The Etruscan Man. (continued)
The geological sketch of early Italy ended, I would offer a few remarks concerning the successive immigrations into the Italian Peninsula which finally brought the Etruscans ‑‑ racial movements established either by old traditions or by modern science, especially craniology; and carefully investigated by later writers, especially by Pictet of Geneva, and more recently by Schleicher and Conestabile. It is beyond the scope of these pages to notice the great Mongoloid (?) or Turanian (?) substratum ‑‑ which Professor Hunfalvy would prudently call non Aryan, and which M. Thomas and his numerous school would make superior in culture to the Aryan, [footnote 1: I will not attempt to resume the discussion about the origin of Aryan. Some (older school) derive it simply from ar, the plough, which seems to have originated in Bactria and Irán; others find many Sanskrit and Zend roots, as arth, ridh, rh, and r, meaning noble, worthy, rich, honoured. Again, the Zendavestan tradition assigns to Thraetavna (Indra) three sons, Airya, Caizima (Shem?), and Tuirya (Tur, Turan). Firdausi (10th century) makes the three races sons of Furaydún, and his Pehlevi Irij (Airja) was the youngest but the steadiest of all] everywhere
met by the intruding family; [footnote 1: it is still uncertain whether the first neolithic cavemen were of Iberian, Mongoloid, or Aryan stock] or to enter into the subject of the Basques, whom Doctor Broca, despite their splendid type, moral as well as physical, would consider autochthonous, and whom Prince Louis Lucien Bonaparte would make, with Humboldt, Grimm, And, and Rask, remote kinsmen of the modern Finns and Uralians. Nor will my list include the modern Shipetar, Albanians whose origin is still a mystery, [footnote 2: perhaps the most mysterious part of their language is the way in which it explains the oldest Greek terms (Fallmerayer: Das Albane Elem. in Griechenland). Plutarch says that swift footed was ΑΕΠΕΤΕ in the dialect of Epirus: it is still Chpéte in the tongue of the Tosks or Southerns, and Shpéte amongst the Gheghs or Northerns] the Gipsies from the Valley of the Indus, and the Magyars, the latest flood which the east poured into Europe.
Sogdiana and Bactriana ‑‑ apparently the earliest seats of settled life agriculture and comparative civilisation ‑‑ appear to have been the cradle of the conquering race whose dispersion throughout the furthest regions of the West was accomplished before the tenth century BC; and the following are the four successive waves whose influx is admitted by modern anthropologists: ‑‑
I. The Kelts first left the family home; the
ethnologic law declaring those tribes to be the oldest who have been driven to the extremities of continents: ‑‑ the voice of all history is in favour of their superior antiquity. They are supposed to have taken the direction of ancient Hyrcania; to have passed south and west of the Caspian, as they planted colonies in the Caucasian Albania and Iberia; and to have entered Europe, of course by land, via the southern shores of the Black Sea and the Danube Valley. Thence they spread westward far and wide; they occupied, in historical ages, western Austria, northern Italy, the broad lands afterwards called Gaul, the Pyrenean countries, and the British Islands. This race is supposed to have brought with it the neolithic Stone Age and its constant accompaniment, pottery. We can hardly assign the movement to a date later than thirty centuries BC. [Footnote 1: The wide extension of the race justifies Pelloutier (Hist. des Celtes, page 10), who, like the Ulster King At Arms (ETRVRIA CELTICA), is generally ridiculed for seeing Kelts everywhere.]
II. The Aryopelasgi are supposed to have emigrated either at the same time as, or shortly after, the Kelts, and they followed the same line, by Ariana and Parthia, but a little to the south; this is shown by their traces in Asia Minor and on the Aegean, the
Hellespont, and Propontis, till, travelling by land, they reached the Mediterranean shores, Greece, Thrace, Illyria, and Italy, as far as the Alps, where they mingled with the Keltic Gauls. [Footnote 1: Mr. Edward A. Freeman, judging from the similarity of the Latin and Greek tongues, would make these cognate families of Aryans branch off from the original stock as one swarm (?) and part, most probably, (?) at the head of the Adriatic Gulf.] This second emigration would continue till the fifteenth century BC.
III. The Scanandinavoteuton appears much later in history, which, of course, ignores his first coming. The group may be divided into two distinct sections, the former being judged more ancient, for the same reason as the Kelts, namely, having been pushed further west by subsequent invaders; but the similarity, amounting almost to identity, of physique, temperament, character, and even language, shows them to be brothers rather than cousins. They are supposed to have turned north of the Aral Lake and the Caspian ‑‑ the negative proof being that there are no remains of them to the south ‑‑ to have extended over Scythia and Sarmatia, the land of the Slavs, and to have entered Europe via the upper Danube and the Rhine. Hence they extended to the Baltic and to where the North Cape prevented further progress. This was
the noble barbarian blood which overran the declining Roman Empire.
