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I stand as it were entranced and deprived of all power of utterance; and so while I condemn my own weakness, and impose silence on myself, I resign the task of speaking his praises worthily to one who is better able, even to Him who alone has power, being the immortal God the Word, to confirm the truth of his own sayings." 1
Making due allowance for the corrupt rhetorical taste of those times, still, when Eusebius becomes so bewildered by what the emperor did, not for a pure spiritual Christianity, but for the outward forms of religion, as to ascribe to the purest motives of piety the tyranny that would not brook a rival, and that was disgraced by the meanest acts of jealousy, revenge, and murder; when he sees the tyrant going, under a divine inspiration, to a war waged only by selfish and sinister motives, and sees him ascend from scenes of carnage and murder, thrice blessed, to the throne of infinite purity; we must withhold from him all confidence as an historian, and all respect as the reputed father of Ecclesiastical History. Whether his exaggerations, legends, and falsehoods are to be received as "pious frauds," or as the convictions of his credulity and zeal for episcopacy, they are equally an impeachment of his authority as an historian.
1 Life of Const. I. c. 2.
AN HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE INDO-EUROPEAN LANGUAGES.
BI REV. D. W. DWIGHT, BROOKLYN, N. Y.
[Continued from page 769, Vol. XIV.]
2. The Italic family.— Three distinct races originally peopled Italy, namely: the Iapygian, Etruscan, and Italian. Of the Iapygian race we have but little knowledge. In the extreme part of South-eastern Italy, a considerable number of inscriptions has been found, whose language is essentially different from that of all the other dialects of the land. It possesses, like the Greek, the aspirated consonants. Its genitive forms aihi and ihi answer to the Sanscrit asya and Greek oto, and indicate its origin, although not yet itself deciphered, to be quite certainly Indo-European. These inscriptions are regarded as Iapygian; and the race that spoke it are believed also to have prevailed, at an early date, in Apulia. As the emigrations of masses are, at the first, always landward — since seaward movements pre-suppose too great a knowledge of navigation for the first barbarous periods of history; and as the Iapygians occupied the outermost verge of the peninsula, it is natural to suppose, that they constituted the first race that ever came from the East into Italy. Like the Celts, dwelling at last on the flanks of Western Europe, they were pushed further and further from their first resting place, by each successive tide of emigration behind them, until they became lodged in the wilds and fastnesses of Messapia and Calabria, to be driven from these their last homes, rocky and ocean-bound, no more.
A» to the Etruscans, it is a question of much doubt among scholars, what was the origin of this ancient and interesting tribe. Donaldson1 has a theory on the subject,
1 All praise to Donaldson, for his efforts to unveil to English eyes the charms of the new and delightful science of classical philology. But since, in the ab. Vol. XV. No. 57. 9
which h"e utters, like everything else of his own invention, with great assurance. He regards the Etruscan language, as, in part, a Pelasgian idiom more or less corrupted by the Umbrian, and, in part, a relic of the oldest Low-German or Scandinavian dialects. They were composed, accordingly, in his view, of two main elements as a people, namely: Tyrrheno-Pelasgians, more or less intermixed with Umbrians, and Radians or Low-Germans: the former prevailing in the South, and the latter in the North-western parts of Etruria. But the origin of the Tuscans, notwithstanding this bold analysis of their elementary constitution, as a people, still remains an unresolved enigma. Some peculiarities, serving to identify and isolate their language, as a separate branch of the Indo-European family, are these: 1. They had none of the medial mutes (b, g, d,). Hence, they substituted the smooth mutes for them, in their equivalent forms of Greek words, in which they occurred, as in Tute for TvBew, Utuze for 'OSvcrcreu?, Melakre for Mekecvypos. 2. They frequently changed smooth mutes into rough, as in Atresthe and Thethis, Tuscan forms of "ASpatrro? and &eri<;.
