An enquiry into the history of Scotland: preceding the reign of Malcom III. or the year 1056. Including the authentic history of that period. In two volumes. By John Pinkerton. ... [pt.2]
Pinkerton, John, 1758-1826.
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A DISSERTATION ON THE Origin and Progress of the Scythians or Goths.

PART I. The identity of the Scythians, Getoe, and Goths —Whether they proceeded from Europe into Asia, or from Asia into Europe—Their real origin, and first progress—Their settlements in the East, and between the Euxine and Mediterranean seas.

CHAPTER I. The Scythians, Getoe, and Goths, all one people.

THE subject meant to be briefly treated in this dissertation is so extensive, and im∣portant, that two vast volumes might well be occupied with it alone. For upon it, as a wide and perpetual basis, stands the whole history of Europe; excepting only that of Russia, Poland, and Hungary. All the rest is in the hands of the progeny of the Goths, or as we may justly say of the Goths: and there actually exists in Europe, at Page  4this moment, a sixth supreme empire, equal to the Scythian, Assyrian, Persian, Grecian, or Roman. For the colonies and dominions of the Europeans in America, and Asia, may surely be put as equivalent, at least, to those of the Romans in Asia and Africa. This Sixth Empire is not in∣deed under one head; but neither was the Gre∣cian, save for the short reign of Alexander. Nor let us, deceived by vulgar blindness, esteem it a disgrace to be called by our real name of GOTHS, but rather exult in the glorious title. For, as shall afterwards be shewn, the Greeks themselves were Goths, being originally Pelasgi, a Scythic or Gothic colony: and the Romans also were of the same stem. And tho we, misled by a puerile love of the Romans, revile the ruder Goths, our fathers, as despisers of learning and the arts; be∣cause they scorned the sophistical reading, and fan∣tastic arts, prevalent on the decline of the Roman empire, which we at present scorn; yet, as shewn in the preface, the Goths were the friends of every elegant art, and useful science; and when not constrained to arms alone by the inevitable situa∣tion, and spirit, of their society, they carried every art and science to heights unknown before; as the ancient Greeks and modern Europeans might wit∣ness. In wisdom, that perfection of human nature,

And tho no science fairly worth the seven,
ancient authorsa call the rude Goths the first of mankind. And in arms what people equalled those who conquered the Romans, who had con∣quered all? who, without military discipline, overcame the greatest military discipline in the world? who rushing at once, as lightning from heaven, dashed the strong and deep-rooted oak of Roman power to pieces; and scattered the nume∣rous trophies, that adorned its branches, over the surrounding fields?

Page  5Before proceeding further i must apologise to the reader for compressing my own materials for the present disquisition, and which might have filled a large quarto volume, into such contracted bounds. For tho i am a declared enemy to large books, yet to the learned reader it may seem au∣dacious, even to attempt so vast a theme in such small compass. But he will consider that the pur∣pose of this work, into which my researches into Scotish history led me, forbids my entering into the subject so fully as its importance warrants. As M. de Guignes has obliged the world with an History of the Huns, in Four Quarto Volumes; fraught with all that information, which his great learning in the Eastern tongues enabled him to give; so it is earnestly to be wished that some writer of eminent learning, industry, and ability, would give us an History of the Scythians, at as great, or greater, extent. Such a work would be of the utmost advantage both to ancient, and modern history. Yet, tho confined to brevity, every toil has been exerted to render the present attempt veracious, accurate, and distinct.

It is proper first to shew that Scythae, Getae, Gothi, were but different names for one and the same people; as we call them Spaniards, whom the French call Espagnols; the Italians, Spagnuoli: or as the French call the English Anglois; the Italians, Inglesi. The learned reader will smile at my think∣ing it necessary to explain a matter so well known, as the identity of the Scythians, Getae, and Goths; but this tract is meant for the public at large, and it is always better to tell a reader what he may per∣haps know, than run the risque of obscuring a whole work by omitting what he may not know. I shall however be very brief on this article; re∣ferring those who wish for more information upon it to Sheringhama, Pelloutierb, and Ihrec.

Page  6Of the Scythians we find a most ample account given by Herodotus; and which occupies almost all his Fourth Book. In the same book he also mentions the Getae, telling us that Darius subdued them in advancing against the wandering Scythians, who lived on the other side of the Ister, or Danube; and adding a remarkable circumstance that the Getae believed in the immortality of the soul, and that they were the bravest, and most just, of the Thracians. Thus from the earliest periods of history we find mention of the Scythae and Getae, as only divided by a river; but this is quoted solely to shew that these names are thus early re∣cordedd After this we find them mentioned by almost every Greek writer, even familiarly; for Geta is a common name for a slave in Greek comedy, and in Terence's translations: the Greeks procuring many slaves from these their barbarous brethren, either by art or force.

But the name of Goths is not near so ancient; the very first mention of it being in the time of the emperor Decius, in the year of Christ 250, as Mr. Gibbon shews. At which time a part of them burst from Getia into the empire, under Cneva: and Decius, attempting to repell them from Thrace, was conquered and slain. After this we find them as frequently in the Latin authors by the names of Getae, or Gothi, as formerly the Scythians in the Greek; and, as Mr. Gibbon well observes, all the Greek writers after this period still uniformly call those Scythae, whom the Latin authors denomi∣nate Gothi.

For the more exactness it shall now be shewn,

  • 1. That the Getae and Gothi were the same.
  • Page  72. That the Getae or Gothi were the same with the Scythae.

I. The Getae and Gothi the same. This might almost admit of proof from the identity of the word, and identic situation of the people, were there not other irrefragable evidences at hand. The reader will please to remember that the Ro∣mans, as the Greeks, and as the modern Ger∣mans, Scandinavians, and many other nations, never gave the letter G a soft found, but always pronounced it hard, as we do in go, get, &c. not as we use in german, gesture, &c. Now, in the Grecian dialects, the vowels are often changed, and aspiration omitted; and it is probable that the name 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is merely the name properly borne by the nation, and as pronounced by them, to wit Gothi, softened to the delicacy of Greek pronunciation, as the Italians soften English to Inglesi. We use as much freedom, nay often more, ourselves, in many names of countries, as French for François, &c. and especially change the e and o in the same verb to get, he got. Torfaeuse indeed observes that Get and Got is the same identic word, implying an∣ciently, as he says, a soldier.

But, not to insist further upon this, the following authorities will infallibly prove that Getae and Gothi are synonymous words.

  • 1. We learn from Suidas that Dio entitled his history of the Goths 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or the Getic His∣tory. Dio wrote his Roman History under Alex∣ander Severus, about the year 230; but probably lived to see the attack of the Goths upon the em∣pire in 250, and wrote this work, now unhappily lost, in consequence of the public curiosity raised by that event.
  • 2. Spartian, who wrote under Diocletian, about the year 300, or within fifty years of the first ap∣pearance Page  8of the name Gothi, is alone a complete evidence. For in his life of Antoninus Caracallus, n. 10. p. 419 of the Hist. Aug. Script. ed. var. 1661, 8vo. he says Gotti Getae dicerentur,
    the Goths were then called Getae.
    And again, in his life of Antoninus Geta, n. 6. p. 427, Geticus quasi Gotticus; 'Geticus as we would now say Gotticus.'
  • 3. Claudian always calls the Goths Getae, and entitles his poem on the Gothie war, De Bello Getico.
  • 4. Sidonius Apollinaris in his poems frequently calls the Goths Getae; and in the epistle to Trige∣tius he calls the Ostrogoths Massagetae.
  • 5. Ausonius, Idyl. 8. speaking of the Goths says,
    Quae vaga Sauromates fibi junxeral agmina Chunis;
    Quaeque GETIS fociis lstrum adsultabat Alanus.
  • 6. Orosius, lib. I. c. 6. says Getae qui et nune Gothi, 'the Getae, who are now also called Gothi.'
  • 7. Saint Jerome, in praef. Epis. 2. ad Galat. says, that the Goths were anciently called Getae. And in his own Epist. 135, he uses Getae for Gothi.
  • 8. Ennodius, in his Panegyric to Theodoricus king of the Goths, Nam illud quo ore celebrandum est quod GETICI instrumenta roboris, dum provides ne interpellentur tia nostra, custodis?
  • 9. Procopius, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. 'For they say the Goths are a Getic race.'
  • 10. Jornandes entitles his history De Getarum, sive Gothorum, origine et rebus gestis; and con∣stantly uses Getae and Gothi as synonymous. In his work De Regn. Success. he says Decius bellantibus Getis occubuit.
  • 11. Isidorus, Origin. lib. ix. c. 2. says the Getae, and Gothi, are the same.

There is not even a shade of an authority on the other side; tho, within these two centuries, the blunders of superficial learning on this subject Page  9are amazing. Cluveriusf led the van, by asserting, on his own authority, that the Gothi were the Gutones, or Gothones, of Pomerellia, who went and ate up the Getae,—because Cluverius was himself a native of Pomerelliag, and wanted all the glory of the Goths to his own dear Gothones! Grotiush fol∣lowed, who asserted on his own authority that the Goths went from Gothland in Sweden, a name un∣known till the Thirteenth, or Fourteenth century, and rising merely from some property of the coun∣tryi, and ate up the Getae, about three centuries before Christ—because Grotius was embassadour from the Queen of Sweden to France, and bound, as he says in his preface, to do all in his power for the honour of that kingdom. Such infants are men of learning! Grotius has had his followers; and of late D'Anville follows Cluverius, from whose works he is indeed a frequent plagiary: and adds this only, and sapient, reasonk, that the Goths were Germans, because the names of their princes, &c. resemble the German, not the Scythic or Getic. But he ought to have known that the Greeks, from whom alone we have any Scythic or Getic names, totally perverted all barbaric names, nay often translated them for Ardshir they give us Artaxerxes, &c. Agathyrsi, Amazones, &c. are mere Greek translations, or rather metamorphoses. The names which D'Anville must allude to are Page  8〈1 page duplicate〉Page  9〈1 page duplicate〉Page  10those in ric, &c. as Theodoric, and the like, to which similar names may be found among the Germans, as Orgetorix, &c. This the Greeks seem in Scythic names to have changed into ris as Toxaris, &c. But in fact the formal music of Greek composition forced their authors to change all bar∣baric names into a Greek form, a circumstance which escaped M. D'Anville, but which over∣throws his argument; which, to say the best of it, is a castle in the air, of which such fluctuating mat∣ters as words, and of them the most fluctuating, names, are formed. A Frenchman calls London, Londres, where is the Gothic dunl? Such is the case with foreign pronunciation among all nations. But this is an age of etymological frenzy; and we pay such attention to words that facts escape us. No author, before Cluverius, ever dreamed that the Goths differed from the Getae. Even in the darkest ages their identity was clearly seen. The Goths in the year 250 came from the very same ground where Strabo, Pliny, Ptolemy, Dionysius the Geographer, and all the writers from the first century down to that very time, had placed the Getae. The Romans before 250 only knew the Getae by Greek report, and gave them of course the Greek name: in 250 when they actually saw, and fought with, them, they called them by their proper name Gothi; as they studied not music nor accents in prose, as the Greeks did, but put the name as spoken, only with a Latin termination. Page  11Dio, who wrote about 250, calls them still Getae, as we have seen. Succeeding writers expresly explain that the Getae and Gothi were the same; as common sense might convince us: for how could the prodigious nation of Getae, so remark∣able in ancient authors, vanish at once? The Goths came from the very territory of the Getae; and no authority would be required for any one of the smallest penetration to pronounce them the same people. But in science it seems doubtful whether the most falsehood arises from the weak prejudices and caprice of the learned, or from the superficiality of the ignorant. Suffice it to say, that AUTHORITIES ARE FACTS IN HISTORY; and that any one of the above authorities would overturn any theory at once. But where all the ancients agree in a point, as they do in this, for any modern to oppose his theoretic dreams is equally absurd, as it would be to attempt to prove by modern arguments that all the Greek and Roman history is a fable.

From these proofs therefore we must regard it as Historic Truth, that the Getae and Goths were the same people.

II. The Getae or Goths the same with the Sythians. This will as plainly appear from the following evidences.

  • 1. Strabo, Pliny, Ptolemy, all rank the Getae as Scythae.
  • 2. Justin, or rather Trogus, says, Tanaus king of the most ancient Scythae fought with Vexores king of Egypt. Valerius Flaccus lib. V. calls the same Tanaus king of the Getae.
  • 3. Trebellius Pollio, in Gallieno: Scythae autem, id est pars Gothorum, Asiam vastabant. The same, (in Claudio Gothico) Scytharum diversi populi: Peu∣cini, Trutungi, AUSTROGOTHI, praedae, &c.
  • 4. Dexippus, who as Grotius thinks wrote in the reign of Gallienus, entitled his history of the wars between the Romans and Goths, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; or Page  12Scythic Histories: and called the Goths 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Scythae. See Photius, Cod. 83.
  • 5. Priscus uses Scythians and Goths synonymously. saying 'they besieged the Goths. There the Scythians labouring under want of victuals, &c.'m
  • 6. Eunapius calls those Goths whom Valens planted in Maesia Scythiansn.
  • 7. Procopius, lib. IV. c. 5. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: 'all the other Gothic nations, who were also called Scythians in ancient times.'
  • 8. Anastasius in Hist. Chronograph. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.
    When many Scythians, who are called Goths, had past the river Ister, in the time of Decius, they wasted the Roman empire.
  • 9. Theophanes, under the year 370, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉:
    for that the Scythians are in their tongne called Goths, Trajanus Patricius relates in the history of his own time.
  • 10. Georgius Syncellus, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉:
    the Scythians are also called Goths in their own language.
  • 11. Jornandeso always speaks of the Goths, Getae, and Scythae, as one people, and uses the names synonymously.
  • 12. Isidorus thus begins his Chronicle of the Goths in Spain, Gothorum antiquissimum esse regnum certum est, quod ex regno Scytharum est exortum.
  • 13. procopius repeatedly calls the Foederati, so well known in the Lower Empire, Goths. Suidas in voce calls them Scythae.
  • 14. Ammianus Marcellinus, lib. xxxi. mentioning the death of Decius who fell in the battle against the Goths, or Getae, calls them Scythicae gentes.

Page  13There is not a shadow of any authority whatever on the other side of the question. The dreams of Cluve∣rius and Grotius, above mentioned, only merit laugh∣ter; as any modern must ever do, who chuses to ad∣vance his futile speculations against ancient authority. For, as there can be no special revelation in such cases, without the ancients we know nothing of the mat∣ter; and, if we strive to extinguish their lights, must remain in utter darkness. But, if modern names may weigh, Salmasius de Lege Hellenist. p. 368, says, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, is but the same word differently pronounced. Indeed the S in Scythae is but a servile letter, as in many other Greek words, where it is put or omitted at pleasure, as Skimbri for Kimbri, &c.p This ancient name Scythae seems Guthae with an S prefixt, and the G altered to K, as no word in Greek begins with SG, which is in∣deed almost unpronounceable in the beginning of a word; but in SK (or SC) are many words in the Greek. Mr. Gibbon justly observes that the Greek writers, after the appearance of the name Gothi among the Latin, still use Scythians as a synonymous word. This was owing to the Greeks retaining the name by which they had ever called them, while the Romans, to whom the people was un∣known save in ancient history and geography, gave them on their first nearer acquantance with them, not the Greek name, but their own proper appellation. It is also worth remarking that Odin was the great god of the Scandinavian Goths, and the Icelandic Eddas and Sagas say that Odin led his people into Scandinavia from Scythia on the Page  14Danastrom; that is the Danaster, Dniester, or Tyras.

These synonymous names Scythae, Getae, Gothi, all appear sometimes in local, sometimes in exten∣sive, meaning among the ancients. Herodotus puts the Getae on the south of the Danube, and the Scythae on the other side. Pliny and Strabo ex∣tend the Getae all over the west of the Euxine, and the later thro half of Germany. Herodotus, lib. IV. c. 121, mentions the Thyssa Getae to the north of the Euxine, and in the heart of Scythia; and lib. IV. c. 11. the Massa Getae on the north and east of the Caspian. Procopius lib. I. c. 2. says the whole Scythae were anciently called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Getic nations. Jornandes uses the words Scythae, Getae, Gothi, as quite synonymous. Some, as may be seen in the above authorities, call the Getae, or Gothi Scythians: others call the Scythians Getae, or Goths. The words are absolutely synonymous: nay, to all appearance, but one and the same name, differently spelt.

From these proofs it is Historic Truth that the Scy∣thians, Getae, Goths, are one and the same people.

Page  15

CHAPTER II. Whether the Scythians or Goths proceeded from Scandinavia into Asia; or from Asia into Europe.

THIS is a most important and curious inquiry; and, for want of sufficient attention to it, pro∣digious errors have crept into the works of almost all modern writers, even of the highest account.

It must here be premised, that the term Scythians is often, by modern writers, used in a most lax and indefinite sense; but is never so employed by the an∣cients, whose ideas upon the subject were accurate and distinct. Herodotus carefully distinguishes between the Scythians and the Sarmatae. In book IV. c. 57, he says, that beyond the Tanais to the north 'are not Scythae, but Sarmatae:' c. 101. he mentions that the Melanchlaeni (a Sarmatic nation) are beyond the Scythae twenty days journey, having said c. 20. that the Melanchlaeni are not Scythae: and lib. IV. c. 117, he tells that some of the Sar∣matae were taught the SCYTHIC tongue by the Amazons. He also distinguishes the Scythians from the Celts; and places the later far to the west. The Tartars were unknown to the ancients, till the Fifth century, when the Huns, who were Tartars, burst into Europe: and Jornandesa sufficiently marks the great difference between the Scythians and the Huns; as we can at this day by comparing the large shape, blue eyes, and fair hair, of a German, Page  14〈1 page duplicate〉Page  15〈1 page duplicate〉Page  16with the small stature, small black eyes, and black hair of a Tartar. These differences are found in the other ancient writers, who fully knew that the Scythians were neither Sarmatae, Celts, nor Tar∣tars; but a race of men peculiar, fixt, and distinct. It is to modern ignorance, or superficiality, which is worse than ignorance, that we are indebted for any confusion upon this matter. There are how∣ever two exceptions to this general rule, which, as it is the intention of this treatise to lay every thing before the reader in the most open manner, must not be forgotten. The first is that of Strabo who, in describing Asia, lib. XI. p. 492, says 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉'On this side are the Sarmatae themselves Scythians.' But this passage is a palpable mistakeb, and may be confuted from many others of Strabo himself; who, in describing Europe, clearly and repeatedly distinguishes the Sarmatae from the Scythae. Indeed the ignorance of Strabo concerning the Caspian sea, and the nations to the east of it, is well known. Nor is it a wonder that he who supposed the Caspian a gulph of the Northern Ocean (VII. p. 294), from which it is near a thousand miles distant, was so mistaken as to take the Asiatic Sarmatae for Scythae. But this single passage of Strabo has no weight, when all the other ancients, from Herodotus down to Jornandes, are clear and direct against it; and prove it a mere error into which Ephorus led him. The other exception is that of Procopius, who says Page  17'the Goths, Vandals, Visigoths, and Gepidae were anciently called Sarmatae and Melanchlaeni: some have also called them Getic nationsc.' This can also be shewn a mistake of Procopius, for the Melanchlaeni were a Sarmatic nation, so called from their black robes; and, not to name all the ancients, Jornandes a writer of his own time marks the Goths as warring with the Sarmatae: and Hero∣dotus, Strabo, Mela, Pliny, Ptolemy, with many others, mark the Scythae or Goths as quite a distinct people from the Sarmatae. The same Procopius, with the ignorance of his benighted age, says the Huns were anciently called Massagetae, M 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. While the fact was that the Huns, or Tartars, had conquered the Massa∣getae, a Scythic nation, and seized their territories, whence Procopius confounded the Huns who, from that quarter, poured into Europe, with the Massa∣getae the ancient possessorsd. Herodotus, Dio∣dorus Siculus, Ptolemy, and other ancients, fully instruct us that the Massagetae were a Scythic nation; and Diodorus says they were a colony of the Scythians on the Euxine. These two are perhaps the only ancient writers who confound the Scythae with the Sarmatae, or with the Tartars. Not one of the ancients confounds the Scythae with the Celts. Strabo's Celto-Scythae were those Scythae who bordered on the Celts; as the Indo-Scythae were those who bordered on the Indi.

The reader, to obtain a clear and precise view of our subject, must bear in mind that there were in ancient Europe only four Grand Races of men; namely,

  • 1. The Celts, the most ancient inhabitants that can be traced; and who were to the other races what the savages of America are to the European settlers there.
  • 2. The Iberi of Spain and Aquita∣nia, Page  18who were Mauri and had past from Africa. These Two Races were few in number; the Celts being mostly destroyed by the Sarmatae and Scythae; and few of the Iberi having come into Europe.
  • 3. The Sarmatae, who were in all ap∣pearance originally possessors of south-west Tartary, but expelled by the Tartars. For their speech, the Sarmatic or Slavonic is remote from the Tartaric; and their persons, full of grace and majesty, are dif∣ferent from those of Tartars: so that they are not of Tartaric origin.
  • 4. The Scythians, who originated, as shall presently be seen, from present Persia; and spred from thence to the Euxine, and almost over all Europe.

In the ancient authors these grand races of men are marked and clear; and that chief distinction of the four languages still remains to certify them. The Celtic is spoken by the Irish and Welch. The Iberian still partly survives in the Gascunian or Basque, and Mauritanic. The Sarmatic is the vast Slavonic tongue. The Scythic comprehends the other nations; but especially the Germans and Scandinavians, whose speech is less mixt. No di∣visions can be more accurate and precise, from present proofs, as well as from ancient writers. It is to modern authors, and some of them illustrious, that we owe any confusion upon this subject, aris∣ing from a very simple cause, to wit, that good authors are rarely antiquaries, and that men of great talents are seldom so industrious as to go to the bottom of a subject, where alone however the truth is to be found. Thus we find one modern writere gravely pronouncing that the Scythians were Celts, because he was a Frenchman, and wanted to make France the parent of all nations, which he easily proves; for he was enabled to shew, from all the ancients, that the Greeks, Italians, Germans, &c. &c. were infallibly of Scythic origin; Page  19and, as he says, the Scythians were Celts, it fol∣lowed that all the nations of Europe were Celtic. Unhappily he forgot that the antients distinguish more widely between the Scythians and Celts than between any other Grand Races of men; for, from the days of Herodotus to the latest voice of anti∣quity, the Scythians are marked as proceeding from Asia, and the Celts as confined to the utmost west of Europe. Nor can any tongues be of more different form than the Celtic and Gothic. Thus we find anotherf telling us upon his own authority, that the Goths were Sarmatae, without once re∣flecting that all the antients are direct against him; and that a nation speaking the Gothic tongue can no more be the same with one speaking the Slavonic, than a Swede can be a Russian. Thus we find othersg calling the Scythae Tartars, and the Tartars Scythae, forgetting that the ancients did not even know the existence of the Tartars till the Huns appeared; and that they distinguish the Scy∣thae from the Huns in the most positive manner; forgetting that the Scythae spoke the Gothic tongue, a language as remote from the Tartaric as possible.

Ihre, a man of industry and skill in the Gothic, but of small learning and still less penetration, in the preface to his Suio-Gothic Glossary, observes the danger of attempting to trace Scythic words, given us by ancient writers, in the Gothic; because, says he, it appears that the Scythians had anciently different tongues. For Herodotus says that in Scy∣thia were Seven languages. Strabo, lib. X. p. 503, says the Alani, a Scythic nation, had twenty-six languages. Mithridates king of Pontus, we are told, learned Twenty-two tongues, to converse with his own subjects, who were chiefly Scythic, or at least in the old seats of the Scythae. Lucian says, Tiri∣dates, a successor of Mithridates in those parts, Page  20requested a Pantomimus from Nero, as a general interpreter of gestures to his subjects, not being able to understand so many tongues. The Scho∣liast of Apollonius Rhodius IV. 321. says, there were Fifty Scythian nations. Ihre remarks justly that the ancients comprized all the nations in the oblique ascent from the Caspian sea up to the far∣thest point of Scandinavia under the general name of Scythians; and, let me add, for a good reason, because they were so, all save the Sarmatians, whom some ancient writers only called Scythae, before it was fully discovered that the Sarmatae were of quite a distinct race and language, as known in the time of Tacitus and Ptolemy. Let me observe upon this that the whole is a superficial misrepresentation. Herodotus does not say that there were seven languages in Scythia, but that there was one Scy∣thic nation, the Argippae, called also Phalacri, or Bald Scythians, who lived at a vast distance (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) to the easth. He observes there was a number of countries and regions be∣tween them and the others; and adds, 'the Scythae who go to them pass by seven interpreters, and as many tongues.' Herodotus is on the contrary a clear witness that the Scythae had but one speech; for, lib. IV. c. 117, he tells that some of the Sarma∣tae learned the SCYTHIC tongue (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) from the Amazons. He also repeatedly tells us that the Scythians denominate such a person or thing by such a name in THEIR languagei. Strabo's testimony concerning the Alani, a small nation of the Scythae, having twenty-six languages, is mat∣ter of laughter, not of authority; being only likely to be true when the Caspian sea was a gulf of the Northern Ocean, as Strabo tells; and akin to the men with dogs heads, or horses feet, and other impossible fictions of travellers, which imposed on grave authors of antiquity. If Mithridates learned Page  21Twenty-two tongues, it was not to converse with his subjects, but from his love of learning; and the number is no doubt vastly magnified, as usual in such cases. Lucian's tale is a risible and good one; but did Ihre think it a matter of fact? That the Alani, as a scattered nation bordering on the Sar∣matae and on the Tartars, had many dialects, we may well believe. So we may that in the kingdom of Pontus, comprizing Galatae or German Gauls, Asiatic Scythians, Syrians of Cappadocia, Sarma∣tians, Colchians, Chaldaei, Greeks; there were three radical languages, the Scythian, Sarmatic, and Assyrian, which might well ferment into many dialects. The Scholiast of Apollonius says nothing of languages, but only shews the vast extent of the Scythae.

This point required attention because a diversity of tongues would have argued the term Scythoe an indefinite appellation; and it is believed the reader will now see that there is no authority whatever for such an idea. That some Scythic words mentioned by the ancients should not now be found in Gothic, is less surprizing than that several should, of which instances may be found in Ihre, Sheringham, and others. Languages change by time; many words drop into desuetude, and others supply their place. He must be a sanguine antiquary indeed who would expect to find every Scythic word in the remains of the Gothic which we have! It may therefore be reasonably concluded that, as the Scythae are a most marked and distinct people in ancient accounts, so they had but one general speech, the Scythic, or Gothic; tho perhaps divided into dialects as dif∣ferent as the English and German are now.

Let us now proceed to that important question, Whether the Scythians came originally from Scan∣dinavia into Asia, or from Asia into Europe?

1. That the Scythians originated from Scandinavia, we have one authority, that of Jornandes, who wrote about the year 530. Jornandes was himself a Page  22Gothk, but is thought only the abridger of a large history of the Goths by Cassiodorus, who was his cotemporary. If this was the case, the abridgment must be inaccurate, being solely from memory after a reading of three daysl. But it appears from the words of Jornandes, underquoted, that he fol∣lowed Cassiodorus, but added some things from Greek and Roman writers. However this be, Jor∣nandes puts Scandinavia as the ancient Scythia, from which the Scythians, afterward called Goths, came; for he rightly thro his whole work uses Scythae, Getae, and Gothi, as synonymous words. He makes them pour from Scandinavia down to the Euxine; thence into Asia, which they subdue down to Egypt, where they conquer Vexores, as an∣tient writers say the Scythae did about 3660 years before Christ. He then gives the history of the Amazons, or Scythian female warriors; a fable in all probability grounded on real history, and arising from two sources.

  • 1. That the Scythian women often fought along with their husbands.
  • 2. That the name of a Scythian nation, Amazons, unhappily signified in Greek without breasts.
After this we find some account of the learning of the Scythians or Goths, their manners, &c. and he next passes to Maximin the emperor, who was a Thracian Page  23Goth; the irruption of the Goths in the time of Decius, &c. &c.

Such is the line which Jornandes persues: and his account of the origin of the Scythae was blindly followed by Isidorus, by Beda who calls Scandina∣via Scythia, by Paulus Diaconus, by the geogra∣pher of Ravenna, and by innumerable others in the dark ages. Nay such an effect may even a very weak writer (for such Jornandes is) have upon literature, that one sentence of Jornandes has over∣turned the very basis of the history of Europe. This famous sentence is in his fourth chapter, Ex hac igitur Scandia insula, quasi OFFICINA GEN∣TIUM, aut certe velut VAGINA NATIONUM, cum rege suo nomine Berig Gothi quondam memorantur egressi. Upon this one sentence have all modern historians, nay such writers as Montesquieu, Gib∣bon, and others of the first name, built! Now it can clearly be shewn that Scandinavia was down to a late period, nay is at present, almost over-run with enormous forests, where there was no room for population. Adam of Bremenm, who wrote in the Eleventh century, instructs us that even in Denmark, at that time, the sea coasts alone were peopled; while the inner parts of the country were one vast forest. If such was the case in Den∣mark, we may guess that in Scandinavia even the shores were hardly peopled. Scandinavia is also a most mountainous region; and, among a barbaric and unindustrious people, the mountains are almost unpeopled. In fact, the sole colonies that ever went from Scandinavia were the Piksn into Scotland, Page  24the opposite shore; the Danes into Denmark: and at the late period the Normans into France; and a few small colonies into Iceland, and the neighbour∣ing iles.

But to discredit for ever this dream of Jornandes, who is in fact the sole authority on that side of the question; for other writers down to our times, tho they might be reckoned by hundreds, all stand upon his foundation alone; let us proceed to evince beyond a doubt that the Scythians came from Asia; and that of course Scandinavia must have been al∣most the last point of their population, instead of the first, or punctum saliens.

II. That the Scythians originated from Asia can be proved by many authorities, even the least of them superior to that of Jornandes.

1. Trogus Pompeius in the reign of Augustus, with sedulous diligence and great ability, compiled an universal history, afterward in the reign of Antoninus Pius abstracted by Justin, who dedicates his work to that prince. From Trogus, Justino tells us that the Scythians contended with the Egyptians, then esteemed the earliest of nations, for antiquity: and that Asia was conquered by them, and tributary to them, for no less a space than Fifteen Hundred years, before Ninus, founder of the Assyrian Empire, put an end to the tribute.

The ideas of the ancients concerning this first Supreme Empire were, as might be expected, very confused. Trogus and Justin say the Scythians conquered Vexores king of Egypt, fifteen hundred years before the time of Ninus. Isaac Vossius, in his notes on Justin, wonders that Trogus should say the Scythians conquered Sesostris; while Hero∣dotus, Dicaearchus, Diodorus Siculus, and others, say that Sesostris vanquished the Scythae. Vossius did not see that Sesostris was out of all question; and that it is Vexores whom Justin bears, as dif∣ferent Page  25a name, and person, from Sesostris as can well be imagined. Vexores lived about 3660 years before Christ: Sesostris about 1480! But Vossius is not the only learned man who, from want of common discernment, has even confounded this First Scythic Empire with an eruption of the Scythae into Asia, about 1600 years after Ninus; while the Great Scythic Empire was terminated by Ninus after lasting more than 1500 years. In the works of the Lipsii, Scaligeri, Salmasii, Vossii, Grotii, one finds every thing but common sense, without which every thing is less than nothing. Trogus, who was in civil history what Pliny was in natural history, an indefatigable compiler of the whole knowlege that could be found in preceding authors, discovered this earliest empire, as Time draws truth out of the well. The war of Sesostris against the Scythae, about 1480 years before Christ, narrated by Hero∣dotus and Diodorus Siculus, must by no means be confounded with events that happened 1500 years before Ninus, as Justin states, or 3660 years before Christ. From Justin it is apparent that the Scythians, fixt and resident in present Persia, per∣haps 2000 years before Ninus, carried on a war against Vexores 1500 years before the time of Ni∣nus, and subduing the west of Asia made it tri∣butary, till Ninus delivered it by establishing the Assyrian Empire on the ruins of the Scythian.

In fact, we have good authoritiesp to compare with Trogus, and to confirm that the First Grand Scythian Empire was in present Persia. For that most learned Father of the Church, Epiphanius, in his work against Heresies, near the beginning, divides religious error into four great periods.

  • 1. Barba∣rism.
  • 2. Scythism.
  • 3. Hellenism, or Grecian Page  26error.
  • 4. Judaism. He also says the Scythians were of those who built the tower of Babel: and his Scythism extends from the flood to this later event.

Eusebius, in his Chronicle, p. 13, puts the Scy∣thians as the immediate descendants of Noah down to Serug his seventh descendant; that is, a space of about 400 years, as generations are computed at that period of longevity. This was the Scythian age, the most ancient after the flood; the Scythism of Epiphanius, for his barbarism was the period pre∣ceding the flood. Eusebius also says 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, 'from the deluge to the building of the tower of Babel Scythism pre∣vailed.'

The Chronicon Paschale, p. 23, makes Barba∣rism precede the deluge, then Scythism, Helle∣nism, Judaism, as Epiphanius.

Perhaps it may be thought that these ecclesiastic authorities prove too much, as they mark the whole immediate descendents of Noah as Scythians; and of course might prove all the nations of the globe Scythians, as by Scripture account they all sprung from Noah. But it is the line of Shem down to Serug, and not of Ham or Japhet, who are marked as Scythians; and Shem was reputed the father of Asia, as Ham of Africa, and Japhet of Europe. The flood is now generally reputed a local event; but accept these authorities any way, and they shew that the Scythians originated in Asia. The coin∣cidence of these writers with Trogus is fixt, and strong. Ninus is reputed the founder of the tower of Babel; which was followed by the dispersion of mankind. He was the founder of the Assyrian em∣pire whose capital was Babylon, and the dispersion of the Scythians followed. Of the race of Ham, by scripture account, was Nimrod thought Ninus, and Ashur thought father of the Assyrians, to which race also belong the fathers of nations along the east end of the Mediterranean, the Arabic gulf of Red Page  27sea, and thro all Arabia. Certain it is that the Arabic is a dialect of the Grand Assyrian language, as are the Syrian, Phoenician, Hebrew, Chaldee, Coptic, Abyssinian, &c. all sister dialects; and the Assyrians, who overturned the Scythian empire, formed one great language or race of men, extend∣ing along the east end of the Mediterranean and Arabian seas, to the Erythraean sea, gulf of Per∣sia, and river Euphrates. From them the Egyp∣tians and White Ethiopians must also have sprung, as their language and situation declare.

From these smaller lights, compared with Tro∣gus or Justin, it will appear as evident as so very remote an event can well be, that the Scythian Empire was the first of which any memory has reached us. And it is a plausible opinion, adopted by late mythologists, that Saturn, Jupiter, Bac∣chus, &c. were monarchs of this first empire, whose glorious actions procured them divine honours from their subjects after their death. This empire was perfectly barbarie, and the seat of war, not of arts. All nations, save the Egyptians, were then pastoral; and the Scythians, as described by Hero∣dotus, on the Euxine were certainly more advanced in society than when holding the empire of Asia; for agriculture was then known to one or two na∣tions of themq, which there is no room to think they knew at all in their first empire. This wan∣dering state of pastoral society will at once account for so many of the Scythae leaving their domi∣nions, on the Assyrian conquest, that eastern tra∣dition reported the dispersion of men to have followed that event. But no doubt vast numbers still remained in Persia, and submitted to their new lords. Herodotus, Diodorus, only mention Page  28the Scythae Nomades of the north of Persia to have past the Araxes; and the Scythae in the south remained, and were ever known by the name of Persians, as at this day.

