Page images

dividing, etc., etc. We believe there exists, either in the Coptic or hieroglyphic texts, words identical with the Hebrew for these and other objects and ideas, all of which, so far as we can collect, are of this primitive and essential character in the structure of speech. Without them, it would be impossible for human beings to interchange thoughts or hold communication by speech at all.” *

The testimony of the monuments is to the same effect, proving that the first settlement of the country was in Lower Egypt, precisely where the theory of an Asiatic origin would place it. Mr. Osburn shows this at length, quoting also the opinions of that eminent scholar Lepsius, that " the antiquity of Egyptian monuments, considered in relation to the larger masses of their remains, becomes less remote the higher we ascend the valley, in direct opposition to that which might have been anticipated according to the very eminently received theory, which assumes that the Egyptian civilization in the valley of the Nile originated in the south, and extended itself northward.” He then continues, " Thus are we able to indicate, with absolute certainty, the point in the valley of the Nile in which are found the monuments of the remotest antiquity, and therefore, by the unerring analogy of the cus

* Monumental History of Egypt, vol. i. pp. 209, 210.

toms of all ancient nations, the spot in which the first settlement in Egypt took place. Everything, both to the northward and southward of this point, is more modern. It will also be seen, by a reference to the map, that this point lies exactly parallel to the Isthmus of Suez, and is precisely the place at which immigrants over that thoroughfare between Asia and Africa, would first find a locality suited to their purpose, after traversing the sands of the desert, and attempting in vain to penetrate the swamps of the Delta."

The second of the supposed pre-historic nations, which, it is thought, could not have been of the Ņoachian family, are the aborigines of India. The Sanskrit, as is well known, belongs to the Aryan, or, as it is sometimes called, the Japetic family of languages, and is a sufficient proof that the people of India, who spoke that tongue, were of the Japetic stock. But it is claimed that when the Aryans came into India, they found there a primitive people of another race. Mr. Baldwin regards these as Cushites from Arabia, who were themselves preceded by a nation of Malays. He speaks of the " Cyclopean works of the Cushites” as found in the rock-cut temples, pagodas, etc., which Orientalists have generally regarded as not antedating the time of Buddha, say from five to six centuries B. C.

Now, we fully admit that the earliest writings of the Sanskrit-speaking people afford evidence that when that people reached the Punjaub, in Northern India, they found the country already occupied by inhabitants; but the same writings also as clearly seem to intimate that these were not a distinct race from the new comers. This evidence may be regarded as conclusive, at least in reference to those tribes called in the Vedas and elsewhere Dasyas, * and, in fact, all the original tribes of Northern India. This is shown, at some length, by Muir, in his " Sanskrit Texts," one of the most valuable works we have on Indian archæology.t . He says, in conclusion, "I have gone over the names of the Dasyas, or Asuras, mentioned in the Rig-Veda, with the view of discovering whether any of them would be regarded as of non-Aryan or indigenous origin, but I have not observed any that appear to be of this character.” | He also quotes Professors Müller

* This, and not Dasyu (sing.), as Muir writes it, is the proper orthography, according to the usual way of Anglicizing Sanskrit words. The vowel in the last syllable is the same as in the first, viz., short ă, pronounced like u in but — Dåsvă.

† Original Sanskrit Texts, on the Origin and Progress of the Religion and Institutions of India, Part I. and History of the People of India, their Religion and Institutions, Part II. By J. Muir, Esq., D. C. L., late of the Bengal civil service. London, 1858 and 1860.

1 Ibid p. 403..

and Lassen, to the same effect. "Dasyu simply means enemy; for instance, where Indra is praised 'because he destroyed the Dasyus, and protected the Aryan Color.' The Dasyus, in the Veda, may mean non-Aryan races in many hymns, yet the mere fact of tribes being called the enemies of certain kings or priests can hardly be said to prove their barbarian origin."* " Though in individual passages of the Mahabharata hatred and contempt are expressed in reference to the tribes living on the Indus and its five great tributaries, yet there is no trace of these tribes being ever regarded as of non-Indian origin. That there was no essential difference in their language is proved, as regards a later period, by the testimony of Panini.”+

It is more probable that the primitive inhabitants of Southern India were of a non-Aryan stock, though I do not regard it as proved. Muir. supposes them to have been allied to the Finnish or Tatar races, and Baldwin, as we have seen, to the Cushites. But in reality the question, both as it relates to them and to the more northern tribes, is of little comparative importance in the present discussion. It may be conceded that neither were Aryans without any danger of im

* Muller, “ Last Results of the Turanian Researches,” p. 344. † Lassen, Zeitsch. fur die Kunde des Morgenl, iii. 206.

pugning their descent from Noah. All the data we have from the Sanskrit, or elsew here, show that the Aryans did not arrive in the upper valleys of the Indus and the Ganges much before the 13th century before Christ. Professor Müller, indeed, places it as early as the 15th century.* Even if we take this date, we have a period of some 1600 or 1700 years between it and the deluge, according to the Septuagint chronology, - a period amply sufficient to admit of repeated migrations from the original seats of the race. It is perfectly consistent with all the known facts respecting the original inhabitants of India, to assume that six, eight, or ten centuries after the deluge, straggling colonies of unlettered men wandered from their primitive home into this country, where they were found by the lettered Aryans perhaps as many centuries later. The supposition meets every exigency of the case, without resorting to the theory of a non-Adamite race, or a condition of human population at all inconsistent with the Bible chronology.

The remaining nations, termed pre-historic, which are claimed to have had an antiquity exceeding that of the deluge, are those whose remains are found in Europe, in association with the bones of antediluvian animals, accompanied by rude implements of

* Last Results, etc., p. 432.

« PreviousContinue »