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abstract qualities, such as El the Strong, Bel, or Baal, the Lord, Belsamin the Lord of Heaven, Moloch the King, Eliun the Highest, Ram, or Rimmon, the Exalted. It was inherent in the type of languages with three consonants that the distinctive sounds remained unimpaired by phonetic decay, and they thus incessantly reminded the Semites of the derivation of the word. The names of the Semite gods, although mere adjectives at first, subsequently became personal appellations, so that the different designations of a single being were transformed into the designations of different beings. Had the Jews not forgotten the signification of El, the Almighty, they would not also have worshipped Baal, the Lord, as a different deity. Thus even the Semitic languages were no protection against polytheism, although temptation was more rarely offered. But the Semites from the first attributed abstract names to their deities, less on account of their language than of their inherent tendency to spiritualize all things.

Ethnology has as yet nothing to do with the important inquiry of our times, as to whether the Semites shared a comparatively small home with the Indo-Europeans, and possessed in common a vocabulary of monosyllabic words. Even the most recent examination of this kind,28 distinguished from its predecessors by a scientific method, has resulted in no decision, but has only revived the hope that, sooner or later, full evidence may be afforded of a primitive community of language between the three great families of the Mediterranean race, which are so closely situated in respect to each other.


Among the inhabitants of Europe, several nations which unquestionably belong to the Mediterranean race in their physical characters, must be separated from them on account of their languages. These are the Basques and certain tribes in the Caucasian countries.

28 Friedr. Delitsch, Studien über indogermanisch-semitische Wurzelverwandtschaft. Leipzic, 1873.

Basques and Caucasians.

(a) The Basques.-This is the name now given to the people of the north-east provinces of Spain, and of a small district in the south-west of France. About half a million in number, they speak Euscara, and call themselves Euscaldunac. The old geographers called them Iberians; they then peopled the whole of Spain and the south-west of France, but were early driven towards the west and south by the Celts, and intermixing with them in the district of the present Catalanian dialect, constituted the Celtiberians. There is great difference of opinion as to the proportions of their skulls. According to Paul Broca the Spanish Basques rank among the mixed semi-dolichocephals, while brachycephals preponderated among the French Basques. Their language, the Euscara, stands quite alone, or has mere analogies with the American type in the structure of words, in that it incorporates a number of prenominal relations into the verb, and also puts together fragments to represent words. The whole sentence does not however merge into a single word, and the substantives are subject to an inflection which has nothing in common with the American method. Of all Europeans we must provisionally hold the Basques to be the oldest inhabitants of our quarter of the world. See Collignon in 2 is trade. V. 276; Scien: (b) Caucasian Peoples.-In addition to scattered tribes in or! V.S. iv. near the Caucasus, which have already been classed among the Turkish branch, or which have yet to be added to the Indo-Ner European family, we come upon nations of the Mediterraneance race whose languages as yet stand quite independently. Thus Daghestân, or the northern slope of the Eastern Caucasus, is peopled by the Avares, the Kasikumuks (not to be confounded with the Turkish Kumuks), the Akusha, the Kürines, and the Udes, who are all called Lekhi by the Georgians, Leksik by the Armenians, and by us Lesgians. Their westerly neighbours, whom the Daghestâns call Mizchegs, term themselves Nachtschuoi. Among their tribes is that of the Tshetshente, who fought obstinately for their independence under their Emir Shamyl, and which name was given to the whole group by the Russians, while



Anthropological Review, vol. vii. pp. 382, 383. London, 1869. 2 Whitney, Study of Language, p. 354.




the Georgians call them Kists. The western hill tribes are divided into the Abkhazi, who own both slopes of the Caucasus and the greater part of the shore, from the Ingur to the Kuban, and the Adigé, or Tsherkess, further to the west and north.

Between the Caucasus and the Anticaucasus, as Palgrave has happily called the northern slope of the Armenian highlands, live natives with kindred languages. These are, in the south-west and on Turkish territory, the Lazes; in the coast districts to the north-west, the Mingrelians; and in the valley of the Ingur to the south of the passes which lead to the Elburz, the barbarous, still almost independent Suanes, so well described by Freshfield, and, lastly, the Georgians, an inland people in the district of the upper and middle Kur; they call themselves Karthuhli, but are termed Gruses by the Russians.3


The relationship in language of these highly developed nations, although long ago suspected, was first proved by Franz Bopp, and has since then been more and more fully recognized. They must all have inhabited one primeval home, and have spoken a primitive language common to them all. August Schleicher1 has shown the gradual divergence of the branches from the stem, and of the the twigs from the branches in a genealogical table, which even now requires but little corrrection.

