Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Again, in reference to the Ktfifiepwt Tpiwces. It is borne out on the testimony of the Greek Historian, as well as on certain reasonable deductions drawn therefrom, that this warlike race, in their onward march, managed to subdue the mixed inhabitants of the interior, and re-occupied, as a people claiming prescriptive rights to the soil, the old Cimmerian provinces of Galatia, Cappadocia, Cilicia, and the hilly regions of Mynydd Tor or Mount Taurus in the south, which had in their turn been subjugated under foreign yoke. Virgil may possibly throw a ray of light of distant ages on these Triones—a race probably not altogether unversed in astronomical studies—during their residence either at Caer Troiau, Deffrobam, or in a more northern climate.

"Hie canit errantem lunam solisque labores

"TJade hominum genus, et pecudes; unde imber, et ignes

"Arcturum, pluviasque Hyades, Geminosque Triones,

"Quid tantum oceano properent se tingere soles

"Hiberni, vel quse tardis mora noctibus obstet.

"Ingemenaiit plausu Tyrii, Troesque sequuntur."

The Triones in this passage are alleged to refer to the two bears—i. e., Ursa major and Ursa minor. The Latins generally interpreted this term under that of "the ploughing oxen "— "hence, septemtrio, and also septemtriones, the north, namely the seven stars, or oxen (triones), formerly the constellation of the Great Bear, near the North Pole."

It is further stated respecting them, that they happen, however, not to be devoid of a certain degree of civilization—that they were divided into separate communities under different governments or tyrannies—that their cities were numerous and well fortified, and some of the valleys which they cultivated were extremely fertile, producing cor n in abundance, while the higher ground was clothed with vines and olives. I shall want the Olympic twigs, the Pindaric olives, and the germinal sprigs of the Ceres-ian Ciros, &c, in the course of my remarks on druidical ceremonies, as evidence in my court of Cimmerian enquiry.

In the Cimmerian prehistoric province of Cilicia is to be found the subterranean druidical cave, or temple of Corycos, much celebrated by Greek and Roman authors, as well as by modern travellers of distinction. Its wonders have been canvassed under every aspect of art, religion, and social life ; and are alleged to be amalgamated with the primitive ideas of our Cimbric or Celtic giants, in the construction of such stupendous, Cyclopean monuments.

"Vos et Cyclopea saxa

"Experti."

Pomponius Mela states that the descent on a gradually-inclined plane, from the summit of the mountain to the temple-like cavern below, amounted to 10 stadia,—i. e., a measure of ground equal to 1250 paces, or yards. On this a modern author thus

B

observes:—" This singular, romantic spot, which might vie with the gardens of Adonis, and with the grottoes of Mithras, was not neglected by pagan superstition; a temple was erected to Apollo, the Bel of the Cimbri. The bed of a river was shewn in a recess of the cave." Others impute the shrine to Jupiter Tonans, the Taranis of the Cimbri.

In some respects this cave bears an analogy to its prototypean model, the Inkerman caverns in the Crimea, already surmised as the work of the Cimmerians, and corroborating, as far as certain facts, times, figures, and deductions can go, an identity of subterranean artistic skill for purposes of druidical worship, on the part of the same people under apposite circumstances.

Similar caverns, but on "a smaller scale, will be found among the druidical fastnesses of the Carnutes in Gallia Antiqua, near the modern town of Chartres, as also among the cliffs of Colhngh, Ogfawr, the Caerau of Caercrugian, &c, in Ynys Prydain and Iwerddon.

"Myfi wyf Taliesin
"Pen beird y Gorllewin
"A wu bob gorsin
"Gogof Gorthewin."

Which I paraphrase as follows :—" I am the ovate Taliesin, Chief bard of the West, acquainted with the secret language, or bearing, of every shrub, branch, or flower, found within the sacred Castalian cavern, well, or lake of the Arch-Druid."