It may be asked how the memory of this vast empire escaped Herodotus, and yet was preserved by later writers? But we must reflect that it is always time that discovers the truth: that Hero∣dotus might not be versed in the eastern languages or history: and that Homer himself says not a word of Ninus, Babylon, or the Assyrian empire, nor of the Median. Many of the most important facts in ancient history were recovered after the time of Herodotus, by writers who lived in the countries where they happened. Nor let it be imagined that what Herodotus says, lib. IV. c. 5. with regard to the Scythians, their boasting of be∣ing the newest of nations, and not existing above a thousand years before Darius, son of Hystaspes, be considered as evidence against the existence of the Scythian empire. For not to mention the well-known fabulous disposition of Herodotus, whose work has been rightly called the shade be∣tween poetry and history; and who, from his love of the marvellous and new, might ascribe this idea to the Scythians; we may well reconcile his authority with that of other ancients, by saying that the Scythians, tho the most ancient people of which history preserves remembrance, were yet new in the seats they held in the time of Herodotus, who speaks especially of the Scythae on the west of the Euxine. Because, after being expelled by Ninus, some centuries must have past before they came to the west of the Euxine and down to the Danube, where Herodotus finds the Scythae he dwelt on; and between Ninus and Darius about 1800 years occur.

2. Herodotus himself is a sufficient witness that the Scythians did not originate from Scandinavia, but from present Persia. For he tells us, book IV. Page  29ch. 11. that they passed the Araxes, and entered the Bosphorus Cimmerius. The Araxes, it is well known, is a large river of Armenia, running into the Caspian sea. Herodotus IV. 40. men∣tions 'the Caspian sea, and the Araxes running to the east.' Hence it is clear that, even by the account of Herodotus himself, the Scythians passed up from Persia to the Euxine. He there∣fore affords a collateral proof of the existence of the first Scythian empire, by making his later Scythians ascend from the country where other ancients place it; and at the same time is an abso∣lute witness that the Scythae could not come from Scandinavia, seeing their course was in direct op∣position, proceeding from the south-east to the north-west, instead of the contrary.

3. Diodorus Siculus confirms the account of He∣rodotus, telling us, lib. II. p. 155, that the Scythian Nomades were at first a small nation on the Araxes, whence they spred to Caucasus, and the Palus Maeotis. He also greatly strengthens the narra∣tive of Trogus; tho he confounds the first em∣pire of the Scythae with their later invasion, and ascribes to this late invasion a protracted empire, and many great kings; in which he contradicts the best and earliest writers. And had not Justin, Epiphanius, Eusebius, and the Chronicon Pas∣chale, remained, we might to this hour confound two vast events, the invasion of Egypt by the Scythae from their original seats 3660 years before Christ, and their later invasion 640 years before Christ; so uncertain is traditional chronology!

As brevity is much studied in this dissertation, and every reader will at once allow any one of the above authorities sufficient to overturn that of Jornandes; i shall not insist further, but sum up this article by observing,

  • 1. That we have suffi∣cient authorities, direct and collateral, for the Scythian empire in present Persia being the first Page  30in the world; the Assyrian, generally reputed the first, only succeeding it. And it is believed no man will be so much the dupe of hypothesis as to suppose that the Scythians ascended from Scandinavia, and dropped down in the plains of Babylon, or in opposition to Epiphanius, Eusebius, and the Chronicon Paschale, to assert that even those first Scythae were of Scandinavia; or, in other words, that Noah and the first reputed inhabitants of the earth came from Scandinavia.
  • 2. That Herodotus, Diodorus, and indeed all writers who have occasion to mention the subject, down to the Sixth century, when Jornandes the first monastic historian wrote, and darkness, error, and ignorance, surrounded the world, are in direct opposition to Jornandes. These early writers of enlightened times uniformly make the Scythae pass, from the south of Asia, up in a North West direc∣tion, till they spred over all Europe: and to op∣pose the single testimony of Jornandes to such au∣thorities would be absurd beyond all absurdity. Gro∣tius, who maintains it, from a silly wish of honour∣ing Sweden, has been forced totally to garble and alter it, by bringing those Goths from Scandinavia about 300 years before Christ, whom Jornandes brings thence about 4000 years before Christ. But this hypothesis is contradictory to all ancient ac∣counts, as has been, and shall be shewn, in the course of this tract; and deserves laughter, not re∣futation. Grotius is no authority at all; it is Jor∣nandes who, from his antiquity, merits confutation from other authors yet more ancient and far better informed. Indeed simply to ask by what special miracle Jornandes discovered a matter not only unknown to, but contradictory of, all the ancients, would be full confutation in such a case. He lived in no Augustan age when science was at its height; but in all the darkness of ignorance: and would not have even merited confutation, had he not misled so many.

Page  31It is therefore Historic Truth, that the Scythians, otherwise called Goths, came from present Persia into Europe by a North West progress: and that Scan∣dinavia, instead of being the country whence they sprung, must in fact have been almost the last that re∣ceived them.

Page  32

CHAPTER III. The real origin, and first progress, of the Scythians or Goths: and their Eastern Settlements.

WE have already seen that the Scythian Empire, in present Persia, is the most ancient of which history has preserved any memo∣rial. This very curious subject shall not be here enlarged on, but is left to some future Historian of the Scythians. This empire seems to have extended from Egypt to the Ganges; and from the Persian gulf, and Indian sea, to the Caspian. The conquests of Bacchus, reputed a king of this Scythian dominion, in India, are famous in an∣tiquity: he introduced the vine, or the use of wine, into his dominions, and was deified as the god of wine by his subjects. The bacchanalian feasts of the Thracians, and other Scythae, are noted by classic authors; and from the Thracians they are mentioned to have past to the Greeks. The wine of barley, ale, supplied the want of the grape; and Bacchus retained his honours. But, to enter more certain ground, the real Scythians of this original empire seem to have been bounded by the Euphrates on the west, and the Indus on the east. The Arabians, Syrians, &c. were cer∣tainly not Scythae. We find Indo-Scythae on the Indus, and other remains on the Erythraean sea: but none beyond the Indo-Scythae. On the north the original Scythae extended to the Caspian. Due klowledge of this empire would remove those em∣barrassments Page  33which the learned have fallen into, from ancient accounts of the wars between the Scy∣thae and Egyptians, while Scythia on the Euxine is so remote from Egypt. Most of the ancient authors only knowing Scythia on the Euxine, as the early seat of the Scythae, have misrepresented some of those wars as carried on at such prodigious distance, while the first Scythian empire really bordered on the Egyptian kingdom.

It has been shewn above that ecclesiastic authors of chief account even regarded the Scythians as the very first inhabitants of the east after the deluge. If any reader inclines to look upon the deluge as fabulousa, or as at most a local event, and desires to learn whence the Scythians came to present Persia, he need not be told that it is impossible to answer him. With their residence in Persia com∣mences the faintest dawn of history: beyond, altho the period may amount to myriads of ages, there is nothing but profound darkness. It is a self-evident proposition, that the author of nature, as he formed great varieties in the same species of plants, and of animals, so he also gave various races of men as inhabitants of several countries. A Tartar, a Negro, an American, &c. &c. differ as much from a German, as a bull-dog, or lap-dog, or shepherdd's cur, from a pointer. The differences are radical; and such as no climate or chance could Page  32〈1 page duplicate〉Page  33〈1 page duplicate〉Page  34produce: and it may be expected that as science advances, able writers will give us a complete system of the many different races of men.

The First Progress of the Scythians was, as above shewn from Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, and other ancients, out of the north of present Persia, over the river Araxes, and the vast moun∣tains of Caucasus, which run between the Euxine and Caspian seas. And their first grand settlement, after this emigration, was upon the east, north, and west, of the Euxine, in the tract described as Ancient Scythia by Herodotus and many others; and which, including the northern half of the Euxine, formed, as Herodotus represents, almost a square. A part of the Cimmerii, or ancient Celtic inhabitants of all Germany and up to the Euxine, naturally fortified in a corner of the Tauric Chersonese, by surrounding waters, long withstood the Scythians, or were neglected by them; and were not expelled till about 640 years before Christ, when passing the Cimmerian Bosphorus, they made their way into Asia over the mountains of Caucasus. The Scythians pursued them, and again conquered great part of Asia, but retained it only for about thirty yearsb. This later expedition, some ancients have confounded with the first Scythic empire.

But, if we except this small corner of the Tauric Chersonese, the Scythians may be regarded as possest of all ancient Scythia, at least two thousand years before Christ. Expelled from northern Per∣sia by Ninus, about 2200 years before our aera, they could not take more than two centuries to cover ancient Scythia, if their numbers did not fill it at first. This will further appear from the progress Page  35of the Scythae, detailed in the rest of this disser∣tation.

From Scythia on the Euxine, which, with the antients, let us call Antient Scythia, as being the Parent Country of the European Scythians, the Scythae gradually extended to the East, around the northern shores of the Caspian. Dionysius, the geographer, v. 798, and other ancients, instruct us that the regions, between the Euxine and Caspian, were all peopled by Scythae. Pontusc, Armenia, Iberia, Albania, were of the Scythic set∣tlements. The Iberi here had, as plain sense might dictate, nothing in common with the Iberi of Spain, but the name; tho Strabo, i. 61. xv. 687, says they came from Spain, and Abydenusd fabled that Nebuchadnezzar, having subdued Afric and Spain, brought these Iberi from Spain. Appiane tells us, in direct terms, that their language, man∣ners, &c. were totally different. They had in∣deed no more connection than the Albani here with the

Albanique patres, et altae moenia Romae,
with Albania, the mountainous western part of Macedon, or with the Albani or Highlanders of Scotland. Such coinciding names are mere falls of letters; and he, who builds any hypothesis on them, as M. de Buat, and others, have done, should be taught to study the etymology of Hellebore. But etymology, and single words, and names, have converted the literature of the eighteenth century into a tissue of visions; and we daily see history built upon what no man of sound mind would even Page  36build a fable. Solinus, c. 20, says, the Albani of Asiatic Scythia have white hair, blue eyes, and see better by night than by day. See also Pliny, VII. 2. Aul. Gell. ix. 4. Between the mouths of the Tanais and Rha were the Alani, a Scythic people, cele∣brated in the Alanica of Arrian, and Toxaris of Lucian, who were generally leagued with the Ostrogoths, and in time came to have settlements in Gaul and Spain. On the north of the Caspian, as appears from Herodotus, who did not, like Strabo, take the Caspian for a gulf of the Northern Ocean, were the MASSAGETAE, a great and renowned na∣tion, whose queen Thomyris slew Cyrus, and de∣stroyed his army. The Massagetae extended to the east of the Caspian; and they and the SACAE were the Scythae Intra Imaum, which Ptolemy begins from the Rha or Wolga on the west; as the Chatae, and fabulous Arimaspi, belonged to Scy∣thia extra Imaum, which Ptolemy marks as a very narrow tract, and it certainly did not reach above two hundred miles to the east of the Caspian. We learn from Diodorus Siculus, lib. ii. c. 43. that the Scythians coming over the Araxes, and moun∣tains of Caucasus, to the Palus Maeotis, from thence, after some time, extended their conquests and settlements beyond the Tanais; and that from them the Massagetae, Sacae, Arimaspi, and several other nations sprung. The Bactriani, Justin says, were Scythaee. That the Sogdiani, between the Massagetae to the north, and Bactriani to the South, were Scythae, is clear from Strabo, and the description of their manners given us by Curtius, Page  37lib. vii. c. 8. Strabo XI. 511. says the Bactriani were Sacae; and it would seem that the Sogdiani also were. Sacae was indeed a general name given to the Scythae by the Persians as Herodotus tells. The Bactriani were old Scythae, who extended so far during the Scythic Empire in Persia, for Ninus made war on them: Diodor. ii. Justin i. The Alani, who bordered on the Massagetae on the west, are also called Massagetae by one or two late Latin writers. The Hyrcani were also Scythae; and the Dahae,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Steph. Byz. and Pliny IV. 17. The Margiani were of the Massagetae, as Ptolemy shews, who places Massa∣getae in Margiana: and Dionysius, the geogra∣pher, v. 740. and Eratostenes, in Strabo, lib. ii. extend some Massagetae into Bactriana. Indeed Strabo mentions, that SACAE and MASSAGETAE were general names for the Asiatic Scythae on the east of the Caspian; and Herodotus and Pliny say that the Persians called those Scythae by the general name of Sacae. The Sacae also made later incursions into Hyrcania, and so far as Ar∣menia, where Sacapene, a district, was called by their name; Ptolemy; Strabo lib. ii. Sacae and Massagetae, among the Persians, seem equivalent to Scythae and Getae, among the Greeks. A region at the fountains of Oxus and Jaxartes is still called Sakita, from the Sacae; and the Scythia extra Imaum was called Gete and it's people Getes, in the time of Tamerlane, as appears from his life, written in Persian. See M. de Anville's Memoir on the Getae in those of the Academy, Tome XXV. and on the mountains of God and Magog (which to me seem those of Imaus), Tome XXXII.

My purpose forbids my dwelling on these eastern Scythae. The ancient and modern Persians certainly were, and are Scythae, who remained in the southern parts, when the Scythae Nomades of the north passed the Araxes to enjoy that freedom in other regions which they could not retain under Page  36〈1 page duplicate〉Page  37〈1 page duplicate〉Page  38the Assyrian power; for northern nations have al∣ways been fond of liberty while the southern pre∣ferred the delights and ease of their climate. The Assyrian empire followed the Scythian 2200 years before Christ; the Median succeeded to the Assyrian, 860 years before Christ; the Persian commenced 530 years before our aera. The Par∣thian kingdom began 248 years before Christ. Ardshir, or Artaxerxes, restored the Persian 210 years after Christ, which lasted till the invasion of the Arabs in 636; the Persian line was restored in the Tenth century; but the people remained, and remain much the same. The Persians, who re∣founded the empire, 530 years before our aera, seem to have been the old Scythae of Persia, strengthened by accessions of the Indo-Scythae, and from the Scythian territories on the east of the Caspianf The Assyrians formed one great language, or race of men, as above mentioned. The Medes, we know, from Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, Strabo, Solinus, and others, were Sarma∣tae, who had pierced thro the Scythians, and passed the Caucasus by the Sarmaticae Pylae, into Media. The Parthians were also Sarmatae, as appears from Tacitusg, and others. They had followed the same tract with the Medes, easily making way thro Page  39the Alani, and other Scythic nations, who were scattered around the mountains of Caucasus.

Procopius, who wrote about 530, is so ignorant, as above shewn, as to call the Massagetae Huns, be∣cause the Huns had seized on the lands of the Mas∣sagetae, and from that quarter poured into the em∣pire. But when Herodotus wrote, and down to the Christian aera, as is clear from M. de Guignes, the Huns were on the north of China. When they appeared in the west, Jornandes well marks the prodigious difference between them and the Scythae; the same as that between a German and a Tartar. The famous SCYTHIA INTRA ET EXTRA IMAUM was, if compared to Tartary, as a drop in the ocean. Geographers preceding this century, not knowing the shape of the Caspian, have erred prodigiously; but none more than Cluverius, a most inaccurate writer. Ptolemy's longitudes of Asia, now proved to be false to excess, have also misled. M. D'Anville shews, that the mouth of the Ganges, placed by Ptolemy in 148 degrees, has, by actual observation, been found to have but 108! Another place he gives 177o, which really bears 118o! an error of fifty-nine degrees or about 3000 miles! Strahlenberg observes, that Ptolemy gives a place in the extremity of Serica a latitude extending to the borders of China, which, in fact, is but a hundred and twenty miles east of the Cas∣pian sea! Ptolemy's Seres, which he places be∣yond Scythia extra Imaum, were in the east of present Bucharia* These inland parts were Page  40totally unknown to the ancients, while from the merchants they knew the coasts to Cochin China, which M. D'Anvilleh shews to be the seat of the ancient Sinae. We know little about them even at present, tho much indebted to Strahlenberg's mapi and other works of this century. The Tar∣tars were absolutely unknown to the ancients till the Huns appeared: and they express the greatest surprize at such new features of human nature. The Scythians were neither Tartars, nor of Tar∣taric origin, as some late writers imagine; who, astonished at the vast extent of Tartary, and for∣getting how thinly that extent is peopled, make Tartary the storehouse of nations, as if the author of nature had peopled the world from the most desert part of it! Even the Chinese and Japanese are not Tartars, as their language and history de∣clare: the former are infallibly a Grand Aboriginal nation, and the later a colony of themk. The East Indians are not Tartars, but a race and language of men by themselves. The Persians are another. The Arabs another. The Turks are a mixture of a few Tartars, with numbers of Arabs, Greeks, Syrians, &c. Some writers observe a difference between the Southern and Northern Tartars. This rises solely from the former re∣maining unmixed, while the later are intermingled with the inhabitants of all the kingdoms they con∣quered. Page  41For in agricultural and industrious regions, the lords change, but the inhabitants remain. The Chinese are the same people, tho often subdued, and ruled by Tartars; and in all the above Scy∣thic settlements, as the Huns came not in upon them till the fourth century, there is every reason to conclude that the inhabitants, then far advanced in society, remained in their possessions. The Goths, who came into the Roman empire, are counted by thousands; those who remained may be reckoned by millions. The Ostrogoths and Alani, in particular, formed a league with the Huns, and joined them in arms; and their territories certainly remained unmolested. Busbequius, and others, shew that the peasants of Crim Tartary still speak the Gothic.

Page  42

CHAPTER IV. The Western Settlements of the Scythians or Goths between the Euxine and Mediterranean seas.

FROM their settlements on the Euxine, the Scythians, Getae, or Goths, gradually extended over most of Europe; and the Greeks and Romans were, as shall be presently shewn, certainly Scy∣thians, tho refined by adventitious circumstances. The station, whence the innumerable and vast Scythic swarms advanced, is now Little Tartary, formerly called Ancient, or Little, Scythia.a It's Page  43maritime situation, encircling the sea, had, no doubt, advantages as to population. For it is well known, that sea coasts teem with progeny, owing to the inhabitants living on fish, a food at once salacious and prolific; whence they, who love to moralize ancient fables, may well illustrate the birth of Venus herself from the sea. The Greeks, accustomed to a hot climate, regarded Ancient Scythia as very cold, for such ideas are comparative; an African regarding Italy as cold, an Italian France, a Frenchman Britain, a Briton Iceland. But plain reason dictates, that this country, from it's situation, must be blest with a temperate cli∣mate; and it's amazing vegetation, at present, de∣clares this. Countries beyond the Sixtieth degree of latitude, in any part of the globe, are almost desert; nor can population thrive in such extreme cold. Ancient Scythia, lying between the For∣tieth and Fiftieth degree, is in that happy tem∣perature, between heat and cold, where philosophy, and actual observation, evince, that population is greatest. Poland, a country bordering on Ancient Scythia, is the most populous in Europe for it's size; and, were it not for a tyrannic government, and total depression of the people, would be twice as populous. Far the greatest part of Scandinavia lies beyond the Sixtieth degree; and is, from real, and not comparative, cold, al∣most desert: and all Iceland, tho nearly equal to Great Britain in size, only contains about forty thousand people; while Poland, a country little larger, has fifteen millions. This difference be∣tween the comparative cold ascribed by the dweller of a hot climate, to a temperate one, and that real cold which checks all vegetation and life, has been little attended to by modern writers; to whom a region which, to a Greek or Romanb, Page  42〈1 page duplicate〉Page  43〈1 page duplicate〉Page  44seemed cold, would, in fact, prove warm, com∣pared with Britain or France. We read of battles on the ice of the Danube in Roman times; but that prodigious river was then surrounded with enormous forests, which shaded and chilled all around. It is believed also, that Ovid is the sole witness of such battles, and we must not take poetic exaggeration for solid truth; especially, seeing the poet wished to represent the country in the most dreadful colours, that he might, if possible, procure a mitigation of his banishment. In England the Thames is often frozen, and yet the country is one of the most fertile and populous in the world. Let us not therefore shiver at Greek and Roman descriptions of Thracian and of Scy∣thian cold. Dionysius, the Geographer, gives us, v. 666, to v. 679. of his Periegesis, a dreadful description of the coldness, and storms, of Ancient Scythia. "Where Tanais," says he, "rolls over the Scythian fields, the North Wind rages, and condenses the ice. Unhappy they who build their huts around! For perpetual to them is snow, with the frosty gale. The horses, mules, and sheep, die before the piercing wind. Nor do men bear the blast unhurt; but fly on their cars to another region; leaving the land to the wintry winds, which, rushing with horrid uproar, shake the fields, and piny hills." This poetic account of the cold, in the northern parts of Ancient Scythia, is merely comparative, between it, and Greece; and a British poet would, perhaps, as much ex∣aggerate the heat of that country. The tempera∣ture was singularly adapted to population; and, perhaps, as some kinds of animals are infinitely more prolific than others, so also may certain races of men, as the Scythae, or Goths, undoubtedly were. This ancient Scythia was the real fountain of almost all European nations; and was so esteemed by the ancients, till the dreams of Jor∣nandes, in a benighted age, ascribed to a country Page  45which, by facts and philosophy, ever has been, and is now, very thinly peopled, honours which belonged to quite another clime.

If we place the reign of Ninus, as Chronologers do, about 2200 years before Christ, we may sup∣pose the Scythians, who retired from his power, to have been settled in Little or Ancient Scythia, extending down the shores of the Euxine, to the mouth of the Danube, about 2000 years before Christ. Europe at that time, seems to have been thinly inhabited by a few wandering Celts, who were to the Scythae, what the savages of America are to the Europeans. The Sarmatae appear not then to have emerged from Asia, that mother of nations, wisdom, and arts; for the Scythae far preceded the Sarmatae in their progress. The Celts, from the Euxine to the Baltic, were called Cimmerii, a name noted in Grecian history and fable; and from their antiquity so obscure that a Cimmerian darkness dwells upon them. From the ancients we learn to a certainty, that they were the same people with the Cimbri; and that they extended from the Bosphorus Cimmerius, on the Euxine, to the Cimbric Chersonese of Denmark, and to the Rhine. Posidonius, apud. Strab. lib. viii. informs us, that the Cimmerii were the same with the Cim∣bri; and that they had extended from the Western, or German, ocean, to the Euxine. Which ac∣count is confirmed, in both points, by Plutarch in Mario. Diodorus Siculus, lib. ii. says the Cim∣bri were esteemed the same people with the Cim∣merii. Herodotus IV. 12. says, that when the Cimmerii on the Danube had heard of the entrance of the Scythae into Europe, they were in great consternation: and it is clear from his account, that the Cimbri were the ancient possessors of Ger∣many. Claudian calls the ocean, opposite the Rhine, the Cimbric:

— Te Cimbrica Tethys
Divisum bifido consumit, Rhene, meatu.
Page  46On the north they seem to have reached the east of the Baltic, if the word Celticae be not slipt from the margin of some copy of Pliny into the text, promontorium Celticae Lytarmis, which he places at the northern extremity of the Riphaean mountainsc. Mela and Solinusd mention Cim∣merii in the furthest north on that direction, and no doubt from ancient Greek authors. In Greece the writers were so fond of representing the people as autochthones, that no inhabitants preceding the Pelasgi, or oldest Greeks, who were Scythae, as shall presently be shewn, can be traced. Italy lay in the way of the Gallic Celts, or Celts proper; not of the German Celts, or Cimmerii. Ephorus, Pliny, and Silius Italicus, mention a town of Cimmerii in Campania of Italye; but, Cellariusf justly observes that this is a mere fable, founded on Homer Odys. XI. at the beginning, where Odysses, or Ulysses, is said to have sailed from Circe's abode, to the land of the Cimmerii in one day. Let me add that this day was a day of Circe's magic, and to magic every thing is possi∣ble; for Homer represents Odysses as having reached the very extremity of the ocean in that day. During that magic day, he visited Portugal, as the ancients sayg, and touched at Caledoniah, Page  47then passed to the opposite shore of Germany, the real land of the Cimmerii, where he descended to the infernal shades. The time he took to return is not specified; but we may infer it to be equally magical. That the Cimmerii were the same with the Cimbri, the name and situation might instruct us, were we not positively informed of this by the ancients. That the Cimmerii, or Cimbri, were Celts, is as certain as so very remote and obscure a subject will bear: for.
  • 1. Upon the first appearance of the Cimmerii in Homer, we find them placed in those very extreme western regions, where other ancients place the Celtsi.
  • 2. Upon their first ap∣pearance in Herodotus, and Greek history, we find the Scythae made war upon them, when they entered Europe; so that the Cimmerii were not Scythae, but original inhabitants of Germany; nor were they Sarmatae, as all know, so must be Celtae, the only other people known to the ancients in these parts.
  • 3. Pliny mentions Lytarmis, a pro∣montory of Celtica, on the east of the Baltic; and Mela and Solinus place a remnant of Cim∣merii in that direction; hence it seems clear that they were the Celts who gave name to the promon∣tory.
  • 4. Appian is a witness that the Cimbri, or Cimmerii, were Celts; for lib. i. de bello civ. p. 625, he says, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Page  48〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉,: 'Apu∣leius published a law for dividing the grounds, which, in the country now called Gaul by the Romans, the Cimbri, a people of Celts, had possessed.' And again in Illyr. p. 1196. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; 'those Celts, who are called Cimbri.'
  • 5. Several names of rivers, and moun∣tains, in Germany, are Celtic; which shew that Celts once possessed the country: and that the Germans themselves were, from the earliest dawn of history, Seythians, not Celts, shall be fully shewn.
  • 6. We find the Cimbri, or Cimmerii, mentioned in early times, as extending from the Euxine to the German ocean; and, in the first century, we find those Cimbri, or Cimmerii, re∣duced to a small state upon the German ocean; in like manner, as we find the Celtae, the ancient possessors of Gaul, pent up in the extremity of Gaul, when Caesar entered that country.
  • 7. Taci∣tus mentions the Aestii, a nation on the Baltic in present Prussia, as speaking a language nearly British, that is, Cumraig, or Welsh. These were evidently remains of the old inhabitants confined in that remote situation.
  • 8. Posidonius, Strabo, Plutarch, state that the Cimbri, or Cimmerii, came from the German ocean to the Euxine; so that they originated from the north-west; and we know, from all the ancients, that the utmost north-west was held by Celtae; so that it follows that the Cimbri were Celtae.
  • 9. The name of Cumri, or Cumbri, by which the Welsh still call themselves, is palpably a grand generic name, as the Tartars call themselves Tatars, and the Irish Celts, Gael or Gauls.
And there is every reason to believe, that the Welsh name Cumri or Cumbri is that ancient one Cimmerii, or Cimbri, pro∣nounced by the Greeks and Romans, Kimmerii and Kimbri. That a part of the Celtic Britons was called Cimbri, we learn from Ricardus Cori∣nensis. Page  49And it is reasonable to conclude, that the north and east of Britain were peopled from Ger∣many, by the Cimbri of the opposite shores, who were the first inhabitants of Scotland that can be traced, from leaving Cumraig names to rivers and mountains, even in the furthest Hebudesk. From the south of Britain the Cimbri or Cumri expelled the Gael into Ireland, as their own writers, and traditions, bearl; and the oldest names in Wales as in other parts south of Humber are Gaelic, not Cumraig. It is therefore with great justice now allowed by English antiquaries that the Cumri or Welch are remains of the Cimbri: and that the Welch are Celts, and their speech a Grand dialect of the Celtic, is known to all.

All Germany, nay from the Euxine to the German ocean, was therefore originally possest by the Cimmerii, or Cimbri, one of the two Grand Divisions of the Celts. The furthest west, or Gaul, was held by the Celts, properly and pecu∣liarly so called, and of whom the Cumri were ap∣parently the offspring, who spreading into another region had assumed a new appellationm. Herodo∣tusn mentions the Celts as living near the Pyrenees. Aristorleo and many other ancients mention them as in the furthest west, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, 'above Spain.' Caesarp actually found them confined to the utmost corner of Gaul: the Scythians or Goths having under the name of Belgae restricted them Page  50from the north and east; while the Iberi, a Mau∣ric race, who had passed from Africa to Spain, had seized on the south-west part of Gaul, where they bore the name of Aquitani. The famous Galli of the Romans were German Gauls, not Celts; as is clear from the names of their leaders, and from the position of their country, from which the Celts were quite remote, while it joined to Germany. But of this when we come to the Germans. That the Celts were the most ancient possessors of Gaul is so universally known, that it would be vain to il∣lustrate so clear a subject. But whether any Celts ever were in Italy seems as uncertain, as if any Cimmerii were in Greece. In truth, those little mountainous corners called Italy and Greece were very insignificant to a vast pastoral people; and the spacious plains of Gaul and Germany, over which they could range without restrictions of hills and seas, must have been the grand seats of such little population as then prevailed in Europe. The passage of the Gael and Cumri to Britain ap∣pears to have been in consequence of the Scythic pressure from the east. However this be, it is cer∣tain that the Grecian, and Roman, fables have hid all memory of any Celts ever being in Greece, or Italy: and it is most likely they were not, as these countries were in the extremity of either Celtic pro∣gress, from Gaul, or from Germany, so that it would appear that both the Celts and Cumri were forced to recoil by the Scythae, before they had reached so far. Tacitus mentions the Gothini, a people in the south of Germany, as using the Gallic or Celtic tongue; and it is probable they were re∣mains of the Celts proper who had reached so far in that direction, and being in a hilly situa∣tion were employed by the Germans in working minesq.

Page  51From the vast forests which even the Romans found in Gaul and Germany, and from other marks, it is evident that the population of the Celts and Cumri was very thin, and scattered. When the Scythae came into Europe, the Celtic savages, soon finding their inferiority, seem generally to have fled to the extremities; and Britain and Gaul appear to have been the final receptacles of almost all the Celts. The earliest Scythae also carried on very cruel war, distinguishing themselves chiefly by the number of enemies they had slainr. And, the Celtic nations being pastoral, the evacuation of their possessions by the vanquished must have been complete as among the Huns and other pastoral nations, save only in a mountainous or retired corner or two. But when the Celts arrived at the extremities, which was not for fifteen centuries, as the Scythae only enlarged their territories with their population, and consequent necessities, the Scy∣thae had by a natural progress acquired more ad∣vanced society, and treated the Celts with some humanity. In Gaul the Belgae seem to have ming∣led much with the Celts, and assisted their wars and counsels against the Romans their common enemy. In Germany, a few Cimbri remained on the western ocean, every where surrounded with the Scythae, till little more than a century before Christ, when the Scandinavian Scythae, a more barbaric race, as being remote from civilization, poured down upon these Cimbri, and not only drove them, but the Teutones a German people, before them; and the southern Germans permitted both to pass thro their territories in search of new habitations. The Cimbri and Teutones not ex∣pelled by the ocean overflowing their lands, as Plutarchs fables, but by an overflow of enemies, passed into Gaul by the forest of Ardenna, for Page  52the Belgae repelled themt; and ruled Gaulu, and ravaged Spainv, for some years, till turning upon Italy they were almost extinguished by the sword of Marius, 102 years before our aera.

Having thus mentioned the state of Europe, when the Scythians entered it, let us now attend to their progress, which has six grand stages;

  • 1. Thrace;
  • 2. Illyricum;
  • 3. Greece;
  • 4. Italy;
  • 5. Ger∣many;
  • 6. Scandinavia. In other words, let us now shew that the Thracians, Illyrians, Greeks, Italians, Germans, Scandinavians, were all SCYTHAE, or GOTHS.

I. We have seen the Scythae, Getae, or Goths, settled in Ancient Scythia, upon the Euxine, about two thousand years before Christ. This An∣cient Scythia, Herodotusw describes as reaching down to the Ister, or Danube, on the south-west; and all the nations above the Danube, Herodotus calls Scythae and Sarmatae, as shall be seen in the Second Part of this essay, where the northern pro∣gress of the Scythians into Germany and Scandi∣navia is treated. At present the nations south of the Danube, call our attention: and of these, the first which occurs, is that of the THRACIANS, whom Herodotusx mentions as the most numerous people in the world, save the Indi. On the north of Thrace was a small nation, who bore the Gene∣ric name of Getae, in the time of Herodotusy; an appellation afterward found to belong to the whole Scythae, and especially the Parental Scythae upon the Euxine. In the time of Philip of Macedon we find these Getae, south of the Danube, called Page  53Scythaez; and they indeed formed the shade be∣tween the grand Generic name of Scythae, or Getae, and the Specific name of Thracians, which had attended the Scythians in passing into a dis∣tinct country, separated from Ancient Scythia by a broad and deep river, the Danube. Those speci∣fic names are no more to be considered, than as the names of counties in England; and the petty tribes, into which the specific nations were divided, only resemble our towns, tho upon a far larger scale; as, among barbaric nations, the people are scattered in separate huts over a wide country, which, in advanced society, would form a city. Herodotus includes the Mysi, or Moesi, under the name of Thracians; and Strabo, lib. vii. says, that many Greek authors did the same. The Moesi were a vast people extending all along the south of the Danube, from it's mouth to Illyricum. When Macedon was conquered by the Romans, their country was erected into two provinces Upper and Lower Moesia. In Lower Moesia stood Tomi, the place of Ovid's banishment, on the Euxine; and, we learn from his Tristia, that he there wrote a poem in the language of the country, and that the language was the Getic or Gothic.

Ah pudet et Getico scripsi sermon••eum, &c.
De Ponto, lib. iv. ep. xiii.
Nam dedici Getice, Sarmaticeque loqui.
Nic te mirari si sint vitiosa, decebit
Carmina quae faciam pene poeta Getes.

Ib. III. ii.

From innumerable passages in his Tristia, and Page  54in his books De Ponto, we learn, that the Getic or Scythic was the language spoken in Moesia; and he never, it is believed, mentions the Moesi, but by the name he heard them give themselves, that of Getae, or Goths.

Threicio Scythicoque fere circumsonor ore,
Et videor Geticis scribere posse modis.

Trist. III. ult.
Vulgus adest Scytharum, braccataque turba Getarum.
Ib. IV. vi.

