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the human family-have been here accustomed frequently to traverse immense spaces, and to make but temporary abodes under particular climates. Repeated migrations from one region to another are recorded in history, which have in many instances changed the social condition, and have even renewed the population of extensive countries. Owing to such interchanges of inhabitants between different tracts, it has come to pass that the same tribes of people, or nations nearly related to each other, are found spread through the most distant parts of Europe and Asia.
From these considerations several remarks arise, as to the method in which we must enter on the following inquiry, and on the collateral subjects of research which are to be kept in view as we proceed.
First. As it is a fact that several of the most widely spread, and some of the most numerous families of nations, are dispersed over different parts of Europe and Asia, we must consider these continents as one region, having a common stock of inhabitants.
Secondly. The dispersion of the same races over countries widely separated and situated under different climates, especially when the dispersed tribes can be proved to have occupied their present abodes from remote times, affords us many opportunities of estimating the influence of physical causes in modifying the characters of organization. In order to draw any certain results from these facts, it will be necessary to trace with accuracy the proofs of connexion between nations supposed to be of kindred origin, wherever such nations are found dispersed. This will lead us into a series of inquiries respecting the history of several races of men, as deduced from a comparison of their languages, religions, and whatever peculiar traits may contribute to throw light on their origin and affinities.
Thirdly. In tracing the varieties which appear in the organic types of particular races, we must be especially attentive to the circumstances under which they have taken place, in order to arrive at a true theory respecting their causes. The agencies from which such changes may be supposed likely to result, are of two kinds; first, alterations
in the moral state of particular tribes; and, secondly, changes which may have taken place in the physical conditions under which they have existed. Of the former we have examples in the history of nations, who, from being nomadic wanderers, have become settled as tillers of the soil or inhabitants of towns. In these instances we discover considerable changes in the organic character of races whose state has been thus modified. Of changes of the latter kind we have more numerous examples. In the continents of Europe and Asia are countries placed under almost every variety of climate and local situation, from the coldest region in the arctic zone habitable by man, to the greatest heat of the intertropical space, and from the lofty plains of High Asia, which are the greatest projection existing on the surface of our planet, to low tracts scarcely raised above the ocean, or, in some instances,depressed below its level. This part of our investigation will render it necessary to observe the most remarkable features in the physical geography of particular countries. In taking a very general survey of this subject, we may remark, that the climates of Asia may be divided into three great departments, and that in the races of men respectively inhabiting them, some physical differences are very manifest. These divisions are, first, the intertropical region of Asia, inhabited by nations of a dark complexion, and other peculiar characters; secondly, the cold and elevated table-lands of Great Tartary and Eastern Siberia, inhabited principally by races who resemble the Mongolians and the Chinese; and, thirdly, the temperate countries in the west of Asia, the inhabitants of which resemble in physical characters the nations of Europe. That there is some connexion between the physical condition of these several regions, and the organic peculiarities of the tribes by which they are inhabited, is too obvious to require proof; but whether such peculiarities are original characters belonging to different races fitted by their natural qualities to exist in the countries where they are respectively found, as different species of animals are by organization adapted to particular regions, or are varieties produced by the agency of local circumstances; in other words, whether they are permanent characters, or are liable to be modified in tribes
which migrate from one region to another, is a question only to be determined by accurate research.
SECTION 2.-Distribution of the Nations of Europe and Asia into Groupes and Families.