In endeavoring to illustrate the correlative value of the above recorded facts by the auxiliary testimony of the Triads, and the historical bards, as well as the Cimbric interpretations of places known in the aforesaid provinces in prehistoric times, great difficulties present themselves to my mind with reference to the real Cimmerian, Persian, Assyrian, Phoenician, Greek or Latin names found on the page of ancient Asiatic history; which again in modern times have become interspersed with Arabian and Turkish terminations, or in most instances with names of a totally Turkish origin,—adapted, however, in some cases, to the development of the idea conveyed in the Cimmerian expressions. A little patience and research into the arcana of past literature will perhaps enable a careful philologist to arrive at something intact as far as primeval roots are concerned; I do not pretend to decide ex cathedra; be it a-irmed, once for all,—I am only adding my mite of help to the cosmopolitan enquirer after hidden historic pearls.

An attentive etymologist, then, from adaptations already made, and about to be forthcoming, of Cimmerian, or Cimbric names, by Greek and Latin authors into their own tongues, cannot be at a loss to discern the kernel from the husk—the root from the superincumbent branches. More dependence, however, is to be placed. I feel convinced, on the ear, when the laws of inflection are understood, than on the ceil or eye solely, as an ocular or auricular case in point, in logically detecting and unravelling historic derivations from one foreign language into the other. But both taken together, and thoroughly analyzed, afford a clue to to what was before an 'umbra nominis'—an untouched, an insolvable element of life.

The Greeks and Romans derive the Asiatic term Corycos from KpoKog, a crocus, of which the soil is, as it is said, prolific; but the flower may have received its name from the mountain, which produced it in such abundance—but this is of no great moment. "I am of opinion," says a learned writer, " that the names of mount, rock, and promontory, »espectively called Kpayoe, Kopvicoe, icopuKeaiov—cragos, corycos, and corycesion, by the Greeks as well as natives, are of Scythian-Cimmerian origin," preserved and borrowed rather, I should say, by the former, and invented by the latter, as older inhabitants of the region under discussion have, historically and strictly speaking, a prior claim over any successors whatever. Take other quarters of the globe as your guide in original nomenclatures.

For we have seen it decidedly inferred that certain branches of the grand Cimmerian family had, once, settled together in Cilicia; and there can be no doubt but that the Celtic, in prehistoric Asiatic annals, bore here and there a striking similarity to the Cimmerian language, as will be explained hereafter more fully.

A cursory glance, however, at some of these interpretations may not perhaps be deemed amiss, while we travel together amid the Cimbro-Celtic rocks and creeks, mountains and rivers, of Asia Minor.

Now craig, crag, creag, in Cimbric and Celtic languages, signify a rock, a hard crust or coating, a precipice, from the Cimbric crai, heat or strength (igneous formation); Corrach, in Gaelic, is 'steep'; Goruwch, in Cimbric {i.e., Welsh), is 'very high,'—in contradistinction to is, low, flat, level; Kroagen signifies a rock, in Irish. Creach, in Bas Breton, signifies a hill, and Karreg a rock.

Here, then, we have a rocky, high, lofty glimpse of thedruidical Coryc-ian (CoruwchJ cavern 'looming in the distance,' with the high town of Coryc-us standing on the eminence, and overlooking the low, sandy, level town Iss-us at its base, fringed by an unmapped streamlet.

The Cimmerians, on quitting Asia Minor, carried the remembrance (not to quote a plurality of examples), of their lower city with them to Lucania, Picenum, and Ynys Prydain, as Is, now Issa; CEsis, and is-is, now the Oise.

With regard to the name of the province in which these Cimmerian reliquice were found I must crave your attention. Cilicia is derived from the root cil, a back, a recess, a retreat: hence cilio, to retreat, and ac-vc, yonder, in that place. And was the limited ultima regio of the prehistoric Cilicians in southern Asia Minor, having the Mediterranean as its recess, or retreat, on the south, and the lofty mountain range of Amanus at its back, or retreat on the east? beyond which frontier limits it would be futile to look for them after their departure from central Asia.

