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es Cyprium, brought from Cyprus Cyprus was taken possession of by the Romans in 57 B. C. Herod was intrusted by Augustus with the direction of the Cyprian copper-mines, and received one half of the profits. Pliny used as Cyprium and Cyprium by itself, for copper. The popular form, cuprum, copper, was first used by Spartianus, in the third century, and became more frequent in the fourth. Iron in Latin received the name of ferrum. In Gothic, aiz stands for Greek chalkós, but in Old High-German chuphar appears a more special name, and er assumes the meaning of bronze. This ér is lost in Modern German, except in the adjective ehern, and a new word has been formed for metal in general, the Old High-German ar-uzi,3 the Modern German Erz. As in Sanskrit ayas assumed the special meaning of iron, we find that in German, too, the name for iron was derived from the older name of copper. The Gothic eisarn, iron, is considered by Grimm as a derivative form of aiz, and the same scholar concludes from this that "in Germany bronze must have been in use before iron." 4
Eisarn is changed in Old Iligh-German
i Rossignol, l. c. pp. 268, 269.
2 It occurs as late as the fifteenth century. See Grimm, Deutsches Wörterbuch, s. v. erin, and s. v. Erz, 4, sub fine.
8 Grimm throws out a hint that ruzi in aruzi might be the Latin rudus, or raudus, rauderis, brass, but he qualifies the idea as bold.
- See Grimm, Geschichte der Deutschen Sprache, where the first chapter is devoted to the consideration of the names of metals. The same subject has been treated by N. A. Pietet, in his Origines Indo-Européennes, vol. i. p. 149 seq. The learned author arrives at results very different from those stated above, but the evidence on which he relies, and particularly the supposed coincidences between comparatively late or purely hypothetical compounds in Sanskrit, and words in Greek and Latin, would require much fuller proofs than he has given.
to îsarn, later to isan, the Modern German Eisen; while the Anglo-Saxon isern leads to iren and iron.
It may safely be concluded, I believe, that before the Aryan separation, gold, silver, and a third metal, i. e. copper, in a more or less pure state, were known. Sanskrit, Greek, the Teutonic and Slavonic languages, agree in their names for gold;Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin in their names for silver ;2 Sanskrit, Latin, and German in their names for the third metal. The names for iron, on the contrary, are different in each of the principal branches of the Aryan family, the coincidences between the Celtic and Teutonic names being of a doubtful character. If, then, we consider that the Sanskrit ayas, which meant, originally, the same as Latin æs and Gothic aiz, came to mean iron, — that the German word for iron is derived from Gothic aiz, and that Greek chalkós, after meaning copper, was used as a general name for metal, and conveyed occasionally the meaning of iron, - we may conclude, I believe, that Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, and German were spoken before the discovery of iron, that each nation became acquainted with that most useful of all metals after the Aryan family was broken up, and that each of the Aryan languages coined its name for iron from its own resources, and marked it by its own national stamp, while it brought the names for gold, silver, and copper from the common treasury of their ancestral home.
Let us now apply the same line of reasoning to the names of fir, oak, and beech, and their varying signification. The Aryan tribes, all speaking dia
1 Curtius, Griechische Etymologie, i. 172, ii. 314.
lects of one and the same language, who came to settle in Europe during the fir period, or the stone age, would naturally have known the fir-tree only. They called it by the same name which still exists in English as fir, in German as Föhre. How was it, then, that the same word, as used in the Lombard dialect, means oak, and that a second dialectic form exists in Modern German, meaning oak, and not fir ? We can well imagine that the name of the fir-tree should, during the fir period, have become the appellative for tree in general, just as chalkós, copper, became the appellative for metal in general. But how could that name have been again individualized and attached to oak, unless the dialect to which it belonged had been living at a time when the fir vegetation was gradually replaced by an oak vegetation ? Although there is as little evidence of the Latin quercus having ever meant fir, and not oak, as there is of the Gothic aiz having ever meant copper, and not bronze, yet, if quercus is the same word as fir, I do not hesitate to postulate for it the prehistoric meaning of fir. That in some dialects the old name of fir should have retained its meaning, while in others it assumed that of oak, is in perfect harmony with what we observed before, viz., that æs retained its meaning in Latin, while ayas in Sanskrit assumed the sense of iron.
The fact that phégós in Greek means oak, and oak only, while fagus in Latin, boka in Gothic, mean
1 In Persian, too, bûk is said to mean oak. No authority, howerer, has ever been given for that meaning, and it is left out in the last edition of Johnson's Dictionary, and in Vullers' Lexicon Persico-Latinum. Though the Persian búk, in the sense of oak, would considerably strengthen our argument, it is necessary to wait until the word has been properly authenticated.
beech, requires surely an explanation, and until a better ore can be given, I venture to suggest that Teutonic and Italic Aryans witnessed the transition of the oak period into the beech period, of the bronze age into the iron age, and that while the Greeks retained phegís in its original sense, the Teutonic and Italian colonists transferred the name, as an appellative, to the new forests that were springing up in their wild homes.
I am fully aware that many objections may be urged against such an hypothesis. Migration from a fir-country into an oak-country, and from an oakcountry into a beech-country, might be supposed to have caused these changes of meaning in the ancient Aryan words for fir and oak. I must leave it to the geologist and botanist to determine whether this is a more plausible explanation, and whether the changes of vegetation, as described above, took place in the same rotation over the whole of Europe, or in the North only. Again, the skulls found in the peat deposits are of the lowest type, and have been confidently ascribed to races of non-Aryan descent. In answer to this, I can only repeat my old protest, that the science of language has nothing to do with skulls. Lastly, the date thus assigned to the Aryan arrival in Europe will seem far too remote, particularly if it be considered that long before the first waves of the Aryan emigrants touched the shores of Europe, Turanian tribes, Finns, Lapps, and Basks, must bave roved through the forests of our continent. My answer is, that I feel the same
1 See M. M.'s Lectures on the Turanian Languages, p. 89. Ethnology u. Phonology.