For the braccae, or breeches, were in all ages the grand badge of the Scythae or Goths:

Pellibus, et laxis, arcent mala frigora, braccis.
Ib. V. 7.
and speaking of a Greek colony which, in consort with the natives, founded Tomi, he says,
Pro patrio cultu Persica bracca tegit.
V. x.
He calls himself Geticus senis: and his whole poe∣try written there shews, that he found but two barbaric tongues in the vast regions around him, namely, the Getic or Gothic, and the Sarmatic or Slavonic. For the Scythae lived upon the best terms with the neighbouring Sarmatae, insomuch, that we seldom read of any war between them, but, on the contrary, find them almost in constant al∣liance. Herodotus mentions the Sarmatae as join∣ing the Scythae against Darius; and in Roman his∣tory we find them frequently in united arms. Trajan's pillarz instructs us, that Decebalus, king of the Dacic Getaea was assisted by Sarmatic cavalry, Page  55with both man and horse, in complete habergeon. Mutual advantages caused this alliance, for the wes∣tern Goths had little or no cavalry, and the Sarmatae were all cavalry, as is clear, from all ancient wri∣ters who mention them. Hence several Gothic tribes of the frontier settled among the Sarmatae; and several Sarmatic tribes among the Goths. Of the last the Jazyges in particular had three settle∣ments among the Scythae, quite remote from the other Sarmatae, and every where surrounded by Scy∣thic possessions. These were the Jazyges Eneocadlae on the east of the mouth of Tyras; and the Jazy∣ges Moeotoe on the north of the Moeotis; and chiefly the Jazyges Metanastoe between the Danube and Teiss above Pannoniab. This peculiar name of Jazyges, given to the Sarmatae, who settled among the Goths, seems to have implied some quality they stood in to the Goths, as auxiliaries, or cavalry, &c. Besides these detached settlements of Sarma∣tae, it would appear, that they often visited the Greek towns on the Euxine to sell their furs, &c. to the merchants, and that Ovid thus learned the Sarmatic; for there were no Sarmatic settlements, marked by any geographer, within less than an hundred, or an hundred and fifty, miles of Tomi. But as the Moesi formed only a division of the Thracians, let us return to consider the later in general.

That all the Thracians were Scythae or Getae, and spoke the Scythic or Gothic tongue, is clear. Vopiscus says of Probus, Thracias, atque omnes Ge∣ticos populos aut in deditionem, aut in amicitiam, re∣cepti. The speech of the Moesi was, as Ovid testifies in many passages, the Getic or Scythic. Strabo gives us the same information in direct terms, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉;c; 'the Getae, a people using the same lan∣guage Page  56with the Thracians:' and Strabo's Getae extend over the whole north-west of the Danube, and Euxine, even to half of Germanyd. Many ancients call the Getae Thracians; and others call the Thracians Getae. They who wish to see this further illustrated are referred to Ihree.

From Thrace large colonies of the Scythae passed the Bosphorus Thracius, and Hellespont, into Asia Minor. Such were, as Strabo, lib. VII. mentions, the Bithynins, and Phrygians, and Mariandyni. Dionysius, v. 758 to 798, reckons among the Scythians, and who, from their situa∣tions, had clearly past from Thrace, the whole nations of the kingdom of Pontus, on the south of the Euxine; namely, besides the Bithynians and Mariandyni, the Rhoebi, and Pophlagonians, and Chalybes, and Tibareni, and Mossynoesi, and Pei∣leres, and Macrones, and Bechires, and Byzeres, and Chalcedonians. So that, excepting only the Cappadocians, who were Assyrians, as Dionysius says, v. 772f, the whole nations all around the Euxine were Scythians. The Lydians were also Scythae, for the Mysians were surely from Moesia often called Mysia: and Herodotus, lib. I. says, that Lydus and Mysus, whence these names, were brothers of Caris, whence the Carians. Besides, the river Halys, the eastern boundary of Lydia, was afterward that of Phrygia Major, so that the Phrygians formed a great part of the Lydian king∣dom, and also held Galatia before the German Gauls seized it, 277 years before Christ. The Lycians and Pamphylians were also branches of the Hellenesg, who were Scythae, as shall be Page  57shewn. As to Cilicia, the only other country in Asia Minor, there is no authority for the origin of its inhabitants; but as they bordered on the Assy∣rians, and Cappadocia, there is reason to believe them Assyrians. Of these countries many are highly famous. About 550 years before Christ, Craesus, the opulent king of Lydia, is celebrated; and coinage is rationally supposed to have been invented in his kingdom. Midas, the rich king of Phrygia, is much more ancient, but he belongs to fable. Pliny, lib. VII. c. 57, informs us from Aristotle, that Lydus, a Scythian, found the art of melting and tempering (temperare) brass: a mythologic method of saying that art was invented in Lydia. But, above all, the people of Phrygia Minor, or Trojans, are celebrated over the whole globe with the loudest trump of fame. Many learned men have been puzzled at the Trojan names of men, places, &c. being Greek, while we have no authority for Troy being founded by Greeks; but this wonder will vanish, when we shall see presently that the Greeks and Trojans were originally the same people, and used the same Scythic tongue. All the settlements of the Scythae yet mentioned appear to have been thus dilated in less than five centuries, or about 1500 years before Christ.

II. The ILLYRIANS were also Scythae. Illyri∣cum is here understood as reaching all along the north side of the Adriatic, from Macedon to Gaul, and including Noricum and Pannonia; or all south of the Danube; bounded by Macedon and Moesia on the east, Germany on the north, the Adriatic on the south, and Gaul on the west. The vast Thracian nations of Herodotush certainly ex∣tended over most of this country. Strabo, p. 207, Page  58says the Iapydes, a people between Illyrium and Gaul, were partly Celts, partly Illyrians, so that the Illyrians were not Celts. Horace, Ode xi. Book II. instructs us, that they were Scythae.

Quid bellicosus Cantaber, et Scythes,
Hirpine Quinte, cogitet Adria
Divisus objecto, remitras, &c.
The history of this great people is not a little ob∣scure, tho Appian has written 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 M. de Buat, who, when he steers free of etymology, has great merit, well details what can be recovered of Illyrian historyi. Philip of Macedon vanquished and imposed conditions on them; and from the account of this war, preserved by ancient authors, it is clear, that the Illyrian manners were absolutely Scythic, and similar to the Macedonian or Greek. Illyricum submitted to Rome about 227 years be∣fore our aera. The Thracian Scythae, who peopled Illyricum, had spred chiefly to the east, as we have seen; and they also peopled Greece and Italy, as shall be shewn: so that this population extended no further west. The Celts retained all Cisalpine Gaul, and their other Gallic possessions, till about 500 years before Christ, when the Germans, or northern Scythae, poured in, as after explained.

III. Beneath the Thracians and Illyrians were the GREEKS. The denomination of Greece is here used in the large sense of the ancient Hellas, as including Macedon, and extending from Thrace and Illyricum, to the Cretan and the Ionian and Sicilian seas, and Asiaric shore of the Egean; in∣cluding the surrounding iles, and especially all those in the Egean sea. This article is so curious and important, as to deserve being a little en∣larged upon.

It is universally allowed by the learned that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Pelasgi, was the first name of the Greeks, who afterward bore the name of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Hellenes: and all Greece in the large ac∣ceptation Page  59above was called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Hellas. The very name of Greek is unknown to the Greek wri∣ters; who indeed very seldom use 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or in other words, speak of the Greeks in general, but almost universally tell of Spartans, Athenians, &c. One or two very late Greek writersk, it is believed, use 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or Greek, from the Roman Graecus, or, poetically, Graius. How the Romans came to give this name to the people is inexplicable, if it were not from the Greek word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, anilis, old womanly, from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉an old woman; a deriva∣tion which the Latin poetic term Graius seems also to infer. It must therefore have been given in the supreme contempt of a warlike for a learned people, and is itself a proof how little names im∣port, while we use Greek, alias old woman, as a term of supreme honour.

There is not the smallest trace to be found in the ancients of any people possessing Greece be∣fore the Pelasgi. That the Pelasgi were Scythae, or Goths, shall now be shewn: and if any Celts ever came as far as Greece, which was in the very extremity of their western progress, the whole ancient writers are totally silent concerning them; nor was it likely that such a fact could have escaped Homer, if in the least known to Greek tradition.

Pelasgi and Hellenes were the sole universal names by which the Greeks ever were known Page  58〈1 page duplicate〉Page  59〈1 page duplicate〉Page  60among themselves. For Herodotus, lib. II. says, that all Greece was formerly called Pelasgia. Stra∣bo, lib. V. p. 337, and lib. VII. p. 504, says, the Pelasgi over-ran all Greece. Herodotus, lib. II. c. 52, says, the Greeks derived their rites and re∣ligion from them. The scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius says the Argives were called Pelasgi. Herodotus, b. VII. and Pausanias in Arcad. in∣form us, that the Arcadians were Pelasgi: and the Arcadians, from their inland situation, were re∣puted the most ancient and unmixt of all the Greeks. Herodotus, lib. I. c. 57, acknowledges his uncer∣tainty about the Pelasgi; but, lib. VII. c. 95, he says, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the Ionians were Pelasgi: and, lib. I. c. 57, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, 'the Athe∣nains were Pelasgi.' Apollonius Rhodius, and other poets, use 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, for Greece, as a name of reverence and antiquity; and so also Virgil, Statius, and other Latin poets, use Pelasgi, and Pelasgiam, for Greeks and Greece, just as if a Scotish poet should put Pikland for Scotland.

Dr. Gillies, in his excellent History of Greece, observes, vol. I. p. 5. from Herodotus, lib. I. Dionys. Hal. lib. I. and Pausanias, lib. VIII. that 'the colo∣nies of the Pelasgi continued, in the fifth century be∣fore Christ, to inhabit the southern coast of Italy, and the shores of the Hellespont. And, in those widely separated countries, their ancient affinity was re∣cognised in the uniformity of their rude dialect, and barbarous manners, extremely dissimilar to the customs and language of their Grecian neighbours.' But this just remark militates not in the least against the Greeks being Pelasgi, and their tongue Pelasgic, as their own writers uniformly say. For the Greek tongue had been thrown into a ferment by a slight mixture of Phoenician, and had been purified with all the art and attention of the wisest and most ingenious men in the world. It was the Pelasgic, but the Pelasgic refined, as the English is from the Saxon. No wonder that in Greece, Page  61a country where every city was as it were a distinct people, some few cities, and some mountaineers and ilandersl, should have retained the old dialect, and that it was as dissimilar from polished Greek as Saxon from English: and should also, from de∣tached situation, have kept up the old barbaric manners. Besides, it has been lately shewnm, that the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, mentioned by Herodotus, as Pelasgic, was not in Italy, but in Thessaly; and that Diony∣sius Halicarnassaeus had mistaken it's situation by reading Croton for Creston as the text of Herodo∣tus actually bears. So that the old Pelasgic was, as might be expected, only to be found in some de∣tached corners of Greece. And these separate Pelasgi were either some who had returned from Italy, after being defeated by the Aborigenes about the time of the Trojan war, if we credit Dionysius of Halicarnassus; or others who, according to Herodotus, had lately come from Samothrace. So that these scattered fragments of Pelasgi must not be confounded with the later Greeks, being only remnants of old colonies expelled from Italy, or late migrations of small parties from Thrace, the parent country of the Pelasgi; and that they re∣tained their primitive barbaric speech and manners, was a necessary consequence of their late arrival from remote and uncultivated regions. This plain account at once reconciles all the Greek writers, who uniformly affert the whole Greeks to be Pelasgi, with the three above mentioned, who state some Pelasgi as different in manners, and speech, from the refined Greeks. These later Pelasgi had lately come from Italy, and Samothrace, and retained their old speech and manners: and this singularity puzzled Herodotus, who knew that, by all ac∣counts, the Greeks were Pelasgi, as he himself re∣peatedly Page  62mentions, yet found that a few detached Pelasgi did not speak Greek, but the old Scythic tongue.

To proceed: Herodotus, lib. I. c. 23. tell us, that the Athenians were Pelasgi, and the Spartans Hellenes. The last, he says, came from Pthiotis, then down between Ossa and Olympus, then to Pindus, then to Dryope, then to Pelopponesus: that is, they descended from the north-east, or Thrace, into Greece. He also adds, that the Athenians, or Pelasgi, never wandered: but the Hellenes did*. So far did a silly prejudice of making the Athenians 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 overcome the truth! Strabo, lib. XIII. p. 922. and Dion. Hal. lib. I. p. 14. say truly, that the Pelasgi wandered very much. Lesbonax in Protrept. p. 173, says, all the Greeks wandered from place to place, but the Athenians alone never. Wesseling in vain endea∣vours to save Herodotus, by saying, he only means that the Pelasgi of Athens never wandered. In fact, Herodotus had difficult game to play: had the Athenians not been Pelasgi, they could not be ancient; had they wandered as pelasgi, they could not be 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. There was the dilemma! After escaping from it as he can, Herodotus tells us, that some Pelasgi dwelled on the Hellespont, that is, in Thrace a country uncivilized, and used a barbarous tongue: however, adds he, the original Attic must have been Pelasgicn. In ch. 58, he tells, that the Hellenes used the same speech, and were a part of the Pelasgi,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Page  63Thucydides, lib. I. c. 28. says the Hel∣lenes were originally a small tribe in Thessaly. Eusta∣thius, in his commentary on Dionysius, observes that Homer mentions Pelasgi near Cilicia in Troas; calls Lesbos Pelasgic; and the Jupiter of Dodona Pelasgic Jove: and that Crete and Lemnos were also Pelasgic, as were Argos; a part of Thessaly; and Arcadia. Dionysius, v. 534, calls Samos the Pe∣lasgic seat of Juno. Justin, lib. XIII. c. 4. men∣tioning the division of the east among Alexander's generals, says Tleptolemus had the Persians, Peucestes the Babylonians, Archos the Pelasgi, Arcesilaus Mesopotamia. This is the most singu∣lar passage i have met with concerning the Pe∣lasgi; as, if there be no error in the name, which is suspected, there must have been a whole nation of them in the east unknown to all other writers. Carmania is not mentioned by Justin in his long enumeration; and the inhabitants of that country were also called Pasargadoe and Parsiroe, one of which words may have been corrupted to Pelasgi, a name familiar to transcribers. After all, perhaps Justin meaned Pelasgia of Thessaly; for in the beginning of his list he is very erratic, giving us the Illyriana between the Cilicians and Medians; then Susiana; then Phrygia: the only difficulty is, that in no less than fifteen names before, and one after, being the last, he gives us only eastern na∣tions; and the Pelasgi of Thessaly would hardly deserve mention among such large names, so that a corruption of the text may well be suspected, and that the Pasargadae ought to be read; for that there was no nation called Pelasgi in the east, we know to a certainty, from all the ancient historians and geographers.

Thucydides, lib. I. c. 3. says, 'before the time of Hellen, son of Deucalion, the Pelasgi spred all over Greece.' They held Peloponnesus, Hero∣dot. lib. VII. c. 93. et seq Dionys. Hal. p. 9. 14. Stephanus de Urbibus, p. 166. 630. 635. Attica,Page  62〈1 page duplicate〉Page  63〈1 page duplicate〉Page  64Herodorus I. 57. II. 51. VIII. 44. Thucydides, IV. 109. Strabo, XI. p. 397. and the iles; as Lemnos, Herodot. VI. 137. Thucyd. IV. 109. Scyrus, Steph. de Urb. p. 676. Eubaed, formerly called Pelasgia, Schol. Apoll. p. 105. The Cyclades Dionys. Hal. p. 14. Crete and Lesbos, Dionys. ib. Homer Odyss. XIX. Diodor. Sic. IV. 183. V. 238. Strabo, V. 221. X. 475. Asia Minor, Dio∣nys. Hal. p. 14. Caria Mela I. 16. Aeolis and Troas, Schol. Apollon. p. 5. Strabo V. p. 221. Ionia, Herodot. VII. 93.94. Strabo XIII. p. 621. and see Homer Iliad II. ad fin. Cyzicus, Dion. ib. Diod. Sic. V. 239. Steph. de Urbib. p. 426. Pliny, V. 31. Eustath. ad Dionys. v. 537.—Herodotus I. 56. VII. 94.95. says, the lonians, Aeolians, Do∣rians, that is, all the Hellenes or Greeks, de∣scended of the Pelasgi. Hybrias Cretensis apud Athen. XV. 14. makes an old Pelasgus of Crete boast that his arrows were his riches, for with them he seized all. In short, not to heap autho∣rities unnecessarily, these two points are, from the universal consent of all the Greek writers, as clear and positive as the most luminous part of human history: namely,

  • 1. That all the people of Hellas, or Greece, in the large acceptation above given, were Pelasgi.
  • 2. That Hellenes was but a later name of the same People who had been formerly called Pelasgi; the Hellenes being a paltry tribe of the Pelasgi, who chanced, by being the last who came into the country, to give their name to the whole.

Let us now consider very briefly,

  • 1. Who the Pelasgi were not.
  • 2. Who they were.

1. They were not Egyptians, BECAUSE all the Greek writers remark two small colonies of Egyp∣tians, who settled in Athens and Argos in the ear∣liest times, and specially distinguish them as quite a different people from the Pelasgi. Besides, who can dream of Egyptians peopling all Hellas, the Iles, Asia Minor, and entering Italy, as the Page  65Pelasgi did, who were of barbaric speech and manners, while the Egyptians were so small and so civilized a people? BECAUSE the Pelasgi had none of the Egyptian speech and manners, else Homer and Herodotus, who had been in Egypt, would have remarked this. BECAUSE no ancient has ever dreamed of their being Egyptians and the obscurity of the Pelasgic origin shews they were quite a barbaric people, while the Egyptian co∣lonies in Greece, and elsewhere, are quite marked and distinct. BECAUSE the Greek mythology is as remote from the Egyptian as possible. BECAUSE the Greek has no affinity with the Coptic or old Egyptian; which is a dialect of the Grand Assy∣rian language, while the Greek is a mere refined dialect of the Gothic, as the learned well know.

2. They were not Phoenicians, from all the rea∣sons above urged respecting the Egyptians. He∣rodotus, lib. V. c. 58. specially mentions, that the Phoenician colony, led by Cadmus to Thebes, changed their speech, being surrounded by the Iones, whom he mentions as Pelasgi, and as Hel∣lenes.

Such have been the origins ascribed to the Pe∣lasgi by some men of learning; and, did we not daily see that learning is but another name for want of common understanding, what must be our surprize to find the Pelasgi, whom all the ancients state as a barbaric people, derived from the Egyp∣tians and Phoenicians, the nations in antiquity that arrived the first at civilization, and whom the an∣cients represent as polishing those very Pelasgi, by settling little colonies among them? Can absur∣dity be greater? A barbaric nation never can spring from a refined one. It is an impossibility. A refined nation always springs from a barbaric one.

In the Memoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions, a work replete with true and solid literature, and Page  66which does honour to the nation that gave it birth, there is a dissertation of M. de la Nauzeo, at∣tempting to shew, that the Pelasgi and Hellenes were different nations. But that gentleman wrote upon a mere theory, without having employed one quarter of the study he ought to have done, and the dissertations of M. Geinozp, and of M. Freretq, so amply refute him, as to leave nothing to add. True it is, that Ephorus, Apollodorus, and Diony∣sius of Ha••carnassus, represent the Pelasgi as sprung from Pelasgus, son of Inachus, king of Argosr, and, of course, as originating in Pelo∣ponnesus. This Pelasgus is only mentioned in a verse of Hesiod, preserved by Strabo; and these authors seized the name as a good father for the Pelasgi: but he is a mere being of poetry, and the three authors, who follow this opinion, are of fabulous fame. Dionysius telling us all the bat∣tles, &c. between the Pelasgi and Aborigines in Italy, as a matter of yesterday, while he had not a shadow of ground for one sentence on the sub∣ject. To oppose such writers to Herodotus, Thucy∣dides, and the other most eminent names of Greek antiquity, is therefore ridiculous; and M. Geinoz, and M. Freret, have amply shewn that the Pelasgi came from Thrace.

But, had the Grecian origins been ever exa∣mined with much attention, there are two barbaric nations who might, with far higher probability than Egyptians or Phoenicians, have been sup∣posed the progenitors of the Pelasgi, or Greeks. Page  67These are the Celts and the Sarmatians. Yet the Pelasgi belonged not to either of these nations.

3. They were not Celts, BECAUSE they can be absolutely shewn to be Scythians; a people who originated from the east, as the Celts did from the west. BECAUSE the earliest Greek writers describe the Celts as confined to the furthest west; whereas Greece was surrounded by Scythae. BECAUSE the very form and structure of the Celtic tongue are as remote from the Greek as possible; the Celts changing the beginning of nouns in many in∣flexions, while the Greeks uniformly change the end. What we now call the Celtic is half Gothic; owing to the Belgae, Danes, and Norwegians, be∣ing mixt with all the Celtae in France, Britain, and Ireland; but especially in the Highlands of Scot∣land, where the Celtic is the most corrupt, because the Norwegians were possessors of the Hebrides, and western coast, from the reign of Harold Har∣fagre, about 880, till so late as 1263, and their descendants remain to this day. The words, thought Greek by dablers in the Celtic, are all Gothics. But the real Celtic is as remote from the Greek, as the Hottentot, or the Laplandic. BECAUSE the manners of the Celts, as described by Greek and Roman authors, are totally unlike those of the earliest Greeks; the people among the former being slaves, among the later extremely free. Dr. Gillies has shewn that the most ancient Greek man∣ners perfectly resembled those of the Germans, which Caesar and Tacitus mark as being as unlike those of the Celts as possible. Of the Celtic my∣thology we know nothing: the Druidic system being mentioned by Caesar as a late invention, con∣fined Page  68to the south of Britain and north of Gaul: and it is clear from all the ancients, that it was no where else to be found. It was totally extinguished by Tiberius Pliny XXX. 1.—Suetonius in Claudio, and Aurelius Victor, say by Claudius. It is palpa∣bly of Phoenician origin, having been taught by the Phoenicians to the Britons of present Cornwall, where they traded for tin; and had thence spred north to the extremity of present Wales, and south to the Garonne; beyond which bounds there is not a shadow of it's existence in any ancient writer whatever. They who speak of Druids in Germany, Caledonia, or Ireland, speak utter nonsense, and have not a single authority to support them. Druid, in the Celtic, implies originally a wise or cunning man; and the name was naturally given by the rude vulgar to the priests of the new doctrine: but the name will be found in it's original mean∣ing where Druids never were known. Druidic an∣tiquities there can be none, except there be any oak-trees two thousand years old. Those childishly called Druidic are all Gothic; and are found in Iceland, and other countries, where the very name of Druid was unknown. The Celts had no monuments any more than the savage Americans or Samoiedes. From Diodorus Siculus, and others, it is clear that the manners of the Celts perfectly resembled those of the present Hottentots. The god Baal, Bell, or Belenus; the transmigration of souls; their cosmogony and theogony are wholly Phoenician: what their own mythology was we know not, but it in all probability resembled that of the Hottentots, or others of the rudest savages, as the Celts anciently were, and are little better at present, being inca∣pable of any progress in society. But it is un∣necessary to insist further upon this, as the Pelasgi can be shewn to be Scythae; and M. Pelloutier, who alone takes them for Celts, clearly proves them Scythae, that is, as he dreams, Celts; for he was so Page  69ignorant as to take the Celts and Scythae for one people, in spite of all the ancients who mark them as literally toto coelo different, and in spite of our positive knowledge here in Britain, who know the Celts to be mere radical savages, not yet ad∣vanced even to a state of barbarism; and if any foreigner doubts this, he has only to step into the Celtic part of Wales, Ireland, or Scotland, and look at them, for they are just as they were, inca∣pable of industry or civilization, even after half their blood is Gothic, and remain, as marked by the ancients, fond of lyes, and enemies of trutht.

4. The Pelasgi, or Greeks, were not Sarmatae, BE∣CAUSE there is every reason to doubt that the Sar∣matae entered Europe above a thousand years be∣fore our aera: for they were far behind the Scythae in their progress; and it is clear, that upon their entry they found the greater part of Europe occu∣pied by the Scythae: and the Sarmatae were bounded by Scythae on the west, north-west, and south of Europe. BECAUSE the manners of the earliest Greeks, as described by Homer, were totally unlike the Sarmatic; and especially in that Page  70grand feature, that the Sarmatae were, like the Tar∣tars, all cavalry; while the Greeks fought on foot, and in cars; and we know the later to be peculi∣arly Scythic, Philip having in his Scythic victory taken a vast number of carsu: and the Belgae, and Piki, or Caledonians, two Gothic nations in Bri∣tain, fighting in cars, which were also used in Scandinavia down to the Eleventh or Twelfth cen∣tury.v No cars are to be found among the Celts, or the Sarmatae. BECAUSE the Sarmatic or Sla∣vonic language is as unlike the Greek as can be, in grammar, structure, and nomenclature. Some imagine the Slavonic to be modern Greek, because written in Greek character. They might as well suppose the Celtic Latin, because written in Ro∣man character. The Slavonic, whose chief daughters are the Polonic, Russian, and Bohemian, was anciently written in Latin characters; but in the Ninth century one Constantine Cyrillus, a Greek, first used the Greek capital letter, which remains; and he invented characters for sounds incompatible with Greek. From him the Slavonic character is called Cyrulic; and, after being cor∣rupted by scribes, was called Glagolitic; the Russians only use the Cyrulicw But the Slavonic has not the slightest affinity with the Greek. That remarkable feature of the Greek, the dual, used in speaking to, or of, two persons, is found in the Gothic, and Icelandic; but not in the Slavonic, which has a tetral used in speaking to, or of, four persons or less.

Let us now proceed to shew who the Greeks really were.

Page  71The Polasgi, or Hellenes, or Greeks, were Scy∣thians of Thrace. This plain sense might argue at once, because the Greeks were every where sur∣rounded by Scythae, and the sea; and no other nation was near them: but let us illustrate it a little. From the Greek authors above adduced it is clear that all the Greeks were originally called Pelasgi; but that the Hellenes, originally a small tribe in Thessaly, being the last of the Pelasgi who came into Achaia, or Lesser Greece, they by a chance equal to that of the name of America, and many other great names, gave their appellation to the whole country. Some late Greek fables say that Pelasgus, the grandson of Inachus, king of Argos, from whom, as they falsely state, the name Pelasgi is derived, lived before the deluge of Deucalion, by which most of the Pelasgi were swept away. Hellen, the son of Deucalion, proceeded with fresh recruits of Pelasgi into Greece: and the Greeks in gratitude took his name, and ascribed the renewal of human kind to Deucalion. But Herodotus, Thucydides, and others of the best Greek authors, knew nothing of this; they repre senting the very same identic people as being first called Pelasgi, then Hellenes. In Homer's time (II. ß 683) Hellas was a town of Pelasgic Argos. To prevent all doubt, however, let us first shew that the Pelasgi were Scythae; and then that the Hellenes were Scythae.

1. The Pelasgi were Scythae. This may be shewn from different arguments, tho the Greek writers have shaded the subject much by the foolish desire of making their nation aboriginal, or sprung from the ground on which they lived. It is a pity they saw not so far as the philosopher Antisthenes, who used to tell the Athenians that such praise belonged to snails, and not to men. But that the Pelasgi were Scythae appears from this, that they certainly descended from the north-east into Greece; and the Scythae spred over all these parts. For we Page  72find settlements of the Pelasgi on the Hellespont: and in Thessaly, a country to the north-east of Greece, a large country was specially called Pelasgia in the days of Homer, and far later. Trogus Pompeius, in Justin, lib. VII. c. I, says expressly, that the people of Macedon were an∣ciently called Pelasgi. Strabo, lib. VII. p. 222, says that the Thracians under Eumolpus colonized Attica; and Herodotus calls these Thracians, Pelasgi, as above shewn. Plutarch in Romulo says, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: 'The Pelasgi, as they say, roving over the greatest part of the world, and having subdued the inhabitants, resided in the country which they had conquered.' This can only refer to the Scythae. Pausanias, lib. X. c. 5, shews the oracle at Delphi to have been founded by Scythae Hyperborei; and ancient Greek poets also call it Pelasgic. Inachus, the first fabulous king of the Pelasgi, is by some mythologists said to have come into Greece by sea. But i am con∣vinced that this idea arose solely from the similarity of the words 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the sea, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 a Pelas∣gian, tho the later word be probably from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉overwhelm, because the Pelasgi over-ran so many countries; or more probably from some Assyrian (Egyptian or Phoenician) epithet given to the old inhabitants by the few Egyptians and Phoenicians who settled among them; if it be not a Scythic or Gothic appellative. Indeed we cannot be too cautious against being misled by etymology, or by similar or identic words; for in early and tradi∣tional history they form the very rocks and sands upon which many an antiquarian ship has foundered. And the danger is so great, that it is best never even to approach them.

Ihre is so convinced that the Pelasgi were Scythae, that he seems to think the point does not even need proofs; yet it were to be wished that he had dwelt Page  73more upon so very interesting and curious a sub∣ject. Herodotus, Thucydides, Strabo, assert the Pelasgi to have come from Thessaly into Greece; and Thessaly was anciently esteemed a part of Thrace, so that the Pelasgi were Thracians, that is, Scythae, Getae or Goths.

The term Hellas, or Greece, is differently extended by writers; some excluding Macedon and Epirus from it, as Demosthenes, Philip. III. The Hellenes or Greeks, severely speaking, were Pelasgi who went from Macedon, anciently called Pelasgia, as Trogus shews, down into Greece proper. That Epirus was also inhabited by Pelasgi is clear, for Dionysius Halicarnassaeus makes the Pelasgi of Italy pass from Epirus, and the celebrated oracle of Dodona, called Pelasgic, was in the extreme north of Epirus. It is well known that the Epirian and Macedonian language was the Doric dialect of Greek. So that, excluding Macedon and Epirus from Hellas or Greece, the argument is the same. Ancient Pelasgia included Macedon, Epirus; and afterward that part in later times called Hellas, or Greece. Perhaps the Thracians who filled this chersonese were called Pelasgi by their northern brethren, because every where surrounded by the sea (Pelagos), save on the north.

But as it is now universally allowed by the learned that Pelasgi and Hellenes were but differ∣ent names for one and the same people, let us pro∣ceed to shew that the Hellences, anciently called Pelasgi, were Scythae. They who wish for fuller information on the Pelasgi may consult Geinoz, Freret, and others.

2. The Hellenes were Scythae. Even mythology might persuade this, for it is well known that Hellen, reputed father of the Hellenic name, was the son of Deucalion; and Lucian de Dea Syra, p. 882. edit. Benedicti, 1619, Vol. II. says expressly, that Deucalion was a Scythian, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; 'Deucalion the Scy∣thian, Page  72〈1 page duplicate〉Page  73〈1 page duplicate〉Page  74in whose time happened the great flood.' Deucalion was the son of Promethens; Apollon. III. 1086, &c. Prometheus was king of the Scythae; Schol. Apollon. Argonaut. II. 1252. The Titans, or family of the gods, were of Scythia, according to Greek mythologists: the hymns ascribed to Orpheus, which are ancient, tho not his, expressly call the Titans the forefathers of the Greeks. But leaving mythology, which is as distant from history as fable can be from truth, let us advance to surer ground. Thucydides, lib. I. c. 28. is an incontrovertable authority that the Hellenes were originally a small tribe in Thessaly; and Herodotus and Strabo fully confirm this. And that the Thessalians were Thracians is clear, for Thucydides, lib. II. c. 29. informs us, that the Thracians ex∣tended even down to Phocea. Strabo calls the Athenians Thracians, whom Herodotus calls Pelasgi of Thessaly, which was the country be∣tween Thrace and Attica. Eusebius, p. 7, and the Chronicon Paschale, p. 49, mark the Ionians as Scythae. Epiphanius, adv. Heres. lib. I. p. 6, says, that all the people south of the Hellespont were Scythae, that is, the Macedonians and Greeks.

The language and manners of the whole of Hel∣las from Thrace to the Ionian sea were Thracian, Scythic, Getic, Gothic. No ancient hints any diversity of speech, save as to refinement between Peloponnesus, Attica, Epirus, Thessaly, Macedon, Thrace. Thucydidesv well observes that in Homer's time the name of barbarians was not given to the Thracians, but that these barbarians and the Hel∣lenes spoke one tongue. Diodorus Siculus, lib. II. Page  75p. 92, says, the Scythae Hyperborel, or most distant Scythae, used a speech akin to that of Athens and Delos; that is, as Ihre well explains, Pelasgic or Scythic. Anacharsis, the Scythian philosopher, pronounced the Greeks Scythic, as he must have learned from their language and manners; 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 (apud Clem. Alex. Strom. lib. I. p. 364). Even in the time of Xenophon, (Exp. Cyri, VII.) tho the Greek was then so refined, that he was obliged to use an interpreter at first in conversing with Seuthes a Thracian prince; just as a modern Anglus would need an interpreter to converse with an Anglus of Anglen in Denmark, or with a German; there was nevertheless such clear affinity observed between the Thracian and Grecian manners and language, that kindred was given as the military word, im∣plying their common origin. Nay Ovid is a wit∣ness of the similarity between the Greek and Gothic tongues:

Exercent illi SOCIAE commercia linguae,
Graiaque quod Getico victa loquela sono est.

Trist. V. x.
And in modern times Salmasiusw, Juniusx, Meric Casaubony, Ihrez pronounce the Gothic and Greek to be merely dialects of the same tongue; tho these writers are grossly mistaken in deriving Gothic words from the Greek, while the reverse is the truth: for the old Icelandic is full of Greek words, tho the Icelanders hardly knew that the Greeks existed, and could have no correspondence with them. Bibliandera says, that in the German (a dialect of the Gothic) of 2000 radicals, 800 are common to the Greek and to the Page  76Latin; which last is merely the Aeolic dialect of the Greek, as all know. Now of all marks of the origin of nations, that of language is the most infallible.

From all these proofs, it is as clear as so remote a subject can be, that the Pelasgi, the ancestors of the Greeks, afterward called Hellenes from a small tribe of the Pelasgi who were the last that came in, were at first settled in Macedon and Thessaly. That they were Thracians. That the Thracians were Scythae, Getae or Goths.

It is therefore Historic Truth that the Pelasgi, Hellenes, or Greeks, were Scythians or Goths.

Chronologers place the reign of Inachus, the first of the Pelasgic stem, about 1800 years before Christ: and Deucalion and Hellen about 1500. But the Argonautic expedition 1263 before Christ forms the first faint dawn even of traditional history in Greece; all preceding this belonging to mytho∣logy. The Siege of Thebes 1225, and that of Troy 1184, together with that expedition, are the immortal themes of poets; but fairy ground to historians. The revolution caused by the Hera∣clidae in Peloponnesus, 1104, is blended with my∣thology. And from thence down to Lycurgus, or about 880 before our aera, hardly an incident can be found. If we therefore suppose the Scythae to have been in possession of Greece and it's iles about 1500 years before Christ, we shall not greatly err. Tho the kingdom of Pelasgic Argos in Thessaly, the earliest in Greece, may well have existed 300 years before this population was complete, as chro∣nologers state it about 1800 B. C.

