« السابقةمتابعة »
• But for this valuable piece of information we are indebted solely to the sacred writings. If we except the traces of their language, there do not appear to have remained in Greece any vestiges of its original inhabitants, within the reach of any authentic history. Even their principal names had become extinct. No Grecian writer has ever mentioned them with any certainty. Strabo has given the names of several of them, such as Dryopes, Caucones, Leleges, Aönes, Tembices, Hyantes, with some others: yet these are presented to us in a very questionable manner : “ They seem not,” says Dr. Stillingfleet, “ to have been that ancient people, but rather some latter castlings of the Carians, who, as Thucydides tells us, did very often make inroads upon the quarters of Greece.” Thus much is well authenticated, tłat there were nations called Leleges, Caucones, and Pelasgi in Asia Minor; and they are said by Homer to have assisted the Trojans against the Grecians,
« Και Λελεγες, και Καυκωνες, διοι τε Πελασγοι. . But the more general, as well as the most ancient name, under which they are supposed to have passed, is that of Pelasgi. The Pelasgi were certainly very numerous, and formed colonies in all parts of Greece ; and they are said by Strabo to have derived their very appellation from the circumstance of their being a wandering people*. The same writer has likewise informed us, that they were the most ancient race of men who established any dynasty in Hellas t. Pelasgia was one name for Peloponnesus I.'
If this statement be correct, the first inconsistency that strikes us is, that the most ancient inhabitants of Hellas, the aborigines of the country, according to Herodotus, Dionysius, and Strabo, were not barbarians in the sense attached to this term in modern times, and meant to be so attached by our author. Of these aborigines, as enumerated by the above historians, the Pelasgi were by far the most considerable. But it is generally admitted by chronologists, and even assented to by Mr. Allwood himself, that the Pelasgi were descendents of Peleg. Peleg, however, was of the race of Shem; and consequently the aborigines of Greece were not of the family of Japhet, who is said, in Genesis X. 5, to have peopled “the isles of the Gentiles. We are disposed to allow as much authority to the sacred scriptures as Mr. Allwood ; and, could we by any means discern that they tell us in this
that the country of Hellas was first inhabited by this progeny, we would instantly give it our fullest assent:.. we do not contend that it was not ; but we maintain, from the very brief and general assertion-By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands, every one after his tongue, after their families in their nations'-no legitimate and historical inference can be drawn, that 'the isles of the Gentiles' imply the regions of Greece and Europe ; that these were the territories allotted them;' and that for this valuable piece of information we are indebted solely to the sacred writings.? The aborigines of Greece, as far as we are able to trace them, were Pelasgians, and, if we admit the general etymology to be correct, descendents of Shem, and not of Javan. If, in reality, the account of Strabo be erroneous, or the Pelasgians were not descendents of Peleg; if the assertion of Mr. Allwood be true, that the verse in question identifies, and was ineant to do so, the aborigines of Greece and the south of Europe, as of the family of Javan, we have then, according to the words of the sacred historian himself, a right to expect some memorial of their patriarchal names, since we are expressly told, that they divided their lands every one after his tongue, after their families in their nations. Now, the sons, of Japhet, by whom these lands were thus divided after their tongues, families, and nations,' were
« * Πελασγοι για την ceny. Strab. Geograph. lib. is.' • + Ταιν περι την Ελλαδα δυνας ευσαντών αρχαιοτατοι. Strab. Geogr. lib. vii.'
* Πελοποννησε τρεις επωνυμίαι, Απια, Πελασγια, Αγγος, Steph. Byzalut.'
Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim *.' Have we then, either in Greece or on the Grecian coasts, any provincial appellations corresponding to such names? And if we have, will not our author, who often travels to immeasurable distances for his etymologies, greedily seise upon them to verify his opinion? It is a curious fact, that, within the very tract of country now alluded to, we have every name here specified, and almost with out the change of a letter; for it furnishes us with (lateros), Iapetus, (Ixoves) Jaones, Elis, Tarsus, Rhodes, Chithim, and Dodona : and 'this indeed is the principal proof with prior chronologists of the descent of the sons of Javan into Europe. But what says Mr. Allwood ? I cannot grant,' observes he, any credit to the suppositions that the name of Elis in Peloponnesus was derived from Elisha; that the name: of Japhet is preserved in Iapetus; or that of Javan in lonia, Jaones, or lönes ;' nor is he disposed to take any advantage of the succeeding resemblances, although he believes it possible that the descendents of Javan may have respectively settled in: such of the above regions, whose names correspond with their own. As for the rest, Elis, Iapetus, lönes, we must take an: immense journey backward through all Egypt, to Babylonia and the plains of Shinar, for their etymologies, and must at. last derive them from the race, neither of Shem nor Japhet, but of Ham, the other son of Noah; because, forsooth, the hypothesis we are following is that of Mr. Bryant, and this gentleman has traced the Helladians to an Ammonian origin, as descendents of,
# Gen. x. 4.
Chus the son of Ham. We believe, for the most part, that Mr. Bryant is correct; but we still see no reason for rejecting etymologies so nearly at hand, and engaging in so vast a journey to procure them from another quarter : we see no reason, admitting the sons of Javan to have first peopled the regions of Greece, why their own names might not have been derived from the same radicals of the primitive language of man which are employed by Mr. Bryant to elucidate the names, traditions, and abodes of the posterity of Ham or Cush; and, consequently, why they might not have given appellations to the different regions in which they settled, resolvable into those primitive clements, with far more facility than the latter are supposed to have done in a future migration.
Our author indeed seems to be involved in a labyrinth, intricate as that of Crete, and embarrassed amid the sources of Grecian population. Japhet must contribute towards it; for the sacred writings, he asserts, expressly tell us so. Shem must contribute in his turn; for the Pelasgians, the most powerful dynasty in these regions, were descended, we are informed, from Peleg, whowasof the direct race of that patriarch: and Ham must contribute more largely than either of the rest, because the system adopted is completely that of Mr. Bryant; and this gentleman has attended his posterity, the Cushites or Cuseans, through all their migrations from Babylonia, in different directions, till they extended to these regions, and took possession of them by right of conquest. So that while the descendents of Shem were sufficient for the population of Morocco, Mesopotamia, and China; those of Ham for that of Babylonia, Æthiopia, and Arabia ; and those of Japhet for that of all Europe, excepting Greece itself; it is necessary (for the present system at least) that all the sons of Noah should unite in furnishing a population for this diminutive mole-hill, and that Peleg, whose very name signifies dispersion, from 250, to sever, or divide and in whose time (we are expressly told by the sacred scriptures) the earth was so divided, whence he acquired his name that this patriarch, or his sons, should be the very point of union, to connect again, as it were into one family, the different branches of the posterity of Noah. It is indeed with extreme difficulty that our author introduces the descendents of Peleg into Greece in any way; and as he could not possibly relinquish the Ammonians, or posterity of Ham, for this purpose, since his whole system is founded upon such a supposition, he had far better have given up the former altogether, have conceived that there might have been another Pleg, Peleg, or Pelach, among the Ammonian race, the progenitór of the Pelasgi, and not have attempted to unite the hypothesis of Mr. Bryant with that of Grotius and Stillingfleet.
This however he has attempted, and the Pelasgi of Etruria are to be credited as the descendents of Peleg, in whose days
the earth was divided between the different families of mankind. There is some ingenuity we admit in his method; and perhaps Peleg may form a better radical for the term Pelasgi than maayos (pelagus) the ocean, or Tehagyos (pelargas) the stork, a bird of passage, both of which derivations we remember har ing seen countenanced by several ancient critics, as descriptive of the wandering and maritime life of this active people :-but our concern is not with ingenuity, it is with historic data alone; and for this we are much mistaken if our readers do not look in vain.
