant at first, but gradually increased in size and importance by the successive addition of several barbarous tribes. By degrees it became of such importance, as to give its name to the greater part of Greece, but this did not happen till after Homer's time, that is about 900 years B. C. Now Xuthus the

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son of Hellen fled from Thessaly to Attica about 1430 B. C. and long before that time we may reasonably suppose, that the ancient language of the Pelasgic tribes was ameliorating and perfecting itself; so that before it arrived at that state which was afterwards called Hellenic, a period of nearly 1000 years may be supposed to have elapsed. The inhabitants of Attica adopted (not the name or title) but the usages and dialect of the "EXXnves by degrees. They were, says Herodotus (VIII. 44.) called at first Κραναοί, afterwards Κεκροπίδαι, then Αθηναῖοι, and fourthly "Iwves. So that there was not So that there was not "necessarily any determinate period when the Athenians first assumed the title of "EXλnves." They became "EXλnves by slow degrees, and might be so in fact, long before they were called so. One feature of this gradual

1. The Grandfather of our present learned and amiable Professor of Mineralogy.

VOL. II. NO. 6.

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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 "EXλnves." The Athenians may have spoken Greek before they were called "EXλnves, and yet the Pelasgi may originally have spoken a language very different from that which was afterwards called Hellenic.

Q.

ON THE

IONIC DIALECT.

Ir 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 Attica, 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 colony2; 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

1. Prolegom. in Homerum. §. 68.

2. Κράτης μετὰ ἑξήκοντα ἔτη τοῦ Ἰλιακοῦ πολέμου γεγογέναι φησὶν αὐτόν. Ερατοσθένης δὲ μετὰ ρ τῆς τῶν Ἰώνων ἀποικίας. ̓Απολλόδωρος δὲ μετὰ 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.

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 xapaKTηρes of the Ionian dialect; but what the nature of the difference was, it is not easy to say; the expression of Herodotus is, γλῶσσαν δὲ οὐ τὴν αὐτὴν οὗτοι νενομίκασι, ἀλλὰ τρόπους τέσσερας ΠΑΡΑΓΩΓΕΩΝ. 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, Clazomenæ, and Phocæa, αὗται αἱ πόλιες τῇσι προτέρῃσι λεχθείσῃσι ὁμολογέουσι κατὰ γλῶσσαν ΟΥΔΕΝ, σφὶ δὲ συμφωνέουσι, 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.

That the Attic colonists were greatly predominant in almost all the Ionian cities, is clear from the following passage of Herodotus3. "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, who lived even without the verge of the Ionian district. éžaûtis, äypei, ἰήσομαι, πάϊ, ὁκοίην, ἀγάλλεο, καταπροΐξεται, φονῆες. So in

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the fragments of Hipponax cf Ephesus, θύεσκε, ἀστέων, ὀνήϊσTOS, Boрniw. In the undoubted remains of Anacreon of Teos, Ποσιδηΐων, ἐπίστιον, ἐπίβωτον, Κλευβούλου, δοκέει, λαλέειν, νυμφέων, φιλέει. Phoenix 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 τῆς παλαιᾶς ̓Ατθίδος. Consequently, the genuine Ionic in the time of Hippocrates was not 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. 'Huèv apxaía Ιὰς μετέπεσε παρὰ τὴν τῶν κατοικούντων παρατροπήν. διέμεινε δὲ ἕως ἐκείνων τῶν χρόνων, ἐφ ̓ οἷς ἐποιήσαντο Ιωνες τὰς ἀποικίας, καὶ διεσπάρησαν εἰς πλείονας τόπους.

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 Ionic, than that the Ionic was the same as the Attic. The proper expression is, that "the ancient Attic 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; Φαρμακὸς, τὸ 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. Athen. 696. C. καὶ οἱ μὲν Ἕλληνες ἰδίᾳ μᾶλλον καὶ φωνῇ καὶ διαιτῇ͵ καὶ σχήματι χρῶνται. ̓Αθηναῖοι δὲ κεκραμένῃ ἐξ ἁπάντων τῶν Ἑλλήνων καὶ βαρβάρων.

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