IV. The Lithuanoslavs, the last great wave, passed by Asiatic Sarmatia, crossed the Volga, and occupied the eastern parts of the European Continent, where population was thinnest. Their ninety millions still hold nearly half of it, being limited by a meridional line, connecting the western extremities of the Baltic with the Adriatic, bounding the Scandinavoteutons on the south and east, as these bound the Kelts; and they are preponderant in Old Prussia, Lithuania, Russia, and European Turkey; in parts of Hungary; in Bohemia, and in the eastern regions of Austria. As the Latin race is of the Past, so the glories and triumphs in arts and arms await the Future of the youngest member of the family ‑‑ it is, perhaps, the most interesting, when we think not of what it has been, but of what it will be. This emigration appears in history about the third and fourth centuries AD; and the Sarmatian words, Hun, Geloni, and Sciri, or Scirri, have given a terrible significance to the modern Scythian. But we may fairly doubt this movement of the Slavs. The learned Fortis has detected not a few Slav roots in the names of regions and cities preserved by the Roman biographers and
historians of Dalmatia; and the Eneti or Veneti of the Baltic, who, distinct from the Euganeans, [footnote 1: the brachycephalic Euganeoveneti are generally reputed Illyrians or Illyriogreeks (the brachycephalic Albanians?). Grotefend (Zur Geographie von Alt‑Italien. Hanover, 1840‑1842) would derive the Italic aborigines from Illyria ‑‑ which, to say the least, is not proven] named Venice, and whom Mommsen suggests may be Illyrians or Albanians, are still preserved in the Wenden of adjoining Styria, popularly known as Slovenes. This would denote the presence of the Slavs in southern Europe many centuries before the date usually assigned to them: the question is highly interesting, but here our business is with the second, not the fourth, member of the family.
The first wave of the Aryopelasgi may have displaced the palaeolithic peoples to whom many attribute such archaic titles of the Tiber as ALBVLA, RVMON, and SERRA. These were the Fauns and Satyrs, the Caci and Cyclopes, the Nymphs and Dryads of a subsequent mythology: here we find the TERRAE FILII, the ABORIGINES of the classics,
GENSQVE VIRVM TRVNCIS ET DVRO ROBORE NATVM.
[Jeff Hill's footnote: And also the race, oaken treetrunk of resources and born from hard oakwood.]
The earliest families would be the Iapyges of Apulia; the old Italian or Messapian coast, now the Calabrias; the Ausones and the Opici, [footnote 2: Thucydides (VI, 2). On this Professor Calori remarks: (Della stirpe and the rest, page 19): Per Opici non si devono intendere gli Oschi soli, ma i terrigeni od originarii italici, da Ope terra. [Jeff Hill's footnote: Through the use of the name Opici must not only be understood the Oscan people, but also the autochthonous or aboriginal Italic people, derived from the word Ope, meaning earth] Philistus in Dionysios (I, 22) declares that the occupants of Sicily were Ligurians, led by Siculus, son of Italus] Obsci, or Osci,
who drove into Sicily the Siculi of central Italy and the other kindred tribes of Lucania and Campania ‑‑ in fact, those thrust into the extremities of the Peninsula by subsequent invaders. They found the mysterious Ligurians who occupied, not only modern Liguria as far south as the Tiber, but also the greater part of Italy, and who apparently extended for considerable distances northwards and northwestwards, to parts of France and even into Spain. The Ligurian type of brachycephalic skull is found, not only in the Certosa, but at Torre della Maina in the Modenese (Calori and Nicolucci: La stirpe Ligure in Italia ne' tempi antichi e moderni. Atti del' Accad. delle Scienze di Napoli, I, 1865). The author holds that this race, cognate with the Iberians and the Siculi, occupied the greater part of Italy.
The second great influx is that of the Umbrians and the PRISCI LATINI, forming the groupe Italiote of Mommsen. The former, rounding the head of the Adriatic and penetrating into the Apennines, occupied Tuscany (Dionysios Halicarnassus, I, 19), the region between the Alps and the Apennines ‑‑ in fact, the eastern lowlands of Italy. The Volsci,
Samnites, and Sabines, the Aequi and Campani (ANTIQVISSIMVS POPVLVS, Pliny and Florus) were branches of this tree, and it can hardly date after the twentieth century BC. The Latins, who appeared about the same time as, or a little after, the Umbri, taking the westward line after leaving Lombardy, established themselves on the occidental lowlands of Latium, upon the basin of the Tiber, where the marshes and lagoons of that age permitted, and perhaps in Campania, the lands of the Opici. These tribes, marching by land, must consequently have passed through Venetia, Lombardy, Emilia, and Romagna, doubtless leaving scattered settlements en route, for the course of history was not so regular as it appears on paper. All had a knowledge of metals, certainly of bronze, and, perhaps, except the earliest, of iron: this fact we find in the prehistoric terramare or mariere, the kitchen middens and the pile villages.
