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INTRODUCTION.

THE GREEK LANGUAGE AND ITS DIALECTS.

Art. 1 THE GREEK LANGUAGE (own 'Exinuirń) is that which was anciently spoken throughout the whole extent of Greece or Hellas (Extás), a term which included all the Greek colonies (Herod. 11. 182). But there were two countries to which this name was applied,—that which still bears the name, and which was distinguished as ń åpxaía ‘Exiás (Plut. Timol. c. 37), or Græcia Antiqua; and the south-east of Italy with Sicily, which was called ń peryáan 'Earás (Strabo, p. 253), or Græcia Magna. The former of these countries was also termed "continuous Greece (Exàs ouvexńs, Scylax, p. 12; Dicæarchus, v. 32 sqq.), as opposed to “discontinuous"

or "sporadic Greece" (Ελλάς σποραδική), which included all the scattered colonies.

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2 It was in the former of these, or Greece Proper, as it is sometimes designated, that this language was formed by a fusion of different tribes; and though the colonists in Asia Minor and Magna Græcia contributed largely to the development of Greek literature, the intellectual energies of the people, and consequently the living excellence of the language, were always most conspicuous in the mother-country; and, in the end, all the scattered Greeks had learned to speak the language of Attica.

3 The ancient Greek language is a member of the great IndoGermanic family, and is therefore intimately connected with the old languages of the Indians, Persians, Celts, Sclavonians, Germans, and Italians. It belongs to the science of Comparative Philology to point out the nature and extent of this connexion?

1 The ethnography of the ancient Greeks has been fully discussed in the New Cratylus, book 1. chap. 4.

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4 Confining our attention to the Greek language, we find that this language, as we have it, consists of two elements—the Pelasgian and the Hellenic; and Herodotus has informed us, that the Hellenes or Greeks owed their greatness to a coalition with the Pelasgians (I. 58; Varronianus, pp. 11, 12). The Pelasgians (IIel-aonyol, or IIénOTTES, “Swarthy Asiatics,” or “Dark-faced men;" Varron. p. 29;

, Kenrick, Phil. Mus. II. 353) were the original occupants and civilizers of the Peloponnese, which was called after their name, and also of many districts in northern Greece. These were afterwards incorporated with the Hellenes ("Enves," the Warriors :"

comp. the name of their god 'Améxwv, Müller, Dor. II. 6, § 6), a cognate martial tribe from the mountains in the north of Thessaly. In proportion as the Hellenic or Pelasgian element in this admixture predominated in particular districts, the tribes were called Dorians (Awpleis, “Highlanders," from da- and õpos; Kenrick, Herod. p. LXI.), or Ionians ("Iwves, “ Men of the coast," 'Huovía; also Airaleis, “ Beach-men," or ’Axaioi, “Sea-men;" Kenrick, Phil. Mus. II.

, p. 367). And these appear in historical times as the two grand subdivisions of the Hellenic race (Herod. 1. 56).

5 When, however, the Dorians or “Highlanders” first descended from their mountains in the north of Thessaly, and incorporated themselves with the Pelasgians of the Thessalian plains, they were called Æolians (Aloleis, “ Mixed men?"), and this name was retained by the Thessalians and Baotians long after the opposition of Dorian and Ionian had established itself in other parts of Greece. The legend states this fact very distinctly, when it tells us that “ Hellen left his kingdom to Æolus, his eldest son, while he sent forth Dorus, and Xuthus, the father of Ion, to make conquests in distant lands” (Apollod. 1. 7, 3, 1; Thirlwall, 1. p. 101).

6 Hence we find that of the Greek colonists settled on the western coast of Asia Minor, the earliest and most northerly, who started from Bæotia, called themselves Æolians; that those who subsequently proceeded from Attica, and occupied the central dis

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1 The proper meaning of aiólos is "particoloured,” and the adjective is used especially to designate alternations of black and white in stripes : thus, the cat is called alloupos (aiólovpos) from the stripes on its tail: and for the same reason alálos is a constant epithet of the serpent. It is the opposite of inloûs: so Athen. ΧΙV. 622 α. απλούν ρυθμόν χέοντες αιόλη μέλει. We do not agree therefore with Dr Thirlwall (I. p. 102), that Albos is a by-form of 'EXnv.

trict, called themselves Ionians; while those, who finally sailed from Argos, and took possession of the southern coast, bore the name of Dorians.

