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the Zend-avesta by Burnouf, Brockhaus, Spiegel, and Westergaard. Yet there still remains much to be done. Dr. Haug, now settled at Poona, has lately taken. the work which Burnouf left unfinished. He has pointed out that the text of the Zend-avesta, as we have it, comprises fragments of very different antiquity, and that the most ancient only, the so-called Gâth âs, can be ascribed to Zarathustra. “ This portion,” he writes in a lecture just received from India, “ compared with the whole bulk of the Zend fragments is very small; but by the difference of dialect it is easily recognized. The most important pieces written in this peculiar dialect are called Gâthâs or songs, ar
ranged in five small collections; they have different , metres, which mostly agree with those of the Veda ;
their language is very near to the Vedic dialect.” It is to be regretted that in the same lecture, which holds out the promise of so much that will be extremely valuable, Dr. Haug should have lent his authority to the opinion that Zoroaster or Zarathustra is mentioned in the Rig Veda as Jaradashti. The meaning of jaradashti in the Rig-Veda may be seen in the Sanskrit Dictionary of the Russian Academy, and no Sanskrit scholar would seriously think of translating the word by Zoroaster.
At what time Zoroaster lived, is a more difficult question which we cannot discuss at present. It must
1 Berosus, as preserved in the Armenian translation of Eusebius, men. tions a Median dynasty of Babylon, beginning with a king Zoroaster, long before Ninus; his date would be 2234 B. C.
Xanthus, the Lydian (470 B. C.), as quoted by Diogenes Laertius, places Zoroaster, the prophet, 600 before the Trojan war (1800 B. C.).
Aristotle and Eudoxus, according to Pliny (Hist. Nat. xxx. 1), placed Zoroaster 6000 before Plato; Hermippus 5000 before the Trojan war (Diog. Laert. proæm.).
suffice if we have proved that he lived, and that his language, the Zend, is a real language, and anterior in time to the language of the cuneiform inscriptions.
We trace the subsequent history of the Persian language from Zend to the inscriptions of the Achæmenian dynasty; from thence to what is called Pehlevi or Huz
vuresh (better Huzûresh), the language of the Sassai nian dynasty (226–651), as it is found in the dialect of
the translations of the Zend-avesta, and in the official language of the Sassanian coins and inscriptions. This is considerably mixed with Semitic elements, probably imported from Syria. In a still later form, freed also from the Semitic elements which abound in Pehlevi, the language of Persia appears again as Parsi, which differs but little from the language of Firdusi, the great epic poet of Persia, the author of the Shahnámeh, about 1000 A. D.
The later history of Persian consists entirely in the gradual increase of Arabic words, which have crept into the language since the conquest of Persia and the conversion of the Persians to the religion of Mohammed.
The other languages which evince by their grammar and vocabulary a general relationship with Sanskrit and Persian, but which have received too distinct and national a character to be classed as mere dialects, are the languages of Afghanistan or the Pushtú, the language of Bokhára, the language of the Kurds, the Ossetian language in the Caucasus, and the Armenian. Much might be said on every one of these tongues and their claims to be classed as independent members of the
Pliny (Hist. Nat. xxx. 2) places Zoroaster several thousand years before Moses the Judæan, who founded another kind of Mageia.
Aryan family; but our time is limited, nor has any one of them acquired, as yet, that importance which belongs to the vernaculars of India, Persia, Greece, Italy, and Germany, and to other branches of Aryan speech which have been analyzed critically, and may be studied historically in the successive periods of their literary existence. There is, however, one more language which we have omitted to mention, and which belongs equally to Asia and Europe, the language of the Gipsies
. This Gypsy. Jongmu. language, though most degraded in its grammar, and with a dictionary stolen from all the countries through which the Zingaris passed, is clearly an exile from Hindústán.
You see, from the diagram before you, that it is possible to divide the whole Aryan family into two divisions : the Southern, including the Indic and Iranic classes, and the Northern or North-western, comprising all the rest. Sanskrit and Zend share certain words and grammatical forms in common which do not exist in any of the other Aryan languages; and there can be no doubt that the ancestors of the poets of the Veda and of the worshippers of Ahurô mazdâo lived together for some time after they had left the original home of the whole Aryan race. For let us see this clearly: the genealogical classification of languages, as drawn in this diagram, has an historical meaning. As sure as the six Romance dialects point to an original home of Italian shepherds on the seven hills at Rome, the Aryan languages together point to an earlier period of language, when the first ancestors of the Indians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Slaves, the Celts, and the Germans were living together within the same
1 Printed at the end of these Lectures.
enclosures, nay under the same roof.
There was a time when out of many possible names for father, mother, daughter, son, dog and cow, heaven and earth, those which we find in all the Aryan languages were framed, and obtained a mastery in the struggle for life which is carried on among synonymous words as much as among plants and animals. Look at the comparative table of the auxiliary verb AS, to be, in the different Aryan languages. The selection of the root AS out of many roots, equally applicable to the idea of being, and the
joining of this root with one set of personal termina1 tions, all originally personal pronouns, were individual
acts, or if you like, historical events. They took place once, at a certain date and in a certain place; and as we find the same forms preserved by all the members of the Aryan family, it follows that before the ancestors of the Indians and Persians started for the south, and the leaders of the Greek, Roman, Celtic, Teutonic, and Slavonic colonies marched towards the shores of Europe, there was a small clan of Aryans, settled probably on the highest elevation of Central Asia, speaking a language, not yet Sanskrit or Greek or German, but containing the dialectical germs of all; a clan that had advanced to a state of agricultural civilization; that had recognized the bonds of blood, and sanctioned the bonds of marriage; and that invoked the Giver of Light and Life in heaven by the same name which you may still hear in the temples of Benares, in the basilicas of Rome, and in our own churches and cathedrals.
After this clan broke up, the ancestors of the Indians and Zoroastrians must have remained together for some time in their migrations or new settlements; and I believe that it was the reform of Zoroaster which produced
at last the split between the worshippers of the Vedic gods and the worshippers of Ormuzd. Whether, besides this division into a southern and northern branch, it is possible by the same test (the community of particular words and forms), to discover the successive periods when the Germans separated from the Slaves, the Celts from the Italians, or the Italians from the Greeks, seems more than doubtful. The attempts made by different scholars have led to different and by no means satisfactory results; 1 and it seems best, for the present, to trace each of the northern classes back to its own dialect, and to account for the more special coincidences between such languages as, for instance, the Slavonic and Teutonic, by admitting that the ancestors of these races preserved from the beginning certain dialectical peculiarities which existed before, as well as after, the separation of the Aryan family.
1 See Schleicher, Deutsche Sprache, s. 81.