Herodotus - On Greek Origins. Dec 3, 2012 0:39:33 GMT -5
Post by Hellenic_Truth on Dec 3, 2012 0:39:33 GMT -5
Herodotus on Greek Origins
Passage - From Book 1 - The Histories
“His inquries revealed that the Lacedaemonians were the most eminent of the Dorian peoples and the Athenians of the Ionian.
These two, one originally Pelasgian the other Hellenic, were the most powerful of the Greek peoples. The Ionians are an indigenous race, but the Dorians on the contrary have been constantly on the move; their home in Deucalion’s reign was Phthiotis and in the reign of Dorus son of Hellen the country known as Histiotis in the neighbourhood of Ossa and Olympus; driven from there by the Cadmeians they settled in Pindus and were known as Macednons; thence they migrated to Dryopis, and finally to the Peloponnese, where they got their present name of Dorians.
Of the Pelasgian language i cannot speak with certainty, but that it was not Greek may be inferred from the language of those of Pelasgian race now living in Creston above the Tyrrhenians who were neighbours of the people now known as Dorians when their home was the country which we call Thessaliotis; also from the language of the Pelasgians peoples who settled at Placia and Scylace on the Hellespont and were fellow countrymen of the Athenians, and of the other Pelasgian towns which have since changed their names. Granted, then, that these are a fair sample of the Pelasgian race, one may conclude that the Athenians, being themselve Pelasgian, changed their language when they were absorbed into the Greek family of nations. In Creston and Placia the same language is spoken, but it is not the language of the surrounding country; which indicates that these people did not changed their language when they changed their home. I believe myself that the Greek peoples have always spoken the same language, but they were weak after their seperation from the Pelasgian of whom they were a branch, and have since grown from small begining to their present numbers by the addition of various foreign elements, amongst which were the Pelasgian themselves. I do not think that the Pelasgians, a non – Greek people, ever became very numerous or powerful.”
Herodotus; The Histories