« ZurückWeiter »
the true length of the solar year, were assuredly people who preceded the Druids, but bequeathed to them no part of their mantle, when they disappeared from the earth; for there is no evidence that the Druids possessed this knowledge.
6. The modern knowledge of the ancient state of the earth as to climate, obviates the necessity of confining ourselves to Eastern Asia and the latitudes of 40-45°. Baillie's speculations, adopted from Buffon, have been so well verified by modern observations, that our primitive people may well be located, if necessary, in a more northern latitude.
7. We are aware of the inaccuracy, the culpable quotation, the arrogant dogmatism of Pinkerton: we acknowledge that the author of the “Vindication of the Celts," has shewn this: we do not believe that Pinkerton has succeeded in making out his four distinct races of men, the Scythian, Sarmatic, Sclavonic and Celtic: but when these circumstances are fairly urged, as they may well be, against the Dissertation on the Scythians and Goths, of this laborious and learned man, they do not amount to proof that his principal hypothesis is undeserving of credit. All these objections may be well founded, and they are so; but he may, nevertheless, have proved, as we think he has done, that the Celts are not Scythians, but a distinct race, driven to the west of Europe by Scythian incursions, and at length confined to Wales, Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man, probably, Cornwall, (but from Borlase's account not certainly so) and to the mountains of Mauritania ; for we consider the Shillah as a dialect of the Earse.*
8. All this we believe ; admitting at the sanie time, (for we know not how to reject the manifest evidence) the connexion between the Punic and the Irish; although Major Vallancey's strained etymology and fanciful opinions in his other publications, go near to destroy all confidence in his judgment and discrimination, notwithstanding his undoubted learning, his manifest ingenuity, and meritorious industry.
Of the ancient Irish Histories, Irish Bards, of Messrs. Vallancey and O'Connor. (pp. 81-87.) There is no sufficient authentication, so far as we know, of any of the manuscripts relating
* We are inclined to add Armorica or Bretagne, from the collection of Armorican words at the end of Toland's History of the Druids. (Toland's miscellaneous works collected by M. Des Maizeaux. vol. i. p. 204. London, 1747.). This is a sketch only of a larger intended work on the Druids; whether Toland ever completed it, we do not know. Toland was a very learned, a very honest, and a very persecuted man: persecuted by those who felt themselves hís inferiors, and who hated him for his boldness and his talents. Ausonius mentions the Druids of Armorica. Profess. Iy, and x.
Stirpe satus Druidum
to the ancient history of Ireland produced by Vallancey or O'Connor. The Chronicles of Erin may be, what they are assumed to be ; but we have no actual proof that they are so. All the early accounts of all nations contain so much of fable and fiction, they rest so much upon vague tradition, so little attention is paid in discriminating and weighing the sources of information, that what Quinctilian and Strabo say of ancient Greek and Roman history, is true of all early accounts. There is no certainty belonging to them ; nothing that will serve as a ground work of safe and assured conclusion. As Voltaire says, we are like Ixion, we are in expectation of embracing truth, and we grasp a cloud.
M. Gebelin, in his Monde primitif analysè says, the Greek or Pelasgian, before the time of Homer and Hesiod, sprung from the Celtic; so did the Latin and Etruscan. We think with Mr. Higgins that this may be ; but we feel no firm ground for our belief to rest upon, when we are assured that the Celtic is the parent of these languages. We can undoubtedly discern a connexion of all of them with the Phænician and other eastern tongues : but that the Celts, an ignorant race, were the parent race, is neither proved, nor likely in itself to have been, nor to be
Mr. Higgins refers to the ocular proof which his tables furnish (p.5) of the manifest similarity of the Etruscan, Greek and Irish alphabets. But shewing this connexion, goes but a very little way to prove the Celts to have been the primeval and parent nation. With respect to the conflicting opinions of Pinkerton and O'Connor on one side, who will have the different races of men to be arroxloves and Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Higgins on the other, wbo derive the human race from a single pair, we have at present, no inclination to interfere.
