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trians on their arrival from Greece in the south of Italy, found the Umbrians then occupying some of the districts of which they afterwards possessed themselves.*
It may be supposed that the era of the Umbrian settlements preceded by many ages the existence of written documents or records of any kind. Pliny has preserved a date assigned to the foundation of Ameria, the Umbrian capital, which according to Cato was built 964 years before the war of Perseus, i. e. 381 before the building of Rome. But this epoch falls in too nearly with the traditions of towns built by the heroes of Troy, to escape, as Müller has remarked, the suspicion of a poetical origin.†
The Umbrians consisted of separate tribes, which are differently named by Pliny, Ptolemy, and other writers. Isombri are supposed to have been the people in whose territory the Insubres settled: Vilombri and Sarsinates are distinguished as separate nations. The Camertes were the tribe first known to the Romans; and from the passage in which they are mentioned by Livy, it has been inferred, and the opinion has been maintained by Italian antiquarians, that the Umbrians spoke the same language as the Etruscans.§ This opinion has been proved to be erroneous. We shall have further occasion to consider the language and relations of the Umbrian race, after we have surveyed the nations of Lower Italy.
SECTION III. Of the Siculians or Sikeli, and the Oenotrians.
The Siculi, a people whose name is preserved in the island of Sicily, appear to have been one of the most widely spread nations of Italy, in the southern region of which they were
* Dionys. Hal. lib. i.
+ Müller's Etrusker, Einl. 104.
See Freret on the Primitive Nations of Italy: Mém. de l'Acad. des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres.
§ In relating the conquest of the northern parts of Italy by the Romans, the historian mentions that when it was found necessary to send a spy into the country of the Umbri, to the city of Camers, a person was selected for that purpose who was acquainted with the Etruscan language, and it is implied that he understood the Camertine Umbrians. Livy has given in this relation no hint of any difference of language between the Umbri and the Etruscans.
coëval with the Umbri in the north. They were driven into Sicily according to Thucydides, and gained possession of that island, which had been previously inhabited by the Sicani, an Iberian tribe from whom it had been termed Sicania.* We are informed by Dionysius and other writers that the barbarous Siculi had been the native or primitive inhabitants of the country where Rome was afterwards built, of Latium, and the southern parts of Etruria, and that they were driven out of it after a long series of wars by a people termed by Cato Aborigines, whom Dionysius identifies with the Latins.† These people possessed themselves of the country between the Tiber and the Liris. It seems that not only the coast, but the inland regions also belonged previously to the Siculi.‡ They are said to have been so widely spread, that Italy or the Saturnian land was termed the country of the Siculi, in an inscription engraved in ancient characters on a tripod in the temple of Jupiter at Dodona:
Στείχετε μαιόμενοι Σικέλων Σατουρνίαν αἶαν.
If we may believe Pliny, or the writers whose testimony he has collected, the Siculi had been in more remote times among the inhabitants of Northern Italy. According to that compiler the Siculi, together with the Liburnians, a people whose origin and affinities are unknown, possessed in early times many parts of the country afterwards conquered by the Cisalpine Gauls. They inhabited the districts near Adria, Palma, and Prætutium. From these they were expelled by the Umbrians, as the latter were subsequently by the Tuscans, and the Tuscans in their turn by the Gauls. To the southward of Umbria the Siculi, according to the same writer, had possessions on the coast of Picenum.|| Here also they were joined with Liburnians, and it seems highly probable that the same mixed races had been spread, before they were partly expelled as above mentioned, along the whole coast adjoining to Umbria from the river Po to the Picentine, and that they had possession of the whole eastern shore of the northern half of Italy, districts which afford the principal ingress into that country
Thucyd. lib. vi. cap. 2.
† Dionys. Hal. lib. ii. c. 49.
§ Plinii Hist. Nat. lib. iii. c. 19.
Plinii H. N. lib. iii. c. 10-19. Neibuhr, vol. i. p. 49.
