« ForrigeFortsæt »
worthy of notice, that Homer mentions @oupos, [Thor] as the Mars of the Thracians. Thor was one of the deities of Scandanavia.
Javan is, by the consent of all writers, the country called Greece, or the progenitor of its inhabitants. But the same Hebrew word, which in the tenth of Genesis, is the name of a son of Japheth, is found in the book of Daniel, and by our translators rendered Greece. “ The rough Goat is the King of [Javan] Grecia." Chapter 8, 21, Joel 3, 6. This is the country which the Greek and Latin writers call lonia ; the same name with the initial correctly pronounced, and with the usual Greek termination, ia, a Celtic word signifying country. Now it is a remarkable fact, as we are informed by the authors of Asiatic Researches, that in the Hindoo Books the Greeks are called Yavanas. This word, the termination being removed, is precisely the Hebrew word correctly pronounced Yavan.
The sons of Gomer, the scripture informs us, were Ashkenaz, and Riphath and Togormah. The latter is written in some versions, Thorgamah. Gomer, it has been remarked, was Phrygia, a country situated in the center of Asia Minor; and Ashkenaz is supposed to be the lesser Phrygia, lying west of Phrygia, and extending to the Hellespont on one side and to the Euxine on the other, including the ancient Troas. Bochart supposes this name to be an alteration of the Greek word ažavos, inhospitable, whence the Greeks named the Pontus, Eužsivos, Euxine. However this may be, Cluver and other German writers claim Ashkenaz as the progenitor of the Germans. The inhabitants of that district of country would naturally pass the Hellespont and migrate westward ; and it is certain that the Getae, or Goths formerly resided in the country near the Danube.
The position of Riphat is not well ascertained. Bochart inclines to the opinion that it was in Bithynia. Others suppose it to be the Riphean mountains.
On the subject of the Ripheap mountains, geographers are extremely perplexed. Bochart seems to doubt the existence of any such mountains, and Pinkerton suggests that they may be an optical illusion--the ancients mistaking a distant forest for a mountain. It is certain that the earliest geographers gave the epithet Riphean, to the Alps in Switzerland, and alledged the Danube to have its sources in those mountains. The later Roman writers apply the epithet to mountains in the north of Europe or Asia. Pomponius Mela places the Riphean mountains within the arctic circle, or in another passage, between the Euxine and Caspian. Pliny gives this epithet to the Uralian chain which constitutes a part of the boundary between Europe and Asia. But all writers agree that these mountains were perpetually covered with snow. The latter fact may furnish a clue to the difficulty. In the Assyrian dialects, 9 horiph signifies autumn or winter, and as it has been customary for nations to give to countries a name descriptive of the climate, this epithet may have been used to denote a cold or wintry country, or mountain. The Riphean mountains then may have been originally any mountains usually covered with snow. But it is certain that the later writers applied the word to mountains north of the Euxine and Caspian. If such is the meaning of Riphean, the modern Siberia, from the Russian Siver, winter, is little else than a translation of the word. Now if the Riphat of the scripture refers to the inhabitants of the north of Europe or of Asia, inhabiting territories beyond the Slavonic or Sarmatian nations, it may include the ancestors of the Samoides and other races along the arctic ocean-otherwise there is no reference to them in the tenth of Genesis.
Thogarma is mentioned by the prophet Ezekiel, as northward of Judea; and a country that furnished horses and mules for the market of Tyre. This was probably Cappadocia.
The sons of Javan, or descendants of the Greeks, were Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim and Dodanim. [Rodanim.]
Elishah is supposed to be the Hellas, of the Greek writers, which name Bochart thinks to be recognized in Elis, a part of Peloponnesus. The prophet Ezekiel, Chap. 27, 7, mentions blue and purple from the isles of Elishah, and Pausanias mentions that the shells of the maritime parts of Laconia were well adapted to produce a purple color.
Tarshish was the name of a commercial town in Spain, not far from the site of the modern Cadiz—the Greek Tapanooos, Tartessus. With this place, the Tyrians carried on a great 'trade “in silver, iron, tin and lead.” Ezek. 27, 12. Another Tarshish is mentioned in scripture, to which the ships of Solomon resorted from Eziongeber, on the Arabic gulf. From the length of the voyages of these ships, and from their return cargoes,
be inferred that this Tarshish was in India or Persia.
By Tarshish then in the tenth chapter of Genesis, is understood the inhabitants of Spain.