Digression respecting the Hero Gods. (p. 89.) Mr. Bryant has shewn that all the Gods of the ancients resolve themselves into one, the Sun. M. Dupuis has proved that all the different labours of Hercules, Bacchus, Theseus, Jason, &c. are nothing but astronomical allegories. The heavenly personifications, and the earthly deifications of the Greek poets and historians, are a set of fictions by persons totally regardless of historic veracity, and who amused themselves and the ignorant people whom they addressed, by these absurd personifications. There never was a nation so utterly regardless of truth as the Greeks, and we must lay aside all reference to their poets, if we are in search of a question of history or chronology. Bryant's Ancient Mythology and Dupuis' Histoire de toutes les Cultes, are the only books that throw real light on these ancient mythological fictions; and we agree with Mr. Higgins, that Cudworth, in the
4th chap. of his Intellectual System, has made it highly probable that all the enlightened and learned of the Gentiles believed in one God.
If Hercules Ogmius is said to have invented the Ogham, this only shews that the Ogham writing was considered as of great antiquity at the time and by the person who made the assertion; but it is so rude and inartificial, that no great extent of intellect was required for its invention—at least such is our opinion.
Derivation of Britain and Bretagne, and Albion. (p. 94.) Nothing certain or important.
Derivation of the words Vates and BARDS. (p. 95.) Strabo, lib. iv. and Ammianus Marcellinus, lib. xv, divide the Druids into three orders, Agurðar, Ovarsis and Bagdo. Diodorus Siculus and Cicero add Saronides : but Bochart has shewn the Saronides to be synonimous with Druids.
Quaters, Vates, is Baidh, Faidh, Faithor, or Phaithoir; the B, the F, and the V, being used interchangeably, as is well known. Bard is the Chaldean x bda predicavit. Dia badim, divinatores. (Spencer de Urim et Thummim, p. 1020.) The Irish Faithoir is the Hebrew ne ptr, to solve an enigma. (Vall. Coll. de Reb. Hib. vol. iv. p. 427.) The word Baidh, in Celtic, means poet, according to Pezron. Antiq. des Gaules, vol. ii. p. 378. Innes. The Eubages, says Ammianus Marcellinus, were an inferior kind of Druids, (lib. xv. p. 51.) Bard, or Barth, is probably the Hebrew or Chaldee word 07. prt to sing. They sung to their harps : harp in Hebrew que cnur, in Irish cinur. Diod. Sic. and Am. Marc. describe them as singing to harps. Saronides ; Diod. Sic. says they were Gaulish philosophers and priests, much esteemed. Saronides ; Searthon, Searandon in Irish, one who chants; sings in recitative. (Diod. Sic. lib. v.) Wesseling, his editor, says, that some MSS. instead of ss dagsidas bave 85 dgouidas. Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. xvi. ch. 44, says, the Druids were the Gaulish magi. Porphyry says the Eastern magi were the priests or divines, 01 megt DELOV Oopos De Abst. lib. iv. $ 16.
Britain, how peopled. (p. 97.) By the Gauls, the Gaulish Bretanni, according to Cæsar and Pliny; the maritime parts by the Belgæ. All this is probable. Whether the Belgæ were Celts or Germans, or a mixed race, is uncertain, and of no consequence. Livy says, that in the reign of Tarquinius Priscus, 600 A.C. Ambigatus, King of the Celtæ, sent off two swarms from bis overpeopled country; one northward, the other southward. (Lib. v. ch. 34.)
Mr. Davies' opinion of the first settlers. (p. 99.) We have no reliance on Mr. Davies' judgment, and he has an hypothesis to VOL IV.NO. 7.