The Pelasgi, afterward called Hellenes, were improved by the situation of Greece, their new settlement: for that favoured country, surrounded every where by the sea, save on the north, proved an attractive centre to small colonies from Egypt, and from Phoenicia, realms famous for early civili∣zation. Cecrops and Danaus, who settled in Page  77Athens and Argos, about 1400 years before Christ, were Egyptians: Cadmus, who about 1280, founded Thebes, was a Phoenician. Letters be∣gan to be usedb. Cecrops and Danaus had, it is likely, introduced tillage from the practice of Egypt; a country unfit for hunting or pasturage, and where, from necessity, sowing of grain seems first to have been inventedc. Thus Egyptian agriculture, and the arts of Phoenicia, soon po∣lished this branch of the Scythae, while their northern brethren were lost in barbarism. But these colonies adopted the Pelasgic or Hellenic lan∣guage; and conformed to the Pelasgic or Hellenic rites, and customs; as Dr. Gillies shews from the best authorities, particularly Herodot. V. 59. and VII. passim. Herodotus especially mentions V. 58. that the followers of Cadmus changed their speech, being surrounded by the Ionians an Hellenic tribe. And it might be shewn that the Greek mythology is but an improvement of the Scythic; the gods being mostly illustrious princes of the first Scythic empire, who were deified by their subjects; a custom continued to a late period among the Goths. Many ideas of Greek mythology may also be found in the Gothic; but this ground must not be lightly trodden, and is left to him who can em∣ploy a large work upon it, after a remark or two. It is well known, that the most ancient Greek poets were the sole teachers of the people, and were the first who, by introducing a portion of Page  78allegory and an elegant method into vulgar tradi∣tion and superstition, composed regular systems of theogony and mythology. Now, these earlier poets and teachers of religion were all of Thrace. Linus, Orpheus, Musaeus, Thamyris, Eumolpus, were all Thracians; and Eustathius (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) has long ago observed this singularity. If Thra∣cians, they were Scythians or Goths: if Scythians, they could only use Scythic mythology and tradi∣tions. For the religions of the Sarmatae, of the Celts, of the Phoenicians, of the Egyptians, were quite remote from the Grecian. Blackwell, in his admirable Enquiry into the life and writings of Homer (Sect. xii.), has well concluded the lan∣guage of Thrace and of Greece to have been the same; and especially quotes Strabo, who was of Colchis, and who says, 'that the Trojan language had many words and names in common with the Thracian.' The several instances he produces are, as Blackwell observes, generally known Grecian terms, as well as Trojan or Thracian: even the others may have been ancient Grecian, tho unfit for poetry, the only repository of Greek language till Herodotus wrote, or about 450 years before Christ. Herodotus, lib. II. c. 52. says, the Greeks derived their rites and religion from the Pelasgi, who were certainly Scythae of Southern Thrace. Anacharsis, as above observed, said, the Greeks scythicised, or followed the customs, &c. of the Scythae. The Titans, or family of gods, were of Scythia, as mythologists agree. Plato in Cratylo says, the Greek rites are all from the barbarians; that is, as just shewn, the barbarians of Thrace.

The Greeks, fermented into purity by foreign colonies, soon assumed quite a distinct character from their Scythian progenitors and neighbours. Homer also rose from the eastern shore of the Egean, like the sun, upon them; and diffused an intellectual light and warmth which made their souls vegetate with great thoughts, the stems of Page  79great actions. So early as about 1000 years before Christ Grecian colonies began to be established in Magna Graecia or the south of Italy, in Sicily, in Africa. Nay in Macedon and Thrace, and among the more distant Scythae, in which later countries, for want of tillage and the arts, barbarism was long to prevail: while, owing to fortunate circumstances above mentioned, the Greeks had admitted such refinement as almost to pass for another people among their own progenitors. A case which may even happen in ruder nations, as we know that the Danes, who came to Northumberland in the Ninth century, were regarded as utter strangers and enemies by their own countrymen the Angli, who in 547 had settled in that province.

IV. Let us now very briefly consider the origins of the ITALIANS, or whole ancient inhabitants of Italy. This country in its early state may be re∣garded as divided into four parts:

  • 1. Graecia Magna, and the whole country south-west of the Apennines up to Hetruria.
  • 2. The part north∣east of the Apennines, opposite to Illyricum.
  • 5. Hetruria.
  • 4. The Gallic part, from the Alps down to the Senones in Umbria.

The first part, as appears from Dionysius of Halicarnassus, was peopled by Aborigines from Arcadia, the earliest inhabitants that can be traced of Magna Graecia and of Latium. Dionysius mentions that some Pelasgi afterwards went over; but it is clear that the Arcadians were Pelasgid, and M. Freret accordingly shews that the Abori∣gines and Pelasgi were all one people. The learned look with a suspicious eye upon the pages of Dionysius, who only wrote about thirty years before Christ, and yet details battles, speeches, embassies, &c. between the Pelasgi and Abori∣gines, as matters of yesterday; while Herodotus Page  80and the other ancient Greek writers knew almost nothing of Italy, and Dionysius had not one au∣thority. But it appears, that the Pelasgi, whom Dionysius feigns to have fought with the Abori∣gines, but to have been vanquished and expelled by them, were some few later Pelasgi from Epirus. Sicily, and this part of Italy, were afterward planted with such numerous Greek colonies, from about 700 years before Christ, and downward, that they may be almost said to be peopled afresh. In Latium, where Rome was founded, there were several little tribes and towns of the Aborigines, as the Sabines, Volsci, &c. Sir Isaac Newton in his Chronology, has actually demonstrated that Romulus could not exist till at least 125 years after the vulgar aera, or the year 627 before Christ. For to the seven kings are given no less than 243 years! And of these seven kings three were mur∣dered, and one expelled! In no history, ancient or modern, will such reigns of seven kings amount to 140 years, much less to 243. But as the Annus Urbis Conditoe is followed by the Roman writers, it would be most eligible to suppose, with some an∣cients, that Romulus did not found Rome; but that the city was a rude republick, with elective chiefs, for some time before Romulus. However this be, the Latin language is a clear proof of the origin of the people, being merely the Aeolic dia∣lect of the Greek, as Quintilian remarks, and as the learned well know. This Aeolic has but a few variations from the Doric; as the Ionic has but a few variations from the Attic. The Aeolians, a Pelasgic division, peopled Elis and Arcadia, or the western and inland parts of Peloponnesus, which confims the account of Dionysius, that the Aborigines went from these parts. The Dorians, another Pelasgic or Hellenic division, held all the northwest or mountainous part of Greece; and being led into Peloponnesus by the Heraclidae, possessed Argos, Sparta, &c. The Ionians or most Page  81polished part consisted of the Athenians, and their colonies, on the opposite shore of Asia: all the Ionians were more refined by Asiatic commerce and arts. The Doric was used in Sicily; and Theo∣critus has given us an exquisite sample. If Pin∣dare used the Doric, it was certainly from knowing it most adapted to the higher Lyric poetry; for the Boeotians were Aeolic; and from Strabo, lib. viii. we know that their speech was the Aeolic. Theo∣critus is thought the only Doric writer. In the Aeolic are some fragments of Alcaeus and Sappho. It may easily be shewn, that instead of four dialects in Greek there is but onef, namely the Doric or Aeolic, for the variations of the latter from the for∣mer are so trifling as to deserve no notice, being less than those of the Somersetshire dialect, or the Cockney, from the English. The Attic, with it's Page  80〈1 page duplicate〉Page  81〈1 page duplicate〉Page  82Ionic variations, is the Greek language used by all their writers but these above mentioned: and can no more be called a dialect than the English is a dialect of the English. The Doric, Aeolic, or old Greek, was spoken in Macedon, Epirus, Italy, Sicily, and over all Greece, save Attica. But the Attic, from superior polish, became the reigning language, while in time the other was universally left to clowns: and the Attic is the Greek of all countries and authors. Homer and Herodotus, Asiatic Greeks, wrote in Ionic or Asia∣tic Greek, that is the Attic rendered more musical by now and then dropping a consonant or asperate, and adding a vowel, &c. Doric or Aeolic is sometimes sparingly intermixed by some writers as the dialect of their country ran, or to add antique dignity. Milton and Shakspere are full of such Doric English. But of this perhaps more largely elsewhere.

The part of Italy, north of the Apennines, and opposite to Illyricum, was, as plain reason would argue, peopled by Illyrians, who, as shewn, were Scythae. Pliny III. 25, tells us, that Cal∣limachus placed a people called Peuketig in Li∣burnia of Illyricum. In Italy directly on the opposite shore were the Pikeni; and further south lay the large country of Peuketia, now Apulia, of which much may be found in Strabo. The Peu∣keti of Liburnia were certainly a part of the Peu∣kini or Basternae, a Scythic division, who had spred from Thrace into Illyricum, and Germany; and of whom is fully treated in the last chapter of this tract.

The Hetrurians, as we learn from Herodotus, whom Pliny, Paterculus, and other of the best ancient writers follow, were a Lydian colony; a Page  83circumstance not improbable, if we consider the great riches, and wide commerce of Lydia. Dio∣nysius of Halicarnassus, a fabulous historian, tells us, that the Hetruscans were a peculiar indigenal people, resembling no other nation in speech or manners. He informs us that the Hetruscan speech was not Pelasgic, in the most express terms: and yet the learned universally allow the Hetruscan letters, and antiquities, to be Pelasgic, or Ancient Grecian. Indeed those few detached barbaric Pelasgi, who had returned into Greece from Italy, and those who had come from Samothrace, quire puzzled Herodotus, and Dionysius; just as if a few Angli from Anglen had, in the ninth or tenth century, come to England, and the writers of the times had been astonished at their speech not being Anglic, but Danish. The number of books, of all ages and languages, gives the moderns a prodigious su∣periority over the ancients, in judging of the gra∣dations of speech, and origin and progress of na∣tions. From the ancient Hetruscan inscriptions, and other monuments, the learned pronounce them Pelasgi, looking on Dionysius as no autho∣rity against facts. But may we not trust the well informed Herodotus that they were Lydians, who about 1000 years before our aera planted Etruria? For the Lydians, as above shewn, were Scythae of Thrace, as were the Pelasgi: so that a similarity in their ancient remains may be expected. The Lydians were early polished, from their neighbour∣hood with the Assyrians of Cappadocia; and were probably somewhat mixt with them, so as to tinge their dialect a little, whence the error of Dionysius. They were a polished and opulent people: and the Hetruscans seem to have had skill in the fine arts long before the Latins, as the many ancient pieces preserved shew: a circumstance appearing to con∣firm the account of Herodotus that they were a Lydian colony. By the testimony of Herodotus therefore the Hetruscans were Lydians, or Scythae: Page  84by their monuments they were Pelasgi, or Scythae. At any rate they were vanquished, and their coun∣try almost peopled afresh by the Romans, a Gre∣cian, Pelasgic, or Scythic nation.

The Gallic part of Italy alone remains. The Gauls were the latest settlers in Italy. It was 386 years before our aera that they took Rome, but were defeated by Camillus. The old Umbrih seem to have been Illyrians, as the Pikeni their southern neighbours; but the Galli Senones, who took Rome, settling in Umbria, the whole Umbri began to be reputed of Gallic extract. We have large ancient copper coins of towns in Umbria, on the Hetruscan and Latin model, certainly struck before the Gauls had any idea of coinage.i How∣ever this be, it is clear that all the Gauls of Cisal∣pine Gaul were German Gauls, not Celts. For when Caesar entered Gaul the Celts were confined to the most remote part of Gaul; while Germany bordered on the fountain of the Rhine, and the northern Alps, or in other words on Cisalpine Gaul. The Celts lay within the Marne and the Loire; while all the east of Gaul had long before been seized by the Belgae, Helvetii, Allobroges, and other German Gaulsk. On the south the whole Provincia Romanorum, otherwise called Page  85Gallia Braccata, to distinguish it from Celtic and Aquitanic Gaul, had been possessed by German Gauls before the Romans, as the very name im∣plies; for the Celts did not anciently wear breeches, while breeches were the chief mark of the Scythians or Goths from the time of Herodotus to this moment. For that the German Gauls, as being real Germans, were Scythians or Goths, shall be shewn in the Second Part of this Dissertation. In speaking of Gauls, the Celts, the most distant part of the Gauls, are out of all question. It is not that dastard race who were vanquished by a lieutenant of Caesar with one legionl; but the German Gauls, who long occupied all the power of Rome, that claim our notice in the historic page. The Italian Gauls were at any rate van∣quished, and their country colonized anew, by the Romans, a Scythian people.

It will be shewn in the Second Part that the Scythae had past to the extremity of Germany and Scandinavia, about 500 years before Christ. On the south of Germany they extended to the extre∣mity of Illyricum, and entered Gaul on that side before that period. The Scythae who peopled Illyricum were of the Thracian division, separated from the Germans by the Danube; and as the same division extended, as just shewn, into Greece and Italy, their population was wholly occupied by these countries, and their Asiatic settlements; so that, pressing to the east and south, they never extended beyond the Adriatic, where they were checked by the Alps. The Celts seem to have possessed all their territories beyond the Adriatic, including Cisalpine Gaul, till about 500 years before Christ, when the Germans arrived, and poured into the north of Italy, and the east, and south of Gaul; the Celts flying before them to the west. But as the Celts were called Gauls by the Page  86Romans, and their country Gaul, the name was continued to its new possessors; just as the English are called Britons, as well as the Welch; and as the French are called Galli at this day. But this the reader will find more fully treated when we come to the Germans. The Aborigines or Pelasgi, Illyrians, and Hetruscans, were certainly settled in Italy about 1000 years before Christ. The Galli not above 500.

It is therefore Historic Truth that the Italians were Scythoe.

Page  [unnumbered]

PART II. The extended Settlements of the Scy∣thians or Goths over all Germany, and in Scandinavia.

Page  89

PART II. The extended Settlements of the Scythians or Goths over all Germany, and in Scandinavia.

CHAPTER I. The Germans not of Sarmatic, nor Celtic, origin.

WE are now arrived at the last, and most im∣portant part of this Dissertation: and a subject upon which the whole modern history or Europe depends. Sensible of its prodigious weight, i shall examine it with all the sedulous care, and minute accuracy, which my purpose per∣mits. The theme is indeed so vast, that large vo∣lumes may be written on it; but tho my bounds confine me to the mere outline; yet all attention shall be paid to render it scrupulously exact, so as to enable the reader to form, as from a miniature drawing, a true and just idea of the whole.

Page  90The Scythians or Goths have been followed to their Eastern Settlements in Asia, and to their Southern in Europe. Let us now trace their Western progress, or that of our progenitors. If English, Scotish, Irish; if French, Spaniard, Italian, German, Dutch, Swiss, Swede, or Dane, let the reader attend with reverence, as he persues the sacred steps of his ancestors. Here every Eu∣ropean is personally interested, save the Sarma∣tians of Russia and Poland; save the Celto-Welch of England, and the Celt-Irish of Ireland and of the Highlands of Scotland; and save the Fins of Hungary, Finland, and Lapland.

The reader will recollect that the Getae, who extended all over the west of the Euxine, are shewn to have been the same identic people with the Parental Scythians or Goths. On the North-West the Basternae, a German nation, as Pliny and Tacitus shew, bordered on the Getae. On the South-West that division of the Getae, called Daci, bordered with Germany. Pliny, IV. 12. says, Getae, Daci Romanis dicti, 'those Getae called Daci by the Romans.' Strabo, lib. VIII. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; 'the Getae and Daci have one and the same speech.' Steph. de Urbibus, also says the Daci are the same with the Getae: and to this all antient and modern writers assent. Therefore the Germans bordered, on the East, with the Getae or Parental Goths. So Pliny VIII. 15. Germania Scythiae contermina.

Thus we are come to the very crisis of our re∣search. If we cannot shew the Germans to have been originally Scythae, this dissertation is inept. If we can, a field of wide curiosity and enquiry opens to the learned of Europe. For the origin of government, manners, laws, in short, all the antiquities of Europe, will assume a new appear∣ance; and instead of being only traced to the woods of Germany, as Montesquieu, and the Page  91greatest writers have hitherto done, may be fol∣lowed thro the long descriptions of the man∣ners, &c. of the Scythians and Thracians given us by Herodotus. Nay, even up to the Abori∣ginal Scythic empire in Persia, beyond which there is no memorial of human affairs, save in Egypt alone; the history of which begins with Menes the first king, about 4000 years before our aera; while the earliest appearance of the Scythians in history is about 400 years after, when Vexores was king of Egypt, and Tanaus of the Scythae. Not to mention the collateral light to be derived from the whole history of the Greeks and Romans, who were Scythae, as just shewn.

Before producing an host of arguments to shew the Germans to have been originally Scythae or Goths, i shall briefly consider the two onlya other opinions, which have been formed, or can pos∣sibly be formed, on this subject.

  • 1. That the Germans were Sarmatae.
  • 2. That they were Celts.

1. The Germans not Sarmatae. The first of these opinions, namely, that the Germans were Sar∣matae, proceeds from such gross ignorance that i am really ashamed to mention, much more to re∣fute it. I have diligently perused most writers on German antiquities, but they had all some degree of reading, and could never fall into an error, which the whole ancient authors, and complete modern knowlege, concur to refute. This un∣happy discovery must therefore be assigned to its right owner, and inventor, James Macpherson, Esq. in whose Introduction to the History of Great Britain it first occurs. The author of that strange Page  92and truly Celtic work, having, with that over∣heated rashness, which genius colliding with per∣fect ignorance can alone inspire, attempted to in∣troduce the most diseased dreams into the History of Scotland, thought he could, behind his Celtic mist, use equal freedoms with the history of Eu∣rope! Rash man, and ill advised! The mist of Celtic nonsense he may gild with the beams of real genius; but, with the ignorance of a school-boy, to write on the antiquities of the Germans, in which the learned of all Europe had been ever conversant, was deplorable indeed, and worthy of eternal laughter, did not commiseration for the in∣genious translator and composer of Irish poetry move every reader to gentleness. At the same time it is much suspected that his motives entitle him to no excuse: and the high and contemptuous manner in which he treats others annuls all fa∣vour. His Ossian shews that he piques himself greatly on being a Celt, and will not admit the English, or French, or Germans, or other paltry modern nations, to that high honour! Indeed the malice and contempt borne by the Celtic sa∣vages; for they are savages, have been savages since the world began, and will be for ever savages while a separate people; that is, while themselves, and of unmixt blood; i say the contempt borne by those Celts for the English, Lowland Scots, and later Irish (who are English and Scots), is extreme and knows no bounds. Mr. Macpherson knew that his own dear Celts are, and have ever been regarded as, a weak and brutish people; and in revenge tells us we are all Sarmatae, a people eminently martial and famous, which he forgets; but remarkable, as his express quotations shew, for nastiness! Fielding tells us, that a shallow book may, like a shallow man, be easily seen thro; and i can see nothing, if the design of Mr. Macpherson's book be not to exalt Page  93his sweet Celts at the expence of all truth, learn∣ing, and common sense.

Quand l'absurde est outré, l'on lui fait trop d'honneur
De vouloir par raison combattre son erreur;
Encherir est plus court, sans s'echauffer la bile.

Fontaine.

Sorry i am, toward the end of the Eighteenth Century, to be shewing, against a British author, that the Germans were not Sarmatae; that is, that a Saxon, or a Silesian, is not a Russian, and does not speak the Sarmatic (Slavonic), but Go∣thic tongue. For if a German student, in his first year at college, should happen to see this tract, he will conclude me as ignorant as my countryman, Mr. Macpherson; to confute abso∣lute nonsense being surely as ridiculous as to write it. Stung with this reflection, i shall hasten from my aukward situation, after a slight remark or two; for it would be absurd to draw a sword when a straw will do, and i have a champion of far other force to encounter.

The sole authority which Mr. Macpherson can find, for this new and profound idea, is a passage which, with his usual peremptory brevity, he quotes thus: "Gothi, Vandalique ab antiquis Sar∣matis originem ducunt. Procop. lib. I." (Intro∣duct. p. 34. edit. 3d.) Not to mention the ig∣norant oddity of quoting a Greek author in Latin, the reader must be informed there is no such pas∣sage in Procopius, nor even one the least like it. This would alone be reckoned a full confutation: but as this work is not a controversial one, but written with the most sincere and sacred design of discovering the truth, i shall produce the real pas∣sage in Procopius, to which Mr. Macpherson, or the person he had the above quotation fromb, must Page  94have referred. It stands thus in the edition of Procopius, Paris, 1662, e typographia regia, 2 vo∣lumes folio, lib. I. cap. 2. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. That is literally, "Gothic nations many and sundry there were former∣ly, and are now. But among them the greatest and most highly esteemed are the Goths; and the Van∣dals; and the Visigoths; and the Gepidae. Anciently they were called Sarmatae, and Melanchlaeni: some have also called them Getic nations." Lest the reader may think that Mr. Macpherson quoted from the Latin translation, it is also added. Plurimae quidem superioribus fuere temporibus, hodieque sunt, nationes Gothicae; sed inter illas Gothi, Vandali, Visigothi, et Gepaedes, cum numero tum dignitate praestant. Olim Sauromatae dicebantur, ac Melanchlaeni: qui∣dam etiam Getarum nomen ipsis tribuerunt. This is certainly an authority; but an authority as light as a feather, compared to any one of the au∣thorities against it. Procopius lived in the time of Justinian, about the year 540: and was secretary to Belisarius, in whose African war he was present. His authority as to events of his own times, (and his whole history is that of his own times, as the title bears,) is very good; but as to origins and names of nations in the West of Europe he could know nothing, and had no opportunity, being a lawyer of Caesarea, in Palestine, the most distant place that ever Greek author wrote in. His hor∣rible ignorance with regard to the West of Eu∣rope Page  95may be judged from his account of Britain, so famous for its absurdity. The origins, and ancient names of nations, he could only have from the ancient Greek and Roman writers; and when he positively contradicts them, as he does here, he is certainly in error by quoting from memory, and can be confuted now as fully as in his own time, being so very late an author. That the Goths or Getae were never called Sarmatae and Melanchlaeni, as Procopius fables, is clear from ALL writers who mention them, from Herodotus down to his own time: for even Jornandes is not so ignorant as this, but mentions the Sarmatae always as a distinct people from the Getae or Goths. Strabo, who was misled by Ephorus with regard to some Scythae of Asia being Sarmatae, never dreamed that the Getae were Sarmatae, but distinguishes them repeatedly in express terms. The Gepidae, and Vandals, were German nations; the former being a part of the Basternae; the latter so well known in the page of Pliny and Tacitus. Ovid may shew that the Getae were not Sar∣matae, for, as above quoted, he learned both Getic and Sarmatic. Now Mr. Macpherson says in his margin, p. 37. "The Sarmatae ancestors of the Germans;" and on this he proceeds thro his work, without once recollecting that Tacitus (a writer whose truth and accuracy every day almost shews more and more to have been perfect) makes the strongest distinction between the Germans and Sarmatae thro his whole immortal Germania. He says the Germans wore tight dress, non fluitante sicut Sarmatae, 'not flowing as the Sarmatae wear:' and mentioning some remote nations, at the end, says, Germanis an Sarmatis adscribam dubito, 'I doubt whether to put them as Germans or Sar∣matae.' Why did he think the Germans indigenes, but because he found them totally different from the Sarmatae? Had any resemblance existed, nothing was so natural as to suppose them sprung Page  96from the Sarmatae, a great bordering people. That the Sarmatae were a distinct people from the Scythae proper, even Herodotus knew at first, as appears by his mentioning a part of the Sarmatae learning the Scythian tongue; and by the whole tenor of his famous account of the expedition of Darius against the Scythae, in which he places the Sarmatae north of the Scythae. And Herodotus places Scythae in Germany, and Sarmatae to the East of them, as shall presently be shewn. Diony∣sius distinguishes the Germans and Sarmatae, v. 304. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Prolemy, the geographer, who wrote about forty years after Ta∣citus, was the first, who, from the ample information then received concerning the earth, as known to the ancients, put down Sarmatia Europaea, and Sarmatia Asiatica, in their full and just extent of all the na∣tions who spoke the Sarmatic tongue; that is all Russia in Europe, and a great part of Poland, for the former; and that part of Russia which lies be∣tween the Tanais or Don and the north-east of the Caspian for the latter, or Asiatic Sarmatia. After the times of Tacitus and Ptolemy, all writers, down to the benighted age in which Procopius wrote, mention the Sarmatae as a marked, distinct, peculiar, people. They had a vast country to rove in, whence only a few from the south-west ever attacked the Romans: and tho coins of Constantine I. impudently bear SARMATIA DEVICTA, he hardly ever had a peep at a cor∣ner of the country. Those Sarmatae who invaded the Romans at any future time were indeed so few that we find them very slightly mentionedc: Page  97and they never obtained a settlement in any part of the Roman empire, save a few in Illyricum. For the after-events of the Sarmatae the reader is referred to any history of Russia, or of Poland; in which writers of all ages have begun with them, tho not one has yet been so illiterate as to consider them in the least connected with the history of Germany. Matthias a Michou, who wrote his Sarmatia Europaea et Asiana, about 1520: Guag∣nin, who, in 1581, published his Sarmatiae Europaeae Descriptio; quae regnum Poloniae, Litua∣niam, Samogitiam, Russiam, Massoviam, Prussiam, Pomeraniam, Livoniam, et Moschoviae Tartariaeque partem, complectitur; (dedicated to the king of Poland, and chiefly comprising the lives and por∣traits of the Polish monarchs): these authors were, two centuries ago, so superior to Mr. Macpherson, as sufficiently to shew that a man, who writes upon such trying subjects without reading, must only proclaim to the world that he is ignorant. Indeed, Mr. M. had only to look into Cluverius, Cellarius, or any school-book of geography, to see that he was blundering almost beyond possibility. But to conclude this point, i shall shew the reader how little the sole testimony of Procopius is to be relied on, by actually confuting this passage of that author, by another from his own very work, and a part of it wholly geographical, and of course more accurate. This passage occurs in Book IV. chap. 5. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. That is literally, 'To him who Page  98passes strait the lake Maeotis, and its mouth, on the shore antiently dwelled the Goths, called Tetraxitae, as i just mentioned. And at a great distance were placed the Goths, and Visigoths, and Vandals, and all the other Gothic nations, who were also called Scythians in ancient times, since all the nations in these parts were in common called Scythic. Some of them were called Sarmatae, and Melanchlaeni, and other names.' The reader will at once fee from this that the Sarmatae could not, even in the opinion of Procopius, be the ancestors of the Goths and Vandals, as Mr. Macpherson states his testimony; seeing that the Sarmatae were but one nation of the many who bore the Scythic name, as Procopius here says: and a few ancient writers certainly did from ignorance, as above shewn, rank the Sar∣matea as a Scythic people. Let the greatest of modern geographers, M. D' Anville, put the seal to this idle controversy. In his Geographie Ancienne Abregée, Paris 1768, 3 volumes, 12 mo. speaking of Sarmatia Europaea, Vol. I. p. 322, he thus ex∣presses himself: "Pour donner une idée generale de cette grande nation, et la distinguer de ce qui est Germanique d'un coté, et Scythique de l'autre, il faut dire que tout ce qui parle un langage foncierement Slavon, et ne variant que selon diffe∣rents dialectes, est Sarmate. Et si on trouve ce meme fond de langage etabli dans des contrées etrangeres a l'ancienne Sarmatie, c'est que, dans les tems qui ont succedé a ceux de l'antiquité, des essaims de cette nation se sont repandus en Germanie jusqu'a l'Elbe, et au midi du Danube jusqu' a la mer Adreatique."

I beg pardon of Mr. M. for saying he has but one authority that the Germans were Sarmatae. No! He has another! And such another! Suf∣fice it to say that his weight is prodigious, and here he is: 'Praeliis ac rerum penuria Sarmatas Getas consumpsit. Pomp. Laetus in Claudio.' Introd. Page  99p. 34d What a pity Mr. M. should have no skill in forgery, and did not know that the work given to Pomponius Laetus was written by Julio Sanseverino about 1490e! That writer must cer∣tainly be an object of perpetual compassion who has tried to overturn the history of Europe, upon the authority of a forgery known to every boy, and even that authority misquoted. Yet who can but langh to see the ingenious father of Ossian building upon a literary fabrication? It is so natural! Laetus and Aug. in Sempron.f were fit foundations for his bauble!

II. The Germans not Celts. Let us now proceed to the second opinion, namely, that the Germans were Celts. This has a far other champion than Mr. Macpherson, to wit, Cluverius, a writer of some learning, and who would have regarded a misquotation as the ruin of his character. In ques∣tions of this kind, learning and accuracy are all in all. Genius will only mislead by false splendors; Page  100but profound learning, cold penetration, and ma∣ture judgment will throw the steady light of truth over a subject like this. Unhappily Cluverius had but moderate learning, no penetration, and a judgment cool but not vigorous. He also wrote two centuries too soon: his Germania Antiqua being published in 1616, when the Gothic and Celtic Languages were unknown, no monu∣ments of them being in print; so that he wanted all information, and is but a blind guide at best. Yet has this blind guide been followed by almost all authors down to this day; witness Keysler, in his Antiquitates Septentrionales et Celticae, Hano∣verae 1720, 8vo; Pelloutier in his Histoire des Celtes, et particulierement des Gaulois, et des Germains, Haye, 1750, 2 tomes 12mo. and Mallet in his Introduction à l'Hist. de Dannemarc, 1755, 4to. and many others, who, as usual with the run of writers, found it easier to copy than to investigate. But as Cluverius is their guide, he may be considered as the sole champion; for the learning of Keysler and Mallet was so minute as to amount to nothing: Pelloutier is learned, but is a great plagiary from Cluverius; and they all have not even argued the point, but taken it for granted. Far other was the practice of the most learned and ingenious translator of Mallet into English, who has altered his author so far as infected with this gross error, and has in an able preface shewn that it is impos∣sible that the Germans could be Celts. But, tho he has demonstrated this so fully that i might only refer to his work, yet he has not attended to the identity of the Scythians and Goths, nor laid open the real origin of the Germans. As i am glad of such able assistance in this toilsome task, i shall give an abstract of his arguments, and add some of my own.

He observes that all the arguments of Cluverius and Pelloutier, (if they may be called arguments), fall under two heads, Quotations from the ancient Greek and Roman authors, and Etymologies of Page  101the names of persons and places. The later he considers first; and well observes that

arguments derived from etymology are so very uncertain and precarious, that they can only amount to pre∣sumptions at best, and can never be opposed to so∣lid positive proofs.
At the end he gives specimens of Celtic etymology, from that insane work, the Me∣moires de la langue Celtique par M. Bullet. Besançon, 1754, 3 vols, folio, from which it appears that a man must be a lunatic who founds any thing upon a language so loose as to take any impression. Such are Northampton (North Hampton) from Nor, the mouth of a river, Tan a river, Ton habitation. Northill (North Hill) from Nor river, and Tyne habitation. Ringwood from Ren a division, w a river, and bed a forest. Uxbridge (Ouse-bridge) from uc river, and brig division. Risum teneatis? Let me add, that the Irish, and Welsh, and Armo∣rican tongues, the only dialects of Celtic we have, (for the Highland Gaelic is but corrupted Irish) are at this day, and from the earliest MSS. remain∣ing, one half Gothic: and a great part Latin, owing to the Romans living four centuries among the Welch, and the use of Latin in Ireland on the introduction of Christianity. The Gothic words are so numerous, that Ihre calls the Celtic, so re∣puted, a dialect of the Gothic; falsely, because the grammar and structure, the soul of the language, are totally different: but these Gothic words proceeded from the Belgae, Saxons, and Danes, being intermingled with the Welsh, and Irish. For that these words did not pass from Celtic into Gothic is clear, because all the roots, branches, and relations of the words are found in the Gothic, but in Celtic only single detached words; as we use the French eclaircissement, but not eclairer, &c. The few words peculiarly Celtic, and of which a Glossary, by a person of complete skill in the Gothic, would be highly valuable, have so many significations, that to found etymology on them is worse than madness. Page  102In the Irish one word has often ten, twenty, or thirty meanings; gal implies a stranger, a native, milk, a warrior, white, a pledge, a conqueror, the belly of a trout, a wager, &c. This must be the case in all savage tongues, which must be poor and confused. But the Celtic, i will venture to say, is of all savage languages the most confused, as the Celts are of all savages the most deficient in understanding. Wisdom and ingenuity may be traced among the Samoieds, Laplanders, Ne∣groes, &c. but among the Celts, none of native growth. All etymology of names is folly; but Celtic etymology is sheer frenzy. Enough of Celtic etymology! let us leave it to candidates for bedlam, and go on.

As to the Quotations, i must beg leave to differ from the learned Translator of Mallet, who puts a slight value on them. Far from this, had the ancients been against me, i would at once have acceded to their sentiments: for AUTHORITIES ARE FACTS IN HISTORY, and to argue against them is to lose labour, as we must return to them at last. But the learned Schoepflin has so fully shewn, in his Vindiciae Celticae, that the ancients are positive against the Germans being Celts, that he has left nothing to add. He shews that Dio Cassius, a writer of the most suspicious character, as well known, and whose accounts are often contradictory of Caesar, Tacitus, Suetonius, and others the best informed, is the ONLY author who calls the Germans, Celts. And that against Dio are Herodotus, Aristotle, Polybius, Diodorus Siculus, Dionysius Halicar∣nassaeus, Strabo, Dionysius Periegetes, Plutarch, Pausanias, Ptolemy, Athenaeus, Stephanus Byzan∣tinus; and ALL the Latin authors. Dio was in∣deed another Ephorus; for such writers will arise, and the ancients had ignorant and foolish authors as well as we. Caesar and Tacitus so fully confute Dio in this, as in many other matters, that he is justly regarded as an ignorant fabulist; and Lipsius has well observed, that he must be redd with extreme Page  103caution. Indeed Caesar and Tacitus are so direct against the ideas of Cluverius and Pelloutier, that they are eternally opposing their authority; whereas they are the very chief authors we can depend on: Caesar having warred in Gaul and Germany; and Tacitus living, as Procurator Belgiaeg, upon the confines of Gaul and Germany.

The learned translator of Mallet next proceeds to positive proofs, that the Germans were not Celts, but differed from them widely in person, manners, laws, religion, and language.

In Person. From Tacitus in Agricola, cap. 11. who says the inhabitants of Caledonia resembled the Germans in person, while the Britons next Gaul resembled the Gauls; that is, let me add, the south-west Britons, who were Celts not Bel∣gae, resembled the opposite Celtic Gauls.

In Manners. Among the Germans the husband gave a dower to the wife. Tacit. Germ. c. 18. Among the Gauls, the wife to the husband. Caesar Bell. Gall. lib. VI. Add, that we learn from Aristotle, Polit. lib. II. c. 2. that the Celts were the only nation who despised women, as appears also from the Welsh and Irish histories, and their pre∣sent practice; while the Germans, as Tacitus ob∣serves, paid such respect to the sex, as almost to adore them.

In Laws. Among the Germans the meanest peasant was independent and free. Tacit. Germ. passim. Among the Celts, all save the Druids and nobles (equites) were slaves. Caesar. Bell. Gall. lib. VI. Plebs paene servorum habetur numero, &c.

In Religion. Among the Germans no Druids, nor transmigration of souls.