Again, along the northern frontier of this province stands out in bold relief, the lofty, abrupt, rugged summits of Mount Taurus. This term cannot well be derived from the Cimbric tarw, bull; much less from its borrowed equivalent Taupoc; but from the Cimmerian or Armenian twr or tor, an abrupt break, or rupture in the range of mountain peak, as discovered in the old glossaries. The early Asiatic races claim a sort of immemorial prescriptive right of paternity over this and the anti-Tor-Armenian range from a long pre-Grecian residence at the base and slopes of each for ages. The term was no doubt Graecised, according to a wise princible of rule and practice, from its sound, into Tavp-oe; and servilely animalised into Taur-us, which in addition to a scholastic, capricious change of a into cv in A^iv-oe, probably gave rise to that wonderful superstructure of ferocity, wrecksavageness, ox-headedness, horn-goreing, Centaur-like character of the poor unfortunate mountaineers of the Crimea, who were, accordingly, sapiently termed Tavpoi, TavpiKoi, Tauri, Tauridi; and condemned, malgre eux, as Nebuchadnezzar was of old, to crawl on all-fours, sub Jove frigido, by grave and potent philologists, and out-witted historians, who allowed themselves to be butted like timid groups of maidens fair, in open field and light of day,

Let us, now, retrace our steps, and, Greek-like, re-cross the bullroaming mountain ranges that separate us from the Rivers Halys and Melas, to whose flowery banks, along the plains, I invite you all to follow me.

On this latter river the pri mitive inhabitants suffered a sad defeat under the Medes and Persians under Darius. It has its source in the centre of Cappadocia, not far from Mount Argee, or Argeus; from whose lofty summit both the Black and Mediterranean seas are said to be visible; it discharges itself into the Euphrates in one of the defiles of Mount Tor. Mount Argee, however, seems to glory in its aerial isolation in the midst of extensive plains, as the receiver-general of the rain of heaven in its capacious internal basins; and consequently is the fertiliser-general of the surrounding plains for hundreds of miles east and west. Hence its happy and most natural appellation of Argae, or cronfa dwfr, from ar cae, receptacle, or reservoir, of water, enclosed within the mountain, out of which the waters are known to ooze forth in every direction in perennial springs and fountains, full a hundred miles from its base.

Sub sonitu Tauri vel falsa nominis umbra.

[graphic]

Our primitive inhabitants, true as the bards to nature and her laws, gave the name of Melas to the stream that pleased their tastes, from mel, honey, and toys, water, in contradistinction to the unsavory flavor of its neighbor stream, Halys or Helys, derived from halen, salt, or alkaline, and its root hdl, a salt marsh, which was of an admittedly briny, sour-tasting flavor, from the historically-acknowledged impregnation of certain mineral red-like particles of matter deposited along its course to the Aigwn, or the Euxine.

The Turks, as if in conscious corroboration of its Cimmerian derivation, have even given it the name of Kisil-Ermak, or Red River. «

In addition to this testimony, I find the old Cimmerian name of Carasu, (or Croess-aw), the welcome, sweet-tasted Melas,—as in fond remembrance of that endearing torrent in their own lost fatherland, in their beloved Crimea; a practice in usage, whenever available by early colonists in every part of the globe, be it remembered, whether among Greeks and Romans in distant colonies, or among Portuguese and Spaniards in America—a practice, too, handed down to British colonists throughout the length and breadth of our own Australia and New Zealand.

I will not trouble you with but one or two more derivations of names given by the primitive inhabitants of the upper provinces.

There is an extensive mountain range, separating Cappadocia from Pontus called Parydres. The term has its roots in pdr, a germ, and edre, recreation. I leave it toothers to decide whether the slopes, or recesses of the hills, formed a summer recreative retreat from the heat of the plains, or whether the signification should be attributed to certain fertilising germs or qualities, in the soil, in the rapid growth and development of certain natural productions peculiar to the locality.

The Province of Pontus must now attract our attention for a little while. You may remember that it was the first ground in Asia Minor that the Cimmerians must have trodden, after having left the defiles of Colchis. Pontus abounds in river-streams and rivulets to an unusual degree. Hence arose the necessity of at once, or from time to time, constructing temporary crossings, in the shape of wooden logs, or bridges (from the root pont, a bridge), for the purpose of conveying, or transporting, their families and chattels on their petorrita or primitive waggons to their assigned settlements throughout this impervious water-logged district.

It then becomes, par excellence, the earliest bridge-spanned region of the Cimmerian Pont-us.

I am afraid this tedious overland route of mine, which the eastern division traced for itself in Asia Minor, has somewhat staggered and exhausted your patience,—but, en revanche, I will take you to the sea-coast to breathe the fresh air of Cordyla (from

« ПредишнаНапред »