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Grammatical Structure of the Sanscrit, etc.


tion sván, Lithuanian szuns, German hunds, English hound, and we have the identity of canis and hound.

Cf. German schwester and Italian sorella.

Thus: Sanscrit svast, Gothic svistar, Germ. schwester-sister.
Sanscrit accusative svasâram, Latin sororem, Ital. sorella.
Cf. Greek xɛqaλý and German haupt-head.
Thus Sanscrit kapâla-xɛαλý,

kapâla-caput, Gothic haubith, Old high Germ.
houpit, haupt-head.

It thus appears that in very many instances the true method for establishing a connection between words which appear diverse in the European languages is to trace both to the common root in the Sanscrit. The proof becomes complete in proportion to the number of examples.

It is not only however in the similarity of words that the Sanscrit manifests itself as the basis of the European dialects. The similarity is seen also in the grammatical structure of both. It is manifest, for example, in the case-terminations, and in the fact that they are very much made up of original pronouns annexed to the nouns. Here, however, it is necessary to attend to the grand characteristic of this class of languages as distinguished from the other two, viz. the power of the root to gather as a nucleus a structure around itself. A specimen or two of this process may not be unacceptable.

The idea of the root sta is "planting oneself firmly." Accordingly stha in Sanscrit is "to stand." The Zend has hi-sta-mi, with the same meaning. In Greek we have i-orŋ-μ, the same root with the a softened to an 7. The Gothic has standa, the old High German stant, present German stand, English stand, Latin sto, stare. Observe how all the formations crystallize around sta. E. g. in English: staunch, that which stands firmly; consi-st-ent, that which stands always in the same position; sta-ndard, that which stands as a rallying-point; stanza, lines regularly adjusted to each other en colonne; sta-ke, that which is planted down firmly. Open now your Greek Lexicon at the root ora, you find oradaios, standing upright, hence firm; oráðuŋ, a plumbline; oraμós, a post; oraxzós, that which falls drop by drop as water in a cavern which finally petrifies into a rocky pillar; ováλιξ or -λίς, a pole to which nets are fastened; στάμνος, a jar which standing erect holds liquids; ozájvs, a spike of grain, etc. Open your Latin dictionary: stabilitas, statua, statutum, stator, stamen, status, stagno, etc. Open your German dictionary: Staat, a state,

that which supports everything, government; stamm, trunk of a tree; stange, a pole; starr, to be stiff, numb; staunen, to stand astonished; stave, stove; standhaft, firm, durable, etc.

In order to show the immediate change take a different root, the Sanscrit Plu or Plo, Flu or Flo, for soft P is F, and throughout the whole family there is a tendency in U and O to amalgamate. The idea here is that of flowing, overflowing. We will begin with the Greck: hw, to sail, to fluctuate; ghew, to flow; ghdaw, to overflow; gló, flame which waves or undulates; φλύω, to swell, overflow with frivolous talking, πλέως, πίμπλημι, etc. idea of fulness; φλέων, φλεύς, φλοῖος, φλυεύς, epithets of Bacchus, all expressive of the fulness of the generative powers of nature, gioioßos, a confused, roaring, overflowing noise, etc. Turn to the Latin: Flamma, flo, to blow or cast metal; flecto, to bend or bow; flos, fluctus, fluidus, flumen, fluo, etc. German: Flacken, to flicker like a candle; flage, a quagmire; flattern, to flutter; fliehen, to fly; floss, running water; flügel, wing; fluth, flood, etc. Spanish: fláco, dejected, frail; flagnear, to slacken, grow remiss; flotar, to float; floxel, down; flueco, fringe; fluir, to flow, etc. French Flatter, flamme, fleur, fletrir, fleurir, flotter, etc. English, the same; flow, flute, float, flood, etc.

It is hardly necessary to observe that these can by no possibility be accidental coincidences. The moment you obtain the correct root and the law of its development it can be traced more strongly or more weakly through the whole Indo-European freundschaft.