In Language. This is the chief mark of distinct nations; and the most certain and unalterable. Caesar says, that the Celts differed in language Page  104from the Belgae, who, he informs us, descended from the Germans. Bell. Gall. lib. I. et II. And, lib. I. c. 47. he tells, that Ariovistus, a German prince, learned the Gallic by a long residence in Gaul. Sueton. in Caligula, c. 47. says, that em∣peror caused Gauls to be taught German, to attend his mad triumph. See also Tacitus in Germania, passim; as where speaking of the Gothini, he says, Gothinos Gallica lingua coarguit non esse Germanos; 'their Gallic speech proves the Gothini not Ger∣mans.' The translator then shews, that the Ger∣man and Celtic tongues are as distinct as the Eng∣lish is from Welsh or Irish; being radically differ∣ent in construction, the essence of language. To the GERMAN, a dialect of the Gothic, belong the following:

  • I. TEUTONIC, Tudesk, or old German.
    • 1. Francic or Franco-Tudesk.
    • 2. Swabian.
    • 3. Swiss.
    • 4. Saxon.
    • 5. English.
    • 6. Dutch.
    • 7. Frisic.
  • II. SCANDINAVIAN.
    • 1. Danish.
    • 2. Nor∣wegian.
    • 3. Icelandic.
    • 4. Swedish.
    • 5. Broad Scotish.
To the CELTIC belong
  • I. The old Celtic, quite lost.
  • II. Old British (or Cimbric).
    • 1. Cornish.
    • 2. Armorican.
    • 3. Welsh.
  • III. Old Irish.
    • 1. Manks.
    • 2. Highland Erse.
    • 3. Irish.
The Lord's prayer is then given in all these tongues, which demonstrates at once that the whole German tongues are of the same con∣struction, and have many words in common; and the Celtic have the same description, but totally differ from the German.

The translation of Mallet was published in 1770; and in the same year appeared at Paris a second and enlarged edition of Pelloutier's Histoire des Celtes, in eight volumes 8vo. published by M. de Chiniac. This edition i have perused with great attention; and as very few study such remote subjects, and others may be misled by the false appearance of reading, and research, in that work, a hint or two shall be given concerning it. It is a bad omen to stumble in the threshold. Page  105Our author has not only stumbled, but fallen headlong, for he thus begins his work. 'Les Celtes ont eté connus anciennement sous le nom general de Scythes. C'est celui que les Grecs donnoient a tous les peuples qui habitoient le long du Danube, et au dela de ce fleuve, jusques dans le fond du Nord.'〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉He has said it! The very first sentence is an utter falsehold and absurdity; for all the an∣cients distinguish as widely as possible between the Celts and Scythae, as the reader may long ere now have judged, placing the former in the wes∣tern extremity of Europe, and bringing the later out of present Persia. Now upon this radical error his whole work turns; and the consequence is, that it is a chaos of complete delusion from the first page to the last. M. Formey, whose eloge of him is prefixt, tells us innocently, p. xxi. 'M. Pelloutier m'a dit qu'il avoit lu l'apres souper, a peu pres comme on lit la Gazette, tous les auteurs dont on trouve la liste a la tete de son premier tome de l'Histoire des Celtes.' Every reader might have seen this: and it is to be supposed that he also wrote after supper, for his work is certainly written be∣tween awake and asleep. Tho he has not redd above half what he ought; and his constant atten∣tion to his clerical duties prevented his read∣ing, save after supper, when his mind was ex∣hausted to the dregs; yet he appears to have looked into the indexes of many books, and his silent suppression of all the passages of the ancients con∣cerning the Asiatic origin of the Scythae cannot be excused. His over-heated imagination saw the Celts every where; tho, if he could have under∣stood the first page of Caesar, he might have learned that in his time they held but one third part of Gaul. Weakness is excusable; but truth must not be sacrificed to falsehood: and his sup∣pression of all the evidence relating to the Scythae is most illaudable. Indeed he always suppresses what he cannot answer: a plan very easy and Page  106very common. His design is to shew Gaul the parent country of modern nations in Europe, and thus to support the French dream of universal monarchy. But it may boldly be said that he who in treating history, the grand instruction of man∣kind, does not place the evidence against, as well as for, before his readers, he is a propagator of falsehood, and an enemy of society. But let him be judged by the verdict of one of his countrymen: Si l'honneur et la bonne foi sont requises dans toutes les actions de la vie, elles sont indispensables dans la composition de l'histoire. Et l'historien qui manque a ces conditions, et qui deguisse a dessein la qualité des evenements, est un traitre et un faussaire qui abuse de la confiance du public. Fresnoy Meth. pour etudier l'Hist. Tome V. p. 320.

Page  107

CHAPTER II. The Germans were Scythoe. FIRST GRAND ARGUMENT: From Identity of Language.

THE opinions that the ancient Germans were Sarmatae, and that they were Celts, being shewn to be erroneous, i proceed to establish that they were Scythae, who continued their progress from ancient Scythia, and their extended territo∣ries of Getia and Dacia into Germany, the bor∣dering country. It must here be premised, that no author has fallen in my way who has entered into this. Cluverius, and his latest followers, think the Germans Celts. The modest and industrious Boxhorn, and a few others, who put the Germans as Scythae, have been so ignorant as to take the Sarmatae, Celts, and Huns, also for Scythae. So that no solid science could stand upon such vague premisesa. The Danish and Norwegian, and Swedish, antiquaries used to think that the Goths came strait from the Euxine to the Baltic; and that all the Gothic nations in Europe went from Scandinavia, as Jornandes bears, an author whom they formerly fought for as pro aris et focis. But Page  106〈1 page duplicate〉Page  107〈1 page duplicate〉Page  108of late their whole ancient Eddas, Sagas, Chro∣nicles, &c. shewing, on the contrary, that the Goths came to Scandinavia, not many centuries before Christ, but mentioning no prior egression from it, their natural good sense has led them to pass these ideas: but they have not treated on the German origins, while the German writers still generally follow Cluverius. Montesquieu, Gib∣bon, and other late eminent writers, discuss not the subject, but regard the Germans as aborigines.

The reader's whole attention is therefore request∣ed to the arguments for this grand point; which, as lucid order is studied in this little essay as much as possible, shall now be arranged in numerical battalion, after a remark or two. By the Ger∣mans i mean, as the ancients did, the whole na∣tions from the Danube on the South, up to the Northern ocean, or extremity of Scandinavia on the North; and from the Rhine, and German ocean on the West, to the river Chronus or Nie∣men on the East. For tho the Vistula was gene∣rally put as the eastern boundary of Germany, this was owing to the Venedi, and one or two other Sarmatic nations, being found between the Chronus and Vistula: but the whole Germani Transvistulani, or vast division of Germans called BASTERNAE, amounting, as Pliny states, to a fifth part of the Germans, were beyond the Vistula, in present Prussia, Polachia, Masovia, and Red Russia. So that the Chronus or Niemen was cer∣tainly the proper boundary between the Germans and Sarmatae, tho the superior course and fame of the Vistula madé it the popular barrier. That the Scandinavians were Basternae, or Transvistular Germans, right reason might instruct us, had we not the positive authority of Strabo, with colla∣teral proofs from Tacitus, Ptolemy, and others, as after explained. For this was the part of Ger∣many which immediately led from the Euxine to Scandinavia; and the passage to Sweden was not long; Page  109and was divided by the iles of Gotland and Oeland. The reader must also observe, that tho my proofs that the Germans were Scythae from Asia open a new field, yet heaven forbid that i should make a new hypothesis in ancient history! No. The truth is always old. What shall now be shewn was ori∣ginally well known, tho afterward lost. I do not discover new opinions; but old facts, that were hid under the soil of error; when they are dug up, they will be found to evidence their antiquity by their fabric.

The learned and judicious Sheringham observes, that there are three ways to judge of the origin of nations.

  • 1. From Relation of Speech.
  • 2. From accounts preserved in Ancient History.
  • 3. From Similar Manners.
But that the first is the chief and most certain of all arguments; Linguarum Cognatio cognationis gentium praecipuum, certissimum∣que argumentum est. This is indeed common sense, for if we found a people in Japan who spoke French, they must be of French origin; and it is one of these truths which cannot be controverted. Language is a most permanent matter, and not even total revolutions in nations can change it. A philosopher well told Augustus, that it was not in his power to make one word a citizen of Rome. When a speech changes, it is in many centuries; and it only changes cloths, not body and soul. But not to insist on a point universally allowed, it can be proved that the language of the old Ger∣mans was Scythic, or (what has been infallibly above shewn to be the same) Gothic, by these fol∣lowing facts.

FIRST GRAND ARGUMENT. The old German and Scythic one and the same Speech. This may be proved as follows.

We have a venerable monument of the Scythic or Gothic language in the gospels translated by Ulphilas, bishop of the Goths, in Maesia, in the Page  110year. 367b. These four gospels, the remains of a translation of the Scriptures for the use of his people, have been repeatedly published, since the first edition, by Junius, 1665, 4to. down to that of Mr. Lye. Another fragment, containing part of the epistle to the Romans, has been lately dis∣covered in the library at Wolfenbuttle, and pub∣lished by Knitel, archdeacon of Wolfenbuttle. Other fragments of the Gothic language have also been found, of which see Mr. Lye's notes to his edition of the Gothic gospels. All these remains, as being Gothic, are Scythic, for it has been fully shewn that Goths and Scythae were but synonymous terms for one and the same people.

The consonance of these Scythic remains with the old German is universally known. The Fran∣cic is a dialect of the Teutonic, Tudesque or Old German; and the gospels of Ulphilas bear such affinity to the Francic, of which fragments are preserved in the early French historians and else∣where, that De la Croze, and Michaelis, have pro∣nounced these gospels to be part of an old Francic version, tho Lye, Knitel, and others, have re∣futed that opinion from history, and comparison of the dialects. Schilter, in his invaluable The∣saurusc, has given us many large monuments of the Tudesque, or Old German, from the seventh century downward, and it is clear that the Scythic of Ulphilas is the same language. Wachter's learned Glossary of the ancient German also certi∣fies this point. And the skilful Ibre, after hesi∣tating whether the gospels of Ulphilas bear most Page  111resemblance of the German or Scandinavian dialect of the Gothic, gives it in favour of the former, adding that some words, as might be ex∣pected, are neither found in the old German nor Scandinaviand. The Anglo-Saxon, as it is called, but which should be stiled the Anglo-Belgic, is also known by all to be a venerable, and excellent dialect of the Tudesque: and it bears such inti∣mate connection with the Scythic gospels, that the noble work of Lye, the Dictionarium Saxonico et Gothico Latinum, London, 1772, 2 vols. folio, is built wholly upon their identity.

The Scandinavian, of which the oldest reliques are Islandic, and begin with Arius Frodi, in the Eleventh century, is a dialect of the German. The remains we have in it are more modern by four centuries than those of the German, for no∣thing shall be built on the Runic inscriptions; and those Islandic reliques are more polished, and the words more shortened, (a grand mark of a po∣lished tongue, as long words are of a rude and primitive onee) not only because more modern than the German, but because the Islandic was refined by a long succession of poets and historians almost worthy of Greece or Rome. Hence the Icelandic, being a more polished language than the German, has less assinity with the parent Gothic. The Swedish is nearer related to the Icelandic than either the Danish or Norwegian; the two later countries being under one monarch of German extract, and from the proximity of Denmark to Germany, many words have crept in. But that the Swedish is the daughter of the Scythic of Ulphilas is amply known from Ihre's work, the Glossarium Suio-Gothicum. Nor is there occasion to insist upon Page  112facts now so universally certified as the identity of the Scythic or Gothic, preserved in Ulphilas and other ancient remains, with the German and Scandinavian tongues.

Even in the darker ages these facts were well known. Rodericus Tosetanus says, Teutonia, Da∣cia, Norvegia, Suecia, Flandria, et Anglia, unicam habent linguam, licet idiomatibus dignoscantur: 'Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Flan∣ders, and England, have all one speech, tho distinguished by their idioms.' And Walafrid Strabo, who wrote under Louis the Pious Emperor of Germany about 820, observes justly, Gothi, qui et Getae, eo tempore quo ad fidem Christi, lice non recto itinere, perducti sunt, in Graecorum provin∣ciis commorantes, nostrum, id est Theotiscum sermonem habueruntf. 'the Goths, who were also called Getae, being in the provinces of the Greek empire (the Byzantine) at the time they were brought to the Christian faith, tho not by the right way, (they were all Arians as was Ulphilas their apostle) had our language, that is the Tudesque.' This fact Walafrid must have seen from the translation of Scripture by Ulphilas, mentioned by the ecclesi∣astic historians, and famous from the first over all christendom.

The modern German, a language spoken in a far greater extent than any other of Europe, and now beginning to be much studied from the num∣ber of good books in it, resembles the Gothic gos∣pels, more than the present Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish; and has certainly more ancient sta∣mina. Its likeness to the Asiatic tongues, in harshness and inflexible thickness of sound, is very apparent. In form, structure, and in numerous words, it agrees with the Persian, as all knowg; Page  113and Busbequius shews that the clowns of Crim Tartary, not Tartars, but remains of the old Scythae, speak a language almost German. Charle∣magne was first emperor of Germany. Before he conquered it, petty states prevailed. Fragments of Tudesque or German of his age remain. The Francic and Saxon are dialects of it. The for∣mer is generally stiled Franco-Tudesque: and the later should be called Saxo-Tudesque, being a different dialect from the Saxon of England, falsely so called, for it was Belgic, and spoken in England by three millions of people three hundred years before Caesr. The Saxons and Angli ne∣ver exceeded a hundred thousand, and adopted the tongue of the inhabitants, which they called Saxon or Anglic, as their possessions lay, the former to the south, the later to the north. The Saxons conquered the Angli, and yet the later gave their name to the countryh. Such was the effect of one book written by an Anglus, Beda's Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum. The English is Belgic mixt with Roman, or, as now called, French. The Roman was never entirely spoken in Britain as in Italy, Spain, Gaul. The Welsh tongue sufficiently shews this. Britain was a remote fron∣tier; and the Romans who defended it keeped se∣parate from the people. In Spain and Gaul the inhabitants were wholly romanized; all were Ro∣mans. In Britain the Romans were solely the Ro∣man legions. The inhabitants of Gaul, who all spoke Roman, far outnumbering the Franci their conquerors, their tongue, tho spoken of with con∣tempt at first, as the lingua Romana rustica, pre∣vailed over the Francic; and was called Roman, but now French. Such was also the very case in Page  114Italy and Spain; where the Romano, and Romance, overcame the rude Gothic, and is now the language. It must also be remarked, that the ancient German has not the smallest similarity to the Celtic, or to the Sarmatic: and that the older it is the greater is the distancei.

This argument, from identity of speech, is so certain and conclusive, that, from it alone, we might invincibly infer that the Germans were a Scythic progeny: but to place so important a point beyond a shadow of doubt, even to the most ignorant or prejudiced mind, let us proceed to other arguments.

Page  115

CHAPTER III. The Germans were Scythae. SECOND GRAND ARGUMENT: From the testimonies of Ancient Authors.

IN examining the origin of nations language is justly esteemed an infallible criterion. But in all other ancient facts the authorities of ancient writers form the ONLY evidence we can possibly have. Without them we can know nothing of the subject. Human affairs by no means proceed ac∣cording to reason, speculation, or philosophy; but depend on various contingencies, which can only be learned from ancient authors. It cannot therefore be too often repeated that AUTHORITIES ARE FACTS IN HISTORY. Lord Bacon introduced experimental philosophy against theories of nature; and in history theory is even more foolish than in na∣tural philosophy, seeing that nature has great laws, which history has not. What we now call the phi∣losophy of history was introduced by Voltaire, and a few other ignorant theorists, unacquainted with that great reading, upon which the experimental philosophy of history must stand. For if we reason upon falsehoods, our reasoning must be false: and in ancient history facts can only be found by the most assiduous perusal of all the writers who state these facts, or throw light on them. If we trust conjecture, or philosophical nonsense, there is no end; for a thousand authors may give us a thou∣sand theories, and we must return to the ancients at last. The migrations of nations are also facts so very ample, and striking, and leave such traces, Page  116that even the most ignorant know them; as there is not a peasant in Europe who is to learn that the North American colonies went from Britain. When therefore ancient authors universally agree in such large facts, their testimony is infallible, and presents every evidence of historic truth.

SECOND GRAND ARGUMENT. The Ger∣mans were Scythae, from ancient authorities.

The knowlege which the Greek and Roman authors, preceding Caesar, had of Germany, was obscure, and confined. About 450 years before our aera, Herodotus, the earliest writer who can afford us any intelligence on this subject, thought that the Danube rose near a town of the Celts called Pyrhene, not far from the pillars of Her∣culesa: that is, the Pyrenees in Spain. He also tells that the Eridanus, or Po, ran into the Northern ocean, in present Prussia, where the amber always was, and is now alone found, an idea which ap∣parently arose from this, that the amber was brought from Prussia overland to the mouth of the Po, there to be shipped for Greece. About 250 years before Christ, Apollonius Rhodius affords equal marks of ignorance in geography. For he makes the Argonauts, in their return, pass from the Euxine up the Danube into the Cronian, or Baltic sea; thence into the Eridanus, or Po, which, with Herodotus, he supposed fell into the Baltic; a branch of which leads them into the Rhone; an arm of which later would have carried them west to the great ocean, had not Juno cried to them from the Hercynian rock, or Hercynian forest in Germanyb. This was the course of their voyage: and such was the ignorance of an exquisite and learned poet, who had studied and lived long at Alexandria, in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus, and had certainly the use of the largest library of ancient times! Polybius, who wrote about 160 Page  117years beforè Christ, says in his third book, 'All that country between the Tanais and Narbonne, to the north, is unknown to us, till by curious in∣vestigation we learn somewhat concerning it. They therefore, who write or speak otherwise, are either ignorant, or fabulists.' This restriction includes all Germany, Scandinavia, Britain, and the most of Gaul.

But this ignorance of the ancients related chiefly to the geography of these regions; for as to the great divisions of men who inhabited them, namely the Scythae and Celts, they were by no means ig∣norant. We knew that the Japanese were a Chinese colony, and that the Icelanders had past from Norway, for centuries before we had any thing but fables, as to the geography of these countries: and such was the case with the ancients. One navigation may discover the name, language, and manners, of a distant people: while to give an accurate geography of their country, whole cen∣turies are required; especially in ancient ages, when voyages were only made by ignorant mariners and traders, for the mere sake of gain. The Phoenicians were settled at Gades in Spain, and at Utica in Afric, about 1200 years before Christ, or three hundred years before the building of Car∣thage, which last was the foundation of a party who had fled to a well known shore, and not an original trading colony. Gaul and Britain were certainly visited by the Phoenicians, long before Germany and Scandinavia were at all known to the Greeks or Romans. But the Phoenicians, as Strabo tells us, carefully concealed all knowlege of these countries, lest other nations might interfere in their trade. The story of the Phoenician ship is well known, the master of which, observing a Roman vessel following his tract in these seas, ran aground on purpose, and thus wrecked his own ship and the Roman that followed him. This act was deemed so patriotic, that he was richly re∣warded Page  116〈1 page duplicate〉Page  117〈1 page duplicate〉Page  118warded by the senate of Carthage. The part of Germany at the mouth of the Vistula, or present Prussia, was certainly known to the Greeks before the time of Herodotus; and it was the country that supplied all the amber in ancient times, as it does in the present. That Greek merchants travelled there, and had established the mart for it, at the mouth of the Po, there is every reason to be∣lieve. And if the natives brought it down to that mart, the merchants would equally learn their name, situation, language, and manners. Herodotus men∣tions the Marus, or Moraw, of present Moravia, a river to the west of the Vistula; and says it rises in the country of the Agathyrsi, whom Dionysius and other geographers place on the north of Marus, up to the Balric. The Eridanus of Herodotus may well be interpreted the Vistula; for there is no reason why the Greeks should not have given the same name to the two differentrivers, especially while their authors afford many examples of this kind. The description of Herodotus can alone apply to the Vistula, at whose mouth only amber was and is found, and where the region of the Hy∣perboreans was, as he and other ancients state. And this commerce of amber seems to have opened the connection between the Hyperboreans and the Greeks, so famous in antiquity. M. D' Anville has erred in placing the Hyperboreans in the north of European Russia, a region unknown to the an∣cients. Ptolemy, and Agathadaemon, who laid down his maps, making the Riphaean mountains run east and west, at the fountain of the river Tanais: and it is only by ancient ideas that we must estimate ancient geography. The east of the Baltic was the Mare Cronium; the Great Northern, or Frozen, Ocean, was quite unknown to the ancients; and indeed how could they get at it, for of Scandinavia, as shewn in the last chapter, they only knew as far as the Wener lake, and lake of Stockholm. But the Greeks know to a certainty, Page  119

  • 1. That the Celts were in the west of Europe, above Spain; or in Gaul and Britain.
  • 2. That in the North West of Europe, or in present Germany and Scandinavia, were the Scythae; and the Celto-Scythae, or those Scythae in Gaul and Britain, who bordered on the Celts, as the Indo-Scythae did on the Indi.
  • 3. That the Sarmatae were on the North of Greece, to the east of the Scythae of Germany. All which will clearly appear from the following authorities.

1. Herodotus places the Celts quite to the West, and the pillars of Hercules; whereas in his geogra∣phy of Scythia, Book IV. ch. 99. et seq. he evi∣dently supposes that the Scythians spred all over the North West of Europe, even to the Northern ocean, or Baltic. The Agathyrsi, and Geloni, he ranks among the Scythian nations, who united in the general league against Darius, ch. 101. Now Dionysius and Ptolemy place the Agathyrsi and Geloni upon the Baltic sea. We learn from this that the ancient Greeks knew that the Scythae ex∣tended to the utmost north-west extremity of Eu∣rope, or up to Scandinavia.

2. Xenophon, who wrote about 380 years be∣fore Christ, says, in his Memorabilia Socratis, lib. II. §. 10. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; 'In Europe the Scythians bear sway:' shewing that as the Persians were the ruling people in Asia, so were the Scythae in Europe. Had the Scythians of Europe been regarded by Xenophon as confined to Ancient Scythia, he could not have given them this description; but he palpably understood that they extended into the heart and furthest parts of Europe, and bore universal sway in it.

3. Aristotle, in Meteor. I. 13. says, the Ister, or Danube slowed from the Pyrenees, mountains of Celtica: and De Gen. An. II. 8. he speaks of the cold of Scythia, and adds that the country of the Celts, above Spain, (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) is also cold. He, as well as Herodotus, knew that Page  120the Celts were confined to Celtic Gaul, and to Britain, for he calls the tin which was brought from Britain, Celtic tin:〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; 'they say that Celtic tin melts much sooner than lead:' De Mir. Ausc.

4. In the next century, or about 250 years be∣fore Christ, Pytheas, Xenophon Lampsacenus, and Timaeus, authors quoted by Pliny, Nat. Hist. IV. 13. all say that the ile Baltia, or Glessaria, a peninsula of the Prussian coast, in which amber is found, 'lay opposite to Scythia, distant a day or two's sail.' Pliny quotes them separately, and they vary in some points, but all agree in this; which shews to a certainty that the Greeks knew the Scy∣thians to extend to Scandinavia, and over all the north of Germany, as before mentioned: while the Celts were confined to Celtic Gaul and Britain. My plan confines me, else i could convince every reader, that the Greeks, five centuries before Christ, had far more accurate ideas of the Scythic and Celtic nations than Pelloutier, a writer of yester∣day. But it is the property of an over heated imagi∣nation to raise fumes, and darken every subject, while the lumen siccum, or dry light of judgement, pene∣trates and illustrates all. Fancy blends: judgment discriminates. Fancy finds similitudes; judgment dissimilitudes.

In the century following Polybius is the most eminent writer, but his subject extended to Gaul, not to Germany. Scymnus of Chios, an elegant geographer in verse; who wrote, as Dodwell shews, 127 years before Christ, and addresses his work to Nicomedes, king of Pergamus; tho he quotes many authors, only shews that the Greeks had made no greater progress in geography.

5. At length full day arises upon the west, and a distant splendor upon the North of Europe. Caesar, who entered upon his province of Gaul 57 years before the Christian aera, from personal knowlege, enlarged by the cool penetration and Page  121luminous comprehension of his great soul, was to be the fountain of this irradiation. From his ad∣mirable Commentaries on the Gallic War it is evident that the Celts, far from being, as Pellou∣tier idiotically supposes, spred over all Europe, were in fact confined to one third of Gaul, as every school-boy knows who has redd the first line of his workc, For the North east third was possessed by the Belgae; who, as Caesar informs us, from the best information, that of a neighbouring na∣tion, were of Germanic origin; and their lan∣guage, manners, and laws, were different from those of the Celts, as Caesar shews, being palpably German. The Aquitani held the south-west part of Gaul; and were also of different language, manners, and laws, from the other two; being Iberi who had passed from Spain, to which they had come from Africacc. Strabo IV. p. 266. says of the Aquitani, 'they resemble the Iberi more than the Galli (or Celts) of whom they have neither the form nor idiom.' Nay in their last refuges, Britain and Ireland, the Celts were a vanquished and confined people. For the Belgae, as Caesar shews, had all the south-east of present England; and the Piks, a Germano-Scandinavian people, as Tacitus and Beda prove, had all the Page  122north of Scotland down to the friths of Clyde and Forth. In Ireland, it is clear from Ptolemy, that the Belgae held all the south-east parts, and that they had not proceeded from Britain, but from Belgic Gaul and Germany; for of the Menapii and Chauci, or Cauci, we find no trace in Britaind, but have them in Ireland, and in Germany, and Belgic Gaul. But of this in the Enquiry into Scotish history, where it shall be shewn that the Belgae were the ruling people in Ireland; and that the Irish, or old Scotish Royal stem is really Belgic, or Gothic. These Belgae are the Fir Bolg of the Irish Annals, with whom their real history begins; and such was their superiority that to this day Bolg in Irish implies a noble man, and also a man of science.

Even in the regions retained by the Celts, which were minute, they were mingled with German Goths; and their speech with German or Gothic words. The old Irish grammarians, as Mr. O'Conorc tells, call their Gallic, or Irish tongue, Berla Tebide, or a mixt language. The Welsh, as all know, is, even in it's most ancient remains, full of Danish and English words. The Gallic, Celtic, or Irish, of the Highlands of Scotland, is of all the Celtic dialects the most corrupt, and mixt with Gothic; owing to the neighbourhood of the Piks; and to the Norwegians holding the Hebudes and western coast of Scotland, from the time of Harald Harfagre, or about 880, till 1266, when regained by the Scots; but the Norwegians remained as principal tenants, and the chief families in these parts are all Norwegian. So that in fact Page  123the Celtic, far from being a pure speech, is the most mixt and corrupt in the world. For the Celts were so inferior a people, being to the Scy∣thae as a negro to an European, that, as all history shews, to see them, was to conquer them; and as they had no arts, nor inventions, of their own, they of course received innumerable words from other tongues. But the nomenclature of a lan∣guage is only it's dress, while it's grammar forms the soul and body; and the Celtic grammar is totally remote from that of all Gothic languages. So much so that, by a mode, perhaps unknown to any other speech, they decline nouns beginning with labials, by altering the initials, as the Goths, Greeks, and Romans, altered the termination. Thus Mac is a son; Mhic, (pronounce Wic) of a son, &c. Nay the pronouns alter the beginning of nouns, thus Pen, a head; i Ben, his head; i Phen, her head; y'm Mhen, my head. A strange and horrible absurdity! as it cancels every rule of language; and must shew a confused and dark understanding in the people who use it, nay even to speak it must ex post facto throw a mist over the mind. Yet is it much to be wished that professor∣ships of the Celtic tongue were established in our universities, that such remains as are of that speech might be explained and placed in a just light. We naturally reverence what we do not knowf; and this may be called the Celtic century, for all Eu∣rope has been inundated with nonsense about the Celts. When we come to the truth about them, and Time always draws truth out of the well, the Celtic mist will vanish, or become a mere cloud.

To return. Caesar, by shewing the Celts to be confined to such small bounds, palpably marks that other nations had gained ground on them, so as to confine them to such a contracted space. And in his fine description of the Germans in book VI. and in other passages, he shews them to Page  124have totally differed from the Celts. What peo∣ple then were they? That they were not Sarmatae, all know: and the only other people, whom the ancients know in the north-west of Europe, were the Scythae, as just shewn. It follows then that they were Scythae. The Greek authors had cer∣tainly acquired some knowlege of Germany two centuries at least before Caesar, for he says, book VI. Germaniae loca circum Hercyniam silvam, quam Eratostheni, et quibusdam Graecis, fama notam esse video, quam illi Orciniam appellant, Volcae Tec∣tosages occuparunt. And we shall see instantly that Diodorus Siculus, one of the best informed, and most judicious of the Greek historians, and who wrote after Caesar's discoveries, repeatedly calls all Germany, even to the furthest west and north, Scythia. It may be asked, why does not Caesar call the country Scythia? Why this new appella∣tion of Germany? Be it answered, that another country was peculiarly called Scythia, namely, Little or Ancient Scythia on the Euxine. And that tho the Greeks called all that tract, to which the Scythians extended, Scythia, yet those Scy∣thian nations bore different names, as Thraces, Illyrians, &c. Of course Caesar, finding the Ger∣mans so called by their countrymen of Belgic Gaul, gives them, most properly, their specific, and not generic name. Nor does Caesar write as a geographer, but as a warrior: he says not a word of their origin, &c. but only describes their manners. Tacitus, in Germ. specially informs, that the name of Germans was a late one.g.

6. Diodorus Siculus was cotemporary with Julius Caesar, and profited by his discoveries. He Page  125tells us, lib. V. p. 354. (edit. Wesseling.) that the people "who inhabit the inner parts above Mar∣seilles, and at the Alps, and on this side the Py∣renees, are called Celts. But THOSE who inhabit BEYOND the Celtic region, and the parts toward the SOUTH, and situated on the ocean; and THOSE toward the Hercynian mountains, and all onward, even to Scythia (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) are called Gauls." Wesseling observes, that this is false, because the Romans called the Celts also Gauls. But Diodorus no doubt knowing that the Celts were not those Gauls celebrated in Ro∣man history, but quite a distinct people, posses∣sing the inner or further part of Gaul, he, with propriety, puts them as different nations. By the Celts Diodorus understands those of Caesar, ex∣tending from the north-west extremity of the Alps above Marseilles, into the inner parts of Gaul. Those beyond the Celts, to the south on the ocean, are the Aquitani. Those toward the Hercynian mountains, and onward to Scythia, are the Belgae. His Scythia is palpably Germany: as it is in the following passages. "They (the Gauls) are very fierce on the north, and bordering on Scythia (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉), so that they are said to devour men, as those Britons also do who inhabit Ireland." lib. V. p. 355. Again, speaking of amber he says, it comes chiefly from an iland of Scythia, above Gaul, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: ibid. meaning Baltia, or Glessaria, as the above quotations from Pliny shew.

7. In the time of Tiberius, about 20 years after Christ, lived Strabo. His valuable work is full of the Scythae; and he tells us, lib. XI. p. 507. ed. Casaubon.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. 'All the nations toward the north∣ern parts, the ancient writers call Scythians, and Page  126Celto-Scythians.'h Now tho in speaking of Asia, XI. 492, he says, after Ephorus, that some Sar∣matae there were Scythae, yet in describing Europe he distinguishes between the Scythic and Sarmatic nations. Thus he says, "above the Getae, are the Tyragetae, and above these the Jazyges Sar∣matae;" and he tells us, lib. VII. that Homer, by his Hippomolgi and Galactophagi, Il. XIII. means the Scythae and Sarmatae. So that by the Scythians he means not the Sarmatae. In book I. he says, the earth is divided into four parts, to the furthest east the Indians dwell; to the furthest south the Ethiops; to the furthest west the Celts; to the furthest north the Scythians. And Strabo knew that the Scythae of Germany were the Getae, for book VII. p. 294. he says 'The Suevi hold the south side of Germany which is beyond the Elbe. After them lyes the region of the Getae, narrow on the south toward the Ister, and toward the Hercynian forest, part of whose mountains it comprehends, but extended largely to the north, even to the Tyragetae.' By the Getae Strabo pal∣pably means all the Germans east of the Elbe, namely the Vandali, and Hermiones, and Basternae, of Pliny, being three of his five grand divisions of the Germans: the Basternae actually stretching east to the river Tyras, on which the Tyragetae dwelled. Strabo also, as shall be after shewn, places Basternae in Scandinavia. Hence it is clear that Strabo looked on these three grand divisions of the Germans as Getae, Scythians, or Goths; and of course would have regarded the others as such, had he learned, as we do from Tacitus, that the whole Germans to the furthest extremity were all of one origin, language, and manners.

8. Mela wrote about the year 45. He distin∣guishes the Scythians and Sarmatae, and gives a Page  127separate chapter on each. In b. III. chap. 5, he tells us that the northern Scythae were called Belcae, a name no where else to be found; and ch. 6. he tells us, Thule Belcarum littori opposita est, 'Thule is opposite to the shore of the Belcae.' So that in his opinion the Scythians held Scandi∣navia, opposite to which Thule is placed by all the ancients.

9. Pliny, the natural historian, wrote in Vespa∣sian's time, about 70 years after Christ. In his fourth book, ch. 12, he tells us, that the Scythian nations, including the Sarmatae, stretched all along the north, and north-west of the Danube; and then adds the following memorable and decisive sentence. Before reading it, let us recollect that Pliny prefixes to his immortal work the contents of each book; and a list of the authors used in that book, from which it appears that his reading was, as his nephew informs us, infinite. No wri∣ter in all antiquity ever had such exuberance of information; and the question could not be sub∣mitted to a more able arbiter. Hear his verdict. SCYTHARUM NOMEN USQUEQUAQUE TRANSIT IN SARMATAS, ATQUE GERMANOS. NEC ALIIS PRISCA ILLA DURAVIT APPELLATIO, QUAM QUI, EXTREMI GENTIUM HARUM, IGNOTI PROPE CETERIS MOR∣TALIBUS DEGUNT. The name of Scythians is every where changed to that of Sarmatae, and Germans. Nor has that ancient appellation continued, save to the most distant of these two nations, who live almost unknown to other mortals. The Sarmatae, as above explained, were, by some less informed ancients, regarded as a nation of the Scythae; for before Ptolemy's time, who wrote near a century after Pliny, little intelligence had been got about the Sarmatae, a people who occupied a country as large as all the Scythian possessions put together. Their language was totally different, as the Slavonic is from the Gothic or Scythic of Ulphilas. But Page  128some Greek writers knowing that the Scythae ex∣tended all over the north-west of Europe, had con∣sidered the Sarmatae also as a Scythic nation. The name of Scythians, given to the Sarmatae, was but a vulgar inaccuracy, as we term the Americans West-Indians. Distant objects become indistinct, and their appellations of course inaccurate. Yet, tho wrong in denominating the Sarmatae Scy∣thians, the ancients knew they were perfectly right in giving that name to the Germans, after they had discovered that the Sarmatae were quite a different race from the Scythians; seeing that the German language and manners proved them the same people with the ancient Scythians on the Euxine. This is clear even from Strabo, who calls the Germans Getae, as just shewn; and from all the Greek writers after Ptolemy, who name the Germans Scythae. For the whole Ger∣man nations were called Scythians or Goths in the fourth century; as the vast German division of the Vindili (or Vandali, as some MSS.) of Pliny, the Sucvi, Angli, Langobardi, of Tacitus, &c. &c. &c. are uniformly called Scythians or Goths after that time. For that the Greeks denominated all these nations Scythians, whom the Latins called Goths, has been amply demonstrated in the be∣ginning of this essay. The reader is requested to attend to this important circumstance, for if he falls into the vulgar delusion of the Goths being a paltry tribe of Germany, or of Scandinavia, he will err prodigiously. The Latin name Goths, and Greek term Scythians, belong to the whole barbaric nations from the Caspian to the Adriatic, east and south, to the British channel west, and Scandinavia, and river Chronus or Niemen, north and north east. The Sarmatae are by all writers after Ptolemy placed on the north-east of the Scy∣thae, in present Poland and Russia; and marked as a separate and peculiar, great people. It was Page  119from the vast plains of Getia, Gothia, or Ancient Scythia, and of Germany, that the ruder Goths spred over Europe, on the fall of the Roman empire; and not from the bleak and desert mountains of Scandinavia, or from one little district in Germany, as childishly dreamed.

