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Thucyd. fays, that the Pelasgians were a numerous people, spread far and near before the age of Hellen, the son of Deucalion, and Strabo fays the fame; Thejfaly was first - called Pelafgia, fays Steph. de Urb. and Scholion Apollon. that the Pelafgians were a barbarous nation, who inhabited Theflaly and Argos; Hejychius fays, the Pelafgians are Thejfalians, and Homer places this people in Thejfaly.
The testimonies are innumerable that argue for the univerfality and antiquity of the ancient Pelasgians, not only in Greece, but in every country round them, as well islands as on the continent; that the Thracians were inhabitants in Greece from the very beginning, and the people which were called the Bsaltes, Crejlones, Edones, and particularly the Pela/gians, were counted Tyrrhenians, some of whom dwelt in the iste of Lemnos, and in the territory of Athens; and as the three first of these were Thracians, the Pelasgians, who were forced away by the Phænicians from the maritime places, retired to them as to their own friends and relations. Strabo has it, that the Thracians were the first inhabitants of the iste of Le?nnos, and that they passed over from the continent; indeed he might have as well called them Pelasgians, for they were the fame people, speaking the fame language, though they were called Sintiens upon that istand; nor was there any other istand of any note in that part of the Mediterranean Sea but was first peopled by the Pelasgians; and these were the inhabitants that occupied the istand of Crete, even when Lycurgus went thither to collect his laws, and all these were afterwards called Celts in the southern and south-west quarters of Europe, to which they migrated, .3 whilst
whilst thofe of the northern and north-west quarters were afterwards known by the name of Scythians, &c.
But the Pelasgians, in some time, returned and regained a part of their ancient country, settling themselves in Peloponesus, according to Herodotus, and were then called Dorians, and the most famous of them Lacedemonians, whom Pezron mentions as Celts. Strabo fays, that a great part of Greece, efpecialy Macedonia and Theffaly, was inhabited by the Barbari, particularly Thracians, Illyrians and Epirotians; and Herodotus fays, that the Macedonians were refused admittance in the Olympic games, because they were of the Barbari.
When the Greeks became a nation of some power, though they first were but inconsiderable, (which I shall endeavour to shew in a future chapter from Herodotus) they always were so extreamly partial to themselves, that they took every step in their power to distinguish themselves as a superior people, and to disgrace the neighbouring nations, who were all Pelasgians, though under different denominations. This appears strongly in Homer s catalogue of the allies of the Trojans, who were all Pelafgians of several denominations. These were Dardanians, Thejfalians, Thracians, Peonians, Paphlagonians, Enejians, Myfans, Phrygians, Meonians, Carians, &c. and fought for the Trojans, their ancient relations and fellow Pelafgians; and their enemies were the new inhabitants of Greece, a mixed people, who made war with them, not more on account of the rape of Helen than to get possession of the territories of Troy (which was so well situated for commanding the paflage from Europe into AJia,
and and claiming the dominion of the sea) and to confine the Trojan ships in the Pontus Euxinus.
These notices, from so many ancient authors of great credit with the learned, would persuade us that the Greek tongue is a mixture of Pelasgian, Phœnician and Egyptian languages: but if these were not sufficient for our purpofe, we do not .want many others, as powerful anecdotes, to prove it in the sequel. However, we are joined in this opinion by Pelloutier, an author of note and respect, who, in his first volume, page 8o, rejoices that M. Fourmont, the elder, a man well qualified for judging of matters of this kind, is of the fame opinion, from whom he quotes the following passage, speaking of a Greek lexicon compofed by him: iC I seek (fays he) "the origin of the Greek tongue in this work, that is, "the Greek words which are truly primitive, by which "I reduce this language to less than 300 words, some "of which are of Thrace and other neighbouring people, c< and others of the Phœnicians,, or, in general, of Oriental "tongues; all by an easy derivation, and to be underw stood by the whole world."
CHAP. C H A. P. V.
Of several heroes who were the fubjetls of Grecian hiftory: of Nil, Belus, Sihor, Osihor, Toth, Ogmius, and others; of Sesostris; whether the above were different names of himf Surprifing agreement between the Irish bards, or filids, and other historians; of Milesius, and his genealogy from Japhet; of Phenius, grandson of Magog; his transaclions in Scythia and Shinar; his sons passage into Egypt, and the migration of his issue into Spain, and thence into Ireland; whether Sheshac and Sesostris were the names of the same hero; of the Gomerian and Scythian philosophy\ & c.
«fv33[*vJ»T *s> *n an encIuiry concerning the first invasion 1 yS> °^ Ire/and-> from Spain, that we shall be able to f jffiar.r trace out several of the heroes, who were the subjects of Grecian history; but who were treated of with much uncertainty, and whofe true characters were so blended with fabulous accounts, that the best historians, ancient or modern, were not able to fatisfy the curious in antiquity about them.
Let Us fee, then, how the stories of several famous men are treated by authors, and endeavour to clear up what they were either ignorant, or in doubt of; our great Sir Isaac Newton, in his Chronology, in speaking of Sesostris, fays, that when the Phœnicians were scattered
P and and settled in several countries bordering on the Mediterranean Sea, the great Egyptian Sejojlris began his conquests, subjecting many countries to his arms, and, at length, conquering Spain, in the western extremity j which Lucan specifies thus: "venit ad occasum, mun"dique extrema, Sesojlris" Sir Isaac appears to have mistaken some things in this inquiry into the exploits of that great hero, which shall be taken notice of by and by. He mentions the names of some, as the Greeks delivered them, and these are Nil, Belus, Sihor, Ofihor, Toth, Ogmius, and others; who are faid to have spread their fame all over the world, but yet believes that these were only different names given to the great Sesojlris, in the various countries he subdued; according to the obscure and fabulous accounts of authors. Now, in clearing up this mistake, we shall be supported by the coincidence of records, which, while they explain the true names of these persons, and the genuine accounts of their tranfactions and travels, are themselves corroborated by what they reciprocally verify, in many respects, however obscurely delivered by the Greeks; and shew clearly, that these were not the appellations of one hero, but the proper names of several; nor all Egyptians by birth, but some of them true Scythians, the offspring of Magog. So that as we have come at the truth in reconciling the names given to the patriarchs by both profane and facred history, in the former chapter, we shall likewise be acquainted with the true Scythian names of these heroes in this.