7 The cultivation of lyric poetry by the Æolians of Lesbos, the choral poetry of the Dorians, and the epic poetry of the Ionians, gave an early and definite expression to certain provincial varieties which were called Dialects (dialektol), and the energetic and intelligent branch of the Ionian race which occupied Attica ('Attikń or AKTIK”, “the Promontory-Land "), subsequently gave such a distinctive character to their own idiom, that the Attic ý 'ATOis) was considered a fourth Dialect by the side of the Doric Awpis), the Æolic (Ý Aioris), and the Ionic (ý Iás).

8 As every dialect or provincial variety is such with reference to some standard of comparison, and as the Attic in the end became the general language, or “common Dialect” (kolvdlá EKTOS) of all the Greeks, Grammarians have always estimated the Æolic, Doric, and Ionic Dialects by their deviations from the Attic standard.

9 Considered, however, in themselves, the four Dialects may be divided into two groups, corresponding to the two main divisions of the Hellenic nation (art. 4). For there is much truth in Strabo's remark (p. 333), that the ancient Attic was identical with the Ionic, and the Æolic with the Doric.

10 The Doric and Æolic Dialects agreed in representing the Pelasgo-Hellenic language in its first rude state of juxta-position. And if, on the one hand, the Hellenic element in these Dialects was more strongly pronounced in its roughness and broadness of utterance, on the other hand, the peculiarities of the Pelasgian, which were lost in the further development of Hellenism, were still preserved in the Æolic, and to a certain extent in the Doric also.

11 Although the Ionians, as such, contained the Pelasgian element in greater proportion than the Æolo-Doric tribes, their language gives less evidence of the lost Pelasgian idiom than those of the more northern Greeks. The reason of this is plain. In their case there was no longer juxta-position, but fusion; and the irreconcileable peculiarities of the Pelasgian and Hellenic idioms had been mutually resigned. The Ionians, whose ear did not repudiate a concurrence of vowels, omitted the harsh consonants of the

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Pelasgian idiom, and the Athenians carried this a step farther, by contracting into one the syllables which produced an hiatus.

12 The Attic Greek is the richest and most perfect language in the world. It is the only language which has attained to a clear and copious syntax, without sacrificing its inflexions and power of composition. It is the language of Sophocles, Aristophanes, and Plato. It had become the language of Herodotus ; and even Homer's Poems, as they have descended to us, are to a large extent Atticized. It is this language which, following the example of previous grammarians, we propose to teach in the following pages.

13 Those who learned Attic Greek, as a foreign or obsolete idiom, were said to Atticize (åTTIKÍÇELV), and there is a large class of later writers who are called Atticists ('ATTIKLOTAI). But those foreigners who spoke Greek from the ear, and without any careful observation of the rules of the Attic idiom, and who consequently mixed up with their Greek many words and dictions which were of foreign origin, were said to Hellenize (exanviceuv), and there is a large class of writers, including the authors of the New Testament, to whom we give the name of Hellenists ('EXAnvlotai). It is the object of the Greek scholar's studies to make him not a Hellenist, but an Atticist, in the highest sense of the word.

14 A critical and comprehensive Greek Grammar should contain all the information which is needed by a modern student of the ancient Greek writers, and while it should aim at teaching the art of writing Attic Greek both in verse and prose, it should develop those etymological principles which have been derived from comparative philology, or the philosophical examination of all languages of the same family, and by the aid of which the dialectical and other changes in the language of ancient Greece are easily and safely explicable.

15 Such a Grammar should consist of the following different parts :

i. Orthography and Orthoëpy, which give the rules for the accurate writing, punctuation, accentuation, and pronunciation of ancient Greek.

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1 The varieties of the Dialects are noticed in their proper places, namely, under the declensions and conjugations, and the anomalies of nouns and verbs.

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