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in so many points, that his opinions cannot be allowed to have much weight in deciding the question. Pelloutier, Bardetti h, and Durandii, have endeavoured to deduce the origin of all the earliest nations of Italy from a Celtic stock. Other writers again, such as Maffei, Mazzochi1, and Guarnaccim, have imagined that the first settlements were immediately formed from the east. Where historical records fail, the analysis of language is the only clue, it must be allowed, which can enable us to trace the origin of ancient nations with any probability of success; but when the results are so much at variance with each other, as in the case of the writers above mentioned, much doubt must of necessity attach to the process by which those results have been obtained.
The knowledge of the ancient languages of Italy, of which the Latin must be considered as a dialect only, though it became the prevailing one, is comparatively of recent date. The Etruscan alphabet, the characters of which are the same as that of the Umbrian and Oscan dialects, had not been identified and made out with certainty till within the last fifty years; for the inscribed monuments of these people being rare and scanty, it has been a work of time as well as of great industry and sagacity, to draw any well established conclusion from them. These two last qualities are, I think, eminently displayed in the learned work of Lanzi", on the Etruscan and other
Histoire des Celtes. b Dei primi Abitatori dell' Italia, 2 vol. 4to. Modena, 1769. 1 Durandi Saggio della Stor. degli Ant. Pop. d'Italia.
Maffei Ragionam. degli Itali primitivi Istor. Diplom.
Mazzochi Dissert. Acad.
Cort. vol. iii. Id. ad Tab. Her.
m Guarnacci Origine Italiche.
n Lanzi Saggio di lingua Etrusca e di Altre Antiche d'Italia, 3 vol. 8vo. Rom. 1789.
ancient dialects of Italy; and it is but a small part of the praise due to him to say, that in his essay he has done more towards making us acquainted with this curious branch of ancient philology, than all the writers who had preceded him taken collectively..
Though Lanzi himself declines entering into the discussion immediately under our consideration, it may be inferred from his researches, that as the Greek language in its most ancient form appears to enter largely not only into the composition of the Latin language, this being a fact which has always been acknowledged, but also into that of the other Italian dialects, the first settlers of Italy and those of Greece were of the same race; that as the latter country became more populous, its numerous tribes extended themselves along the shores of Epirus and Illyrium, till they finally reached the head of the Adriatic, and poured into Italy.
We must however admit, that other nations of a different race soon penetrated into Italy from other quarters, and, by intermixing with its first inhabitants, communicated to the ancient language of that country that heterogeneous character by which it is essentially distinguished from the vernacular tongue of Greece. It is chiefly on these two principles, supported however by the testimony of antiquity, that I venture to ground the following system respecting the origin of the early population of Italy.
The Umbri appear to have the best claim to the title of its aboriginal inhabitants. They probably came from the eastern parts of Europe, and having reached Italy, gradually extended themselves along the ridge of the Apennines to its southern extremity.
Considering the Umbri as the aborigines of Italy, I am inclined to derive from them the Opici, or Osci, and Enotri, who are known to have existed with them in that country before the siege of Troy. Nearly contemporary with the Umbri were the Sicani, Siculi, and Ligures, who all came from the west, and along the coast of the Mediterranean in the order in which they are here placed. The interval of time which intervened between these three colonies is unknown, but there is this distinction to be made between them. The Sicani were supposed to be Iberians; the Siculi were probably Celto-Ligurians; the Ligures, properly so called, were certainly Celts. The Sicani having been gradually propelled towards the south of Italy by the nations which followed, are known to have passed at a very remote period into Sicily, which from them obtained the name of Sicania. That a small part of their race remained in Italy is however probable°; und it is not impossible that the ancient Aurunci and Ausones, who are otherwise unaccounted for, may have been a remnant of this very early migration. The Siculi are known to have occupied Tuscany and part of Latium for a long time, but being also driven south first by the Umbri aided by the Tyrrheni Pelasgi, and successively by the Opici and Enotri, they also crossed over into Sicily, to which they communicated their name. This event is said to have happened about eighty years before the siege of Troy o. The Ligures occupied the shores of the gulf of Genoa as far as the Arno, and peopled a great part
• What relates to the Sicani and Siculi will be more fully
discussed under the head of Latium.
of Piedmont, where they remained undisturbed till they were subjugated by the Romans. After the departure of the Siculi, considerable changes appear to have taken place. The Tyrrheni Pelasgi, who came probably from the north of Greece, and assisted the Umbri in their wars with the Siculi, occupied the country from which this latter people had been expelled, in conjunction with the Umbri, and together with them formed the nation of the Etrusci, or Tusci.
About the same period the Opici, or Osci P, who seem to have occupied the central region of Italy, extended themselves largely both west and east. In the first direction they formed the several communities distinguished by the name of Latins, Rutuli, Volsci, Campani, and Sidicini. In the central districts they constituted the Sabine nation, from whom were descended the Picentes, as well as the Æqui, Marsi, Hernici, Peligni, Vestini, and Marrucini. From the Opici again, in conjunction with the Liburni, an Illyrian nation who had very early formed settlements on the eastern coast of Italy, we must derive the Apuli and Daunii, Peucetii and Pœdiculi, Calabri, Iapyges, and Messapii. The Greeks, who formed numerous settlements in the south of Italy after the siege of Troy, found these several people and the notri, still further south, in possession of the country. But the Enotrian name disappeared, together with its subdivisions, into the Leutarnii, Chones, and Itali; when the Samnite nation, which derived its origin from the Sabines, had
P The former is the name by which this people was known to
the Greeks; the latter is their Latin appellation.
propagated the Oscan stock to the extremity of the peninsula, under the various denominations of Hirpini, Pentri, Caraceni, Frentani, and subsequently of the Leucani and Bruttii. In the north of Italy the following settlements are considered as posterior to the siege of Troy. 1st, That of the Veneti, an Illyrian nation who fixed themselves betwen the river Adige and the Adriatic. 2d, That of the Gauls, a Celtic race, who crossed the Alps; and, having expelled the Tuscans from the plains of Lombardy, gave to the country which they occupied the name of Cisalpine Gaul. These, with several Alpine tribes of uncertain origin, are all the inhabitants of ancient Italy, to whom distinct denominations are assigned in history.
We are informed by Pliny, (III. 5-19.) that after Augustus had extended the frontiers of Italy to the Maritime Alps and the river Arsia, he divided that country into eleven regions: viz. 1. Campania, including also Latium. 2. Apulia, to which was annexed part of Samnium. 3. Lucania and Bruttium. 4. Samnium, together with the country of the Sabines, Marsi, Æqui, &c. 5. Picenum. 6. Umbria. 7. Etruria. 8. Flaminia, extending from the Apennines to the Po. 9. Liguria. 10. Venetia, containing Histria and the country of the Carni. 11. Transpadana, comprehending what remained between Venetia and the Alps. This division, though not to be overlooked in this work, is too seldom noticed to be of much utility. The following distribution has been adopted, I believe, by most geographical writers, and will be found much more convenient for the purposes of history.