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CIMMERICA COMMERCIA ANTIQUITATIS.
“Her commerce spread to many a distant land
THE Commerce of Ynys Prydain, or Albion (as the island is described by Aristotle, in his ' De Mundo'), must now attract our attention.
“Εν τω ωκεανω γη μεν νησοι μεγισται τε τυγχανουσι, συσαι δυο, Bperavikai leyoueva. Axßlov kai Iepvn”: In oceano insulæ duæ sitæ sunt, quam maxime, quas BRITANNICAS appellant, Albion et Jerva.
These Hyperborean islands of the west commanded notice at so early a period in the prehistoric annals of the world, that no precise era can be assigned, either to the original settlers or even to the later arrival of the Phænician navigators of Tyre and Sidon, who are reputed, as the first representatives of the East, to have traded on its coasts for tin, lead, copper, (coal ?) hides, oysters, fish, and so forth.
The following remarks may, perhaps, in some measure, tend, if not to solve the problem, at least to throw some additional light on the mysteries of the past, and evoke our national existence.
Under the different nomenclatures originally given to the • Insulæ Britannicæ' or islands peculiarly dedicated to the name and colonizing attributes of Prydain and his race, may be classed, inter alias, the Mosaic · Isles of the West,' a title first embodied and confirmed in Holy Writ about 2348 B. C., as
“ By these [i.e., the descendants of Japhet, our progenitor] were the · Isles of the West' divided in their lands, every one after his tongue, after their families in the nations."
His offspring is further mentioned by king David, in 1015 B. C., as producers and distributors of presents.' What were these presents ?
These unique tokens of a country's weal will manifest themselves, I trust, in almost every quarter of the world, as the germ of early Gomeric enterprise and skill.
“ The kings of Tarshish [i. e., Tartessus] and [the kings] of the Isles shall bring presents.”
Here I perceive the first glimpse of native insular or Cimmerian industry, the first allusion to the unbenaeth or sovereignty of the isles as kings of the ISLES, as contradistinguished from those of Tarshish, their neighbors. Tarshish was also Tartessus, Gadir, and Gades, consecutively.
“Gadir prima fretum solida super eminet Arce
“Æquora provecti tenuere.” Tartess-us may be derived from twr, a tower, a citadel, and twys, a top, a summit. Gadir, Punicè, may be derived from gha-dira, • standing water,'' marshy ground,' a watery tract of land ;' or, Cimmericè, from gad, the leaving, the quitting, the refuse, and dwr, water,—that is, 'the drained district of stagnant water;' and corresponds therein to Gades or Gadwys, from gad, and wys, water.
Isaiah, B.C. 712, alluding to the overthrow of Tyre, thus writes, “ The burden of Tyre, howl ye ships of Tarshish, be still ye inhabitants of the isle, thou whom the merchants of Zidon that pass over the sea have replenished.”
Again, the prophet Jeremiah, in the year 606 B. c. (about the era of Abaris, the Celtic druid), is somewhat more explicit with reference to the geographical position of these isles, from information, possibly, imparted either by Cimmerian navigators or mercenaries in the service of rival nations, or by Phænician traders—(the former having on several occasions repeated the attempt of re-occupying their former Asiatic and Crimean possessions). Whatever might have been the mundane source of information, the prophet states, on inspiration from on high,
“And all the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon, and the ‘kings of the Isles which are beyond the sea.'”.
What sea ? The Mediterranean, no doubt, is meant; but the isles must have been in some other sea or ocean beyond. Consequently, their position must have been geographically placed in the Atlantic ocean; for, elsewhere, the Mediterranean is styled * the sea which is at thy gates,' as Tyre was situated at the cxtreme east or Tyrian entry of the sea.
The prophet Ezekiel, writing in 588 B. C., still enlarges the sphere of our knowledge by a categorical description of certain articles imported from “ the many isles." Let us ascertain whether Britannia or Albion, Ierne or Thule, may have been referred to and embodied with their insular dependencies.
To a group of islands on the south-western extremity of Albion or · Isle of the West' was given the name of Cassite Nides, from some indigenous exclusively inherent produce of the isles in question--namely, kagoitɛPos, or tin. The imputed tin of Banca and the peninsula of Malacca has only been known in comparatively modern times. No proof whatever of its existence can be classic : cally traced, except in the cloistered romances of modern theorists.
This unique and otherwise rare and unknown article of foreign and domestic traffic was prehistorically dug, worked and smelted into blocks, and primarily exported to the extremities of the then known world, for barter and exchange among the industrial nations of east and west, by the original Cimmerian discoverers of the mines. “ The prophet,” according to the author of “The Evidence of Profane History,' “ represents the commerce of the antique world as carried on by barter, and speaks of an exchange of merchandize, the different nations bringing the productions of their own and other countries to the Tyrians, who generally imported raw materials and exported their wares, the produce of their industry and skill.” Does the importation and exportation of cotton, coal, pig-iron, and other raw materials, now-a-days, preclude or exclude the native transformation of such articles into objects of utility or gaseous light, in the countries in which they may be pre-eminently grown, worked, or exhumed ?
• The first who are spoken of by the prophet as bringing the multitude of all kinds of riches' to the fairs of Tyre are the merchants of Tarshish. The expression ·Ships of Tarshish'appears to be sometimes used in the Holy Scriptures to denote trading vessels in general; and how far this may be the case in the present instance we cannot take upon us to determine; but it is generally supposed that the Tarshish here mentioned means Spain, on account of the metals—silver, iron, tin, and lead, with which the merchants [of the West] traded, and because the Phoenicians are known to have made early settlements in that country, and to have worked [?] the mines of precious metals with which Spain formerly abounded.”.
• Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kinds of riches; with silver, iron, TIN, and lead, they traded in thy fairs."
And again, “ Tyrus, thou that art situated at the entry of the sea [Here the Mediterranean is distinctly pointed out and contrasted with the Atlantic, or sea beyond] which art a merchant of the people for many Isles.”
Let us now revert to other sources of information, namely, the earlier cyclic or Homeric period, corresponding partly with the age of kings. David and Solomon, and what do we find ? A certain article of commerce that was never found on the earth's surface, or, more correctly speaking, dug or extracted from any soil,
elsewhere than in Ynys Prydain and its insular dependencies, namely, ynysoedd y Casystaen or Cassitenides, (notwithstanding the lexiconic theories of an unfounded Malacca trade in tin.)
Hence were this and other articles of commerce (not exclusively indigenous to the soil of Tartessus) exported to, and consequently deposited in the different continental marts of, Armoric Gaul, the northern and western coasts of the Celtic and co-linguist portion of the Cantabri, the Pæsici, the Bracarii, for the dailyincreasing wants of their war-like and agricultural implements.
Hence, also, was it exported to the Lusitani, the Lurdetani, and the flourishing southern metropolis of the Peninsula—the city of Tartessus, or the Tarshish of the Scriptures, which was at that time the commercial emporium of its own wares, in silver, iron, and lead,—the depôt of the purchased or bartered tin of South Prydain and its neighboring isles, as well as of the ambr, niekt pov, or amber, of the Baltic, the Cimmerian Mormarwisa of Pliny,—the general market of the produce of all the countries lying outside or beyond the ocean side of Gadyton-ffrwt.
The district of Massilia, similarly, became in time its counterpart within the Moryntîr as the depôt of foreign wares in tin, bronze, and amber, but the producer of home wines, olives, and other succulent fruits peculiar to those regions.
The former may be said to be represented by a Liverpool or a London in its imports and exports. The latter is still retaining its antique sovereignty of commercial aggrandizement in the Moryntîr or Inland Sea.
But what has Homer, or the cyclic poets, to testify respecting the produce of the Isles that are in the Hyperborean sea, in the Hyperborean Isle, the Isle of Britain. He supplies a valuable link in my prehistoric argument, which will be found associated with another metal of peculiar intrinsic value to the commerce and cupidity of mankind, but which will be treated of in a succeeding chapter.
« Δωδεκα δε χρυσoιο και εικοσι κασσιτεροιο.” One of the old scholiasts on the Iliad was so puzzled for a synonyme, or even a passing annotation, for kaooitepos, that he left its meaning unattempted-blank, thus giving us a proof of its foreign origin in word and in deed.
Kao-olt&P-oç is, I contend, a Phænician corruption, or possibly that of the Homeric transcriber, of kao-oltɛN-os. One primeval error procreates another in the ratio of 5, 10, 20, 40, 80, 160, and thus reduplicates itself, in poetic and prosaic copyists, usque ad infinitum, as other historical errors have been known to have done before, with impunity and unchallenged.
Thus, how many Hebrew, Sanscrit, and Chinese terms, as well as French and European, have been modified, quasi-euphonised, or silently murdered, to suit the vocal poverty of English usage, to the detriment of the linqual key-note whence the root originated. Hence, to go no farther than one of the tin islands under consideration : Aestrymnis or oes-trym-nis is an acoustic mutated form of ystormynys=ys-torm-ynys (or, y-storm-inis), the projecting-stormisland, as being, probably, one of the most westerly of the CassiteN-ides, and eventually applied to the group as stormy islands par excellence.
My reasons are the following: I expect reasons in reply:
1.–Now, the mineral substance being the exclusive produce of Prydainic isles, must have had, in the very nature of things, a Cimmerian name prior to the arrival of trafficking foreigners in hyperborean waters, whether of Saxon and Roman traitors, invaders, spoliators, and, to boot, taunters of our lost literature, or of Armorican and Gaulic allies, of Carthaginian, Phocean, Massilian, Phænician, or Tarshishian visitors and merchants.
2.—The metal had two distinct native appellations, on the identified principle of wheat-and-flour or cotton-or-dress-piece nomenclature ; the one, descriptive of its primary appearance when dug or cut out of the earth, as alcan or al, a product, a litter, a native bed, and c-a-n, white; the other, explanatory of its elongating or flattening process while undergoing the act of particle extension, the atomic smelting operation, as cyastaen, casystaen, or simply ystaen or sten, i, e., from cy, a mutual act, and as, a particle, an atom, and taen, akin to tynu or estyn, and each signifying to extend in its own separate manner. The cas is only a crasis, or a contracted form of cy-as ; the ys, 'what issues out of,' and taen or sten, as above.
Thus, kao-lotaev-(os) or kao-OiT£N-(os) would have the reflex of an innate natural meaning already in Cimmerian vogue, and appropriate to the commercial article implied, but denied in toto to kao-Olt&P-os, unless the Phænicians, in the poverty of imitation and paucity of invention, had recourse, on their return to Tyre and Sidon (or Yscadan, the fishing port) to go, moaningly ignorant, to Chaldea, in quest of a verb or noun terminating in e (like the stranger ger), as casdir, that would be good enough to shine in any way for them, for it, and the world, either as the sun, moon, and stars, or as gold, silver, and brass, or as the midnight oil-lamp. For my part, I am loth to believe, as regards the Phoenicians, that the Syro-Chaldaics, or rather the Europæo-Græcists, would have been allowed to take the shine out of' either their own language or out of their own Cimmerian experience of technical words and things.
But, be this as it may, the Umbric Romans gave the phonetic sound of stann-(us), to the one, and that of their future god to the