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by the combined forces of the Pelasgi and the Aborigines; but if we allow with Pliny that they had formed settlements on the Adriatic also, it will not be easy to conceive how a nation so largely disseminated and so firmly settled could have been expelled from Italy. It is evident also that the Siculi did not extend from sea to sea, as the Aborigines, their constant enemies, were placed between them and the Adriatic. Lastly, I may adduce, in confirmation of the Ligurian origin of the Siculi, a tradition recorded by Festus, which stated that the Sacrani, who are the same people as the Aborigines, expelled the Ligurians and the Siculi from the Septimontium, or Rome. (Fest. v. Sacrani.) Dionysius likewise mentions the Ligurians among the heterogeneous population of which the Roman nation was first composed. (I. 89.)
Obscure and intricate as these questions which relate to the early occupation of Italy confessedly are, and of little importance in themselves, I think, however, the point which has just been discussed is not without interest, inasmuch as it relates to Latium in particular, and its language; for as the Siculi are said to have been long established in that part of Italy, it is not improbable that they contributed to the formation of the Latin tongue. This is a conjecture indeed which gains some strength from the little we are able to glean from ancient writers of the language which the Siculi carried with them into Sicily. The only words of their vocabulary with which we are acquainted are yéλa,
Among the moderns, Bardetti contends strongly for the Ligurian origin of the Siculi.
De' primi Abitatori dell' Italia, c. 10. art. 6.
(Suid. et Steph. Βyz. v. Γέλα.) μοῖτον, and λέπορις, (Varr. Ling. Lat. IV.) which, as these writers inform us, had respectively the same signification as the terms gelu, mutuum, and lepus in Latin, and are therefore clearly to be identified with them. From this little specimen we might not unfairly conclude that these early inhabitants of Latium had some influence over the character of its language; not that part, however, which may be called the Greek foundation of the Latin tongue, but rather its Celtic elements, if I may be allowed the expres sion. We derive further proof of this fact from a passage in one of Plato's letters, where that philo sopher laments the decline of the Greek language in Sicily, which he attributes to the increasing preponderance of the Phoenicians and Opici. (Ep. VIII.) By the latter it is most probable that the Siculi are ́signified; not that I would conclude from thence that they were the same people, but that their language was similar; and I think it evident, that in the time of Plato the Greeks included under the name of Opici both the Campanians and Latins. Aristotle certainly describes Latium as the country of the Opici; consequently we are at liberty to in
h That there are several Celtic roots in the Latin language must be allowed, though it should still be a question to which of the primitive races of Italy we ought to refer them. If we admit that the Siculi were Celts, we must observe at the same time that their dialect was more ancient than that of the Ligurians properly so called, in whose nomenclature we find such terminations as magus, du
num, celum, common also to the Gauls and Germans, and apparently belonging to a less ancient period than the formation of the Latin dialect.
Ryckius and Freret have both concluded from the pas sage in question that the Opici and Siculi were of the same race. De prim. Ital. Col. c. 1. Hist. de l'Acad. des Inscript. t. xviii. p. 280.
fer, from the passage of Plato, that the language of the Siculi bore a considerable resemblance to the
Ancient writers do not seem agreed as to the name of the people who compelled the Siculi to abandon Latium. Dionysius informs us, that Philistus ascribed their expulsion to the Umbri and Pelasgi. Thucydides refers the same event to the Opici; while Antiochus of Syracuse, a still more ancient writer, represents the Siculi as flying from the Enotri. Notwithstanding this apparent discrepancy, it is pretty evident, that under these different names of Umbri, Opici, and Enotri, the same people are designated whom Dionysius and the Roman historians usually term Aborigines. (Ant. Rom. I. 10.) Having already sufficiently treated of this ancient race under the head of Umbria, I shall content myself with referring the reader to the section which relates to that province, and pass on to trace rapidly the sequel of the history of Latium.
The Aborigines, intermixing with several Pelasgic colonies, occupied Latium, and soon formed themselves into the several communities of Latini, Rutuli, Hernici, and Volsci, even prior to the Trojan war and the supposed arrival of Æneas. Of that event it is scarce necessary for me to speak at length, since it has been already discussed by others as fully as the subject admits ofk. The question indeed seems to resolve itself into this narrow compass. Are we to
k Ryckius, in his dissertation de primis Italiæ Colonis, c. 12. and Nardini, in the preface to his Roma Antica, have contended for the truth of the
Trojan colony. On the opposite side of the question are Bochart ap. Ryck. loc. cit. Cluverius, Ital. Ant. II. p. 832. Gronovius, and others.
form our notions of the Trojan prince by what we read concerning him in the Iliad? If so, we are there told plainly that Æneas and his descendants remained in possession of the Troad for many gene
Νῦν δὲ δὴ Αἰνείαο βίη Τρώεσσιν ἀνάξει,
Καὶ παῖδες παίδων, τοί κεν μετόπισθε γένωνται.
II. T. 307.
Cf. Hymn. ad Ven. v. 192. and Strabo XIII. 608. Consequently Homer himself furnishes the best argument against the colony of Æneas in Latium. If we are not to form our judgment from what is related of the son of Anchises in the Iliad, then he becomes a mere fictitious character, the reality of whose adventures cannot afford ground for historical discussion. Notwithstanding that Dionysius labours anxiously to prove the fact of the arrival of Æneas in Latium, he is obliged to confess that by the accounts of all the older historians, such as Hellanicus, Cephalo of Gergithus, and Hegesippus, the Trojan prince did not advance beyond Thrace, or the peninsula of Pallene. (Ant. Rom. I. 48 and 49.) I would not, however, go so far as some modern writers, who consider the story of the Trojan colony as an invention of the Romans to please Augustus : it is evident, from Dionysius's account, (I. 72.) that there were some traditions to this effect among the Greeks long before they knew any thing of Rome. There seems no objection, therefore, to our admitting the arrival of a chief called Æneas on the Latin coast, though he might neither be the son of Anchises, nor in any respect connected with Troy. If he came from the Thracian Enea, as most accounts
imply, the name of that city might have occasioned the error.
Various etymologies of the names of Latium and the Latins are to be met with in ancient writers; but I see no reason why they should not be derived from a chief called Latinus, of whom the Greeks seem to have heard, since he is mentioned by Hesiod in a passage already cited', though they were not acquainted with the Latins as a distinct people of Italy.
The name of Prisci Latini was first given to certain cities of Latium, supposed to have been colonized by Latinus Silvius, one of the kings of Alba, but most of which were afterwards conquered and destroyed by Ancus Martius and Tarquinius Priscus. (Liv. I. 3.) In the reign of Tarquinius Superbus, we find the Latin nation united under the form of a confederate republic, and acknowledging that ambitious prince as the protector of their league. (Liv. I. 50.) After the expulsion of the tyrant from Rome, we are told that the Latins, who favoured his cause, experienced a total defeat near the lake Regillus, and were obliged to sue for peace. (Dion. Hal. VI. 18.) According to this historian, the Latins received the thanks of the Roman senate, some years afterwards, for having taken no advantage of the disturbances at Rome, which finally led to the secession of the people to the Mons Sacer, and for having on the contrary offered every assistance in their power on that occasion; he adds also, that a perpetual league was formed at that time between the Romans and Latins. However, about 143 years afterwards, we find the latter openly rebelling, and 1 See vol. i. p. 169.