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attributing to the whole nation, what was practised only by a few gymnasts, who daubed their frames with vitrum, woad, or other coloured unguents preparatory to their exhibition on the arena; which custom was, is, and probably will be, the practice of Europe generally, till histories shall be no more. This fanciful ' painted'interpretation was never even slightly, much less seriously entertained, by any philologist possessing a grain of ‘rationale,' in corpore sano; this exploded change has long vented itself in thin air, and is totally unworthy of any future repercussion.
For my part I am disposed to rely on the druidical records of my country, rather than on the terrified imagination of a reconnoiterer, or on the speculative ideas of a crude and credulous posterity, relying on the 'fallacia mendacia' of a former period, to ooze out their impotent dignity.
This antique term, then, according to the triad, is derived distinctly from Prydain ab Aedd Mawr' (Prydain son of Aedd the Great).
“ Tri enw a ddoded ar ynys Prydain o'r dechreuad. Cyn ei chyfanneddu y doded arni Clas Merddin ; a gwedi ei chyfanneddu arni, Y Fel Ynys; a gyrru gwledigaeth arní gan Prydain ab Aedd Mawr, y doded arny ynys Prydain. (Three names were given to the Isle of Britain from the beginning; before it was inhabited, Clas Merddin “the sea-girt green spot”: and after it was inhabited, that of Fel Ynys, “the honey island”: and when the country assumed a form of government by Prydain the son of Aedd the Great, the name of Ynys Prydain was conferred upon it.")
A partial interregnum of name, however, occurred on the arrival and occupation of certain parts of the island by Fryt, when the country for a while assumed the ephemeral dignity of Ynys Brut, according to a rider attached as it were to a clause of the triad.
“ Ag wedy ei goresgyn o Vryty dodes arni Ynys Brut, (And when overcome by Vryt, the name of Ynys Brut was imposed upon it.)”
Post mortem extemplo mutavit nomina tempus. The root of Prydain is discovered in the epithet Pryd, which according to philological interpretation, signifies precious, dear, fair or beautiful, and was at a very early date, accepted as a surname in the British royal family of the island.
Perhaps it would not be considered out of place to give you a list of the fanciful, and ingenious interpretations of mankind, respecting our Ynys Prydain, as Pryd-càin, a fair aspect; Bri-ton, above the sea, of the Cymry; Braidin, the extensive land of the Irish ; Brutus, of the Romans, and Asiatics; Brython, a warrior from Gaul; Berith-tan, separate land of the Hebrews; and finally, Barat-anac, land of tin or alcan of the Phænicians.
All these attempted derivations are, en passent, however, of importance to the antiquarian, as tending on the part of the writers, as it were unconsciously, to corroborate and identify the existence of the island, in remote times, by Gauls, Hebrews, and Phænicians, if they serve no other purpose.
The island was consequently first known to the Greeks, under the name of TIpetav and corrupted by the Romans into Brittan after the example of the latter Greeks.
Our Gallic friends, however, maintain, on the authority of Pomponius Mela, that the Britons of Amorica, gave it its namə on its first colonization, 'from its charming and lovely aspect,' or from Brython, a gallic warrior and colonist of Britain.
Lucretius is one of the first latin poets, who, while treating of the different temperatures of the air, refers to Britannia and its British skye.
“ Nam quid Britannum cælum differre putamus
“ Et quod in Egypto, est qua mundi clausicat axis." Horace, Martial, Juvenal, Ausonius also name the inhabitants of the isle. Of Cæsar and Tacitus, I have something to say hereafter.
Ancient inscriptions erected in Britain, would necessarily adopt the original corrupted version, hence Brito, Britones, Brittus; Prydain is rare. One inscription was found in Rome, near Santa Maria Rotuna, bearing in strange alphabetical characters, Natione Britto, somewhat analogous, au premier coup d'æil, to Hebrew, Greek or Phænician letters, as every admirer of the Coelbren y beirdd is fully cognizant.
