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“Aigwm,” from aig, a sea, and wm, a covert, a shelter, a retreat, a protection to be found against every wind and boisterous gale in some of the countless bays and ports of the mainland-coast, or mid-sea isles.
On the same sound principle of natural, philosophical derivatives which were, and are to this day, peculiarly held sacred in the superlative exclusiveness and excellence of the Cimbric language, is to be traced the unmistakeable name of another sea.
A few remarks may be necessary to explain that the Cimbric has neither the x or k in its composition. The sound of the former being taken up by gs, or cs, that of the latter by c (always hard).
Let us see how the pre-historic Argeians, Danaans, or Achæans, adapted the primitive sound of Cimmerian waters. The vaunted Hellenes had not, up to the period 'qui nous occupe,' so much as shown their faces to the Cyclic or Homeric poems. Their language was, as yet, but a okia spyov, an adumbration of reality.
Now, as the name of the waters of the Black Sea is known originally to have been A&lvos, which in the borrowed ears of these immemorial visitors could have had no definite meaning whatever, it was resolved to change it into AXELVOS, or Agevos, signifying inhospitable, by a dastardly implication and reflection on the inhabitants of the coast; but hereafter, seeing the injustice done to the Cimmerians, they had the good taste and policy to euphonise it by an Evželvos ; no difficulty can arise to solve this problem of the past.
What was, then, the acoustic sound of Atlv-os first caught, repeated, and endorsed by writing ?
It was Aigswn, resolvable into the exact sound of Aixoon, having its logical interpretration in aig, a sea, and swn, a noise, a sound, a roar.
Let Soudac, Kalamita Bay, and Metophon, maintain the aptness of the term ; let each, in turn, reverberate the roars and whistling-sounds, predicting death to French and British tars, of this tem;.estuous sea. Let a Byron, or a Russell of the Times, proclaim aloud for ev. Imore this potent truth of ages, in strains not deemed unworthy of the theme.
Th' indignant Aigswn saw the fraud, and black
Entrapped beneath th' exhausted pump' of Greece
Forms to Cambria's shore. Time forbids me as I ought to test at length all the ancient Briton's European seas and straits : his they were, by right of conquest, as of names. Britannia, then, has never ceased to rule the waves in ancient or in modern bardic times, from pigmy boats to Druid oak and iron-framed Chalybian plates.
The Aigswn, Aigwm, like their armlet neighbours, Beisfor and Allwys, have thus, you see, retained their true-accented sounds through all the ordeal of succeeding tongues, but lost their birthright and primeval sense, amid the endless • capering' tossings of the Ægean waves, by speculating traffickers in Varroian bulls and goats, and other nameless animated things of earth.
“Sic pia fraus Græcæ, sic transit gloria linguæe." Though I have no business, strictly speaking, to meddle with either Taurus or Cantherium on this marine excursion, as not hailing from any mopuela porth or harbour in the Aigwm, or the more dangerous Aigswn, I cannot allow the latter to pass by unobserved as it comes inadvertently in my way, since the former has been already disposed of at the Cilician abattoir of Mount Tor.
“Sternitur, exanimisque tremens procumbit humi bos.” Here I cannot help remarking, but that Virgil, in this allusion to the obsequies of the gallant Tauriscus, must have cast an ironical glance at the audacity of some Lapithe,“ Centaurs ou cavaliers Thessaliens, qui etaient aussi illustres pour la chasse aux Taureaux que pour elever et dompter la race chevaline,” in paying court to one of the “female grenadiers and bull-stranglers” of Laconia, as flatteringly expressed by an Aristophanesian admirer.
«Ω φιλτατε Λακαινα, χαιρε
“Beloved Laconian, welcome!
With regard to the term Cantherium, I must candidly admit it has somewhat perplexed me. Does the cosniopolitan Varro of our day insinuate that some distinguished benighted traveller had, on his return home, imported a kavdos, a donkey, a gelding from the land of Egypt, to graze on the mountain's verdant slopes ? or does he refer to some othor Onplov, with some sacred mark impressed on its tongue, as was done on that of the Bull Apis ? or, finally, he may perhaps allude to some geographer turned naturalist, who let fly out of his insect box a quantity of kavapides, to buzz, and classify the country by their discordant notes.
As nothing definite can be gleaned, or elucidated, from such sources, let us look elsewhere for a solution. The Umbri et Sabini formed part of that early pre-historic family of the Veteres Galli, in North and Central Italy, known historically and ethnologically, the one as the “Antiquissimus Italiæ Populus” of Florus; the other as the “ Gens Antiquissima Italice” the aborigines of Pliny, under the name of “ Fratres et Consanguinei ;” the root, therefore, of the Sabine mount will be found in can, s.m., sight, brightness, whiteness,,hence can-us, white, and terra, primitively tera, equivalent to the Cimbric or Umbric tîr, land, earth, ground, or combinedly expressed can-tir, can-ter, (ius), mons, otherwise the “ land of brightness.” My yarn is nearly spun.