from Greece and other parts to the eastward of the Adriatic. We follow their history in the collection of old traditions by Dionysius. "The Siculi, expelled from Latium by the Aborigines, took their course along the mountains southward, and arrived in the lower parts of Italy, and at length passed over by means of rafts, taking advantage of an ebb tide, into Sicily, which was then possessed by the Sicani, an Iberian nation who had fled from the Ligurians. The Siculi occupied the desert parts of that country, which were the greatest portion of the island, and it afterwards derived its name from them. The passage of the Siculi over the strait took place, according to Hellanicus of Lesbos, in the third generation before the Trojan war, and in the twenty-sixth year of the priesthood of Alcyone at Argos." Many ancient writers give testimony to this migration of the Siculi, though their accounts vary as to time and circumstances. Philistus the Syracusan placed it eighty years before the Trojan war. Antiochus of Syracuse, who by ancients and moderns is considered a writer worthy of credit, fixes no time for the event. He says that the Siculi were driven out of Italy by the Oenotri and Opici. Thucydides declares that the people who left Italy were the Siculi, and that those who expelled them thence were the Opici. It is important, as we shall perceive, to note this distinction. The Siculi passed, according to this historian, many years after the Trojan war. Thus far the authorities collected by Dionysius.* Thucydides fixed the migration of the Siculi into the island which bears their name at three centuries before the settlement of the first Grecian colony in that country, and we are assured by this writer that their descendants had not entirely abandoned Italy in his time. We learn from several passages in the Odyssey that a trade in slaves was carried on between the Greeks, at least the people of Ithaca and the Siculi; and Otfried Müller thinks it certain that the people who carried on this intercourse with the Greeks must have been the Siculi of the continent, since the island was at that time so little known as to be the region of fable, the abode of Læstrigones and Cyclopes.†
Dionys. Hal. lib. i. c. 22.
+ Odyss. xx. 383. xxiv. 210, 365, 388.
Of the Oenotri.
We find another name predominating among the inhabitants of the south of Italy, and in the very country marked out as possessed by the Siculi, namely that of the Oenotrians. Modern writers* and most of the ancients identify them with the Siculi.
Antiochus of Syracuse, who is a prime authority with Strabo and Dionysius in all that relates to the Italian nations, and who was the author of a history of Italy, declared in that work that the country in his time termed Italia had anciently been called Oenotria. The Italy of Antiochus was of narrow limits: the boundaries which he assigned to it were, to the northward, the river Laüs and Metapontum. It had therefore, as Strabo observes, nearly the extent of the Bruttian territory, that is, of the modern Calabria. The Tarentine above Metapontum, according to Antiochus, beyond the extent of Italy or Oenotria, was termed Iapygia. In still more ancient times, says Antiochus, those only were called Italians or Oenotrians who dwelt near the Sicilian straits within the isthmus which divides the Scylletic or Scylacian gulf from the Napetine. Afterwards the name of Italy and the Oenotrians extended further northwards as far as Metapontum, the Chaones who inhabited that country being themselves an Oenotrian tribe. This account is confirmed by a passage in Aristotle's Politics: "Persons who are acquainted with those countries report that there was a certain Italus king of Oenotria, from whom the Oenotri, changing their name, took that of Itali, and the country was called Italia. It extended southward of the Isthmus between the Scylletic and Lametic gulfs, that is, it was coextensive with South Calabria. But though the proper Oenotri were confined within such narrow limits, it seems that tribes akin to them were further extended. The Chaones are termed an Oenotrian tribe by Antiochus, and the Peucetii, who inhabited the eastern coast as far northward as the Aufidus, and perhaps to the promontory of Garganum, were supposed to be allied to
• Müller's Etrusken, Einl. s. 10.
+ Strabo, lib. v. p. 254, 255. Aristot. Polit. lib. vii. c. 10.
the same stock. This is intimated in the Greek genealogies. Pherecydes, an Athenian historian highly commended by Dionysius, in enumerating the offspring of Lycaon who was the son of Pelasgus, mentioned Oenotrus, from whom, as he said, the people of Italy were called Oenotrii, and Peucetius, from whom the borderers on the Ionian gulf, meaning the southern Adriatic, were termed Peucetii. And Strabo, collecting the general testimony of antiquity, declares that when the Greek colonies arrived on the coast of Magna Græcia they found the country occupied not by Lucanian or other tribes of Samnite origin, but by Oenotri and Chones, who were conquered long after by the Samnite nations. The Chones are termed by Aristotle Chaones, and are by him likewise said to have been an Oenotrian tribe.
But who were these Oenotrii or primitive Italians? The Greek fabulists, as we have seen, derived them from Arcadia, and made them the sons of a mythical Oenotrus and of Lycaon; but we find them occupying the country assigned to the Siculians, and other accounts also left by Greeks connect them with that people, who are represented as aborigines of Italy. Antiochus of Syracuse, in whose time many of the Siculi still existed in the northern and interior parts of the island, recognised the Siculians as Oenotrii. Thucydides relates that Italus, from whom the Itali, that is the Oenotrians, were named, was a king of the Siculi; and Dionysius, after a diligent research and a comparison of all the information that he could collect from ancient writers, concludes that the Siculi and Italietes were of one stock which he terms Oenotrian : he mentions as a third tribe a people named Morgetes, who settled at Morgantium.
It seems from all these circumstances probable, that the Oenotrii, though by the fables of the Greeks declared to have originated from Arcadia, which is however still in a certain sense possible, were the same people with the Siculi, who by Thucydides and other well-informed writers are placed precisely in the same country and connected with that race. But were the Siculi themselves of Grecian origin? We have seen that they were among the early and even among the primitive inhabit