• I have mentioned that, according to the opinion of many learned men, the Pelasgi are the descendants from Peleg: and there appears to be no argument of any great force to contradict this idea ; only it is probable, from the extensive colonies which they planted in various parts, that there were many adherents from the other branches of the dispersed who were ranked under the same denomination. The sacred historian has informed us that the patriarch Heber had two sons, Peleg and Joktan; but it is remarkable, that while he has given us an ample account of the sons of Joktan, and likewise of the region in which they settled, he has transmitted no such particulars concerning Peleg: the number of his children is not mentioned ; por is any notice taken of the places in which they resided. We have only a direct lineal descent in one branch of his posterity from him to Abraham. But we are told that Peleg obtained this name, because “ in his days the earth was divided;" and it appears that there was also a grievous schism in the primitive church, and a dreadful apostasy from true religion. From this circumstance we may partly conclude that the sons of Peleg were nearly concerned in this latter event; that they had apostatised from the religion of their ancestors, and joined themselves to the sons of Chus in Chaldæa and Babylonia; while the collateral branch of the same family in the line of joktan had peaceably retired to their appointed place of settlement,
• Peleg was a person of much consequence; he was at least the founder of the nation of the Hebrews, in one branch of his posterity. He therefore became a valuable acquisition to the Cuthites when he esponsed their cause; and was probably placed in some exalted station under Nimrod. It is therefore reasonable to suppose, that, upon the dispersion, he would be able to form a large party of those who had before been in subjection to him : and he might have sonducted these westward to the regions of Italy and Greece.' 8.70.
Our author has stated in his preface, p. xvi., that he has endeavoured to establish every point by probability ;' this indeed is not to establish much : but he adds, “and by bringing a great number of probabilities to bear upon the same points, I hope it will appear that I have generally approached very near the truth. Here then is a passage quite to the purpose--it is filled with probabilities, or such at least as our author imagines to be probabilitics : but can any one, after an attentive perusal of the entire passage, the whole series of probabilities advanced, say that he has attained the remotest shadow of a truth or certainty upon any one topic introduced ? 'The sacred historian,' he tells us himself, has transmitted no such particulars concerning Peleg : the number of his children is not mentioned ; nor is any notice taken of the places in which they resided. We are left then in total ignorance upon the subject; and one speculation must be just as probable as another; for the whole is equally conjecture. What one reason have we even partly to conclude that the sons of Peleg were nearly concerned in the primitive apostasy of the Cushites upon the plains of Shinar, and that they joined themselves to the sons of Chus in Chaldæa and Babylonia, while the collateral branch of the same family in the line of Joktan had peaceably retired to their appointed place of settlement ?' What one reason have we to assert, as a historic fact, that'Peleg was a person of much consequence—that he espoused the cause of the Cushites, and became a valuable acquisition to them? What reason to think it probable that he was placed in some exalted station under Nimrod ? Why is it reasonable to suppose that upon the dispersion he would be able to form a large party of those who had before been in subjection to him ? and that he might have conducted these westward to the regions of Italy and Greece ?' With such unfounded conjectures we might, perhaps, have been amused if we had met with them in Milton's Paradise Lost, or Gessner's Death of Abel ; but in a grave and erudite volume, that pretends to give nothing less than historic facts or probabilities, and these established by the testimony of existing monuments, we confess we did not expect to have met with such visionary conceits, nor can we be either profited or entertained by them. Contemplating, however, these ingenious fancies in the light of a fable, we cannot but regard the whole of them, in direct opposition to our author, as highly improbable, and as widely inconsistent with the little that is communicated by the sacred scriptures. Allowing that Nimrod and Peleg were contemporaries, far from supposing that the latter joined himself to the former, and consented to become a dependent upon him, we have much more reason to believe, from his very name, which, as we have before observed, expressly signifies division or dispersion--a name given to him, as the sacred historian definitively tells us, from the very fact of the division of the earth in his day, and its partition to the different families of mankind-we say, we have much more reason to believe that this Peleg, or arch-migrator, first proposed and effected such partition; that he began the general dispersion, and led forth his own tribes into distant and uninhabited rez gions. The direct course he took we do not know; but we find Abraham, his fifth lineal descendent, born in the city of Ur of