To produce all the other ancient authorities, that the Germans were Scythae, would swell this tract to a folio volume; and what are given will, it is believed, fully suffice. Tacitus thinks the Germans indigenes, for a reason which has de∣servedly excited laughter, namely, that all the ancient migrations were by sea, not by land! As if the inhabitants of such a region as Germany could be transported by sea, like the little colo∣nies of antiquity! He adds, that no nation would proceed from better climates to people such a country; forgetting, as M. Brotier justly remarks, that necessity and security are the parents of bar∣baric population. The Norwegians have peopled Iceland, and planted Greenland. But the mi∣racles of Vespasian, the tale of the phoenix, and such remarks as these, only shew that man is composed of inconsistency, and that the strongest on some occasions, are the weakest on others: as the only sublime historian who ever wrote could sometimes sink most profoundly from his eleva∣tion. It can even be shewn from Tacitus, that the Germans were Scythae, for we have remains of the language of several nations he mentions in Germany, and these remains are Scythic or Go∣thic, as is the whole German language at this day. He himself, tho he distinguishes the Ger∣man speech and manners from those of the Celts and Sarmatae, in the most direct terms, yet no where distinguishes them from those of the Daci, as he, with the Romans, calls these Getae who bordered on Germany. It may be said, the Getae might be a German emigration, as well Page  130as the contrary; but against this are ALL the ancients, as every page of this work witnesses, for they all state the Scythians to have proceeded from the east to the west; and the whole tenor of that progress is marked and distinct, from Persia to Britain.

Page  131

CHAPTER IV.

The Germans were Scythae. THIRD GRAND ARGUMENT: From Similar Manners.

IT must be remarked, before proceeding to the third and last class of arguments, namely, those arising from similarity of manners, that it is, of all others, the most uncertain. For similar stages of society will produce like manners among all mankind. A species of men, capable of the utmost progress that society affords, will, in it's original state, be on a level with another species, incapable of any progress at all. Did we suppose parallel customs proofs of identic nations, the savages of North America are the same with the ancient Germans described by Tacitus. But as, on the other hand, dissimilar manners might argue against the sameness of nations, proofs shall here be produced of perfect similarity in those of the southern Scythians, and those to the furthest north of Germany and Scandinavia, after thus warning the reader not to rely too much on this point; which, were it fully proved, would prove nothing to a cool enquirer. But full and irrefragable ar∣guments that the Germans were Scythae or Goths, having already been submitted, this article may be considered as only a diversion after the task is done. Yet, as this is no work of amusement, let us pass this relaxed part with a few hasty hints.

Page  132
THIRD GRAND ARGUMENT. The Germans were Scythae from similar Manners.

Herodotus, in his fourth book, ch. 59 to 82, gives us a long account of the manners of the Scy∣thae; and a peculiar happiness seems to have at∣tended this favoured nation, for Tacitus has de∣scribed those of their descendants the Germans; so that the clearest splendor is thrown on the sub∣ject. To run a parallel would swell this essay to a vast size, and they are so like that they need only be referred to. Wormius, Bartholin, and other northern antiquaries, have remarked, that the de∣scription given of the Scythae by Herodotus, ap∣plies perfectly to the Goths of their country, even down to a late age. The chief difference arises merely from a local circumstance. It is that the ancient Scythae on the Euxine, described by He∣rodotus, had found their fine breed of Persian horses thrive equally well in their fertile possessions, on the temperate shores of the Euxine; while, in Germany and Scandinavia, the cold was then too severe for that southern race, and the indigenal breed was, as tacitus states, very small. Hence the Ancient Scythae were chiefly cavalry; while the Germans and Scandinavians had little or no cavalry. This difference was a necessary effect of climate; and infers no distinction in the people, any more than the different life led by the British in the East Indies, from what they use here, de∣stroys the identity of the people. In Iceland the Norwegians differed prodigiously in manners from those in Normandy, Calabria, or Sicily. But to instance a few particulars of similar Manners in the Scythae and Germans.

Page  1331. Domeslic Life. Both Scythae and Germans lived by hunting, pasturage, and rapinea. Both had a few agricultural nations: but the tilled ground, as the pastoral, belonged to the commu∣nity, or tribe; and they quitted it at the year's end to more to another. Herodotus observes that these Scythae, who were agricultors, did not use the corn for bread, but parched it over the fire; that is, as Pelloutier well explains, in order to use it in broth, and for ale: so Tacitus of the Germans. They drank out of hornsb, so the Germans; or out of the sculls of enemiesc, so the Germans. Ale and meed were the drink of the Thracian Scythiansd, and those of Scandinavia. Both drank healths; and drank before entering on businesse. Both nations burned their illustrious dead, and buried their ashes in urns, under hil∣locs or tumulif. Both went almost naked, using only a skin of some wild beast to cover them in winter. The chiefs and rich of both nations used a close tunic, and breechesg. The Thracian Scy∣thians pricked and stained their bodiesh; so did nations in Germanyi, nay, the Belgae of Britaink, and the Piks of Norway and Scotlandl.

Page  1342. Religion. Herodotus says, v. 7. "All the kings and people of Thrace worship Mercury chiefly. They swear by his name, and believe themselves his progeny." The Greek and Roman writers applied the names of their own deities to those of barbaric nations, as the smallest attribute of the idol led them. If a rude image held a scepter, it was Jupiter: if a purse, Mercury; if a sword, Mars. Hence great confusion; for what denoted one attribute with the Greeks and Ro∣mans might, with the barbaric nations, mark quite another, as nothing admits of various inter∣pretation more than symbol. Tacitus says of the Germans, credunt Tuistonem deum terra editum et filium Mannum, originem gentis, conditoresque. He∣rodotus gives the god a Greek name, because, in some symbol, he resembled Mercury. The Gothic historians draw all their kings from Odin. Paulus Warnefridus Hist. Langob. says Wodan, quem ad∣jecta litera Gwodan dixerunt, ipse est qui apud Ro∣manos Mercurius dicitur, et ab universis Germaniae populis ut deus adoratur. But the Gothic mytho∣logy being only traditional, and no temples nor statues being found among them, till a late pe∣riod, Odin became the god of war, and a fabu∣lous hero, who, as the Sagas agree, led the Goths from Scythia on the Danaster, or Tyras, into Scandinavia. This fable shews the universal tradi∣tion of their origin; but Odin was merely the name of a deity, or rather an epithet, and they who speak gravely of him as an hero are de∣ceived. It was Odin, Mars, literally war, that opened their progress into the wilds of Scandina∣via. The Gothic mythology has been weakly handled, but might, by a complete parallel, be shewn to be the ancient Grecian. The Greek gods were the progeny of Caelus and Terra. Mannus, or Man, was descended of the gods, for in the hymns ascribed to Orpheus, the Greeks are called their progeny: and so the Greek poet Page  135quoted by Saint Paul, says men are the offspring of Jove. The ancient Germans had also a Mars, and a Hercules, as Tacitus says. The former, it is likely, was Odin, and Warnefrid may be mis∣taken: the later was Thor, famous in the Edda and Voluspa for his strength. But he was the Ju∣piter, or chief god, of northern mythology. In fact, even the Greek mythology is a mass of con∣fusion, as all traditional matters must be, and the several mythologists differ radically in the most essential points: no wonder then that the Gothic is embarrassed. The fables of Tiresias, of Proteus, and other small Greek tales, may be traced in Gothic traditionsm. The Goths consulted the héart of victims; had oracles; had sibyls; had a Venus in Freya; a Neptune in Nocken; Parcae in the Valkyriarn. The Scythians worshipped Mars, whose symbol, for they had no images, was a pile of swords. Herodotus IV. 59. says, they believed the Earth wife of Jupiter. Tacitus tells that the Suevi worshipped Hertha, or the Earth.

3. Government. Herodotus was unhappily no politician, and is quite mute concerning the go∣vernment of the Scythae. Nor do i find in all antiquity, any description of the Scythic constitu∣tions, Page  136so that the full light we receive from Tacitus concerning those of the Germans cannot be for∣mally paralleled with those of their Scythic ances∣tors. The Greeks have been shewn to be Scythae: let us therefore derive a few rays from them. Fa∣mily government is always aristocratic, of father and mother, as Locke shews. But as a family differs widely from a community, and as the later is composed of many of the former, the aristocracy of family became instantly democracy, by the fa∣thers of families directing public affairs by joint coun∣sels. Thus it is demonstrable that democracy is the most ancient form of government, for the very idea of a king is unknown to early society. In war one leader was of necessity chosen; and he, in many instances, confirmed his power so as to become a king. Had there been no wars, there would have been no kings: and the mythology of all kings being descended of the god of war is plain truth. But it has not yet been remarked, that, in early society, even monarchy is democratical. The king is but one of the people. In the Greek heroic ages there were kings, because there had been wars, yet the people was free even to licence. Dr. Gillies has, in the second chapter of his his∣tory of Greece, made a formal parallel between the Greek government of those times, and that of the Germans, tho he suspected not the real cause of that identity, namely, that they were all one people. He well observes that in freedom of debate in the public assemblies, and the privileges of liberty being preserved to the meanest subject, and other points, there is a perfect resemblance. The only difference he marks is, that beauty of the Greek character, priest and king being united in one person. Yet the earliest Greeks had sepa∣rate priests, and augurs, as the Germans; so that this can hardly be called a difference. And among the Scandinavians in Iceland, the priest was also the magistrate, and offered sacrifice in Page  137the midst of the judicial circle of stones before he sat to judge.

The Feudal System has been treated of by many writers, but so uncommon a quality is pe∣netration, that all of them to this day have con∣founded two grand divisions in it's history, which are totally dissimilar. These divisions are,

  • 1. The Feudal System.
  • 2. The Corrupted Feudal Sys∣tem.
The former extends from the earliest account of time, thro the early history of Greece and Rome, till the progress of society changed the manners of these nations: and thro the early his∣tory of the Goths and Germans who overturned the Roman empire, down to the eleventh century. At this period commences the Corrupted Feudal System, and lasts till the fifteenth century, when the Feudal System began after it's corruption to dissolve quite away. The Corruption of the Feu∣dal System took place soon after the petty king∣doms of the former ages were united into great monarchies, as the heptarchies in England be∣came subject to our monarch; and so in other countries. This corruption is no more the feudal system than any other corruption is the substance preceding corruption, that is quite the reverse: and yet, such is modern superficiality, that it has been termed The Feudal System, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and all writers estimate the Feudal System by it's cor∣ruption only, just as if we should judge of a re∣public by it's condition when changed into an aristocracy! About the Eleventh century, by the change of small kingdoms into one great mo∣narchy, and by a concatenation of other causes, which it would require a volume to detail, the Feudal System corrupted, (and corruptio optimi pessima) into a state of aristocratic tyranny, and oppression. Before that period no such matter can be found. The greatest cause was, that no∣bility and estates annexed were not hereditary till that time, so that the great were kept in perpetual Page  138awe; and that check was removed, before the cities had attained such privileges and powers, as to balance the nobility. In Ancient Greece and Italy, confined spots, cities were from the first the grand receptacles of society. To the want of ci∣ties the subjection of the people to their lords, and all the Corrupt Feudal System is owing. To cities the ruin of that Corrupted Feudal System (generally called the Feudal System), is solely to be ascribed. Of the Corrupted Feudal System no∣thing shall be added here; as it commenced at a late period, and is foreign to my work; save one or two remarks on Chivalry, an institution quite misunderstood. It was so heterogeneous to the Feudal System, that, had the later lasted pure, chivalry would never have appeared. But as it is often so decreed that, out of the corruption of a constitution, a remedy for that corruption springs, such was the case with chivalry, an institution which does honour to human nature. The knight∣hood was not hereditary, but an honour of perso∣nal worth. It's possessors were bound to help the oppressed, and curb the tyrannic spirit of the hereditary great, those giants of power, and of romance. Had the ridicule of Cervantes appeared three centuries sooner, we must have branded him as the greatest enemy of society that ever wrote. As it is, a sensible French writero well observes, that it now begins to be questioned whether his book be not worthy of execration. All professions have their foibles; but ridicule ought never to be exerted against the benefit of society. Cervantes envied the success of the romances; but ought not to have derided an institution so beneficial, be∣cause even fables concerning it had the fortune to delight his cotemporaries. But to give a remark Page  139or two on the genuine Feudal System which was purely democratic, as the corrupted was aristo∣cratic.

M. D'Hancarvillep rather fancifully dates the feudal system from the first Scythic empire, for Justin says, His igitur Asia per mille quingentos an∣nos VECTIGALIS fuit; 'Asia was tributary to them for one thousand five hundred years:' and especi∣ally Asiam perdomitam vectigalem fecere modico tri∣buto, magis in titulum imperii quam in victoriae prae∣mium. This last passage is a definition of homage: and the feudal system was that of the Persians, who were, and are, Scythae or Goths, as ancient au∣thors, and their own speech, testify. Xenophonq tells us that, when the younger Cyrus came to Cilicia, he was met by Epyaxa, the beautiful wife of the satrap, who, according to the custom of the east, presented her acknowledged liegelord and superior with gold, silver, and other precious gifts. Indeed the feudal system, about which so much noise is made, is the natural fruit of conquest, and is as old in the world as conquest. A terri∣tory is acquired, and the state, or the general, be∣stows it on the leaders, and soldiers, on condition of military service, and of tokens acknowleging gratitude to the donors. It was known in the Greek heroic ages. It was known to Lycurgus, for all the lands of Sparta were held on military tenure. It was known to Romulus, when he re∣gulated Rome. It was known to Augustus, when he gave lands to his veterans, on condition that their sons should, at fifteen years of age, do mili∣tary service. The reason it did not preponderate and corrupt in Greece and Rome was, that it was stifled by the necessary effects of cities, as above∣mentioned. In Persia, where there were no cities Page  138〈1 page duplicate〉Page  139〈1 page duplicate〉Page  140of any power or privilege, it preponderated and corrupted at an early period.

The feudal system, whether in its original de∣mocracy, or corrupted into aristoracy, must limit the power of kings; for men who hold their pos∣sessions on military service, must, of course, have arms in their hands: and even in absolute govern∣ments the soldiers are free, witness the praetorian bands and armies of imperial Rome, and the Turkish janisaries. By the feudal system every man held arms, and freedom, in his hands. Montesquieu has begun his account of the feudal system with that of the ancient Germans, given by Tacitus; and prides himself in leaving off where others began. A writer more profound would leave off where Montesquieu begins.

The ideas of most writers concerning the Eng∣lish constitution are extremely shallow. It was not found, as Montesquieu states, in the woods of Germany. It peculiarly belongs to a pastoral state of society, as may be inferred from Montes∣quieu himselfr. The Scythic progress may almost be traced by similar forms of government prevail∣ing; and it might be argued from this, that it was the constitution even of the first Scythic em∣pire. To England it must have come with the Belgae; for from Tacitus we know that it was that of all the Germans, and the Belgae were Germans. It is found wherever the Goths went. In the woods of Germany every man had a voice in the general councils. This was when every man had no trade, save that of soldier: but in a more ad∣vanced state of society other occupations arose, upon which men subsisted, and could not neglect to attend to public business. They therefore looked on the chiefs, who had nothing else to do, as their Page  141natural representatives, and left public business to them. During this stage of society, the chiefs, and probi homines, men of rank and character, were really regarded as representatives of the commu∣nity, as implied by the common form in old laws, et tota communitas regni nostri, for how could the community's consent be specified, save by the peers and probi homines, who represented them? When the Goths overturned the Roman empire, they had a fixt aversion to towns, as they had long after; and the towns were left in possession of the old inhabitants, who could hold no part in the constitution of the victors. It is therefore ridicu∣lous to suppose representatives of towns. In a third, and last stage, difference of occupations had, by degrees, introduced trade; and trade introduced towns endued with privileges to protect it, or in other words, burghs. These, we are told, were first founded in Germany, in the tenth century, In other countries they are later. Under the Ro∣man empire there were many privileged towns; but their privileges were annihilated by the con∣quest of the Goths, who had brought from their woods a contempt and aversion for towns, as re∣ceptacles of vice and effeminacy. When in ad∣vanced society, the Gothic victors allowed privi∣leged towns, or burghs, the nobles had great en∣mity to them, and constant contests with the citi∣zens; because, among other privileges, a slave who lived a year and day in a burgh, obtained his freedom, and the nobles thus lost many slaves. Thus arose the first difference of interests between lords and commons; for before this the former had been regarded as natural representatives of the latter. Other representatives were of course ne∣cessary, and were constituted accordingly.

This second stage, when the peers represented the commons, has misled some, because the privi∣leges of the commons seem to them to have slept. Page  142Mr. Hume, who knew nothing about Goths, nor the Gothic constitution, and who is so shallow, that, far from reaching the bottom, he has not reached the bottom of the surface, but merely skimmed it's top, observes in his own Life, that it is ridiculous to look on the English constitution as a regular plan of liberty before the death of Charles I. A profound remark truly, and most sagacious! Is it a regular plan now? Did regular plans of government ever exist, save in Utopias? Have not all governments, save despotism, been ever totally irregular? While a man has life, his pulse must be liable to irregularities; when he is dead, it is regular enough! Error must attend free will; and irregularity free government: the more irregular, the more free, as in the Greek democra∣cies. Strange that Mr. Hume should forget his own just remark, "Where any power or preroga∣tive is fully and undoubtedly established, the exercise of it passes for a thing of course, and readily escapes the notice of history and annals." Essays, Vol. I. p. 499. This was the case with the privileges of the commons during this ob∣scurer stage. Mr. Hume's history stands solely upon a system, and it is the only history i ever met with in which the evidences against are utterly concealed, and past over as nonexistent. A whig history would be as ridiculous as a tory one: the only point in history is to narrate facts, not to build systems, for human affairs are never syste∣matic. Our old historians, who knew nothing of whig or tory system-building, knew the privileges of the commons well. Let us give one instance, and that from the middle of that very period when the privileges of the commons are considered as asleep. Roger Hoveden, who wrote about 1190, says, that on the death of Edwy, king of the West Saxons, in 959, Edgar, king of Mercia, was elected by the English people king of all Eng∣land, Page  143land, AB OMNI ANGLORUM POPULO ELECTUSt. And he was the very first king of all England; so that his successors must abide by his title, and any other claim is that of usurpation.

But, to resume a more immediate consideration of my present subject, i hope to have shewn from Similarity of Manners; from Ancient Authorities; and, above all, from that infallible argument, Identity of Language; that the whole German nations, from Getia and Dacia, to the extremity of Scandinavia, were Scythae or Goths. And every reader, who has attended to the process, must either deny the validity of arguments, universally allowed in other cases to be incontrovertible, or assent that

It is therefore Historic Truth, that the ancient Ger∣mans were all Scythians or Goths.

A question remains, At what time the Scythic population may have reached the Rhine, and Northwest extremity of Scandinavia, the furthest bounds of ancient Germany? Thrace, Asia Mi∣nor, Illyricum, Greece, were certainly peopled with Scythae at least 1500 years before Christ; Italy at least 1000. Nations that subsist by hunting and pasturage, as the barbaric Scythae require a prodigious extent of territoryto afford means of sub∣sistence; and their speedy progress and population we may judge of from those of the Tartars. But the German Scythae had their way to fight against the northern Celts, a hardy race of men; and a vast region to populate; so that we may allow a very Page  144considerable period for their progress. From He∣rodotus, and other ancients, it is certain that the scythians possessed Germany, nay had driven the Celts to the furthest west of Gaul, at least 500 years before our aera. And there are reasons against placing this event at a much remoter period; so that this may safely be considered as being as near the aera as possible in a case of this nature.

Before closing this chapter, it is proper to add a few remarks on the migrations of Scythians from Germany, before the Christian epoch. Caesar in∣forms us, that the Belgae, the greatest and most valiant part of the Gauls, were Germans; and Strabo confirms this account. The whole Provin∣cia Romanorum, or Gallia Braccata, was also pos∣sessed by Germans, as the name Braccata shews, for breeches were the peculiar badge of the Scy∣thae. Caesar indeed instructs us, that the Celts, or old Gauls, were bounded by the Seine on the north, and Garonne on the south. The learned and judicious Schoepflinu has sufficiently shewn that the name of Celts was restricted to the Gauls alone; but has unhappily forgotten that only one third part of the Gauls were Celts. Hence his account of the Celtic colonies, is radically errone∣ous; for all these colonies were of German Gauls. Indeed reason might convince us, that it was im∣possible for the Celts, who had been expelled and confined by the Belgae, or Germans upon one side, and by the Aquitani, or Iberi on the other, to send out colonies among those very enemies whose superior courage had vanquished them, and seized a great part of their territory. This could be put beyond doubt by a special examination of these colonies, which, tho i have ample materials for, Page  145yet i am with reluctance obliged to suppress, as too large for the present design.

But to give a few hints. The reader must ever remember in this question, that the name of Celts was not only given peculiarly and properly to the real Celts, who, in Caesar's time, were confined to one third part of Gaul; but was also given, laxly and improperly, by many ancient writers to all the Gauls. For as the Celts had anciently pos∣sessed all Gaul, their name was continued by some, and by the distant Greek writers especially, to all the Gauls: tho the Belgae, and Aquitani, the Galli Braccati, and others, or the far greater part of the Gauls, were not Celts, but expellers of the Celts. The case is the same as that of the English, who are called Britons, not as being old Britons, but as expellers of those Britons, and as living in Britain. So the British of America are called Americans, not as being American savages, but as possessors of that country. Thus the Ger∣mans who had seized on most of Gaul, and had come in place of the Celts, are called Gauls by the Romans; and Celts by many of the Greeks, and by some Romans. The question always remains, which Gauls are meant by the former, and which Celts by the later.

The Celts who passed into Spain were certainly of Gallia Braccata, which bordered on Spain; and not real old Celts, who, so far from sending colonies into Spain, were driven from their southern territories by the Aquitani, a Spanish people. These Celtiberi and Celtici of Spain are the only Gaulic colonies which obtain the appellation of Celts in Roman writers, who call the others Gauls. A singularity which proceeded from this, that the Romans received their first intelligence concerning Spain from the Greeks of Marseilles, who called all the Gauls Celts: and thus retained the old name, by which they had found the people distinguished by the Greeks, and perhaps by the Carthaginians.

Page  146The Belgae of Britain and Ireland are out of all question; for it is known to a certainly that the Belgae were not Celts but Germans.

The Gauls of Cisalpine Gaul, or of Italy, were infallibly German Gauls. The former region was called Gallia Togata, for it's possessors, from their neighbourhood with the civilized Etruscans, and Greeks of Marseilles, were the first who were civilized, and abandoned their rude dress for that of their polite neighbours: while their brethren further off retained the Gothic braccae, and gave name to Gallia Braccata. The Celts were remote from Cisalpine Gaul; while it was surrounded by Ger∣mans on the north, and by other Germans of Gallia Braccata on the west. And that the Cisal∣pine Gauls were not old Celts who retained posses∣sion of the country, is clear from Livy and Poly∣bius, who relate their passage into Italy; and the former dates it in the time of Tarquinius Priscus, about the period of the foundation Marseilles by the Greeks: that is, about 589 years before Christ by common accounts, but by Sir Isaac Newton's rectified chronology of Rome about 500. It is well known that the Roman history, for the three or four first centuries, is very uncertain, because there were neither writers, nor records of any kind: and Livy, in relating this very remote event, gives it as a story of yesterday, with all its circumstances, which sufficiently indicates that he used poetical and fabulous liberty here, as in all the ancient parts of his work. Hence we need only read this tale to deny faith to it's circumstances; tho the ground-work be confirmed by the grave testimony of Poly∣bius; and it is beyond doubt, from many concur∣ring ancients, that the Cisalpine Gauls had passed into Italy at a late period, and were not ancient inhabitants. But Livy in composing his tale con∣cerning an event 500 years old, and of which he could have no circumstantial evidence whatever, found that Polybius, a Greek writer, and perhaps Page  147other Greeks of Marseilles, called the Cisalpine Gauls, as they did all the Gauls, Celts. Hence, knowing also, as the passage shews, that the Celts of his time were but a third part of the Gauls, he un∣derstood the Celts, laxly so called by the Greeks, to be the Celts proper; and has of course formally derived the Cisalpine Gauls from the Celts proper. Pelloutier draws the names given by Livy, Ambi∣gatus, Bellovesus, Sigovesus, from the Tudesque or German Gothic. But, tho such erymology is un∣certain, yet the frequency of similar names among the Germans deserves notice. The Ambi-variti were a Belgic tribe: Ambi-orix was prince of the Ebu∣rones, a Belgic people (and the rix is an infalli∣bly Gothic termination, common to this day, Theodoric, Frederic, &c. &c.) The Bello-vassi were a Belgic tribe, as were the Bello-cassi. Sege-stes, Segi-merus, Segi-mundus, are German names in Tacitus. The manners of the Cisalpine Gauls, described by Polybius, II. 4. are German. Diodorus Siculus distinguishes the Senones (who took Rome) from the Celts, and calls them North∣ern Gauls. They were of the Semnones of Germany.

The Gauls who long contended with the Ger∣mans in prowess, and who settled a colony or two in the south of Germany, were German Gauls. Caesar tells us that the Belgae were in continual war with the Germans, as indeed the German nations were among themselves. The Helvetii, Boii, Tectosages, were German Gauls, who had warred with their ancestors, and settled among them. The Germans of Southern Gaul being far superior in civilization to their progenitors, and refined by climate, neighbourhood, and commerce, were of course often superior in war; a circumstance which might have simply arisen from better weapons. The Gallic colonies in Illyricum and Thrace are of the same description. Livy (XL. 57.) tells, that the Scordisci and Taurisci were of one speech with Page  148the Basternae, and they were of course German Gauls.

That famous expedition, which founded the kingdom of Galatia in Asia Minor, was also of German Gauls. The people were Trocmi, Tec∣tosages, and Tolistoboii: the leaders Lomnorius, and Lutarius; the later being the German name Lutharius or Lothaire. Saint Jeromev puts the German extraction of the Galatians beyond doubt, by telling us, from personal knowlege, that their speech was the same with that of Treveri or Triers in Germany, where he had studied. So much for the German-Gallic colonies, which the bounds of my design forbid me to examine at due lengthw

The Scythians or Goths who slew Cyrus, whom Alexander shunned, and who were the terror of Pyrrhusx, were in their German seats equally for∣midable. Not the Samnians, not the Cartha∣ginians, not the mingled nations of Spain, and of Gaul, nor even the Parthians themselves, were so dangerous to Roman power. Carbo, and Cassius, Scaurus Aurelius, and Servilius Cepio, and Marcus Manlius, with their five consular armies, were all taken prisoners or slain by the Teutones and Cimbri, who had fled from the northern Germans. Julius declined the contest with the Germans: Augustus weeped the fate of Varus and his legions. Hardly could Drusus, and Page  149Nero, and Germanicus, defend this frontier of the empire, for this was the whole ambition of Rome. In later times they were triumphed over, but not conquered. Under their ancient name of Scythae or Goths, they were soon, by degrees, to seize on the whole western empire; nay to pour over the fertile coasts of Africa. The Vandali, whom Tacitus and Pliny found in the north of Germany, were to fight with Belisarius, in the plains of Numidia. The Suevi were to possess the fragrant fields of Spain. The Langobardi were to enjoy the orange groves of Italy. The Angli, whom Tacitus puts in a list of names, were to give their name to a country eminent in arts and arms, in wisdom and liberty.

Page  150

CHAPTER V.

The progress of the Scythians into Scandinavia especially considered.

SO much has been written, by many of the most learned men whom Europe has produced, upon the imaginary egression of the Scythians or Goths from Scandinavia, that this part of my subject well deserves a particular investigation. The Scythic or Gothic language, mythology, and manners, have also been so much preserved in the wilds of Iceland, which was colonized from Nor∣way in the Ninth century, and have been so ably illustrated by the erudition of different Scandinavian antiquaries, that the progress of the Scythae into Scandinavia becomes a subject extremely curious and interesting. My particular view, which was to illustrate the history of the Piks, a people who proceeded from Norway to the north of Britain, about three centuries before Christ, likewise con∣curs to draw my best attention to this point, upon which i hope extensive reading on the subject, and sedulous and minute research, will enable me to throw new lights.

The reader will please to recollect that, before our proofs that the Germans were Scythae, the BASTERNAE attracted attention, as a people situated between the Getae and the Germans. But this vast race of men, called Basternae, not only reached down to the Alpes Basternicae, or Carpathian moun∣tains, and the Danube, but also extended north to that part of the Baltic where present Prussia now Page  151lyes, and which is nearest to the Euxine, the early seat of the Scythae; the distance beween the Baltic and Euxine seas, being only about 500 miles, little more than the breadth of the interme∣diate country of present Poland. Over this tract of ground, about 500 miles long, from the Danube to the Baltic, and about 150 miles broad from the western boundary of the Vistula, to the Chronus, and Borystenes on the east, were stationed the great BASTERNIC nations. For the Sarmatae were not in possession of Poland, till the German nations began to move into the Roman empire; and the river Nieper or Borystenes, and Chronus now Niemen, were the proper bounds of ancient Sar∣matia on the west. The west of Poland was a gradual acquisition of the Sarmatae, as the Scythae moved into the Roman empire: and in the fourth and fifth centuries, when the German Scythae were still moving into richer countries, the Sarmatians, or Slavia, seized on Pomerania and Mecklenburg on the north; and Bohemia toward the south; which are held by mixt Sarmatians and Germans to this day. The grand distinctions between the Sarmatians and Germans, as marked by the acute and transcendant mind of Tacitus, toward the close of his Germania, were that the Sarmatians lived always on horseback; their families in cars, or small waggons; and wore flowing robes like the Parthians: while the Germans fought on foot, Page  150〈1 page duplicate〉Page  151〈1 page duplicate〉Page  152having few cavalry; and had fixt huts; and a close dress; but above all, quite a different language. He also ascribes nastiness to the Sarmatae, tho of this the Germans had their share; as all uncivi∣lized nations must have; and the Celts in particu∣lar were so filthy that even their cleanliness was the extreme of nastinessb. But the Sarmatians were a great and warlike nation; tho it appears, from the little mention of them in Greek and Roman history, that they yielded much to the Scythians in arms; and, from all ancient accounts, were also inferior in wisdom, and such rude arts, as early society affords, tho the peasantry of Poland and Russia be remarkably sensible and acute.

The BASTERNAE, in this large extent of country, became so remarkable to the ancients, that Strabo, book VII. p. 305, classes them with the enormous names of SCYTHAE and SARMATAE, saying that the Scythae, Basternae, and Sarmatae, beyond the Danube, gradually emigrated north. He also in∣forms us that the Basternae were divided into four great nations, ATMONOI, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; the Atmoni, Sitones, Peukini, and Roxolani. Some of them, he observes, re∣mained still in Thrace, and their first habitations; while others moved north. The Peukini, tho they sent out vast emigrations, form a remarkable in∣stance of those who remained. Let us briefly confider the BASTERNAE, of whom the Peukini were a part, in order that the reader may see the progressive evidence of the ancients who have mentioned them concerning both. The first mention we find of the Basternae in history is on account of their assisting Perseus, king of Macedon, against the Romans, 166 years before Christ. Polybius, who was cotemporary, men∣tions that Perseus was assisted with 10,000 Basternae Page  153and Gauls, Livy XL. 57. XLI. 19. misunder∣standing Polybius puts the Basternae as Gauls; but says that their speech was the same with that of the Scordisci, who were German Gauls. Upon which Pelloutier follishly concludes them Celts, quite forgetting that the Celts were not Gauls, but only a people of Gaul, and the most distant of all; the whole German Gauls being the people gener∣ally called Gauls by the ancients, and being the nearest to the scene of action, and to Italy. Those French authors who finding the Celts peculiarly and originally in Gaul, and therefore sometimes called Gauls, as we call the Welch, Britons, be∣cause they anciently possessed the whole country; and who from thence gratify their dreams of uni∣versal dominion, by wishing to prove the whole of Europe Celtic, only shew an ignorance and folly beyond all excess. What should we say of him, who, finding the Welch peculiarly called Britons, and that North America was peopled from Britain, should in some future period, dream that all the British inhabitants of North America are Welch? This is exactly the very case.

To return to Perseus and the Basternae. Dio∣dorus Siculus says, Perseus employed Gauls and Celts, not Basternae, if the excerpt be not errone∣ous. Appian in Macedonicis, p. 1223, calls these assistants of Perseus Getae: and Dion Cassius, who is indeed a contemptible and foolish writer, yet, as he long commanded in Pannonia, was on the very confines of the southern Basternae, if not among them, and therefore in this one instance may deserve some credit, says, lib. XXXVIII. that they were Scythae,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; and lib. LI. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Dion also informs us, lib. LI. p. 461, 463. that they lived in cars; that is like their neighbours the Sarmatae: but as all the ancients distinguish them from the Sarmatae, and Strabo, lib. VII. inclines to think them Ger∣mans, Page  154mans, which Pliny and Tacitusf afterward from complete information establish beyond a doubt, from their speech, &c. and Dio himself calls them Scythae, and Appian Getae, we must conclude that they were a vast German nation, who were most retentive of the ancient Scythic manners, as their neighbours the Getae, people of Little Scy∣thia, or Parental Scythians, were. The other Ger∣mans, being the most distant settlement of the Scythae, and bordering on the Celts, who had by the Greeks of Marseilles been taught many civil arts, had on the contrary advanced one stage fur∣ther in society than their Scythian ancestors: as we observed before that the Greeks, another Scy∣thian settlement, had, from still greater advantages of situation, advanced even to the height of hu∣man perfection, while their ancestors were in pri∣mitive barbarism. We afterward in Justin XXXVIII. 3. find Mithridates solliciting their assistance against the Romans: and i shall proceed to my main object, their northern progress, after just mentioning that in Justin XXXII. 3. we find the Basternae defeating their brethren the Daci, probably from superiority in cavalry: and that Dionysius, who was of Corinth and wrote, as Dodwell shews, about the year of Christ 221, in in his Periegesis, after mentioning the Danube pouring it's five mouths around Peuké,

〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. v. 301. puts the Basternae between the Getae and Daci.

〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉,
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. —
Tacitus, Ann. ii, mentions Basternas, Scythasqueg.