The different nations of Europe and Asia distribute themselves into groupes of greater or less extent, the members of which are in some instances bound together by ties closer than in others. Several of these groupes are composed of tribes, who, though spread through different and often remote regions, display, when their languages, their history, and moral peculiarities are investigated, such proofs of affinity, as to leave no doubt that they sprang originally from the same stems. In some instances, which we shall have occasion to point out, philological evidence seems to be alone sufficient to establish this conclusion, though it be one which previously to inquiry would appear very improbable. Who, for example, would expect to find any marks of affinity between the barbarous Siah-pôsh, on the heights of the Hindu-Khu, near the sources of the Oxus, and the natives of Lettland, Lithuania and East Prussia? Yet nobody who considers the remarkable affinity discovered between the idiom of the Siah-pôsh and the Sanskrit, and again between the same language and the Lettish, Lithuanian, and Old Prussian, can entertain a doubt that the nations above mentioned sprang from a common origin. Groupes composed of tribes thus associated are commonly termed families of nations; but that expression may not be adopted in examples in which the marks of affinity are less decided. It can hardly be applied to nations which, though associated by local proximity, as well as by resemblance in manners and physical characters, display in their languages no sufficient evidence of original connexion. We should not venture to term the Koriaks, the Kamtschadales and the Yukagiri, a family of nations, though they are similar in their habits and whole manner of existence, as well as in their physical characters, and inhabit neighbouring countries, in a remote extremity of the old
continent. We are not aware of any analogy in their languages sufficient to afford proof of kindred origin, and the observed traits of resemblance may be otherwise explained. The term groupe or that of class will best denote such aggregates of nations, and as a general expression, will serve to include assortments of both kinds.
I shall now enumerate the principal groupes into which I propose to distribute the tribes who collectively form the population of this great continent.
Paragraph 2.-First Groupe.-Syro-Arabian Race.
The first groupe, or that which merits distinction in the first place, as having exercised the greatest influence over the destinies of mankind, is a comparatively limited class of nations, all of them speaking cognate dialects of one language. To these, modern writers, after Eichhorn, have given the designation of the Semitic Race. The term is a most improper one, since a remarkable division of these tribes, forming by themselves one of the most celebrated nations of the ancient world, are by the genealogies preserved in the book of Genesis, declared to have descended from a different family, namely, from that of Canaan and of Ham. It seems that the Canaanites, or the Phoenicians, as these nations were termed by the Greeks, including the Sidonians, Tyrians, and other colonies of the same race, reported to have come originally from the Erythræan or Indian ocean, a people devoted from the earliest times to maritime commerce, though they were the offspring of a different stock from the pastoral Shemite tribes, were brought at an early period into relations so intimate with people of that race, as to partake with them one common speech, and to form with them, in an ethnological sense, one groupe of nations. We have likewise reason to believe that some of the Arabian tribes, namely, the Hhimyarites and their colonies on the coast of Africa, were of the race of Cush, and, therefore, of a stock originally distinct from that of Shem. Now it is evidently improper to apply
to a whole groupe of nations an epithet which, derived from the patriarch of one division, excludes all the rest. The name of Syro-Arabians, formed on the same principle as the now generally admitted term of Indo-Europeans, would be a much more suitable expression. The limits of Syria and Arabia, in their most extensive sense, jointly comprise nearly all the countries inhabited by people who spoke the idiom of these
To races who spoke kindred dialects of the Syro-Arabian language mankind in general are indebted, even more than to those nations who, in later periods, acquired and imparted a higher culture in the arts of life. While the adventurous spirit and inventive genius of one of these races explored all the coasts and havens of the ancient world, and first taught remote nations the use of letters and of iron tools, to search their soil for metals, and to till it for the bearing of grain, other tribes cultivated the rich plains of Upper Asia and reared the magnificent seats of the earliest monarchies, Nineveh and Babylon, where the pomp and luxury of the East were first displayed, and the royal city of Solomon, the only seat of the pure worship of God, where a sublime literature was cultivated, superior in its simple majesty to the finest productions of the classical age, and preserving a portrait of the human mind in the infancy of our race.
The Syro-Arabian tribes lost, at an early period, their ascendency among the civilized nations of the world. Five centuries before the Christian era the Japetic nations began to dwell in the tents of Shem, and from that time Medes and Persians, Greeks and Romans, and lastly Turks, have sucessively domineered over the native inhabitants of Western Asia. The original tribes, cooped up within narrow limits, or expelled, spread themselves in colonies through distant lands. North Africa and Spain, and nearly all the islands of the Mediterranean received colonies from the Phoenician coast.