The Indo-European family divided at an early period into the Asiatic and European Aryans. The Brahminical Indians and the Eranians were the main branches of the Asiatic division. From the Sanscrit of the Brahminical Hindoos sprang the Neo-Indian languages, Bengalee and Orija, in Bengal and Orissa, Nepaulee and Cashmeree, in Nepaul and Cashmere, pure Hindoo and the Urdu, or camp language of the Great Moguls, which is mixed with many foreign ingredients, Punjaubee and Scindhee, and also

3 The linguistic chart in Berghaus's Physikal. Atlas. Ethnographie, is fully sufficient for the present ethnology of the Caucasian territory.

1 Die Darwin'sche Theorie und die Sprachwissenschaft, Plate i. Weimar,

Asiatic and European Aryans.

Mahratha, or the Mahratta language. This branch also includes the language of the Siah Pôsh, or Blackclothes, in Kafiristân2 and that of the enigmatical gipsies, who did not leave India before the year 1000 A.D., and entered our quarter of the world by way of Greece, and are proved to have been in Crete in 1322, in Corfu in 1346, and in Wallachia in 1370.3

The second branch of the Asiatic Aryans comprises the people who spoke Zend, the language of the Avesta, or ancient sacred writings of the Persians, as well as that of the cuneiform inscriptions of the first race of Persian sovereigns, and other nations akin to them. From Zend, mixed with Semitic elements, proceeded Pahlavi, and from the latter modern Persian. To the Zend group also belong the Karduchs of ancient, the Kurds of modern geographers, a hill people of Western Asia, and also the Armenians, whose language resembles Pahlavi, and is supposed to be related to those of the Phrygians and Cappadocians; thirdly, the Iron, or Ossets, of the Caucasus, who very significantly occupy the gorge of Dariel and both its outlets, the only natural road through the great mountain range, deeply dividing both the central chain and the northern line of hills; also the Beloochs of Beloochistan, and, lastly, the Afghans of Afghanistan, who call themselves Bushtaneh, or Pushtaneh, and their language Pashto, or Pachto; but it must be observed that, according to the most recent researches, this Pashto was an independent side-shoot from the bifurcation of the Eranian and Sanscrit branches. We must mention in conclusion the Tadshik of Turkestan, the agricultural slave population of the Khanates of Ozbeg, Khiva, Bokhara, Kokand, and Kashgaria.

European Aryans first separated into North and South Europeans. By North Europeans must here be understood the Letto-Sclavonic and the Germanic branch. The Letto-Sclaves were separated into Letts and Sclavonians, and the Letts again into true Letts and Lithuanians, to whom belonged the Prussians, whose language is now extinct. The East and South Sclavonians


2 Trumpp, Sprach der Kafirn in Zeitschrift der D. Mgld. Gesellschaft. vol. xx. p. 391.

3 F. Miklosich, Zigeuner Europa's. Vienna, 1873.

4 Schläfli gives the names of the various hordes in Petermann's Mittheilungen, 62.


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must be distinguished from the West Sclavonians. To the East Sclavonians belong the Russians, divided according to dialect into Great Russians, White Russians, and Little Russians, or Ruthenians, as they are called in Galicia.

The South Sclavonians, on the other hand, include the Slovak inhabitants of the South-east Alps in Austria, and the inhabitants of Croatia, Servia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. While only slight differences of language distinguish the people above named, the Bulgarian of the Bulgarians of the Danube has become more alien. The inhabitants of Moldavia and Sclavonia are, on the contrary, Romanized South Sclavonians. In language the South and East Sclavonians are more nearly allied to each other than either is to the West Sclavonians. In addition to the Sclavonians of the Elbe, now Germans, the latter include the Vends of Lusatia, whose language forms a fragment which is rapidly diminishing,s the Poles in Posen, in the former kingdom of Poland, and in Western Galicia; thirdly, the Czechs in Bohemia and Meringia, and, lastly, the Slovaks in the northern principalities of Hungary.

The Germanic or second branch of North Europeans diverged into Goths, Scandinavians, and Teutons. The Gothic language has long died out, and is preserved only in the translation of the Bible by Ulfilas. The old northern language of the Scandinavians, on the contrary, still exists in Iceland and the Faroe Islands, and in its continental home has given birth to Dano-Norwegian and Swedish. The language of the Teutons is divided into the Northern or Low German dialects, such as Frisian, Saxon, AngloSaxon, Low German (Platt Deutsch), Dutch, and Flemish; and the Central and Southern German, which, as the language of literature, has become the most important in Germany since the time of the Reformation.

The Southern Europeans were more intricately subdivided. The first to dissever themselves were the ancient Greeks, whose language still exists in good preservation in the form of modern Greek. Their northern neighbours in Thracia and Illyria were

The gradual collapse of this language since 1550 and 1750 has been shown by Richard Andrée in an instructive map. Das Sprachgebiet der Lausitzer Wende.

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