Tag Archives: Greek language studies

Fourteen Edifices

The remainder of the fourteen edifices do not differ materially from those described; while some of them, as may be imagined, have suffered much from the effects of time, and are now crumbling amid the sea of ruins. Why, indeed, these have baffled the effects of untold ages, and come down to us as trophies of human art, while far and near is only to be seen a general wreck of matter, it is impossible to say. The probability that they were erected and used for sacred purposes, may afford us reasonable grounds for the inference, that they were either more securely built, or that, if the causes which depopulated this vast city, arose from the ravages of a victorious enemy, their hallowed character preserved them from the hand of the spoiler. Time, and the researches of the anxious antiquarian, may disclose the causes which stripped the city of its splendor, and of its innumerable inhabitants; a circumstance much to be desired by the curious and the learned.

Studies of Language: Greek, 1833

September 5, 2014

Cadmus (from “Studies of Language: Greek,” 1833)

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The coming of these illustrious strangers, was, however, the first dawn of civilization in Greece; which was, in less than a century afterwards, to receive a still greater boon—the introduction of letters, by Cadmus: i.e. the Eastern, or Red man. Cadmus was the leader of the Edomites, who were driven from their country, by David, king of Israel, in his career of victory over the Canaanitish nations. Cadmus brought only fifteen characters; answering in name and number to the old Hebrew and Latin alphabets. The majority of the seven letters, subsequently added to the Hebrew alphabet, slowly found the way, after their first-born brethren; and were, in course of time, incorporated into the Greek; making, together with those invented by some unknown genius, about the war of Troy, and those invented by Simonides, about the Persian invasion, the twenty-four; of which the Greek languages was ultimately composed.

Studies of Language: Greek, 1833

Alphabet (from “Studies of Language: Greek,” 1833)

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That there had been an alphabet in Greece, prior to the introduction of the Cadmean, or Phoenician,
although a question involved in much obscurity, seems to have been finally determined in the affirmative. In fact, it is difficult to conceive, how a personage so honored in the early history of the times, as Pelasgus, could have been so great a benefactor, without the introduction of an alphabet. He is said to have taught the barbarous inhabitants to clothe themselves in a more comfortable manner; to build houses; to adopt a food more congenial to the nature of the human constitution; to erect temples to the gods. There can be little hesitation in believing, that he also introduced a knowledge of letters; which all the Amonian or Cuthite family carried with them in their migration from the plains of Shinear to Phoenicia, Egypt, Greece, and other parts of the world. The Eugubian Tablet, the oldest profane monument, with written characters, now extant, and engraved—according to the opinion of the ablest scholars—two generations before the war of Troy, contains thirteen single letters; being the facsimile of the Pelasgian characters used in Greece and Italy. Now, allowing the tablet to be engraved, even as late as the Trojan war, still it will be much anterior to Cadmus.

Studies of Language: Greek, 1833