The favoured land of Maced-on(ia) now draws near, from the roots ma, a place, a spot, ced, a favour, gift, relief, and on, superior, continuous. I'll make a present of the ia to those who, sub rosâ, claim the term. We pass, with baffled sails, the drifting eddies of the despairing, point-cragged Phlegra ; and then apply, in gallant style, the bending oars along the bay, till at last we reach the pebbly-bottomed shore of Gallt y Gigwn, on its eastern side, near the massive shrines of the Gigonian cliff, our present destination.
Having taken a hurried tour in the neighbourhood, and made a rapid survey of the southern extremity of the peninsula of Chalcidice (Calchaidd, or Calcareous loam, from the root calch, lime, enamel), as far as the Strymon (from ystrum, a main-stream, a current, a channel), it will be perceived that it is forked out as it were, into three prongs, or long narrow promontories ; at the extremity of one will be discovered Mount Athos, or Mynydd Attws, from at, as far as, and tws, the extremity; at the other Torone, from toron, s.f., flat, deck out, cloak; at the third Phlegra, from flegg, a squeak of despair, and rha, petulant; into each of which, I presume, at the very outset of its colonization, detached families, or tribes, entered, ignorant, as new colonists would necessarily be, as to their respective size and proportion; but, finding it too circumscribed for their flocks and herds, issued forth again from the said promontories, and met, or crossed, each other (croessi naill y llall), on the shores of the Thermæus Sinus, now the Gulf of Salonica ; and gave the name of Cross@a, from this action of croesi, or crossiad; or, again, from croesaw, a welcome visit to this maritime district. Upon this they selected a site for a city, as well as a rhoc, i.e., a rocking-stone, or maensigl, on the rocky cliffs abutting on Gigonus, for the celebration of their Druidical rites and ceremonies. What is the meaning of the term Gigonus ? The root of Gigonus is evidently the plant employed as a restorative nervous agent; primarily by the medical portion of the Institute,—and secondly, religiously applied by the philosophic members to the doctrine of Metempsychosis, which was in subsequent ages borrowed by the Pelasgi, and from them transferred to, and propagated in, Greece, under the term “ Pythagorean." Gigon-us is, therefore, derived from gi, a plant of fine fibres, a nerve, and the verb gwn, to know, to make cognizable, to become acquainted with (its efficacious and sacred qualities), as in the passage of Taliesin already cited :
“Mi a wn pob gorsin,” &c. “I know the secret bearing of each shrub, plant, and flower,” &c. Now, in referring to the history of Ptolemy Hephæstio, Chapter III, I find this remarkable passage: “Concerning the Gigonian rock on the shore of the sea, and that it is moved by a single tender stalk of asphodel, although not to be removed by any application of force."
The asphodel asphodelus, in botany, a genus of the "hexandria monogynia,” a class of plants belonging to the day lily, and used to be planted by the ancients within or near their cromlechau, their sepulchres, or burial places, and all within the domain of TE Uevn, or consecrated ground, in order to supply, according to religious formulas, the animæ, or souls of the dead, while in a state of metem psychosis, with permanent juice and nourishment. The worshippers, then, to this shrine, temple, or cemetery, would naturally pay a visit to the maensigl, the rocking-stone of Gigonus, and apply, according to instructions from the presiding priest, or cicerone, the stalk of the plant in question, to perform a seeming miracle.
“Within the silent centre of the earth
A question of illimitable importance has been unwittingly propounded to me in a spirit of proud defiance, raillery, and unbelief. We dare you, say these wiseacres, to prove a Cimmerian pre-historic residence at all events, either in Græcia Septentrionalis or Meridionalis! If you can but give us half the shadow of Gomeric life therein, we will become converts to your creed ! What puny modern thoughts expressed in sonorous modern terms!
What a residence in Greece, Palestine, or Hindostan has to do with the human universality of the earliest, the most original; and parent tongue of all, puzzles my comprehension !
However, the former appeal is not beyond the scanty reach of history, aided by Cimmerian plants and stones, when galvanised into life by philologic action. The latter regards the questionists, and not the speaker.
Gentleinen, I must take a little time to breathe the fresh air of Macedon, after this interrogative ebullition of ignorant bravado, and plausibility of conviction. Difficile est muta:e Æthiopis pellem vel maculos leopardı.
As the weather does not seem unfavourable for a sail down the Aigwm, let us embark at once, and make for the Eubæc Fretum, the Sinus Maliacus, and land at Alpenus, near Thermopylæ, the country of our Lloegrian friends, and Locrian kinsmen, from Malean Point, the off-shoot branch of other Ligurian stocks ; it may give me time for study and reflection.
Has anyone present procured, when at Gigonus, a copy of the Herodotusean guide-book of Northern Hellas? Please to turn to lib. VII, and recite aloud the 216th chapter, and stop at « Τεινει δ' η ανοπαια αυτη κατα ραχιν του ουρεος, λεγει δε κατά τε Αλπηνον πολιν πρωτην εουσαν των Λοκριδων προς των Μηλεων, και Μαλαμπυγον τε καλεομενον λιθων και κατα Κερκωπων εδρας.” Or,