Page  155Strabo says, that in his time, the Peukini, pro∣per or parental, were that part of the Basternae who lived in the large ile of Peuké in the Euxine sea, at the mouth of the Danube: and Ptolemy remarks the same in his time; and it is likely their descendants still retain their possessions in Piczina, the modern name of Peuke. Mela II. 7. calls Peuké an iland omnium notissima et maxima, the most famous and largest in those parts. The author of the Periplus Ponti Euxini says it equals Rhodes in size. Some think it named from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, picea, a pine tree, because it was perhaps full of such; but it seems as probably to have taken it's name from the Piki a people beyond Colchis, and subject to the Colchian kingdomc; for the antients agree that a colony from Colchis settled on the Ister, in the time of the Argonauts, and it is most likely that it was at its mouth. For tho Apollonius Rhodius book IV, and Justin xxxii. 3. make the Istri on the Adriatic that colony, which by their own accounts of the Col∣chians sailing up the Danube to the Adriatic, ishPage  156a complete impossibility, yet Oyid, who lived at Tomi close by the spot, is an undoubted witness in our favour.

Solus ad egressus missus septemblicis Istri,
Parrhasiae gelido virginis axe prenor.
Jazyges, et Colchi, Metereaque turba, Getaeque,
Danubii mediis vix prohibentur aquis.

Trist. lib. II. el. 1.
The Jazyges Eneocadlae, as above shewn, were a small Sarmatic nation, who lived in peace and union among the Getae, on the north of the Tyras, acting it is likely as cavalry in their armies; and it is probable it was of them that Ovid learned Sarmatic. The other nations were also north of the Danube, to the south of which Tomi, the place of Ovid's banishment, stood: and the Col∣chians here mentioned were, in all probability, the Peukini. For tho the Piki were properly one of the many Scythian tribes between Colchis and the Ceraunian mountains; yet being subject to the great Colchian kingdom they were probably called Colchians, as foreigners call all the natives of Bri∣tain and Ireland, English. But leaving this con∣jecture (for it is little better) to carry it's own weight with the reader, i shall proceed to examine the progress of the Basternae.

The Peukini, or that Basternic nation which emigrated from Peuké, seem to have in process of time transcended all the other Basternic divisions in number. Insomuch that Pliny and Tacitus put the Basternae and Peukini as names of the same nation; tho Strabo, Ptolemy, and others, writing geography and of course more accurately in these points, but the Peukini as only one of the divisions of Basternae. The Roxolani Strabo put by mistake among the Basternae, for it is known to a certainty from Tacitus, Hist. lib. 1. (Roxolani Sarmatica gens, &c.) and many others, that they were Sarma∣tae. Strabo's mistake arose from the Roxolani being the next Sarmatic nation to the Basternae. Page  157The Roxolani were Russians; and that part of Poland on the west, and far from Russia, called Red or Black Russia, took it's name from part of the Roxolani, that pierced to that corner, and set∣tled. Of the other divisions named by Strabo, the Atmoni, if i mistake not, spreading west along the Danube, became the southern Basternae, or those properly and absolutely so called by the ancients: while the Sitonesd proceeded northward with the Peukini till they arrived at the Baltic sea and Scan∣dinavia. A progress which we are enabled to trace, as clearly as can be expected, after a remark or two on a few southern colonies of the Peukini.

Ancient geographers speak of different remains of the Peukini in Thrace. Such were the Peukest, a people north of the Scordisci. Pliny III. 25, tells us, that Callimachus placed a people called Peuketi in Liburnia of Illyricum. In Italy direct∣ly on the opposite shore were the Pikeni: and further south, lay the large country of Peuketia, now Apulia, of which much may be found in Stra∣bo. Pliny, III. 16. says it was so called from Peuketius brother of Oenotrus; and Dionys. Hal. book 1. p. 10, 11, ed. Hudson, says Oenotrus and Peuketius were the two first leaders of colonies from Greece into Italy. It was the custom of the Greeks always to derive names of nations from ancient kings and chiefs. This was easy etymology, and cost nothing, yet cost as much as etymology of names is worth. Thus the Lydians were from Lydus, the Mysians from Mysus, the Scythians from Scythes, the Celts from Celtes, &c. &c. &c. and the Aborigines of the south west shore of Italy Oenotrians, from Oenotrus, who led them from Arcadia, and those of the east, Peuketii, from Peu∣ketius his brother. The fact seems that these Page  158aborigines were Oenotri from the Peloponnesus, who advanced from the south west of Italy, upward along the west shore; while the Peuketii seized on the east side from the opposite shores of Illyricum, where we learn from Callimachus that a part re∣mained. The Pikentii on the west, as they bordered on old Peuketia, were as is likely of the same origin. But these ideas are given as mere conjectures; and i now proceed to examine the northern progress of the PEUKINI and SITONES, which stands upon quite other grounds.

It is allowed that the Peukini received their name, and proceeded, from the iland of Peuké (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) in the Euxine sea, at the mouth of the Danube, now Piczina, or Pics ile. This celebrated iland is finely described by Apollonius Rhodius in his exquisite poem, The Argonautics, written about 250 years before Christ. Thus the Peukini cer∣tainly came from the very heart of Getia, Dacia, and Maesia; and, if not originally a colony of Colchian Scythae, certainly were a Scythic people, issuing from the very heart of a country, which was in possession of the Scythae about 2000 years before Christ. Jornandes, speaking of Galerius Maximinus Caesar, 'Is ergo habens Gothos et Peucenos ab insula Peuce, quae ostio Danubii Ponto mergenti adjacete.' Zozimus calls the Peu∣kini, Peukai,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Ammianus Marcellinus names them Pikenses, lib. XVII, as his Ami∣censes seem the Atmoni of Strabo, both above Maesia. He also calls them Peuki, lib. XXII. where he is speaking of Peuké. The ancient author of the Argonautics ascribed to Orpheus, calls the Peukini Pacti, when he describes the Argonauts in their return sailing up some river, from the Palus Maeotis, to the Cronian sea, as he dreams; and ranges the Pacti with the Lelians, Scythians, Hyperboreans, Ripheans.

Page  159Let us now briefly consider the Northern Pro∣gress of the Sitones and Peukini, two grand Bas∣ternic divisions. Strabo, who wrote about 20 years after our aera, is certainly well informed con∣cerning the north of Germany, as the Greeks actually traded to Prussia for amber. In particu∣lar the Estii of present Prussia, from whose coasts the amber came, and where it is yet found in such quantities as to yield a large revenue, were in the confines of the Peukini and Sitones, or Basternic nations on the Baltic, so that the intelli∣gence concerning countries so near that to which the Greeks traded, may be regarded as satisfactory. Now he tells us, book VII. p. 294, that "most think the Basternae live beyond the Germans to the Northward, others that there is only ocean." That the later opinion was false need not be told: but that the former was true, namely that the Basternae possessed Scandinavia, is certain; for Ta∣citus, who was procurator of Gallia Belgica and had of course all information relating to Germany, and it's neighbourhood, as his admirable Germania shews, places the SITONES whom Strabo had men∣tioned as one of the three Basternic nations in present Sweden, and finds part of the PEUKINI on the opposite shore, while a part no doubt had passed into Scandinavia with the Sitones their brethren. And it is evident that the Sitones, whom Ptolemy puts on the south of the Baltic between the Viader and Vistula, were a part of the Sitones who re∣mained, while the rest passed into Scandinavia: for migrations of nations were seldom, if ever, complete, a circumstance which enables us to trace their steps.

The PEUKINI in particular, being the largest and most eminent part of the Basternae, as we may judge from their name being often extended to the whole of this vast people, leave such traces behind them from Thrace to the Baltic, that we can fol∣low them step by step. This we are enabled to do Page  160from the geography of Ptolemy, who wrote about 150 years after Christ. As one or two Sarmatic tribes extended beyond the Chronus and Borystenes, he improperly puts the Vistula as the boundary be∣tween the Germans, and Sarmatae; tho Tacitus, who wrote about fifty years before, had specially mentioned German nations beyond the Vistula, and the vast people of Peukini OR Basternae in par∣ticular, whom Pliny puts as one FIFTH part of the Germans. But Ptolemy living at the great dis∣tance of Alexandria in Egypt, and probably not even understanding Latin, seems never to have redd either Pliny or Tacitus; but puts his places according to the maps and Itineraries of the generals, and to the Greek geographers. From the later in particular, who drew from the merchants of amber good intelligence as to the present rout, the informa∣tion seems derived which is to be found in his chapter of Sarmatia Europaea. In his time a part of the Peukini still possessed their original settlement in Peuké while we find another part far north of the Tyras, and above the Getae: and the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or Peukinian Mountains of Ptolemy are, as Cluverius justly observes, on the south west of present Prussia, near the head of the river Bog; that is within about sixty miles of the Baltic sea. Ptolemy places the Peukini on the north of the Basternae: so that of all the Basternae they were nearest to the Baltic. And that the Peukini actually reached to the Baltic, we know from Tacitus, who in the end of his Germania ranges them with the Venedi and Fenni, whom Ptolemy places near the Vistula upon the Baltic. Tacitus also puts the Venedi between the PEUKINI and Fenni, so that the Peukini must have been on the shore of the Baltic, on the east side of the mouth of the Vistula, or in pre∣sent Prussia: from which they extended south to their Basternic brethren in the western part of present Hungary: a tract about 400 miles long, and from 100 to 150 broad. With so large possessions it is no Page  161wonder that Pliny should put the Peukini as a fifth part of the Germans; and that their name should be used as synonymous with the Basternae.

Having thus shewn that the two Basternic nations of PEUKINI and SITONES extended to the Baltic; and that, as Tacitus and others shew, and all modern geographers agree, a part of the Sitones remained in the neighbourhood of the Peukini, on the south side of the Baltic, while the rest of the Sitones were in Scandinavia; and that Strabo mentions it as the most general opinion in his time that the Basternae were beyond the Germans, or in Scandinavia; i believe it will be granted at once that it is most likely that a part of the Peukini went to Scandinavia with their brethren the Sitones. But, before insisting on this, i shall give the reader some idea of what the Romans and Greeks knew of Scandinavia and the north of Germany.

About 250 years before Christ, Pytheas and others, as we learn from Pliny, spoke of an iland called Baltia in the Cronium mare, or Northern ocean, whence amber was brought. Herodotus had indeed mentioned this 450 years before Christ. The name of the iland was palpably from the Baltic sea very anciently so called; from the Gothic, or old German Belt, a gulf. Amber was never found in Scandinavia, but in Glessaria, a peninsula on the Prussian coast, which afterward received it's name from the appellation which Tacitus tells the Germans gave amber, namely Gles or Glass, which it resembled. Baltia is therefore not Scandinavia but Glessaria. Pomponius Mela, who wrote about 45 years after Christ, mentions the Codanus sinus, and Codanovia, which is in all probability present Zeeland, an ile of the Suiones, in which the capital of Denmark stands; and from whence Dania is by some judged to be contracted. Pliny himself, who wrote about 70 years after Christ, is the first who mentions Scandinavia, tho he tells us, IV. 16. that the iles of Scandia, Dumna, Bergi, and Nerigon,Page  162had been noticed by othersf. Dumna is by Ptolemy ranged among the Orkneys; Scandia may be Funen; and Bergi the country of Bergen in Norway, inter∣sected from Sweden on the south by the Schager Rack, or westerly division of the Baltic, so as to have to those who knew only the southern coast, the ap∣pearance of an ile. Pliny adds IV. 16. that Ne∣rigon was the largest of these iles: and as he says he derives his information from various preceding au∣thors sunt qui et alia prodeunt, Scandiam, &c. it is well inferred by the northern antiquaries that Nerigon had from later and better information been put for Bergi; but Pliny finding the same country called by two names, thought them different iles: for Nerigon is surely Norway by it's most ancient, and yet indigenous name Norigé, or the Northern kingdom. But ch. 27, he tells us from himself that Scandinavia is an ile in the Sinus Codanus of undiscovered size, and that the known parts are possessed by the Hilleviones in five hundred pagi, or districts. They are well thought to be of Halland in the south-west corner of Scandinavia.

Being now come to Tacitus, whose Germania is so important to modern history, it will be proper to dwell a little upon the geography of that work, which is in many points grossly misunderstood; and especially that part which concerns our subject, his description of the northern nations. Cluverius, who wrote near two centuries ago, is universally and blindly followed, while his faults are enormous. He was a man of laudable industry; but of con∣tracted and indistinct judgment. If errors be ad∣mitted into any branch of science, they commonly Page  163remain for centuries, owing to the indolence of mankind, who are ever ready to resign their minds to any guide, and would rather sleep and go wrong, than examine and go right; while in fact they have only to trust themselves more, and others less. Let us lay Tacitus before us, with a map of modern Germany; and put aside Cluverius, Cellarius, and the able D'Anville, who has so often corrected their eastern geography, but has trusted them with Germany, their own country, and thus left Europe in darkness to enlighten Asia. Tacitus, after em∣ploying two thirds of his work in describing the manners of the Germans, passes to a description of the nations; and first mentions two colonies which had returned from Gaul into Germany, the Helvetii and Boii. He then puts the Vangiones, &c. on the west side of the Rhine; and the Batavi in the ile formed by its outlets. Beyond the people between the head of the Danube, and the Rhine, he places the Catti, a large nation; and further up on the the Rhine the Uspii, &c.; next the Bructeri; be∣hind them, the Dulgibini; in front, the Frisii, who spred along the north bank of the Rhine and the ocean: and among whom was the Zuyder Zee, ambiuntque immensos insuper lacus, et Romanis classi∣bus navigatos. Tacitus adds, Hactenus in Occidentem Germaniam novimus. In Septentrionem ingenti flexu re∣dit. 'Thus far we know of the west of Germany. It now returns to the north with a great bend;' meaning that it's shore, formerly west, now fronts north, as it does at present Friezland and Gronin∣gen. Next is the very large nation of the Chauci: then the Cherusci, and Fosi, the last of whom are foolishly taken for the Saxons by Cluverius, who forgot that the Saxons were an alliance of many nations which like the Franks and Allmans had taken one name. Here in a spot which answers to the mouth of the Elbe, proximi Oceano, dwelled the small and only remains of the Cimbri: parva nunc civitas. This parva civitas geographers spread over all the large peninsula of Jutland, which after Ptolemy, Page  164(who only puts a few Cimbri in it, and no less than Six German nations) they call the Cimbric Cher∣sonesus. It was doubtless once inhabited by the Cimbri, but they were reduced to a parva civitas at its southwest corner, long before Roman geography commences.

Tacitus next proceeds to the Suevi, who, he tells us, were not one nation, but many under one title, who held the greatest part of Germany, to wit, all from the Danube to the ocean south and north, and from the Elbe to the vistula east and west. The first are the Semnones, a people of a hundred districts, who are rightly placed in Brandenburg. Proceeding to the north, as is clear from his expression when he passes to the Hermunduri (ut quo modo paulo ante Rhenum, sic nunc Danubium sequar, for the Rhine runs north, the Danube east) next to the Semnones are the Langobardi, about present Lunenburg. Then follow no less than seven nations, all of which Cluverius has heaped upon one another in present Mecklenburg! The poor man forgot that the whole vast peninsula of Jutland was just in the road of Tacitus, as his text bears that he proceeds north; and that he adds haec quidem pars Suevorum in SECRETIORA Germaniae PORRIGITUR, a description which can only apply to this vast and rich penin∣sula; and that the Cimbri with whom he fills that large Chersonese were, as Tacitus says, only a small state on the ocean near the Cherusci and Fosi, or at the mouth of the Elbe! Seven nations are piled upon one another in a small province; and a parva civitas is spred over a territory 220 miles long, and from 63 to 95 broad! If this be not absurdity, i know not what absurdity is. But such is human science! Let us place these nations as Tacitus meaned, and all is well. The Reudigni first, and Aviones above them, in present Holstein; the Angli in Sleswick, where the fertile province of Anglen spreads around Lunden it's ancient capital: the Varini above the Angli, for the river Warne is Page  165nothing; the Eudoses next; then the Suardones and Nuithones in present North Jutland, the later reaching to it's utmost point where the promontory of Scagen braves the northern ocean. As to the Angli we are certain. The Suardones were perhaps the Swathedi, whom the English historians Henry of Huntingdon, Roger Hoveden, Matthew of West∣minster, commemorate among the Danish invaders of England in the ninth and tenth centuries. The Nuithones are, as is likely, the Huithoni of Ponta∣nus in his Descriptio Daniae, that is, the inhabitants of the furthest point of Jutland, the Witland of Bleau's Atlas. The Eudoses are the Yeuton, or people of Yeutland, as the Danes pronounce Jutland, who seem to have been the largest nation holding the middle of the Chersonese, and who now give a general name to the whole peninsula of Northern and Southern Jutland. Let me add, that it is impossible that the whole of this peninsula, as nearer the Roman provinces of Upper and Lower Germany, should not have been far better known to the Romans, than the southern shores of the Baltic.

Accordingly we find Ptolemy, fifty years after Tacitus, places no less than six nations in it, the Sigulones, Sabelingii, Cobandi, Chali, Phundusiii, Charudes, besides the Saxons at it's south part: and the Cimbri, whom Ptolemy ignorantly places at it's northern extremity. Ignorantly, for no man can prefer Ptolemy's testimony, who lived at Alexandria, to that of Tacitus, who lived in Bel∣gic Gaul, and who expressly puts the Cimbri on the seaside of the Fosi, at the mouth of the Elbe. The reader need not be told that the text of Ptolemy is rightly deemed the most corrupt of all antiquity; as indeed a constant series of unknown names, and numbers, must have been lyable to great vitia∣tions of copiers. His account of the names of the German nations often differs from Tacitus; yet Strabo confirms Tacitus, tho he wrote before him, for Strabo's work was not so lyable to vitiation, Page  166being narrative, while Ptolemy's only contains geographic tables. The Phundusii seem the Eudoses; the Charudes, the Suardones: the others are yet more corrupt, for those given by Tacitus can be traced in the spot, and in history, but of those assigned by Ptolemy, not one. Yet Ptole∣my places none of the nations above mentioned elsewhere, save the Angili Suevi, and it is doubt∣ful if these were the Anglig. Tacitus observes of these nations that they are divided by rivers and woods; a description most applicable to Jutland, now so well wooded, and intersected by fine streams. Perhaps it may be said that Tacitus would have mentioned this great Chersonese expressly, had he meant it; but it is doubtful if it was called a Chersonese, save by Ptolemy only; and it's size is so great, that we should as well think of calling Ptolemy's Caledonia, bending to the east, a Cher∣sonese of Britain. Nor does Tacitus name Scandi∣navia, tho he describes nations in it, as shall pre∣sently be seen.

Having thus proceeded to the utmost north of the west parts of Germany, or those commencing from the Rhine as a boundary, Tacitus passes to follow the Danube, as he says, or an east course, and places the nations regularly one after another as Cluverius well puts them in this tract. After mentioning the utmost nations this way, Tacitus returns northward, telling that a large chain of mountains divides Suevia, that is a chain running north and south: beyond which are the Lygii con∣sisting of many nations, the chief being the Arii, Helveconae, Manimi, Elysii, Naharvali. The Ly∣gii are rightly put by Cluverius, in present Silesia. Above the Lygii were the Gotthones rightly put in Pomerellia, at the mouth of the Vistula or Weissel. Protinus deinde ab Oceano Rugii et Lemo∣vii, 'next from thence on the ocean the Rugii,' rightly put in Rugen; 'and Lemovii,' whom Page  167Cluverius makes the same with the Heruli, and puts in Pomerania. But the account of Tacitus bears that the Lemovii were west of the Rugii, for he is coming deinde from the Gotthones and Lygii; and Ptolemy expressly shews that three other na∣tions dwelled in present Pomerania, namely the Ruticlii, Sideni, and Pharudini. So that the Lemovii were doubtless west of the Rugii or Rugen, as the text of Tacitus bears, who seems to include the three other nations mentioned by Ptolemy in the general name of Gotthones, and thus to extend them over Pomerania as well as Pomerellia. The Lemovii were of course in present Lubec and Wagerlant.

After this Tacitus proceeds to the Suiones; Suio∣num hinc civitates ipso in oceano, &c. Modern geographers, following Cluverius, who is by no means accurate, have made the Suiones the pre∣sent Swedes; and the northern antiquaries seem to allow this, tho to me nothing is more doubtfuli. For the Sitones, whom Tacitus puts beyond the Suiones, Suionibus Sitonum gentes continuantur; and, after describing them, says, hic Sueviae finis; and passes to the Peukini, Venedi, and Fenni, seem to me infallibly the present Swedes: and the name bears more resemblance to Suitiod, the old name of Sweden. Whereas Suiones resembles more Zee-woners, or dwellers in the sea, whence the noble and fertile iland, which forms the best part of the Danish dominions, is now called Zee∣land; the Su appearing to be merely a Roman way of expressing the German sound of Z. in Knytlinga Saga, and other Icelandic books, Zee∣land is called Sio-land, a name preserving affinity with Suiones; as Suitiod, the old name of Swedes and Sweden, in these works, does with Sitones. Perhaps Sitones sprung from Sictuna, the old name of the chief civitas in Sweden, near Birca, as Adam Page  168of Bremen and others testify. Add to this, that only the most southern part of Scandinavia was ever known to the ancients; and the vast Wener Lake, in present Westroguland, or as the Swedes affect to call it Westrogothia, seems the utmost bound of their real knowlege; they thinking that beyond was the Cronium Mare, or Frozen Ocean; the sea beyond the Suiones, mentioned by Tacitus, which was looked on as the end of the world. I have perused, and re-perused, with indefatigable and minute attention, all that the ancients have said of Scandinavia, and am convinced that the nar∣rower bounds we confine their knowlege of it to, we shall be the nearer to the truth. The Suiones, after the most mature consideration, appear to me infallibly the people of present Zeeland, and the iles around it, civitates in oceano, and part of the Danish territory on the opposite shore of the sound; now Schonen, Halland, and Westrogo∣thia. For, can any man believe that Tacitus should pass to Scandinavia, and take no notice of the noble and rich iland of Zeeland, and the large and fertile iles around it? should fly at once, as is dreamed, to present Norway and Sweden, of which he knew as much as he did of Greenland, as every one, the least verst in ancient geography, must know? should join all Scandinavia, a coun∣try, when really known, as large as Germany it∣self, to a few small states? Was Tacitus utterly absurd, or are his commentators so?

After the Suiones, Tacitus passes to the Aestii, who are rashly enough, from similarity of names, placed in present Estonia, tho Glessaria, the iland of the Aestii, is confessed to be in present Prussia, two hundred miles south-west of Estonia; and it is on the coast of Prussia alone, that such quantities of amber are found to this day. Estonia con∣fessedly means merely east country; and may be a late name, nothing being so common as names of countries from the points in which they lye; as Page  169Aestsexia, or Essex in England, &c. &c. &c.k. The Aestii were certainly in the peninsula beyond pre∣sent Dantzic, that is, as Tacitus describes, on the right hand as you sailed up the Suevicum mare, or south part of the Baltic, that was on the north of the Suevi. And he mentions the Aestii before he passes to the Sitones, or Swedes, of the opposite shore, and the Peukini, Venedi, and Fenni; be∣yond whom he had faintly heard of a people who were covered with skins of beasts, and thence went for beasts with a human face. The Fenni were infallibly, from the account of Tacitus, that they were divided from the Peukini, only by woods and hills, inhabited by Venedi, not the people of Finland, as dreamed, but the FINS, a great abo∣riginal people, of whom see Mr. Tooke's Russia. The language of Lithuania, or the north of Po∣land, Samogitia, Courland, Estonia, Livonia, is at this day Finnish, not Slavonic. The Fenni of Tacitus were in Livonia and Estonia. Ptolemy, book III. places Fenni at the Vistula.

From the Aestii Tacitus passes to the Sitones, or Swedes of Smaland, on the opposite shore: and as the Suiones were unquestionably the people of present Zeeland and surrounding iles, with a small part of southern Scandinavia, along the west shore up to the Wener lake, so the Sitones were only a very small part of the Swedes, or Suitiod, namely, those of present Smaland and Easter Gothia. Tacitus, tho he appears to have redd Pliny, from his copying that writer's account of the origin of amber, takes no notice of Scandinavia, but pal∣pably implies it to be partly inhabited by the Suiones and Sitones, and is universally so under∣stood. Page  170The Hilleviones, and iles, mentioned by Pliny, as he had procured no intelligence of, he passes in silence. If the reader will with these views read the work of Tacitus, he will find all clear. As commonly understood, nothing but a confusion, unknown to the luminous mind of Ta∣citus, arises. For he is supposed to pass from the Lemovii about Lubec, up to Sweden, with Suio∣num hinc civitates (whereas Zeeland is just oppo∣site hinc to the Lemovii as above placed); then flies back to the Estii of Prussia; then flies back toto coelo to Norway, of whose existence he knew nothing; then closes a description of Norway with bie Sueviae finis (his Suevi being but a division of Germans); then flies back again to the Peukini and Venedi and Fenni, nations as remote from Not∣way as the south-east is from the north-west. Take his text as here stated; and all is clear, and accu∣rate. He passes from the Lemovii about Lubec to Zeeland; thence to the Aesti possessors of Glessaria an opposite peninsula: then crosses the Baltic to the opposite Swedes of Smaland; thence in a right line to the Peukini, Venedi, and Fenni. Add to this, that the remains of the Sitones in Ptolemy, &c. are exactly on the coast opposite to Smaland; and it is certainly more likely that they should move to the opposite shore, than into Norway, a country near 300 miles off, without leaving a trace behind. These cogent reasons may, it is believed, for ever fix the Suiones in Zeeland, and circling iles, with Schonen, Halland, and Westrogothia, their real civitates in oceano: and the Sitones, a part of the Suitiod, or Swedes, in the south-east corner of Sweden, now Smaland and Eastergothia.

Ptolemy, who wrote about 150 years after Christ, is the last ancient worthy to be adduced con∣cerning Scandinavia, for the sickly dreams of Jor∣nandes and Procopius, the last of whom was so ignorant as to take Scandinavia for Thule, tho Pliny and Ptolemy 400 years before might have Page  171told him quite the contrary, shall be left to their deluded followers.

Nec pueri credunt, nisi qui nondum aere lavantur. Juv.

Ptolemy mentions four Scandias; three small, perhaps Funen, Zeeland, and Laland: and one large, or Scandinavia, which he describes, and Agathadaemon lays down in the map, as just of a size to reach to the Wener lake, as Ptolemy's latitudes and longitudes ascertainl. It is above mentioned that, beyond this, the ancients imagined there was only ocean, with a few iles in it, as Eningia a part of Finland, Bergi, Nerigon, all however quite unknown to Ptolemy. In the west of Ptolemy's Scandinavia are the Chaedini; in the east the Phavonae, and Phiraesi; on the south the Gutae, and Dauciones; in the middle the Levoni. These names must all have belonged to tribes south of the lake Wener. The Gutae were surely the Gutones of Pliny, the Gothones of Tacitus, who had passed from the opposite shore; and their country is now Eastergothia, which Swedish vision∣aries imagine the Ostrogothia of the ancients, and Westergothia the Visogothia, tho Jornandes, the god of their idolatry, tells, cap. XIV. that those names originated from the position of the Goths on the Pontus Euxinus, or Euxine seam.

Page  172After this we find little or nothing concerning Scandinavia, till the sixth century, when Jor∣nandes was to tell his fables about it, knowing that it's distance prevented detection. For tho he quotes Ablavius, who is thought by Grotius to be one living under Constantius II. about the year 340, as mentioned by Ammianus, yet it is only AFTER he describes the Goths as settled in Little Scythia; and we do not even know that Ablavius was not his cotemporary, and as ignorant as himself. Jornandes, and Procopius, who wrote at the same time, mention the Danes; and Scritfinni, or swift Fins, which shews that the south of Finland was now known. As to the other nations placed in Scandinavia, by Jornandes and Procopius, allow∣ing their existence, they only belonged to the south parts. Eginhart, who wrote in the Ninth century, is the first i find, after the Sitones of Tacitus, who mentions the Swedes: and the Normans also began to be well known in this century, when Harold Harfagre rising first sole king of Norway, expelled many petry princes, who with their little armies took refuge in the Orkneys, and Iceland: and one of them Ganga Hrolf, or Rollo the Walker, was after some abode in the Hebudes, to found the dukedom of Normandy.

Could reason account for the ideas of folly, it were a matter of curiosity to enquire how Jornan∣des came to dream of all the nations in Europe proceeding from a distant and unpopulous country, and to pass Germany and Getia, or Little Scythia, Page  173countries overflowing with population? It can only be said that the Goths coming gradually from the north into the empire, it might naturally be imagined that the extreme north, or Scandinavia, was their point of progression: tho indeed it may be suspected that a love of the marvellous and false, so natural to man, might be the sole spring of a fiction, so opposite to common sense, and to all ancient authority.

Having thus shewn what the ancients knew of Scandinavia, let us consider the progress of the Scythians or Goths into it. We have already traced two Basternic nations, the SITONES and PEUKINI, up to the shores of the Baltic. On these shores, close by them, we find the Gotthones, Guttones, or Gythones, as called by Tacitus, Pliny, Ptolemy. How this nation came to hold a name so near that of all the Goths, were difficult to say, were not the name of Gut or Good given to ground, people, &c. supposed the origin of the Scandinavian Gudske latinized Gothlandia: and our Gotthones probably took their name from the same fountain, if not from Gote, a horseman, for they bordered on the Basternae, who like the Sar∣matae were mostly cavalry, and it is likely the Gothones were laso cavalry, and so called by the other Germans who had little or none. We also find the Gothini a Gallic nation in the south of Germany; and, as Tacitus says their speech was Gallic, they were probably an original Celtic tribe inhabiting a mountainous country, as the map of Cluverius shews, and allowed to dwell on condition of work∣ing the mines, and paying heavy tribute, as Tacitus says they did. Their name Gothini, being pro∣bably ironical, good people. Herodotus, book IV. places most of his Scythians in Germany. The Ister or Danube he calls the largest river of Scy∣thia. The Maris or Marus ran into the Ister from the country of the Agathyrsi, ch. 37. His Hyperborei are in Germany, for he makes their presents to Delos Page  174come down to the Adriatic sea, and thence to Do∣dona. In ch. 21. he tells us, that beyond the Ta∣nais are the Sarmatae; and his Scythian nations are chiefly in Germany and Poland: ch. 23. he places far to the north some Scythae who revolted and left the rest. However this be, it is certain from Pliny, that the ancient Greeks extended Scythia even to the Baltic, where amber was alone found: and we learn from Strabo, that it was the general opinion that the Basternae (a Scythic di∣vision) held the parts beyond the Germans, or Scandinavia. The Gythones, or Gothones, Pto∣lemy places on the Baltic shore, between the Sideni, or Sidones, and Peukini, two Basternic nations; and it is most likely that the Gythones were also Basternae. The Sidones, or Sitones, we find in the south of Sweden on the opposite coast; and the Gythones, or Guttones, are surely the Gutae, of the south of Scandinavia, as put by Ptolemy, who had passed over to the ground for∣merly held by the Sitones on their moving north∣east: for on, as Grotius observes, is merely the old German plural, which is sometimes given, sometimes omitted; thus Gutae, Gutones; Bur∣gundi, Burgundiones; Lugii, Lugiones, &c. &c. &c.

It is believed, that no one, the least versed in the subject, will object that the voyage from pre∣sent Prussia to Scandinavia, was too far, for a people in the rudest state of society. Some mo∣dern writers deny early population by sea; as Ta∣citus and other ancients reject progress by land. As the later forgot that men have feet, so the former forget that they have hands. Sea, far from checking intercourse, makes it easier even to barbarians. Wherever men are found, canoes are found; even when huts, nay cloths are want∣ing. The Greenlanders and Fins navigate hun∣dreds of miles: and no nation, however savage, has been discovered in any maritime corner of the Page  175globe, that was a stranger to navigation. In the South Seas Captain Cook found small iles 400, 500, 600 miles from each other, peopled by the same race of men, speaking the same tongue.

We do not find any traces in Ptolemy, or else∣where, of any nations passing from the west of Germany into Scandinavia, except perhaps the Levoni of Ptolemy's Scandinavia be the Lemovii of Tacitus in Lubec and Wagerland, where the passage to Scandinavia is very easy. But from the east, to which the Scythic progress was nearer and speedier, we find the Gutae and Sitones had passed: and Strabo expresses it the general opinion that the Basternae held Scandinavia. These circum∣stances seem to evince, as clearly as the case will bear, that Scandinavia was peopled by the Basternic nations on the east of Germany: and as their pro∣gress was as near from Little Scythia, the punctum saliens, to the extremity of Scandinavia, as was that of their brethren to the extremity of Germany, so there is every reason to conclude that Scandina∣via was peopled with Scythians as soon as Germany. The Northern Fins, including Laplanders, seem to have been infallibly aborigines of their country; for they are so weak, so peaceable, and their soil so wretched, that they could have vanquished no nation, and no nation could envy them their pos∣sessions in climes beyond the solar road.

As we thus find that the Basternae, or those Ger∣mans who lived east of the Vistula, were the Scythic division that peopled Scandinavia, it can hardly be supposed that the Peukini, whose name is put by Tacitus as synonymous with Basternae, and whom we have traced up to the very shore opposite to Scandinavia, should have sent no colonies into it. On the contrary we have every reason to believe that they were the first Scythians who passed into it; and moving on in constant progress, left room for their brethren the Sitones to follow; for we find the steps of the Peukini in Ptolemy from Peuké to the Tyras, from thence to the Peukinian Page  176Mountains in Prussian, in a direct line; while the Sitones moved round by the westward, for in Ptolemy we find remains of them above the Quadi in the south-east of Germany; and others, still further north-west, on the Baltic shore. The Peukini, on the contrary, never crossed the Vis∣tula, but proceeded strait on to the Baltic shore. There they vanish, while the Sitones are found in Scandinavia, on the opposite coast, which, it is surely reasonable to infer, arose from the progress of the Peukini leaving that possession open to the nation whose population followed them. For as Strabo oserves the general opinion that the Basternae possessed Scandinavia, and the Peukini were the largest and noblest name of the Basternae, it seems likely that Strabo should especially refer to them; seeing that we can trace them to the opposite coast in such full population, as to leave their name to a chain of mountains: and that we know the Sitones another Basternic di∣vision, whose progress was infinitely slower, as more circulative, held a great part of southern Scandinavia. These reasons appear to me so clear and cogent, as fully to confirm the opinion of the ancients, as related by Strabo, that the Basternic Germans peopled Scandinavia; and also to infer, from every ground of cool probability, that the Peukini were the very first Basternae who passed over, and proceeded north-west till they emerged under the name of Picti, the Pehtar, or Peohtar, or Pihtar, of the Saxon Chronicle, Pehiti of Witichind, and Pehts of ancient Scotish poets, and modern natives of Scotland, and the north of England.

It is therefore Historic Truth, that those German Scythians, who peopled Scandinavia, were the Peu∣kini and Sitones, two divisions of the Baslernae.

