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"music in Greece; that Cadmus invented the Greek "tongue, having brought thither letters from Phœnicia^ "which were therefore, in general, called Phœnician u letters; that he gave names to many things; but, bew cause the Pelasgians used them first, they were called lt Pelasgian letters. Linus, therefore, had described the "acts of that first Bacchus (Dionysus) in Pelasgian letters, "and left other fables behind him; Orpheus used the "fame letters, as did also Pronapides, Homers 'master, a "most ingenious physician. Moreover, Thymætes, grand"son of Laomedon, who was cotemporary with Orpheus, <( having travelled through many parts of the world, came "to the most Wejlem parts of Libya, as far as the ocean, "even to Nysa; and.finding that this Bacchus was brought i( up in that city by the ancient inhabitants, and inform"ing himself of all the tranfactions of the Nyfeans, he "compofed his poem, which is called Phrygia, in the an** cient language, and with the old letters."
From these and many other passages, in the course of this history, the reader will certainly suppofe, at least, that Homer must have been versed in the Pelasgian tongue and letters, if his master used them. It is confested, too, that Linus and OrpheuS used the fame, as well as Thymætes, the famous author of the poem, Phrygia upon Dionyjius; and hence it may also be suspected, that, if Homer studied under. a master using the Pelasgian letters and language, he knew no other himself, and that his works were also compofed in the. fame; for none of the famous men, now mentioned, are faid, by Diodorus, to have used any others; nor do I believe any others were in use among the most ancient poets, musicians, &c. Is
Is it not from hence very probable, that the source of the letters, poetry, history>, music, and philosophy of Europe is to be traced to the Pelafgians, the issue of yaphet, from whom it spread all over Europe, through the Gomerians and Magogians or Scythians, and were ever cultivated in ancient Britain and Ireland, although the feuds and vicissitudes of every nation in Europe had obstructed the progress of sciences every where else, for many centuries afterwards? And, therefore, I cannot help thinking, that the works of Homer; thofe faid to be of Orpheus, or any others of the most ancient, were translations, made very long after the wars of 'Troy, into the Greek; because, at the time of thofe wars, the Pelafgic was the univerfal language, and the Greek only in the beginning of its formation; and if we add to these considerations, that Orpheus was a Thracian by birth, according to Diodorus, in his fourth book, it will strengthen our opinion; for the Thracians were Pelasgians, and of thofe in the earliest times, who were called Barb ar i by Herodotus, and other Greeks, afterwards; and their language, the barbarous language they were pleased to call it: of this there is ample proof, in the sequel, which further points out who these original people, the Pelasgians, were, in a most clear light.
There is also another reason to strengthen this suspicion of the works of Homer being compofed in the Pelasgian language: for it is not improbable, that these works never reached Greece, till Lycurgus, in his return from Asia, whither he went from Crete, collected and brought them with him. Sir Isaac Newton, in his short chrono
logy> logy, fays 'Troy was taken 904. years before Christ; but it is thought to be about 46 years earlier, and by some, much longer: he also fays, Lycurgus brought them out of AJia 710 years before Christ, which was 240 years after its destruction. It is, therefore, very likely that the translation was not made till some time after their arrival in Greece, since, if they had been known there before, this. lawgiver would hardly have taken the trouble of collecting and transcribing them in AJia, which, it is faid, he did; and is they were never intire in Greece before, it cannot, with any probability, be thought that they were: written originally in the Greek language. Again, we find, according to Sir Isaac, page 59, that when Lycurgus was publishing his laws, being old, " Terpander, a "famous lyric poet, began to flourish; for he imitated "Orpheus and Homers and fung Homers verses and his "own, and wrote the laws of Lycurgus in verse, and was u victor in the Pythic games in the twenty sixth Olym"piad." By which it may be suggested, that Terpander had never seen Homer s works before Lycurgus brought them to Greece, and admiring them, began to imitate them himself; and that, very likely, after their translation; or perhaps he might be the translator. However, the chronological tables of the noble Univerfal History differ from Sir Isaac's, in placing the taking of Troy in the 1184th year before Christ, which makes it 280 years earlier; and in making the return of Lycurgus, from his travels among the Pelafgians, happen in the 884th year before Chrisiy 174 years sooner than.Sir Isaac makes it..
From this discovery of Diodorus concerning Homer s master, it is easy to see his reason for bestowing great applause upon the Pelasgians. He faw his master, Pronopides) teaching him knowledge, probably in their language and letters, and his love of learning inspired him with an high veneration for a people, of whom he was one, and through whom the most sublime literature was conveyed to him, whofe taste was so exquisite, and the enjoyment of his refined knowledge so great, that he was transported to express his gratitude to his glorious predecessors, in the work which immortalized himself.
I Must here add another reason for my opinion, that the works of Homer were translations from the Pelasgic: now, if we consider, by way of analogy, the state of the English Janguage at this time, and its condition before, and at the time of, Chaucer, surely we must own it to be now in its perfection, and that it required a long time to bring it to its present improvement. Is not this the cafe of Homer s writings, as we now have them before us? The language is in its perfection, and required no less time to ripen it, than every one of the European tongues has taken up for its cultivation. Many would be apt to fay, the language of Chaucer was very barbarous; and, perhaps, he might have thought that of his ancient predecessors was so too, compared with his own: just so the Greeks, in their day, counted the language of the Pelafgians; and it was some centuries after Cadmus, that the Greek language appeared in the state in which the elastics are handed down to us.
Our language is a mixture of several, and yet each of these, from which it has borrowed its parts, is perfect too: so that the Englt/b tongue is now exactly in the fame state, with regard to its component parts, that the Greek was in, in the time of Lycurgus; and it is not unlikely that he had some hand in translating Homer s works; for it is more than probable tha the understood the Pelasgian, as he resided among them for several years, in forming the codex of laws he afterwards established at Sparta.
There is also another argument, and, in my opinion, not a trivial one, which induces me to think, that, if these old authors, mentioned by Diodorus, used the Pelasgian letters, they must have wrote in the language of the Pelasgians only; and that is, that as they had but seventeen letters, which were always sufficient, in every case, in their own language, they can hardly be faid to have wrote in Greek, which cannot be expressed without additional letters, to the amount of twenty-four; and it is plain, from what is faid in other places of this work, that seven were added to the seventeen primary letters, as the alterations in the Pelasgic were going on; for new powers were wanting, to express the mutilations and additions that gradually were introduced into the old language, which, at length, grew into a new one. Diodorus very punctually distinguishes between the old and the new, where he mentions the poem Phrygia) of the Pelasgian poet, Thymœtes, on Dionysus..