The Umbrolatins were shortly followed by the earliest maritime emigration, that of the Graecopelasgi,which poured into Italy via Arcadia, Thessaly, and especially Epirus (Albania). They settled themselves in Magna Graecia, containing Iapygia (Apulia), Italia Proper (the Calabrias), and Oenotria
(Lucania). By degrees these three great groups, marching over as many several routes to the centre of the Italic Peninsula, conquered, by arts rather than arms, the Ligurians, and the VIVIDVS VMBER, [Jeff Hill's footnote: full of life Umbrian] including his Sabine, Samnite, and other kinsmen, [footnote 1: NAM VMBRIA PARS TVSCIAE EST, [Jeff Hill's footnote: For Umbria is a part of Toscana] says Servius (at The Aeneid, XII, 753); and Strabo (V, 1) informs us that before Rome rose to power the Umbri and the Tyrrheni fought for supremacy. Pliny (III, 8) tells us: VMBRO (the modern Ombrone river which bisects Tuscany) NAVIGIORVM CAPAX ET AB EO TRACTVS VMBRIAE PORTVSQVE TELAMON. Again: ETRVRIA EST AB AMNE MACRA. Solinus, Servius, and Isidore report: VETERVM GALLORVM VMBROS PROPAGINEM ESSE, and the former would derive the name AB IMBRIBVS] together with the PRISCI LATINI; extended themselves into Tuscany and the Padan valley, where their earliest settlement was known as Spina; and reduced to Pelasgian rule all the choicest regions east of the modern Lamonc or Santerno River. Their empire, characterised by its Cyclopean or Pelasgian constructions, must be held to begin with the fifteenth or even the seventeenth century BC; and its decadence, which might have arisen from cosmical causes, earthquakes and eruptions, is related by history with fables and supernaturalisms which, superficially considered, have made the name of Pelasgi sound quasimythical ‑‑ like the knights‑errant of the Round Table. And yet there is no
people concerning whom the voice of antiquity speaks with a clearer or a surer sound. [Footnote 1: Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, Dionysios Halicarnassus, Vergil and his commentators (Servius), Strabo (especially V, 1), Pliny, Pausanias, Silius Italicus, e non pochi moderni fino alla noja. The tradition of the three streams is preserved in the names of Iapyx, Daunus, and Peucetius, the three sons of the Illyrian king Lycaon.]
The decay of the Graecopelasgi was followed by the emigration of the Pelasgotyrrhenians, [footnote 2: Pliny (III, 8): VMBROS, INDE EXEGERE ANTIQVITVS PELASGI, HOS LYDII. Dionysios Halicarnassus (ANTIQ. ROM., I, 20) tells us that the Pelasgi, uniting with the aborigines, took Umbrian Crotona and used it as an ARX and a defence against its former owners] the Lydians, or Maeonians, from Asia Minor, which still kept up its connection with Greece and Italy. The Turscha, Turs'a, Tuirs'a, and Turis'a of the Egyptian annals, the ACERRIMI TVSCI of Vergil, are supposed to have come by sea about the fourteenth century BC, and they occupied, as a great military power, the central peninsula with 300 OPPIDA (Pliny, III, 14), raising themselves upon the ruins of the former races. They are generally believed to have first founded the Tyrrhenian Federation of the West, Etruria Madre, and to have crossed the Apennines and occupied the Circumpadan regions, Etruria Nova, as far as the Alps (Herod., Clio, 94), and, lastly, Etruria Campania or Opicia, in the twelfth or, perhaps, in
the thirteenth century BC. [Footnote 1: Varro (in Censorinus, DE DIE NATALI, chapter 17) says 450 years before Rome was founded. Niebuhr (I, 138) also carries back the first Etruscan SAECVLVM to BC 1188, or the 434th year VRBIS CONDITAE] [Jeff Hill's 434 years A.U.C. footnote: PRO 434 A.U.C..] This would be about the date of the Trojan war (popularly BC 1184), and some four centuries before Rome was built. But the superior antiquity of the Rhaetoetruscan alphabet, the rarity of Felsinean inscriptions observed in almost every tomb of Middle Etruria, and the archaic finds of the Tyrol and Bolognese territories, may suggest that emigrations by land, and perhaps settlements, accompanied, or even preceded, the sea voyages; hence, possibly, the northeastern was the most sacred quarter to the Etruscans. These peoples brought with them the Phaenicogreek alphabet, and applied it to the dialect peculiar to or adopted by them. Thus the learned Corssen (Die Sprache der Etrusker) finds that the Etruscan alphabets form three groups ‑‑ Common, Campanian, and Northern ‑‑ whilst each has some peculiar letters, and others similar in form, but different in sense. They are closely related to the oldest Greek of the peninsula (Cumae and Neapolis), and this, again, is the same as used by the Chalcidian colonies of Sicily. They had learned the use of tin in the Caucasian regions, which supplied Egypt:
the mines next worked were in Spain, and lastly came the Kassiterides, with which the Phoenicians had traded, probably during the domination of the Shepherd kings, the Syroaramaean Bedawi invaders of Egypt, typified by Abraham and Lot, between the twenty first and the seventeenth centuries before our era. The Etruscan rule, which, in the fifth and sixth centuries BC, embraced nearly all Italy, lasted ‑‑ with the interval of conquest by the Kymric Boii in BC 396 [footnote 1: the legend says that on the same day Veii was taken by the Romans] ‑‑ till BC 281, and its dialect till BC 202; thus the life of the nation ranged between nine hundred and a thousand years.
Etruscan Bologna, A Study