Page  177Before adding a hint or two on the Piks, who are reserved for my Enquiry into Scotish history prior to 1056, i must remark that i do not build on the above progress of the Peukini, as it is sufficient for me to shew from Tacitus and Beda that the Piks were German Scythians from Scandinavia, and to trace them from Norway to Scotland. Facts, and authorities which are facts in history, are the sole grounds upon which a rational historian can proceed. If he contradicts facts and authori∣ties, he writes romance, not history. In my laborious research into early Scotish history, i was shocked to find that, instead of a foundation, i had not even good ground for a foundation, owing to the carelessness with which the origin of nations has been treated. The toil it has cost me to drain my ground of much watry falsehood, has been equal to that of building my fabric, as the reader may judge. I can safely say the truth has been my sole object; for my labour has been too great to waste any part of it in a bauble of an hypo∣thesis, which falls at the first breath, while truth remains for ever. To proceed to a hint on the Piks, it was not to be supposed that the Northern historians could be ignorant of a nation once so celebrated, and who proceeded from Norway. Accordingly we find the vast history of Norway by Torfaeus, compiled from Icelandic Sagas, &c. quite full of them; but under a variation in the initial letter, the cause of which must be explained.

Grammarians observe certain letters which are called labial because pronounced by the lips: they are b, f, m, p, v; of these the b, f, p, v, put at the beginning of words, are pronounced almost with the same motion of the lips, and are thus often interchanged. In Roman inscrip∣tions we find Bita for Vita; in Greek authors Biturius for Viturius, &c. &c. &c. In Spanish V is pronounced B. The F, or Greek digamma, was pronounced V, as all know. But the inter∣change Page  178change of P, and V, which alone concerns my present investigation, seems peculiar to the Germans, and Northern nations of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, for i cannot trace it in Italian, Spanish, or French. Thus the Germans say Vater for the Latin Pater; Picker is Icelandic for a shipbuilder, from Vig, a ship; &c. &c. The Saxons found the sound of P and V so similar, that they actually adopted the Roman letter P to ex∣press V, and W, a modification of V. Thus on coins of William I. and II. of England PILEM is WILEM; and the same occurs in the earliest Saxon coins and MSS, and in the printed Saxon at this day, as all know. Torfaeus observes, in his Series Regum Daniae, that the Vitta of the Saxon genealo∣gists is the Pitta of the Icelandic. I need not produce more instances, but refer the reader, if he wishes for more, to the Glossarium Germanicum of Wachter; the Glossarium Suio-Gothicum (should be Suito-Gothicum) of Ihre; and the Lexicon Islandicum of Andreas. The physical reason of the Northern nations using V for P, or pronouncing P as V, may be, that the cold contracts their organs, for V is only a less open pronounciation of P.

But in the present instance there is no occa∣sion to insist on labial changes, but barely to men∣tion that in the Icelandic, or Old Scandinavian language, there is in fact no such letter as P; and in words of foreign extract the P is always pro∣nounced V, and is from that cause generally so written. Thus papa, a priest, is often written pava. In present Icelandic P is always founded V.

Of the ancient kingdom of VIKAo, Torfaeus is Page  179full; and it is the Vichia regnum of Olaus Magnus which he puts in the list of the most impor∣tant kingdoms of Scandinavia. Its inhabitants were called VIKVERAR, men of Vik, the Pihtar of the Saxons. It was one of the kingdoms which was reduced by Harold Harfagre, in the ninth century, when he became first king of all Norway. It extended, as Torfaeus informs us, from the Icelandic writers, all over the south of Norway, around Opsloa, an ancient city near the new town Christiania, and opposite the point of the Cimbric Chersonese. It was afterward the large province of Dalvika; and its east side is still known in every map by the name of Viksiden, or the side of Vika, extending down to the north-west outlet of the lake Wener. But of this more elsewhere. It shall only be observed in passing, that this must have been the very progress of the Peukini, if they preceded the Sitones, a part of whose tribes lay con∣tinuous with the Suiones, near the Wener lake: tho, had i formed an hypothesis, i should have as∣sented to Cluverius, and all the modern geogra∣phers, who place the Sitones in Norway; as in that case to suppose the Peukini, their Basternic brethren, in the south of the same country, would have been more plausible. But as facts are the sole subject of my research, i shall leave hypo∣thesis to those who do not grudge to labour in vain; for an hypothesis only stands till another cancels it, while facts and authorities can never be overcome.

It may be proper, before concluding, briefly to consider the received opinions concerning the Scan∣dinavian origins. Saxo Grammaticus has founded the Danish monarchy in the person of a king Dan, more than a thousand years before Christ. Tor∣faeus, from Icelandic Sagas, has shewn, that Saxo's Page  180system, drawn from old songs, is false; and that Skiold, son of Odin, was the first king of Denmark, a little before our aera. Mallet has, in his history of Denmark, followed the plan of Torfaeus; and as it is much more rational than Saxo's, it promises to stand as to succession of kings; Torfaeus founding on the sole authorities which remain; and it is not to be supposed that any future historian should be so frantic as to con∣tend against his authorities, or that the public should approve such delusion. In Sweden, the tales of Joannes Magnus, the forger, have, for a century, been in utter contempt; and the history rests upon an author of wonderful merit and judg∣ment for his age, Snorro Sturleson, who wrote in the thirteenth century, and whose history extends to two folio volumes, and also relates to Denmark and Norway. It is in the Icelandic tongue; but a Latin translation is given by Peringskiold. He makes Odin cotemporary with Pompey, from whom he flies into the north; and subduing Scandinavia, keeps Sweden for himself, and com∣mences the line of kings. The Norwegian history rests on the diligence of Torfaeus, who from Ice∣landic chronicles, genealogies, &c. concludes Odin to have come to Scandinavia in the time of Darius Hystaspis, or about 520 years before Christ. Some Northern antiquaries also finding in the Edda that Odin was put as the supreme deity, and that a total uncertainty about his age prevailed in the old accounts, have imagined to themselves another Odin, who lived about 1000 years before our aera; a mere arbitrary date, and which the formers of this system had better have put 500 years before Christ, as Torfaeus the most diligent of Northern antiquaries has done. Mallet, who has taken matters as he found them, supposes two Odins; and looks on the last, who flourished in Pompey's time, as an Asiatic Magician; nay he tells us some believe three Odins! Torfaeus, we have seen, in Page  181his Norwegian history, infers him to have lived 500 years before Christ, whom in his Series Regum Daniae he had thought lived only 50!

O caecas hominum mentes! O pectora caeca!

Here is the secret: ODIN NEVER EXISTED. The whole affair is an allegory. Torfaeus, so pro∣foundly versed in the Icelandic monuments, tells us they abound in allegory, insomuch that it is often impossible to distinguish truth from falsehood in them. Strange that he did not see that they all begin with allegorv! Not one of these Icelandic pieces, nor any monument whatever of Scandina∣vian history, is older than the Eleventh century. What dependence then as to events happening be∣fore Christ? Their chronology down to Harold Harfagre, or the end of the ninth century, is also quite confused, insomuch that you will find one man cotemporary to three or four centuries.

The Later Edda, which was also compiled by Snorro in the thirteenth century, fully confirms the idea that Odin was never in life, but was merely the God of War. In this Edda Thor is the son of Odin. Mallet well observes that, thro this whole Edda, Odin the hero, who led the Goths from Asia, is confounded with Odin the God of War, or supreme god of the Norwegians. True: yet is there no confusion. There was but one Odin, the god. The hero is a non-existence. The whole progress of the Goths from Asia under Odin is so palpable and direct an allegory, that he must have little penetration indeed who cannot pierce it. It was the God of War who conducted the Goths; literally, they fought their way against the Celts and Fins. But it may be said, how then came Snorro (for on him the whole rests) to make Odin cotemporary with Pompey? Be it observed on this, that Snorro lived at a late period, the end of the Thirteenth century, and that not an iota about Pompey could occur, till Christianity introduced Page  182Latin Learning in the 11th age. The fact is merely this. Snorro found even from his strange genealogy, that the earliest kings of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, of whom tradition preserved the names, could not be dated further back than about 50 years before Christ. These kings, as usual with even Greek and Roman genealogists, when the name of their fathers was unknown to tradition, were called sons of some God; and in the present case Odin the Alfader, and the Mars, was the common sire. Snorro, who, as appears from his work, was considerably tinctured with Latin learning, never reflected that Odin could be only an allegorical father; but simply believes him a real human father; and finding his epoch according to his foolish genealogy of Kings cor∣respond, in this view, with that of Pompey, thinks it a proper place to display his Latin, by connecting his history with the Roman. His work is divided into various Sagas, or historic romances; and as the Icelanders had Sagas on Alexander the Great, on Arthur, on Troy, &c. it is likely they had one on Pompey; in which, as all chronology was confounded in these romances, Odin was brought in as fighting with him. Snorro probably had this saga before him, and so gives the tale. But to shew how very little Snorro can be relied on, we have only to reflect that, in the preface to the Edda, he makes Thor the founder of Troy, and Odin his descendant in the 17th generation; that is, allowing 30 years as usual for a generation, Odin lived 510 years after Thor, whom he makes Tros, from mere similarity of names. Now Tros lived, as chronologers mark, 1360 years before Christ; of course Odin lived 850 years before Christ, and yet was cotemporary to Pompey! No wonder that three Odins were necessary! In truth chronology, as might be ex∣pected, is utterly confounded in those romances called Sagas, insomuch that Torfaeus once placed Page  183King Hrolf Krak 500 years before Christ, and was afterward forced to put him 500 years after Christ. The story of Odin flying from Pompey is a mere dream of some silly Saga; and he who builds on it must be weaker than a child. Such an event, as the migration of a whole nation from the Euxine to the Baltic, could never escape the Greeks, who had numerous colonies on the Euxine, and who traded to the Baltic for amber. It is however remarkable that all Scandinavian Sagas mention Odin with his Scythians coming to Scandinavia, but not one hints that a single colony went from it to Scvthia; which is another argu∣ment against the Goths proceeding from Scandi∣navia.

If the Northern antiquaries will therefore open their eyes, and see at last that all concerning Odin is a mere mythologic allegory, they will do well. There was but one Odin, the God of War, who was cotemporary in all ages. The kings of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, nay the whole Anglo-Saxon kings, owned him as first father. That is, they were entitled solely to martial prowess for their thrones. As for the genealogy of Odin himself, in which we find him descended from a line of ancestors, as Geta or the father of the Getae, and Pitta or the father of the Piks, &c. it is also allegorical, as much as the Theogonia of Hesiod, and the genealogies of Greek gods and heroes. Mere poetry all; and not history. Odin's progress, as marked from the Northern histories, by Mallet, in his fourth chapter of the Introduction was round by Germany, the Cimbric Chersonese, and Denmark, into Sweden. How could Mallet be so much asleep, as to dream that this event which, according to him, happened in Caesar's time, could be unknown to Caesar? That Odin should pierce thro all the hundred martial nations of Ger∣many, and not leave a trace behind? Should vanquish the Suevi, to whom, as their neighbours Page  184said, the Gods were not equal? One is sick of such folly; and to confute it is to debase the hu∣man mind. The whole is unchronologic allegory. The Goths by war subdued and peopled Scandina∣via, an event that happened at least 500 years be∣fore Christ; and was accomplished by different nations, under different leaders, but all under the guidance of Odin the god of war. Varro marks three divisions of antiquity, the dark, the mythologic, the historic. The Northern antiquaries to this day; when such great writers as Schoening, Suhm the illustrious patron of Danish literature, Lagerbring the most acute Swedish historian, rank among them; still confound the mythologic with the historic period. Odin is wholly a mythologic personage; and has nothing to do with history, which only faintly dawns at the reigns of his re∣puted sons, as the Roman does with Romulus son of Mars. The tales about him, and his Asae, are all poetical allegories; and have no more to do with history than Greek mythology. If he ever existed, it was in the first Scythian empire, 3000 years before Christ. Romulus was the son of Mars, as the Northern kings of Odin: but no writer has been so foolish as to infer that Mars was the human father of Romulus, and reigned in Latium just before him. The great good sense of the Scandinavian antiquaries has already led them to laugh at Jornandes: but one or two still dream of a migration of Goths to Scandinavia under one Odin, about 1000 years before Christ; a second from it to Getia, about 300 years before Christ; and a return under another Odin 70 years before Christ. So hard it is to eradicate prejudice!

A philosophic dissertation on Scandinavian Chronology is wanted; but philosophy has not yet reached Scandinavia; and it's best writers are full of their domestic tales, but strangers to Greek and Roman learning, and to the general history of ancient Europe. Their histories bear only 24 kings, Page  185(one more or less,) from 70 years before Christ to Ragnar Lodbrog, who flourished, as appears from Old English writers and other certain ac∣counts, in 830. But in the series of Irish, Pikish, and Heptarchic kings of England, the kings reign but eleven years each at a medium; and Sir Isaac Newton has shewn that even in civilized kingdoms they reign but eighteen. Scandinavia was certainly more ferocious than most other countries, and it's kings must have reigned a shorter, and not a longer, time than the kings in England, Scotland, and Ireland: accordingly most of the early Swedish and Danish kings die violent deaths. Not more than eleven years can be allowed to each reign: and 264 years reckoned back from 830 give the year of Christ 566, for the commencement of the series; and period of the mock Odin. The gene∣rations can never be computed by reigns of kings. All history refuses this. Who can believe that the sons regularly succeeded their fathers, and formed generations by reigns? Snorro, &c. are in this respect more fabulous than Saxo. The generations are false; tho the names may be genuine. But even fable ought to bear verisimilitude; and from the year 500 to 900 should be placed the Fabulous part of Danish, Swedish, Norwegian history. All before is dark, and lost even to fable. The total silence of their writers concerning the progress of the Jutes and Angles to England confirms this date, as well as the most certain rules of chronology.

Page  186
Epochs of the First Gothic Progress over Europe.

ANCIENT Chronology has been ruined by at∣tempting to force it to Scripture, which is surely no canon of chronology; for the Septuagint, translated from MSS. far more ancient than any we have, differs from the present. Hebrew no less than 576 years before Noah, and 880 from Noah to Abraham. The Greek Church, certainly as well instructed as the Roman, dates the creation 5508 years before Christ. Epiphanius, Augustin, and other fathers, follow the Hebrew of their time, which agrees with the Septuagint. But Ancient Chronology ought only to be estimated from ancient authors; and kept quite apart from scriptural chronology. The date of the creation, &c. can never be decided, either from scripture or otherwise; and such speculations are futile. In other points the authority of the learned Usher, now universally allowed the best chronologer, is followed.

In adjusting ancient chronology, it must ever be re∣membered that in tradition, as in common memory, GREAT EVENTS, tho very remote, are, from the deep im∣pression they make, apt to be blended with small recent incidents. Thus the first Scythic Empire, the victories of Sesostris, &c. were great events preserved in the memory of many generations; but in the historic page these great ancient events appear crouded, and imme∣diately precede lesser incidents, which happened but eight centuries, or so, before our aera. So in old age any affecting incident of childhood appears but of yes∣terday; while all the intermediate passages of youth, and maturity, have perished. Tradition, like memory, preserves Great matters, and Late matters, in the same vivid manner; the former because they have made deep impression; the later because the impression is recent.

Page  187
The first dawn of history breaks with the Egyptian. Menes the first king, after the gods and heroes, reigned about,Before Christ 4000
The Scythians, whom the dawn of history discovers in present Persia, (Epiphan. Euseb. Chron. Paschal.) under their king Tanaus attack Vexores king of Egypt and conquer Asia, (Justin.) 1500 years before Ninus, or about3660
(The Chinese history begins; and is continued in constant and clear narration, as now allowed by the best orientalists2500
Ninus, first monarch of the Assyrian Empire, for Belus was a god, (Baal, Bel,) his reputed father, as Mars of Romulus, and Odin of north∣ern kings, establishes that empire on the ruins of the Scythian. The Scythae Nomades of the north of Persia cross the Araxes and Caucasus, and settle around the Euxine (Herodot. Diod. Sic. &c.) about2160
The Scythians begin settlements in Thrace, Illyricum, Greece, and Asia Minor, about1800
The Scythians have completely peopled Thrace, Illyricum, Greece, and a great part of Asia Mi∣nor, about1500
Sesostris king of Egypt attacks the Scythians of Colchis with a land army, and leaves a colony of Egyptians, afterward the famous Colchians. He also passes thro Asia Minor, and attacks Thrace (Herodot. Diod. &c.) about1480
The Scythians peopled Italy*, about1000
The Parental Scythians on the Euxine again hold the supreme empire of Asia by vanquishing the Medes; but only for 28 years (Herodot. &c.)740
The Scythians have peopled Germany and Scandinavia; and a Great part of Gaul, and Spain, about500
The Belgae pass into the south of Britain and of Ireland, about300
The Piks pass into the north of Britain, about300

Page  188
Epochs of the Second Gothic Progress from Getia and from Germany over Europe*.

The Rhine and the Danube had been appointed the boundaries of the Roman empire by Augustus; but Trajan was to extend them to their furthest degree, by his conquests in Asia, which were resigned by Hadrian. Yet an acquisition of Trajan beyond the Danube was more permanent, for

103 years After Christ, he subdued Dacia, and erected it into a Roman province; bounded on the north by the Tyras or Neister, on the west by the Tibiscus or Teyss, on the south by the Danube, and on the east by the Euxine; and peopled it wholly with Roman subjects; being a space about 1300 miles in circumference: but which seems to have been diminished by incursions of the Daci and Sarmatae, even so early as the time of Hadrian. The pillar of Trajan at Rome represents this conquest.

173. Marcus Antoninus repells the Quadi and Mar∣comanni.

These transactions are the chief we find in Roman history relating to the Goths or Germans, till the grand aera following.

250. The Getae or Parental Goths pass the Tyras or Neister into the province of Dacia, and ravaging it march on south over the Danube into Thrace. These Goths did not come originally from Scandinavia, as most foolishly inferred from Jornandes, who says no such thing, but that the ancient Scythians or Goths came from Scandinavia, and afterward conquered Asia and Vexores king of Egypt, events that happened about 3660 years before Christ. This ridiculous and absurd tale of Jornandes, tho narrated with such palpable hues of sable as cannot impose on a child, and tho utterly contradicted by the consent of all the ancients, as Page  189shewn above in the second chapter of this essay, has yet misled all the greatest authors of Europe to this hour! The fact is, that these Goths who now poured into Da∣cia were the Getae, a people whom Darius found in the very country whence they now issued 570 years before Christ, as Herodotus shews. They were, as above fully explained, the same with the Scythae, as Jornandes also knew: and that the Scythae came from the southern parts of Asia, the reader has seen by the consent of all antiquity. Soon after we find the Getae, or Goths, laterly so called, divided into Ostrogoths, or Eastern-Getoe, and Vesigoths, or Western-Getoe. The royalty of the Ostrogoths was, as Jornandes shews, ch. 5. in the family of the Amal; and the neighbouring Scythic na∣tions of the Alani, &c. &c. were generally subject to the Ostrogoths. West of the Boristenes were the Vesigoths, anciently the Tyragetae stretching westward even to the Basternae, another tract of vast extent. The royalty of the Vesigoths was in the family of the Balthi or Baldi: Jorn. ch. 5. The progress of these two vast nations of Ostrogoths and Vesigoths will be shewn in the sequel. These Goths, who poured into Dacia A. D. 250, were palpably the Vesigoths or Western-Getae; for the Ostrogoths were remote from the Roman empire.

251. Decius is defeated and slain in Maesia by the Vesigoths or Western Getae.

252. Gallus purchases peace of the Goths by an an∣nual tribute. They return to their own country.

About 260. The Chauci, Cherusci and Ctti (including the smaller nations Bucteri, Usipii, Tencteri, Sali, Ansivarit, Chamavi, Dulgibin, Chassuarii, Angrivarii) great nations of Germany, form a grand alliance under the name of FRANCI or ree-men; and bursting thro Gaul, ravage Spain: and a part even passes into Africa. All the above nations are especially named by various ancients as members of the Franci: see Cluver. Germ. Ant. lib. III. where the authorities are produced.

About the same time the A amanni invade Italy and re∣turn laden with spoil. This people consisted of several tribes of the vast German nation of the Suevi whocoalescing took the name of All men or men of all tribes, as authors relate. Tho it seems likely the name rather implied their supreme courage, as whoe men, full of virility.

Page  190About the same time the Goths seize on the small king∣dom of the Bosphorus Cimmerius, which had long sub∣sisted under Roman protection. As this petty kingdom was on the south point of the dominions of the Ostrogoths, while the Vesigoths were at a great distance, there is every reason to believe that the former are meant. After this they in one naval expedition take Trebisond, and ravage the Euxine shores; in a second moving westward plunder Bithynia; and in a third ravage Greece.

269. The Goths, with another naval armament, land in Macedonia. Claudius the emperor advancing, a great battle was fought at Naissus in Dardania, and Claudius conquering obtained the surname of Gothicus.

About 272, Aurelian is forced to yield to the Goths the province of Dacia. The Vesigoths who extended all over the north and west of Dacia are implied.

About the same time the Alamanni invading Italy are defeated by Aurelian.

276. The Alani invading Pontus are defeated by Tacitus.

278. Probus builds a wall from the Rhine to the Danube, about 200 miles, to protect the empire from the German nations.

322. The Western Goths, no longer content with Dacia, pour into Illyricum. Constantine I. repells them.

331. The Vandals who, finding Germany open by the frequent transitions of the Franks and Alamanni south-west, had gradually spred a part of their nation south-east, till it bordered on the Vesigoths, have many conflicts with the latter people. Constantine I. again repells the Goths; and conquers a few Sarmatians.

355. The Franks and Alamanni pass the Rhine, and ravage Gaul. Julian conquers, and repells them.

365. The Alamanni again invade Gaul; and are de∣feated.

367. Ulphilas, bishop of those Goths who had for∣merly been allowed by Constantine II. (Philostorg. lib. II.) to settle in Maesia, translates the scriptures into Gothic, a part of which translation yet remains. Before the year 00 most of the Gothic nations in the Roman em∣pire, and on its frontiers, became Christians.

370. The Burgundians, a andalic race, who ap∣p••red under this name on the southwest of Germany, 〈…〉••••ce, invade Gaul.

Page  191About the same time the Saxons, also of Vandalic origin, and whom Ptolemy first mentions on the mouth of the Elbe, ravage the sea-coasts of Gaul and Britain.

About this time also the Piks, a German-Gothic people of Scandinavia, who had settled in present Scot∣land about three centuries before Christ, ravage the north of Britain; as indeed Eumenius the panegyrist says they had been accustomed to do before the time of Julius Caesar. Theodosius, the general of Valenti∣nian, found the Piks, and their confederates the Scots, advanced even to London; whence he repelled them: and driving the Piks to their ancient possessions beyond the Clyde and Forth, gained the province which he called Valentia.

About the same time the great Hermanric, king of the Ostrogoths or Eastern Getae, and chief of the race of the Amali, extended his conquests so far and wide, that Jor∣nandes compares him to Alexander. The Vesigothic kings were reduced to take the titles of Judges. The Heruli and the Venedi of Poland, and the Aestii of Prussia, with many other nations, were all subdued by him.

About 375 the HUNS burst at once from Tartary upon the dominions of the Alani and Ostrogoths. As the appearance of this new people forms the greatest phaenomenon in the history of Europe, it will be pro∣per to dwell a little on it. M. de Guignes has, from his knowlege of the Chinese tongue, obliged the world with a complete history of the Huns, in four large volumes: tho unhappily full of errors, because M. de G. was not skilled in Greek and Roman history and geography. The Huns are the Hiong-nou of the Chinese, and their own Tartars: and originated from the north of China. Their wars with the Chinese can be traced back to 200 years before our aera. About 87 years before Christ, the Chinese obtained a prodigious victory over them. The vast Hunnic nations after this fell into civil wars. In process of time the numerous hordes that were vanquished moved west in two divisions, one division settled on the confines of Persia, the other passed north west over the vast river Volga, and poured into Europe in amazing numbers, which no valour could withstand. They first encountered the Alani, whom they overpowered, but admitted as allies. They, Page  192and the other Gothic nations, who even to the Cale∣donian woods of the Piks were of large limbs, ele∣gant and blooming features, and light hair, were aston∣ished at the very forms of these new invaders, di∣stinguished by squat limbs, flat noses, broad faces, and small black eyes, dark hair, with little or no beard, as are indeed the present Tartars. The Ostrogoths yielded to the Hunnic swarms, and were admitted allies on con∣dition of fighting in their armies.

376. The Huns now commanded by Balamir (as they were afterward by three others before the famous Attila) next entered the Vesigothic territory. The Vesigoths seeing all resistance would be vain, against such myriads, were forced to implore the protection of the emperor Valens, who, with more generosity than policy, allowed them settlements south of the Danube. Upon which near a million of the Vesigoths, including wives and children, passed into the Roman territory of Maesia. A remnant of the Ostrogoths also followed. The Goths being denied provisions revolt.

377. The Goths penetrate into Thrace.

378. On the 9th of August was fought the famous battle of Hadrianople, in which Valens was defeated and slain by the Goths. Ammianus says it was another Cannae. But the Goths, falling into intestine divisions, were in the course of a dozen years repelled to Panno∣nia, and a colony of the Vesigoths was settled in Thrace, while a few Ostrogoths were placed in Lydia and Phrygia. An army of 40,000 Goths was retained for defence of the empire, and are remarkable in the Byzantine writers by the name of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉foederati.

During the rest of the reign of Balamir, and those of his three successors Octar, Roas, and Bleda, the Huns rested satisfied with the territory they had gained, which extended to present Hungary: and Attila did not reign till 430, or about 50 years after this. Vast numbers of the Goths seem to have ravaged and seized on the pro∣vinces, from the south west of Germany and Illyricum to Macedon.

395. The Goths unanimously rise under the com∣mand of the great Alaric.

396. Alaric ravages Greece.

398. He is chosen king of the Vesigoths. The Ostrogoths remained in the Hunnic territory as allies.

Page  193400—403. Alaric invades Italy, and is defeated by Stilicho who was himself a Vandalic Goth.

406. Radagaisus at the head of a large army of Ger∣man nations, (Vandals, Suevi, and Burgundians), and Gothic auxiliaries, invades Italy. He is likewise de∣feated by Stilicho. The remains of his army ravage Gaul.

408. Alaric invades Italy. Rome is thrice besieged, and at length pillaged by him in 410. The moderation of the Goths is highly praised by several cotemporary writers. The monuments of art suffered not from them; but from time, and barbarous pontiss. In 410 Alaric dies.

412. Ataulphus, brother in law of Alaric, and his elected successor, makes peace with the Romans; and marches into the south of Gaul, which the Vesigoths possess for a long time.

415. The Suevi, Vandals, and Alani, having in 409 penetrated from the southwest of Germany into Gaul, which they ravaged, were afterward by Constan∣tine, brother in law of Honorius, forced to abandon Gaul, and pass into Spain. Ataulphus, king of the Vesigoths, now led his forces against them. The Vesi∣goths in three years conquer the invaders; and restore Spain to the Romans. The Suevi and Vandals how∣ever still retained Gallicia. The Vesigoths hold Aqui∣tain.

420. The Franks, Burgundians, and Vesigoths, obtain a permanent seat and dominion in Gaul. The first in Belgic Gaul on the north; the second in the Provincia Lugdunensis, and present Burgundy, in the middle; the last in Narbonne, and Aquitain, on the south.

429. The Vandals of Spain pass into Africa under Genseric their king: and establish the Vandalic king∣dom of Africa, whch under Genseric, Ungeric, Gun∣dabund, Thrasamund, Hilderic, and Gilimer, lasted till 535, when Gilimer was vanquished by Belifarius, and the Vandalic empire ceased in Africa, after 96 years of duration.

430. The great Attila, king of the Huns, begins to reign about this time. His chief fame sprung from the terror he spred into the Roman empire; his conquests have been ridiculously magnified. On the authority of a vague expression of Jornandes, solus Scythica et Ger∣manica Page  194regna possedit*, some hints of Priscus, and the exaggerations of eastern writers, repeated by M. de Guignes, it is said that his power extended over all Germany, even into Scandinavia. But no German, or Scandinavian, author, or antiquary, shews a single trace of this, and we know it to be false from the names of the nations who followed Attila's standard. On the east the Ostrogoths obeyed him; and the Gepidae, whose king Ardaric was his faithfull counsellor; and the Heruli. On the west, the Rugii and Thuringi are the only nations we find under his banner at Chalons, where his whole force was assembled; and they both moved south long before, and bordered on Bohemia and Hungary. Attila's domains were vast; but he turned with scorn from the barren north, while the south afforded every temptation; and we read of none of his conquests to the north. The cool historian will therefore reject the hyperboles of fancy and fear; and contract Attila's power in Germany to very narrow bounds. The palace and royal village of Attila, described by Priscus and Jornandes, stood between the Danube and the Teyss, in the plains of upper Hungary; and he chose that spot that he might over-run the Romans, and command the south west provinces of the empire.

At this time Theodoric reigned over the Vesigoths in Gaul; and Clodion, the first king in real history, over the Franks; of Pharamond no authentic trace can be found.

449. The Vitae or Jutes arrive in Britain. Mr. Gib∣bon is certainly right that they were not invited, as dreamed, but were northern rovers, allowed to settle in Kent, on condition of lending assistance against the Piks and Scots. The weak manner in which the an∣cient history of England has been treated, while by the labours of many learned men that of France and Ger∣many is clear as day, has left confusion every where. The acquisitions of the Jutes, Saxons, Angli, are all huddled together by our superficial dablers! The Jutes seized a corner of Kent in 449: they encreased, and founded the kingdom of Kent about 460. In 477 the first Saxons arrived, and founded the kingdom of South Page  195Saxons. In 495 the West Saxons arrived. The East Saxons in 527. Hitherto there were no Angli in Bri∣tain. The first Angli who arrived, came under Ida to Bornicia in 547. The East Angles do not appear till 575. Mercia, which Beda says was an Anglic kingdom, but seems to me a Frisian, as we know that the Frisi were of the nations who seized Britain tho omitted by Beda, who was an Anglus, and gives that name most improperly; Mercia was founded in 585. Let me also observe on this great event, that the ideas received into English history concerning it are, in some other respects, mistaken. The Belgic Britons, as Germans, infallibly used the same tongue with their new allies. The Welsh were, even in the time of Julius, confined to Wales and the north: they are his indigenes. The Welsh usurp all the Belgic kings, with whom they have no more to do than with the English. From Cunobe∣linus to Vortiger not a prince can be given to the Welch. The Belgic Britons no doubt amounted to three or four millions; all of whom were incorporated with their allies, who by all accounts were not numer∣ous, tho warlike. The Belgae were the Villani and slaves of the conquerors; and exceeding them in number, their speech must have prevailed as happened in Spain, Italy, and Gaul, where the lingua rustica Romana ob∣tained. Our old language should be called Anglo-Belgic, not Anglo-Saxon. They who look on the Welch as the only speech of the ancient Britons are widely mistaken: they were called Britons, as being the indigenes; while the Belgic name was lost in the heptar∣chic states. The Welch and Irish tongues preserve that soul of language the grammar: but are so mixt with Gothic, or German and Latin, that Ihre, not knowing the vast difference of the grammar, pronounces what we call Celtic a dialect of the Gothic. In Gothic we have a monument of the fourth century, the gospels of Ulphila, a book in which the meaning of every word is sacred and marked. In Celtic we have no remain older than the eleventh century; and the interpretation is dubious. The Belgae commanded both in Britain, and Ireland; and, being a later and far superior people, im∣parted innumerable words to the Celtic. They there∣fore who derive any English words from Celtic only shew a risible ignorance: for the truth is, that the Celtic are derived from the English.

Page  196451. Attila invades Gaul, and besieges Orleans. The grand battle of Chalons, the campi Catalaunici, is fought. This conflict, the most prodigious and im∣portant ever joined in Europe, in any age, was between Attila, with his innumerable army of Huns, Gepidae, Ostrogoths, Rugii, Thuringi; and on the other side Aetius with Romans, Theodoric with Vesigoths, the Alani, Saxons, Franks, Burgundians, Armoricans, &c. Attila is totally defeated and forced to retreat, leaving 150,000 of his army on the field, at the smallest compu∣tation. Had he conquered, all Europe would now have been Hunnish, or Turkish; instead of Scythic, or Gothic: and from the polygamy, &c. of the Huns; inimical to the Christian faith, it is likely (divine causes apart) we had all been Mahometans. So much may depend on one hour.

452. Attila returns upon Italy, but spares Rome. He is again defeated by Torismond, king of the Vesi∣goths: Jornandes, ch. 42. He dies next year: and his vast empire being divided among his discordant sons falls at once, like a meteor that passes over half the globe, then in an instant vanishes for ever.

453. Ardaric, king of the Ostrogoths, assisted by the Gepidae, defeats the Huns, whom he had abandoned in Pannonia. The Gepidae under Arcadic, seize the palace of Attila, and all Dacia. All Illyricum falls to the Ostrogoths. The remainder of the European Huns was but very small, (see Jorn. ch. 53.) and afterward nearly extinguished by the Igours of Siberia. In Hun∣gary there is not one Hun, tho the name Hunnivar (Jorn. c. 52.) arose from the Huns. The Hungaric language is Finnish; and the Hungarians proper are Igours, a Finnish people who settled there in the Ninth century. See De Guignes, Peyssonnel, &c.

455. Genseric king of the African Vandals takes Rome.

456. Theodoric king of the Vesigoths defeats the Suevi in Spain.

462—472. Euric, successor of Theodoric, makes conquests in the northwest of Gaul. He subdues all Spain, save Gallicia which the Suevi held; and thus begins the Gothic empire in Spain, which lasted till 713, when the Moors conquered the Goths, and main∣tained part of their Spanish domain, till the end of the Fifteenth century. The present Spaniards are descended of the Vesigoths, Romans, and Iberians. The Suevi Page  197were united to the Gothic empire by Leovigild, about 550.

475. Odoacer at the head of the Turcilingi, Scyrri, Heruli, and other mixt Sarmatic and Gothic tribes, terminates the Roman empire in the west: and reigns at Rome fourteen years.

490. Theodoric, the great king of the Ostrogoths in Pannonia, vanquishes Odoacer, and rules Italy, which was now overwhelmed with Ostrogoths, of whom, Lombards, and the old inhabitants, the present Italians spring.

490—508. The Franks under Clovis subdue the Vesigoths in Gaul, and the Burgundians: an event with which properly commences the French kingdom.

The Lombards also deserve mention. Paulus Dia∣conus follows Jornandes, the idol of the middle ages, and brings them from Scandinavia. But we prefer Tacitus who finds them in the heart of Germany. Thence they moved southwest, till they settled in Pan∣nonia, about 400 years after Christ, or as i rather suspect after Attila's death, or about 453, when the Gepidae*, of whom ancient authors call the Longo∣bardi a part, (Grotii Proleg.) seized Dacia. In Pan∣nonia the Lombards remained till about 570, when under Alboin they seized on the north of Italy; and after held almost the whole, save Rome and Ravenna, till 773, when Desiderius, the last king, was vanquished by Charlemagne.