support. Mr. Higgins, (p. 100) observes, “Of what use can it be to ascertain how the different tribes came from the East ?Whether the first comers were really Celtæ, or whether they were Scythians, is really of the least possible consequence. If the fact can be made out, that a great hive existed somewhere in upper Asia, which did, from time to time, send out its swarms, and that these swarms did people Britain, it is all we can safely depend upon. The correct collocation of these shepherd tribes, it is in vain to attempt. Mr. Pinkerton is for the Goths, Scuths, Scyths, or Scythians: Mr: Chalmers for the Celtæ or Cimbri. It is a mere play upon words: they were all the same, using the same language, only varied with the natural, small differences which would inevitably arise in great length of time, and under their migratory and ever varying habits of life and circum
In most of the questions respecting the localities of the respective subordinate tribes, whichever side an ingenious man may take, he will succeed in proving his hypothesis as far as probability extends; and really in these researches nothing more than probability can be looked for. If any person should maintain that, not the author's Celtæ, but his own Scythians or Goths were those who first came, it would scarcely be considered worth a reply. Call them Goths then ; it matters not. They were the
persons, Goths or Celts, who first came from the East of the Caspian Sea, bringing with them their seventeen letters, their festivals, and their Gods." In all this we agree with Mr. Higgins, except that it is a question of some interest whether the Celtæ and the Scythæ were distinct races of men. than the general fact, stated by our author, seems as yet involv. ed in great obscurity. From a poem of Taliessin, called, “The Appeasing of Ludd,” it appears that tradition peopled Britain from Asia by the way of Gafis, Gades, (Cadiz.) p. 101.
P. 102. Mr. Lumisden, in his Antiquities of Rome, has shewn that many of the fine actions attributed by Roman historians to their ancestors, are copies from the early history of Greece; as the combat of the Horatii and Curiatii, related under different names, but with the same circumstances by Democrates, apud Stobæum Serm. p. 157. The action of Mutius Scævola is ascribed to Agesilaus, brother of Themistocles, by Agarthidas of Samos, Ib. Serm. 48: and Curtius precipitating himself into the gulph, is ascribed by Callisthenes to a son of King Midas. (Lumisden, p. 13.) Was there ever such a city as Veii? Did it exist? Three places near Rome claim that honour by inscriptions indubitably genuine. Furius Camillus : was he not the Samothracian Mercury, Cadmillus or Casmillus ; the Indian God, Cadmala? To us, there is no Roman history anterior to
the burning of Rome by Brennus; Polybius was their earliest historian: they had compilers of traditionary falsehoods-historical nursery tales : little else.
P. 102. Britain known to Aristotle (De Mirab. Ausc); was first discovered by a navigator sent out on a voyage of discovery from the Greek colony at Marseilles. (Strabo, lib. iv.) Tin mentioned by Homer. But this is no proof that the Phænicians of Homer's day knew of Britain, for there is no sufficient evidence of the existence of Horner; and there is sufficient evidence of additions, mutations and interpolations in the poems ascribed traditionally to that author; whose bardic songs, (if he were a bard, which is possible or probable) were committed to memory and not to writing, till the edition of the Pisistratidæ ; for who wrote before? Sadly, sadly, sadly, do we need, at this day, some common-sense canons of historical evidence.
Herodotus says in Thalia (sect. xcv. Bel. ed.)—"Neither am I better acquainted with the islands called Cassiterides, from whence we are said to have our tin." Probably the Phænicians alone traded there at that period 440 A. C.
It is with great regret that we have not room even for an abridgement of Mr. Higgins' disquisition from 104 to 116, on the superior knowledge of the Greeks in the age of Homer: on their gradually increasing ignorance, and propensity to ridicule the discoveries of philosophers: on the knowledge of the ancients of the properties of the magnet: on the many indications of that knowledge, as in the Book of Job: the magnet six times mentioned in Scripture by the name 'I'D prinim ; its property of attraction expressed in Job, ch. xxviii. v. 18, by yon msk e xusov; its color by 1998 adme, ruddy. In ch. xxviii. "the price of wisdoin is above rubies," ought to be attractio sapientiæ præ magnetibus. The account given in the Odyssey by Alcinous, of the skill of the Phæacians can no otherwise be explained.
“No pilot's aid Phacian vessels need
Was Ophir, the Gold Coast? If so, the vessels of Hiram could not go there without a compass. Higgins has cited several originaland other authorities, bearing on this probability.--"From a careful consideration of the whole subject, (says Mr. Higgins)