We do not mean to say that there are not exceptions, but they are generally such as confirm the rule. The fertile fancy of philologers will also bring forward occasionally something fanciful, far-fetched and ill-founded, but the direction of the main current of proof is clear and unequivocal.

In answer to the inquiry as to the possibility of the preservation of the very same forms of speech through thousands of years, among climes remote as spicy India, and sunny Iceland, from the torrid to the frozen zone, under every form of religion from ponderous Brahmanism to that of the wild Scandinavian, from the fervid fire-worshipper to the calm and sober Anglo-Saxon Christian, from the dominions of the Grand Mogul and the autocrat of all the Russias to republican America, we would reply that nothing is so tenacious as the modes of speech, and the traditions that live in the hearts of the people. Like the sports of child

1 V. Liddell and Scott's Lex. in voc. phew.


Arrow-headed Characters.


ren' that are handed down from generation to generation with elastic vigor, speech is something that transcends law, that interferes not with religion, that embalms the sacred associations of home.

But then this marvellous similarity of speech rests after all, upon a similarity of character in all the families of this extensive groupe, modified indeed by all the circumstances mentioned, but still the same in essence. We shall return to this point so soon as we shall have examined an element of the subject which is at this moment becoming one of deep interest. We refer to the recent decyphering of the arrow-headed characters.

This subject demands a separate and more extended investigation than we can here accord to it. All we can now do is to give a very general sketch sufficient to place in a clear light its relation to the discovery of Bopp.

At Persepolis, Babylon, Behistun or Bisitun, and other places of ancient Assyria and Persia, are found on splendid buildings, on pillars, bricks and rocks smoothed for the purpose, numerous inscriptions. They are written in a peculiar character which from its form is called wedge-shaped, or arrow-headed. This character is peculiar to these regions, and is very extensively employed. Particular arrangements, or combinations of these characters apparently belonged to different nations speaking different languages. What is particularly remarkable about them is that they are all composed of a single character resembling an arrowhead placed sometimes vertically, sometimes horizontally or sloping at an angle, and again with its base so fixed against the base of another precisely similar, as to form a wedge. In the inscriptions at Babylon the notch in the arrow does not appear to be so perceptible, and straight lines seem to be freely introduced.3

In Fiske's Eschenburg's Manual it is stated that the first hint towards decyphering this character seems to have been obtained by Champollion from a twofold incription upon an Egyptian ala

1 Blackstone's Comm.

2 See for the whole subject Mr. Bartlett's pamphlet on the Progress of Ethnology, New York, 1847. As we have the best reason to know that his statements are from original sources, we have quoted freely from them, to save the necessity of going over a variety of pamphlets and periodicals published abroad.

London Quarterly Review, March 1847. It contains a sketch of the arrowheaded discoveries together with those at Nineveh. The statements are rather general.

* Vide inscription in Fiske's Eschenburg's Manual, pl. XXXVIII. 4th edit., said to be a copy from a Babylonian brick in the Boston Athenaeum.

baster vase presenting the name of Xerxes, one part having it in the Egyptian hieroglyphics, and the other in the Persepolitan arrow-heads, and that after this Lichtenstein, Grotefend and Lassen turned their attention to the subject. Mr. Bartlett and the London Quarterly Reviewer do not mention this but both begin with Grotefend as the original discoverer. It will be observed that there is nothing here like the Rosetta stone to guide the inquirer except so far as the hint mentioned above from Champol lion may be well-founded. Prof. Grotefend started with the idea that the building at Persepolis which contained the inscriptions was a royal palace, and the work of one of the great monarchs of Persia." He observed that a number of these wedges or angles, of larger or smaller size, perpendicular or horizontal, grouped together, were usually divided from each other in the Persepolitan inscriptions by a peculiar sign, and he rightly concluded that each of these groups formed a letter. These letters are read in their uniform direction from left to right."2 On some of the monu. ments at Persepolis are inscriptions in the Pehlevi3 character, parts

1 Fourth edit. p. 316. sect. 4. Six authorities are given to the section, but it is not distinctly indicated upon which this statement rests.

