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Filium eius constans fama est ibi fixisse sedem, Agorastoclem (nomine.) Sigillum hospitii mei est tabula sculpta, cuius sculptura est deus meus :
id fero. Indicavit mihi testis eum habitare in bis finibus. Venit aliquis per portam hanc: ecce eum : rogabo numquid noverit
nomen (Agorastoclis.)" It will be seen that there is very considerable correspondence in the import of Bochart's interpretation and that of Plautus; still there are several objections to his reading, which Gesenius has successfully laboured to remove. He reads the passage as follows: "1. Yth alonim valonutb
siccarthi simacom syth 2. Chyin laccbu yth tummy 'sthyal mytthibariim ischi 3. Liphocaneth yth byn achi jadidi ubynuthii 4. Birua rob syllohom
alonim ubymysyrthohom 5. Bytblym moth ynn
ochoth li velech Antidamaschon 6. Ys sid dobrim thyfel
yth chylys choa them liful 7. Ytb binu
dibburt hinn ocutnu Agorastocles 8. Yth emanethi by chyr saely choc syth naso ; Bynni 9. Id chi Ilu hily gubulim
lasibit tbym 10. Body aly thera ynnynnu ysl ym
moncor lu sim." His version of which is, “1. Superos Superasque celebro huius loci, 2. ut, ubi abstulerunt prosperitatem meam, impleatur iussu eorum de
siderium meum 3. servandi filium fratris mei e manu praedonum et filias meas 4. virtute magna, quae diis (est) et imperio eorum. 5. Ante mortem ecce amicitia (erat) mihi tecum, o Antidama: 6. (qui erat) vir contemnens loquentes fatua, strenuus robore, integer
in agendo : 7. Filium eius est fama bic (esse) cognatum nostrum Agorastoclem : 8. Foedus meum (i. e. tesseram foederis), imaginem numinis mei, pro
more fero, indicavit 9. testis, quod bae regiones ei (sunt) ad habitandum ibi. 10, Servi ad ianuam : ecce hunc interrogabo, num cognitum ei sit
nomen." As a means of comparison, we refer to the original of Plautus, which is manifestly a free and metrical translation of the former portion. This interpretation is in our mind decisive of the consanguinity and mere dialectic varieties of the Hebrew and the Phoenician. It must remain for future inquiries to examine from what great stock they themselves have branched.
The limits which we have prescribed to ourselves will not permit us to trace the language on to the continent of Europe; we shall conduct our readers to the second work heading our article.
The Paläographische Studien consists of two parts: the first, a translation of a treatise on the alphabet and language of the Phænicians and their colonies (Del alfabeto y lengua de los Fenices y de sus Colonias), which was published at Madrid in 1772, as an appendix to a translation of Sallust. The author of this Phænician treatise was Don Francisco Perez Bayer, tutor to the Infante, Gabriel de Borbon, and a man of astonishing learning and research. He was also, it is now beyond a question, the real* author of the edition of Sallust, attributed to the Prince. The errors which this learned writer fell into necessarily from the general ignorance of the time on such subjects, have been corrected by Gesenius in this translation.
The monuments discovered during the recent investigations on the Carthaginian soil have thrown, as might be expected, great light on this hitherto sealed question. To add to our information on the subject of the Punic Rustic Writing, or Numidian writing, is the object of this work.
Numerous monuments with Phoenician, or rather Punic inscriptions, have been found within the last fifteen years in the kingdom of Tunis, and in the region of North Africa, which belonged to Carthage and Numidia. They are written in a character which in some measure differs from that of the other inscriptions.
These African monuments are divisible into two classes. The first consists of monuments in which the writing is like original Phænician. These have all been found either among the ruins of Carthage itself, or at least in the neighbourhood of Carthage. Hence Gesenius calls this kind of Punic writing Scriptura Úrbana. He refers as examples, to an inscription now at Leyden, represented by Hamaker in his Miscellanea Phænicia, Plate I. No. 1.; to another discovered by Falbe, the Danish Consul, and described in his Emplacement de Carthage; and to four published by Hamaker, Diatribe Monumentorum Punicorum nuper in Africâ repertorum interpretationem exhibens. Leyden, 1822.