The first mention in pagan history of the Cymry, Cimmerii, or Cimbri, by name, appears about 1000 years B.C., corresponding with the reigns of David and Solomon, in the eleventh book of Homer's Odyssey.
Ηδ ες πειραθ' ικανε Βαρυθρασυ Ωκεανοιο
Ενθαδ Κιμμεριων ανδρων δημος τε πολιστε. “ And he arrived at the boundaries of the deep ocean, where the people and the states or realm of Cimmerian heroes resided." The πολις of Homer was probably the fortified Κιμμερις of Strabo and Herodotus. The theoretic legend of an untravelled scholiast, in his peripatetic garden, gravely describes them as dwelling beyond the ocean stream, immersed in the bleak fastnesses and darkness of Scythian wilds, unblessed by the rays of Helios. Poor soul ! in his own self-made Cimmerian darkness
“ He trudged along, unknowing what he sought,
This Lexiconic piece of information amounts, when examined into, to a self-evident result of gilded nil. A mere learned nonentity. Let me probe, out of the scanty materials within my reach, something more durable—some idea more patent to the light of day, if it be possible.
“ Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow,
FAMILLÆ CIMBRICÆ VEL CELTICÆ.
(THE CIMBRO-CELTIC FAMILIES )
“ Ad nos vix tenuis famæ perlabitur aura.”— Virgil.
HERODOTUS, the father of Grecian history, and a painstaking writer, who lived from 484 to 407 B.C., leads us to infer, in his Melpomene and elsewhere, that one great branch of the Keu uspiou (Cimmerians), in an undefined vista of the past, after their expulsion by the Scythian Nomades of the north from their long-acquired posessions in Crimea, along the shores of the Caucasian range, the Palus Mootis, and the Axinus, had been forced by a renewal of these tidal waves of other Scythian hordes, to invade and occupy in their turn more genial southern lands, and form new settlements of their own,—which again in the course of succeeding ages, certain Asiatic tribes attacked, and, after having been recruited from time to time, as we glean from the Cyclic poets, and their annotators, as well as from Hecatæus as preserved in Strabo, inundated and overcame the long-established frontier and central districts of Asia minor.
In the course of this paper I shall endeavour to pierce through the mists of ages, and evolve, by means of coins and other inferential sources of information, aided now and then by direct, well-defined and authentic proofs of Cimbric identifications, throughout the length and breadth of Asia Minor, and certain isles of the Ægean sea, the truth of the facts inferred.
I, however, approach the question of dormant centuries, with feelings of repugnancy, distrust, and awe. The question, notwithstanding an abyssal gap of evidence, merits an attempt. Telemachus-like, I also will go in search of our long-lost ancestors— possibly I may not succeed. Let other sons of Cambria or Armorica come to the rescue and maintain the dignity of our sires, by looking after homes once occupied by them in the far east and west: a pilgrimage of this kind cannot but be beneficial to our patriotic Cimbric and Arforig hearts, and possibly to a new feature in the literature of the world.
In the course of this paper I shall try to trace the footsteps of one branch from the Crimea and the Caucasian ranges eastward, and of another westwards. But, before doing so, let us test and analyze the historic value and reminiscences of the fatherland they were forced to quit by the imperious laws of necessity, expediency, or brute force.
Strabo and other Greek authors affirm that there was, in the Crimean peninsula, a reputed tribe of the grand Ciin merian family of Mount Caucasus—the redoubtable Tauri, whom thev, in their simple ignorance of the signification of the term, had accordingly classified as a people more daring, more ferocious, more John Bull-like, in fact (if I must use an anachronism), than the rest of their kindred, and dwelling apart in certain mountainous districts, and giving (save the mark) the name of Taurica rather than Cimmerica Chersonesus, to the Crimea.
That this country and the neighbouring territories were once occupied by the great family of the Cimmerians, is proved by the numberless names of places which were still partly preserved in the time of Herodotus, and cited by Strabo, independently of their own radical and inward testimony.