The Italian race occupied the central part of Italy. From this race, that large peninsula obtained its name and character. They were, at ihe outset, its great leading race, and became erelong the conquerors of Italy and subsequently of the world. In them we see the great Western home-developments, in a separate form, of the same Graeco-Italic emigration which swarmed in the Pelasgic period from Media and Persia (when but little civilized), into Europe, a large fragment of which remained behind in Greece, and became so greatly enlarged, refined, and beautified in the Hellenic period, by successive emigrations from Persia, when raised
sence of higher and truer standards in the department of comparative philology in our language, many are disposed to look, with false confidence and even admiration to him for light, it seems well to caution alike the novice and the general student in philology, to remember that whatever in Donaldson is general, and so lies within the field of this science at large, deserves acceptance from him, as it would at the hands of any other good compiler or system-maker; but that whatever in him is specific, and so has in it the separate distinct essence of his own genius, is of very suspicious value.
herself to a high state of civilization and advancement. These successive emigrations, none of them, reached Italy, to overlay the bvoad and rugged proportions of her pioneer colonization, as in Greece, with richer and deeper elements of national development. The home-growl h of the Greek offshoot of the common original Graeco-Italic stock, was maintained constantly, under the powerful ministry of the most quickening and enlarging influences, ever flowing in upon it, in both its nascent and formative state. The home.growth, on the contrary, of the twin Italic offshoot of the same parent stock, was perfected entirely by itself, and with none of the overflow of a higher civilization, from age to age upon it, serving to enrich the soil in which it was planted.
The two principal branches of the Italic race were the Latin and the Umbrian, which last includes also the Marsi and the Samuiles or Oscans. The more deeply investigators penetrate into the different dialects of this race, the more closely do they find them to be connected with the Latin. The remains of the Umbrian, and of the Samnite or Oscan dialects, are very scanty. Of the Volscian and Marsian dialects we have hardly sufficient traces, to be able to classify them with certainty. Of the Sabine, here and there, a solitary ray shines, glimmering in provincial Latin. The Latin stands related to all this Umbro-Samnite class of special dialects, as, in Greek, the Ionic to the Doric dialect; while the differences of the Oscan and Umbrian and their allied dialects, may be compared with those of the Doric dialect, as found in the two regions of Sicily and Sparta.
The peculiarities which individualize the whole Italic family of dialects, as a distinct branch of the Indo-European stock of languages, are worthy of notice. They are such as these: Aspirates were not originally favorite with them, while with the Greeks and Etruscans they were. The finer breath-sounds, s, v, y, which the Greeks disliked, they cherished. Sibilants, indeed, constitute a marked feature of the old Italian languages. Consonants they maintained, at the end of a word, with firmness. By the retrogressive tendency of their principles of accentuation in inflected and compound words, end-syllables were weakened and shortened in Latin, much more than in Greek. Vowels, accordingly, at the end of words, except in flexion-endings, where they form diphthongs or represent contracted forms, are short.1 The ingenious and compact mechanism of the Greek, in the preparation of the different tense-forms, by prefixes, suffixes,vowel-substitutions, and various consonantal changes, was unknown to them. The different tense-stems were formed, by compounding with the theme of the verb, the auxiliary roots — es3 and — fu. The dual number,3 both in the noun and verb, was rejected as superfluous. The ablative, which was lost in Greek, was here retained, while the sense of the original Sanscrit locative was also engrafted on it frequently, and so preserved with much more distinctness, as a case, than in Greek. The Substantive development also of the verb, in the gerund, was peculiar to the Latin.
The Latin and Umbrian have been spoken of, as being closely related to each other. They are indeed, and yet they are quite distinct from each other, in many of their forms. In the Umbrian the Latin q appears as p, as in pis* for quis, who, and nep for neque, nor. In the Samnite the genitive of words in us is — eis, in the Umbrian, — cs, and in
1 Hence the rules of prosody, that a and « final are short, while i final in the second declension (being contracted from Sanscrit sya in the genitive and in the plural nom. from Sanscrit as), and also u final, in the ablative (contracted from -nd, the original Latin ablative suffix) are long.
s Es, as in sum (for esum); Greek 4s, as in tlpi (for ia/il); Sanscrit as, as in asmi, I am: is the base of one of the two great verb-forms, signifying to be, which run through the whole range of the Indo-European languages; while the other is, in Latin fu-, in Greek $u- (as in fii»), and in Sanscrit bhu; English be, Anglo-Saxon beo, German bin.
8 Mommsen describes this in a quaint way. He says, literally translated, that "the strong logic of the Italians seems to have found no reason for splitting the idea of moreness into two-ness and much-ness."
4 Cf., for a similar interchange of the labial and guttural, tiropiat and Tinror, Aeol. Xkkos, with sequor and equus (pronounced originally as if sekor and ekus); also Ionic Koios and Kcirepos with the Attic woTos and n6rtpos, and Latin qninque with nivjt, five. In quispiam for quisquam and nernpc for namque we have specimens of Umbrianized Latin.