Kittim, is a word in the plural number, and refers to isles in the Mediterranean Sea. Bochart supposes the isle of Corsica to be particularly intended.
The youngest or last mentioned descendant of Javan in Dodanim. This name is inexplicable, and is undoubtedly an error in orthography, owing to the near resemblance of the Hebrew letters D and R. In the two most ancient versions of the Pentateuch, the Greek of the seventy and the Samaritan, the word is Rodanim. This word is probably formed with a Hebrew plural termination, on Rhodan, which is now contracted to Rhone-Gr. Podavos, Lat. Rhodanus. Bochart is doubtless correct in referring this word to that river, but he assigns the origin of the word to an Arabic term, signifying yellow, supposing this appellation to be given to the people of that country on account of their yellow hair, and producing several authorities to prove the fact that the people were remarkable for that color of the hair. By yellow hair he probably means reddish or sandy hair.
But Rhodanus is doubtless a word of Celtic or native origin, compounded of Rho, Rha, from psw, to flow, and dan, a Cel. tic word, denoting, in the Hiberno-celtic, bold or vehement. We find, on the maps of ancient geography, Rha was a name given also to the Volga. Dan is found in the names, Danube, or Danau, Daneister; [Dneister,] Danieper, [Dnieper] and in Tanais, the Don. This word is found only, I believe, in the names of large rivers. Rodanim then signifies the inhabitants near the Rhone, the Gauls, the inhabitants of France.
This scripture account of the descendants of Javan or Greece, corresponds with all historical accounts of the settlements in Greece and Italy, and may be proved to be correct from the affinity of the languages of all the tribes that migrated to the western part of Europe, on the north shore of the Mediterranean. They first peopled Greece and Italy; then proceeded to Gaul, Spain, and Britain, and were undoubtedly the first occupiers of those countries. We read of tribes under various names, just as we find among the natives of North America, small tribes bearing different names. These names were given to them either from the place where they resided, or from some distinguishing trait of character.
The primitive inhabitants of Gaul were called by the Greeks Kehtoi, by the Romans, Celtae, Celts, or as the word ought to be pronounced, Kelts. Whether this word is radically the same as Gael, and Gallia, may be a question. But the people of this race, before the invasion of Gaul by the Romans, had penetrated to Britain and Ireland, and probably to the Baltic.
Cesar informs us, that in Gaul, there were three languages spoken. One between the Rhine and the Seine; another between the Seine and Garonne; and a third, south of the Garonne, in Aquitania, the more modern Gascony. pears
that before his arrival, Belgic emigrants or conquerors, of the Teutonic race, had crossed the Rhine and settled in the low countries west of that river. The inhabitants of Aquitania were probably the first settlers in Gaul, who had
proceeded, or been driven by successive bodies of emigrants, to the utmost border of Europe. These maintained themselves in their station, as a people distinct from the later emigrants, as the Welsh have done in Wales. They were probably allied to the Cantabrians or Biscayens, who inhabited the north of Spain, and the Pyrenees. These have maintained a kind of independence against all the conquerors of Spain, and retain their original language to this day.
When Cesar invaded Britain, the great body of the people spoke the language of Gaul. "Sermo haud multum diversus,” says Tacitus in his life of Agricola. But some Belgians had by conquest, obtained possession of the maritime coast of Britain. The interior of the country was possessed by those who were natives of the isle. So says Cesar. It seems however to be understood that the Cimbri, inhabitants of the modern Jutland in Denmark, had taken possession of some part of Britain, long before the invasion of Julius Cesar, and the Welsh, who were driven into their country by the Saxons, still call their country Cymru, and their language Cymrteg. The Saxons and Danes who invaded and conquered Britain, after the Romans left the isle, were of Teutonic or Gothic origin.
The only unmixed remains of the original Celtic inhabitants of the West of Europe, are now the Gaels, in the Highlands of Scotland; the inhabitants of the West of Ireland, and the inhabitants of the Pyrenees, in the north of Spain, and perhaps in the adjoining parts of France. These three portions of the Celtic race retain their primitive language. The Welsh retain their primitive language, but it has evidently a mixture of the Gothic or Teutonic; and the Armioric on the north west angle of France, which is mostly of Celtic origin, is mixed with Latin and French.
The inhabitants of Scotland, except the Highlands, are of the Teutonic or Gothic race.
It is a fact little questionable that the Teutonic and Gothic races are descendants of Gomer, and Ashkenaz, his son,