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NOTE ON KABYLE LANGUAGE.
Latin in use in the parts where the Donatist tenets found support.” (Tract. 2, in Ep. Johan. § 3.) It must, therefore, be the common African, the popular language of his time, not any dialect which may be supposed to have been employed by literary Carthaginians and to have become obsolete upon the destruction of the Carthaginian State. And it was the language of the country, not of the townspeople; for, if spoken in the towns, Augustine's congregation would not have been so entirely ignorant of it as he assumes them to be. (See Opp. vol. iv. p. 1234, ed. Ven.) It is, therefore, the language of the hillsmen, of the inhabitants of those chains of mountains which run along the coast westward from Hippo (Bona) to the neighbourhood of Cape Matifou,-a region which at this day is occupied exclusively by Kabyles.
3. In the extent of coast just mentioned, the Antonine Itinerary and Ptolemy give the following towns,-Rusicada (on the site of Philippeville), whose name still may be traced in the modern Skikda, Rusazus, Rusubeser, Rusuccurus or Rusicurium, Rusicibar Rusubbicari, and Rusgunium. In all these manifestly native names the first syllable is a Kabyle word, which in its various forms of Rus, Ras, Ros, or Ris, signifies "head" or "cape."
4. The name by which the natives of North Africa called their gourbis, a century before Christ, was "magalia," which Bochart has shown is merely a corruption of the genuine Punic word "magaria," the well-known name of one quarter of Carthage. But still survives in the Kabyle phrase "'l mehalla" (a camp).
5. The Kabyles of the present day use one and the same word indifferently to denote an European and a Christian. This word is Iroumi, which is obviously derived from Roma, and, consequently, must have been adopted in the times when to be a Roman and a Christian were nearly convertible terms. This would be the case in the time of Augustine, when the Christian Churches in Africa were composed almost exclusively of the Roman population in the towns on the coast and the commercial routes.
6. Herodotus relates a story of one of the chiefs of Cyrene, to whom a strange oracle was given in figurative terms. In the event of his pursuing a certain policy he is menaced with death, in which he will have for a partner "the surpassing bull" (raûpos ó kadλiσtevwv). He did not take the warning, and he paid the penalty of his rashness in being assassinated, together with his father-in-law Alazir, by the people of Barca, of which place Alazir was king. The modern Kabyle language explains the oracle, which the father of history has left in obscurity. In it the word "ezghir" signifies "a bull," and this, with the prefix of the definite article, "'l'ezghir," is at once recognised as the name of the Barcæan chief, gh being merely the strong aspirate.
THE WESTERN PROVINCE.
Ar the beginning of March, there being every appearance of the winter rains having passed over, I determined to proceed by sea to Oran, the seat of government of the Western Province of Algeria, with the intention of devoting a fortnight to visiting the most remarkable localities in the neighbourhood, after which the season would be sufficiently advanced to allow of my going to the high plateaux of the Central and Eastern Provinces without prejudice to the main object of my sojourn in Africa. The Government steamers run every ten days between Algiers and Oran; but the chance of a berth in these is very uncertain, for they are, in fact, intended merely for the postal service of the littoral, between the two extremities Oran and Bona, and the little cabin accommodation they possess is liable to be forestalled for the use of the military staff. It is impossible to take a berth beforehand; and when the boat arrives, there is a rush, it may be at five and six o'clock in the morning, to secure such places as are
to be had. But there is a private company, whose vessels every twenty-four or twenty-five days run between Marseilles and Malta, crossing from the former to Oran, and thence making a coasting voyage as far as Tunis, from which port they stand across to the other extremity of their course. In one of them, the Vincent, I was fortunate enough to obtain a berth immediately after being disappointed of one in the Government steamer; and on the night of the 2d of March we left the harbour of Algiers with a bright moon but a contrary wind. The barometer fell very much on the 1st, and the Vincent was kept back twelve hours on account of the strength of the wind which followed this indication. But at sunset on the 2d there seemed to be a lull, and at 11 P.M. we put to sea in hopes that the gale was over. The expectation was not realized, and after proceeding between forty and fifty miles, we were compelled to turn about, and seek for shelter once more in the harbour of Algiers. At the time of turning (about 7 A.M. on the 3d) we were nearly abreast of Cherchell; and although the west wind had become insuperable, the weather was beautifully clear, and we returned, except when stretching across a bay, at a distance of not more than three or four miles. from the shore. Not suffering from sea-sickness, I rather rejoiced at our mischance, as it enabled me to examine at my leisure the whole of the coast
between Cherchell and Algiers, although the roughness of the sea frustrated all attempts at the very rudest outline. The two chief objects were the "Tombeau de la Reine," and the peninsula of Sidi Ferudje. It was the first sight I had had of the former, and it instantly arrested my attention. The captain of the steamer averred that it was a natural mound; but it is really built of cut stone, as I learnt from the superintendent of the Museum at Algiers, M. Berbrugger, who had visited it and made some excavations. From the sea, it seems to stand on the highest point of the Sahel, as on a pedestal, backed by the Atlas mountains in the distance, the lake of Aloula and the plain of the Metidja lying between the two ranges.
On the 4th of March we made another trial to get westward, and leaving Algiers at eight o'clock in the morning, were off Cape Tenez just about sunset, with the finest weather, although the wind still headed us. Between the Ras el Ammouch (the cape just to the east of Cherchell) and Cape Tenez the coast forms a bay of the greatest beauty, the hills coming down quite into the sca, very like the mountains of Cumberland both in size and shape.
Behind them, every
now and then, one catches a sight of the Atlas in some of its highest parts near about Milianah. Just after passing the Ras el Ammouch (which is the termination of a magnificent mountain, a sort of
outlying mass of the Atlas range, to which it is joined by a lower col covered with fine timber), the remains of a Roman aqueduct appear. This supplied Julia Cæsarea, of which Cherchell is the modern representative, with water. But east of the cape are other ruins and it is there that I am inclined to believe the old Mauritanian town, Iol, formerly stood. The "Tombeau de la Reine" obviously connects itself with these ruins as they are seen from the sea; and the eastern, not the western, side of the cape is the place where shelter would be sought by the trading vessels of the ancients from the prevalent wind in this part of the Mediterranean. Indeed, this place and the bay of Arzew, which is similarly situated, are the only roads in which vessels can find shelter in the whole line of coast between Oran and Philippeville.* The sea which washes the shore of northern Africa well deserves its ancient epithet of "harbour-less;" but the captain of the steamer told me that, if again forced back, he could lie under the lee of Ras el Ammouch,
*The harbour of Algiers is of course no real exception, being formed by artificial breakwaters. The port at Julia Cæsarea was also an artificial one,-an excavation like those at Carthage and some other places on the coast of North Africa. To these the ancients gave the name of Cothon. That of Cæsarea must always have been very difficult to make; and I apprehend that the trading vessels of the Roman empire made use of the roads of Iol for temporary shelter, and then during fine weather moved into the Cothon to discharge their cargoes. The same kind of thing takes place now at Oran. Vessels habitually lie in the roads of Mers-el-Kebir, where they are safe from all winds but one; and when the weather permits, are brought from thence into the harbour of Oran.