The second class of these African inscriptions consists of those which have been found in provinces at some distance from Carthage, partly belonging to the kingdom of Numidia. They are written in a more loose and negligent manner than the others. The letters consist of fewer strokes, so that those which are similar become undistinguishable; just as five of the Estrangelo-Syriac letters become undistinguishable in the Cufic. This less-distinctly characterized writing, is called by Gesenius Scriptura Rustica, or Numidica. The Spanish coins show the same negligence in the manner of inscribing certain letters of the alphabet: the peculiarity of the Numidian writing, which is found even on the coins of Juba I. and II., consists in the prevalence of the same negligent manner in all the letters. These inscriptions, whether
The Journ, of the Asiatic Society preserves (alas!) the vulgar tale.
from the provinces of Carthage, or from Numidia, belong to the time when those countries were under the dominion of Rome.
The first example of the Scriptura Rustica, produced by the Professor, is that of a stone from Leptis, formerly in the British Museum, now at Virginia-Water. It formed part of a triumphal arch, and exhibits the Latin letters AVG. SVFF, for AUGUSTALIS SUFFECTUS, the officer of honour to the Imperial House. Under these letters is a Punic inscription, which Gesenius explains to signify, “THE IMPERIAL HOUSE OF ROME STANDS FOR EVER.
The general result is to show a general identity of language, writing, and religion, between the Numidians and Carthaginians, by the evidence of proper names, &c. : thus connecting all with the Phænicians, and proving the extension of this people along a large part of the north coast of Africa lying westward of Carthage.
We shall be pardoned a few words on the general subject of letters--making Gesenius the basis of our remarks.
The question has often been asked, whether the square Hebrew characters or those upon coins is the oldest?
An alphabet, reputed to have been formed from pictures, oris ginally existed, but all trace of it is perhaps hopeless now. The Hebrews, however, have preserved two simplified forms; the coin-inscriptive, and the square.
The former is discovered on the coins of the Maccabees, and may fairly be deemed the earliest known Jewish alphabet, modified necessarily by time and circumstances in Palestine. We need not refer to the Samaritan. The Palestine-Hebrew writing closely resembles the Phænician; and it may be observed that from their near relation to each other, or perhaps absolute identity, if these are not original characters, there is little evidence of the existence of this last. Both bear a strong affinity to the Greek alphabet.
The Hebrew square characters, bearing traces of the older form, are Assyrian. Both this and the coin-inscriptive character are obviously connected with the Greek.
If we glance, however slightly, at these alphabets we shall be satisfied that there is no real difference between the ancient Greek, Phænician, or Pelasgian. The singular idea of Müller, therefore, that because the Greek alphabet did not contain a regular series of characters from one other older alphabet, it could not have been derived from any, we have examined in a former Number: On the contrary, we do not hesitate to affirm, that so far as appearances sustain an opinion, there is not a single alphabet in the world that may not be traced with more or less of probability, if not of certainty, to a single source.
There can be no dif* Journ. of As. Soc.
† October, 1835.
ficulty in reconciling testimonies differing only in appearance, as to the source of the art of writing, by examining the real denomination and composition of the nation contesting the claim. The fantastic sources attributed to the Hebrew alphabet do not deserve serious consideration; for how is beth like a house, and daleth like a door? Two parts wanting out of the four in the latter case to complete the similarity ; and resh approaching to render the assertion farther questionable.