I will give a few of the Cimmerian roots. Kquepus, or Cimmeris, was a city defended by fortifications on the north, and enclosing the isthmus by an earthen wall or embankment, not unlike, if I apprehend its description correctly, to the well-known Clawdd Offa of the Saxons.
The Cimmerian Bosphorus separated Europe from Asia, by a narrow, sandy-banked, channel, now called the strait of Kertch, in some places fordable.
The term Cimmerian is apparent, but what is that of Bosphorus, or Bosporus ? Some English classical scholars, with feelings of evident self-satisfaction, derive it from Bouç a bull or bullock, and Qepw, to carry,—and are cornplacently gratified with the pretty mythological tale accordingly concocted out of it. The bull is evidently a favored derivative animal ; but, unfortunately, Bosporus, or Bosphorus, take which you like, is only a complete acoustic form of the Cimmerian Beisfor, the shallow sea, or arm of the sea; from beis, a shallow, and môr, or fôr, a sea : as instanced in Beisfa, or Beisfan, from fa and fan, the shallow place, both among the Cymry and Amoricans of the present day.
The Cimmerian fort was supposed to have occupied the site of the modern Escri-Krim. There was also a Cimmerian ferry, called topOunia, from the Cimbric root porth, a harbour near the mouth of the Palus Mæotis. With regard to the city Cimmeris, or Cimmerium, Pliny, in lib. 6, states it was situated “ Ultimo in Ostio,” at the extremity of the mouth, or harbour, and was previously called Cerberion, a cognate synonyme of Cimmerian, according to the scholiast, Crates. Professor Clarke, of Cambridge, the celebrated traveller identifies it with Temruck, and Forbiger with Escri-Krim.
While discussing philologically the point at issue, let us glance awhile at a map of the Crimea. In the multiplicity of proofs offered to us by the Cimbric names of rivers and mountains, I shall only have time to select a few, and must box the compass, as the sailors say, and select a name in each of the most southerly easterly, northerly, and westerly quarters. And what do we see ? I find the town of Balaclava, from Bala, an eruption, or outlet of water, and clava, from cloi, enclosed, turned or land-locked. The promontory, or strait, of Kertch, from Cerch, a rising up, or elevated land; or it may be derived from the old Keltic word Circius, or Cyrch, a hard-blowing wind, or whirling eddy. The town of Pericop, from perig, extreme, and cop, a summit. And Castel, from the root cast, what surrounds or entangles :—a fort, a fortified residence, a castellated mansion. Again, in S. E. we have Staroi-Crimea, at the commencement of the hilly district, or mountain ranges, from ystre, a course, a range, ‘yr ystre Cimmerian.' I offer these prehistoric facts to you, relying on your philological as well as your geographical and historical knowledge of the localities in question—and therefore, let every one draw his own unbiassed conclusion.
Herodotus also corroborates the undoubted existence in his day of Cimmerian walls, bridges, and other fragments of antique buildings, shewing, as I presume, the tolerably-advanced condition of our Caucasian kinsmen in those primitive days. Let not my hearers confound the past with the present. I am treating of ages buried in oblivion.
Modern travellers, men of eminence, antiquarian learning and research, as Baron Tott, with the travellers already named, and a host of clear-headed doctrinaires,' witnessed with amazement the realization of facts, monumental as they were, hurried over in silence in the page of lost or infant ebullitions of history, as regards the vestiges of stone-chiselled castles, and other public or private buildings, scattered and partly buried over various parts of the Crimea, far beyond the range of classic possibilities. After much patient and minute investigation, they did not hesitate, individually, and without collusion, to subscribe to the doctrine, aided as they must have been, by their knowledge of the different styles of architecture prevailing in north-eastern Europe and the confines of Asia, that the construction of those wonderful palatial abodes, or druidical temples, now known under the name of Inkerman caverns, and excavated from the solid rock, together with sundry subterranean passages, leading from one to the other, could not be attributed otherwise, than to the enduring ability—the religious and civil condition of the launalalol Apvidar of the Cimmerian race. The idea that the Genoese, in