2 Quart. Rev. ubi sup., note by reviewer. In one of the works before us, Tychsen and Bp. Münter are said to have discovered this important sign." In all of Prof. Fiske's inscriptions, (four in number independently of the brick from Babylon,) the divisions of letters are made by a point like our period, except in the Persepolitan interpretation of the hieroglyphic writing on the vase read by Champollion, where there are no division-marks. It consists of but a few words. The inscriptions given by Fiske from the Zend, Pehlevi, and "a more modern character" have the same point. If these copies are correctly made, there would seem to be no great mystery about this "important sign."

The Persian languages are thus set forth by Rask (Ueber das Alter und die Echtheit der Zendsprache, Berlin, 1826,) as Englished by Prof. Anthon, (IndoGermanic Analogies, appended to Greek Prosody, p. 202). "The Persian family has for its primitive type the Zend preserved in the Zend-Avesta. It was spoken by the ancient Persians, as the Pehlevi, another idiom intermingled with Chaldee, was spoken by the Medes and Parthians. They were written in cuneiform characters before having special alphabets. The Zend and Pehlevi were displaced about the commencement of our era by the Parsi a dialect of the same family. It became the dominant idiom of the empire and preserved itself pure and unaltered until the Mohammedan invasion, when from an union of the Arabic with the national idiom arose the Modern Persian. Connected with the Persian, amongst others, is the tongue of the Ossetes, in the range of Caucasus, which is said to afford indubitable traces of the great migration of Indian communities into Europe." We should like much to know the ultimate authority for this last remark. It involves a point of deep interest in more than one relation. Bopp speaks in very high terms of Rask. Comp. Gram. Pref. viii. note, particularly of his work “On the Thracian tribe of Languages," where, though he (Rask) had not then the Sanscrit, Bopp says, "he almost everywhere halts half-way towards the truth."


Arrow-headed Inscriptions.


of which have been decyphered by De Sacy. In one of these the titles and name of a king are often repeated; these M. Grotefend thought might be repeated in the same manner in the arrowheaded character.

"In these inscriptions one groupe of characters were repeated more frequently than any other. According to the analogy of the Pehlevi inscriptions, decyphered by De Sacy, it was believed that these were the names of kings who were father and son. An examination of the bas-reliefs together with the Greek historians convinced Grotefend that he must look for the kings of the dynasty of the Achæmenides. These names could obviously not be Cyrus and Cambyses, because the names occurring in the inscriptions do not begin with the same letter; Cyrus and Artanes were equally inapplicable, the first being too short, and the latter too long; there only remained therefore the names of Darius and Xerxes. The next step was to ascertain what their names were in the old Persian language, as they came to us through the Greek. This he obtained through the Zend of the Zend-Avesta. Xerxes turns out to be Kshershe or Ksharsha; and Darius Dareush, and king Kshe or Ksheio (shat). He thus translated two short inscriptions and formed a considerable portion of an alphabet. This was accomplished by 1833."

Grotefend was followed by Rask, Burnouf and Lassen who (in Europe with the materials already collected) each accomplished something. Rask discovered two characters, and Lassen in his various works “has identified at least twelve characters which had been mistaken by all his predecessors."

Major Rawlinson, an officer of the East India Company's army, next addressed himself with great zeal to this subject on the ground. He was occupied ten years. His discoveries were announced in London in a memoir, read before the Royal Asiatic Society in 1839, but were not published in extenso until 1846. It is an interesting fact that Rawlinson found, when after laboring for some time he received Lassen's Researches, that he had already discovered all Lassen's new characters except one. It will be observed, however, that not only an alphabet but the structure of the language was needed. This Grotefend had not, but Rawlinson obtained it through the Zend, and by means especially of" Burnouf's Commentary on the Yazna," where the Zend is investigated in its grammatical structure. Finally, he

1 Bartlett abridged.


VOL. IV. No. 16.

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