The difficulties that have arisen from the want of proper arrangement and examination of the alphabetic systems of various nations, arising partly doubtless from their number, but still more from an unfortunate and idle prepossession of opinion that each nation was best able to afford the soundest authorities for the relics of its antiquity, may be now altogether or almost entirely dissipated, by what might long since have been attempted; viz. a comparison of the several systems with due reference to their chronological connection, so far as practicable.
We must be understood distinctly to affirm, that ample evidence exists of the progressive changes of alphabetic form amongst nations the widest separated, as deduced from one common source; and that this progression is distinctly traceable as a connected series with very few interruptions. We admit there are exceptions at present : it is possible there may be really such; but we feel satisfied in declaring further our fullest and most deliberate conviction, that these exceptions are not such in fact, but simply proofs of the general rule. The variation of letters, and application of one shape to another sound are all, or nearly all, to be accounted for by what is now a series of ascertainable facts; and that those which we cannot absolutely explain are fairly presumable as coming under the same principle, and that any doubt left can exist only so long as our ignorance of the state and changes of pronunciation amongst certain nations exists, and no longer.
The Greek Boustrophedon has served to obscure, it may now be brought to assist the philologist ; for by this we find that, whether written dextrally or sinistrally, characters were read with equal fluency. And hence words that exhibit precisely converse arrangements of letters, whether in Asia or Europe, may be fairly presumed identical. The Rünic inscription was read only by adopting a portion of the Boustrophedon principle.
To pass all the rest, as being unquestionably preserved and authentic, we need only refer to the one most in doubt, the Zend. However suspicious its history, the value of the written characters are recognized and established by comparison with other systems of sound, as with the Japanese digamma, the Quichua, the ancient and modern Celtic; to say nothing of the systematic pro
d not Nusle
fara Johat of probe
cess of the Cuneiform. That it can be subsequent to the Greek of Alexander's invasion, and borrowed thence, is impossible, since it contains sounds not used by the Greeks, and the Greek writing of that time is the square character; the smaller alphabetic forms not existing then : so far as we can judge, therefore, it could not have been borrowed from them. On the contrary, this smaller kind might well have been borrowed from that, which it so strongly resembles; and an additional presumption in favour of the Oriental origin is derivable from the fact that many of the Zend letters seem but cursive varieties of the Cuneiform. This we have indoubted evidence now was of the age of Darius AT LATEST. If indeed, as we have already remarked, we compare the two, we shall find that the Greek small character is merely an improvement of the Zend, and turned the other
way. We cannot attempt, in the few lines that are left us, to dwell upon the analogies that offer themselves spontaneously to our mind; but we conceive every difficulty will approach as nearly as possible to an elucidation if we doubt the generally received opinions regarding the earliest introduction of letters and their inventors. The question now left us is most important
WHO WERE the PHENICIANS ?
A new Translation of the Tales of a Thousand and One Nights ;
known in England as The Arabian Nights Entertainments ; with copious
Notes. By Edward William Lane. London. 1838. The vulgar scorn that delighted to exhibit its own ignorance in an outcry against the most delightfully varied, wild, and fascinating display of human fancy in the world, has passed with the ignorance that engendered it. It is not in fancy alone that the Arabian Nights exceed everything previously known to Europe in the shape of imaginative flights. The truth of the delineations of situation and feeling, of catastrophes wrought by love and tyranny, the tremendous influences of servility and despotism, are brought in these, the most glorious of fictions, to our bosoins, and insensibly impress the best of nioral lessons on the infant mind by displaying the effects of the worst institutions.
In the midst of unparalleled gorgeousness or overwhelming might, the wealth of natural and the spells of preternatural powers, a tone of truth and simplicity pervades every page, and amidst all the remote or the inpossible, awakes in us the glow of sympathy not less than of admiration. It was to these tales that the brilliant intellect of Canning turned frequently, to relieve the heavier labours of the state, and he quitted them, according to his own account, always with renewed admiration and regret.
Tales of enchantment! though the world may fling
Though baleful passions poison in their spring
To the galled bosom their envenomed smart;